Skip to main content

Written Answers

Volume 84: debated on Wednesday 30 October 1985

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

Written Answers To Questions

Wednesday 30 October 1985

Overseas Development

Tanzania (Road)

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign ad Commonwealth Affairs how much of the Songea-Makambako road, Tanzania after upgrading was completed, has subsequently had to be redone or repaired; and what has been the cost of this.

Minor repairs after landslips— which had been expected with the relatively low cost per kilometre of the project—have been paid for as part of the project, and of its subsequent maintenance, for which £190,000 has so far been allocated.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions his Department has had with the Tanzanian Government concerning the progress of the upgrading of the Songea-Makambako road.

There has been continuous contact throughout work on the project, including planning board meetings held roughly every quarter.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the supplementary contract for the second phase of the Songea-Makambako road was negotiated.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will itemise the reasons for the increase in the cost of the Songea-Makambako road from the original estimated cost in 1978 to the amount spent to date.

We could not forecast the exact final cost at the outset for lack of full detailed designs. To achieve an early start a special target cost contract was concluded rather than a conventional admeasurement contract. Additional factors were the 1981 decision to extend the sealed surface of the road to its full length of 184 miles instead of the 97 miles first envisaged, higher than expected inflation and technical delays in the early part of the project. It is not possible to attribute the cash increase to each item individually as they are closely interrelated.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is now the estimated cost for the completion of the upgrading of the Songea-Makambako road, Tanzania.

£98·6 million, of which the British Government have agreed to provide £891·6 million.

Chile (Political Refugees)

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what requests he has received from the United Kingdom branch of World University Service concerning return of political refugees to Chile; what response he has made; and for what reasons.

[pursuant to his reply, 23 October 1985, c. 155]: Following is the text of my letter to the hon.Member:

"The World University Service (UK) approached me in 1984, and again in 1985, for financial support to its programme for the voluntary repatriation of Chilean refugees. In 1984 HMG made £75,000 available but we have been unable to offer similar support this year. Aid funds are not unlimited and decisions have to be made between competing claims for assistance. In reaching our decision this year we took account of the substantial support of almost £11 million which we have given in the past to the WUS Chilean Programme principally for training in Britain."

Trade And Industry

Youth Training Scheme

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many young people have been taken on under the youth training scheme by his Department and bodies for which his Department is responsible.

Eureka Programme

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how it is proposed to fund the Eureka programme relating to advanced European technology; and what will be the extent of Government support.

The financing of Eureka projects is likely to vary according to their nature and their participants; those projects involving United Kingdom companies may qualify for finance from existing schemes of support for which they are eligible. However, the Government consider that, since Eureka projects are aimed at developing internationally competitive high technology products, they should in the main be able to rely on financing from commercial sources. We have no plans to set up a specific fund for Eureka projects.

Platinum

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what information he has as to the current production of platinum (i) in South Africa and(ii) in countries with centrally planned economies; and what percentage their combined production represents of total world production.

In 1984 South Africa produced 90,200 kg of platinum group metals contained; and of the countries with centrally planned economies the USSR and Yugoslavia produced 115,000 kg platinum group metals contained in total. These combined productions represent 94 per cent. of world production.

Alvey Programme

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what official visits are currently planned by representatives of participants in the Alvey programme, or members of the Alvey directorate, to (a) the United States of America and (b) Japan with a view to the discussion of collaborative projects;(2) what official visits are currently planned by representatives of participants in the Alvey programme, or

members of the Alvey directorate, to

(a) the United States of America and (b) Japan, with a view to the discussion or the sale of research information obtained through Alvey programme work.

No such visits are planned by members of the Alvey directorate and I am not aware of any such visits planned by participants in the Alvey programme. Any exploitation of the results of work funded under the programme outside the European Community would, however, be subject to the agreement of my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list in the Official Report the projects funded by the Alvey programme to date, indicating in each case the company, university, or research body involved and any intended eventual use of the project.

I am arranging to have details of the projects comprising the Alvey programme placed in the Library of the House.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will indicate what funds he has made available in each of the financial years 1984–85 and 1985–86 to work undertaken under the Alvey programme.

One hundred and ten million pounds has been allocated to the Alvey programme by the Department of Trade and Industry. Actual expenditure against the DTI Vote in 1984–85 was £6·5 million and is expected to be £18 million in 1985–86.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what approaches he has received from the United States Government, or from United States based companies, expressing an interest in the purchase of information technology arising out of civil aspects of the work of the Alvey programme; and what has been his response.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what information he has as to how many official visits to participants in the Alvey programme are currently planned by visitors from the Japanese information technology industry, the United States information technology industry and the United States defence industry, and as to the names and status of the visitors concerned.

I am not aware of any such plans for future visits. As a response to an Alvey-led British visit to ICOT, the Japanese fifth generation computer project. a delegation representing the management committee of ICOT was in the United Kingdom between 21 and 25 October and visited the Alvey directorate and a number of Alvey participants. The delegation comprised:

Mr. KotakaVice President, Engineering NEC Corporation.
Mr. EnomotoSenior Manager, Coordination Staff, Technical Planning and Coordinations Division, Toshiba Corporation.
Mr. ImaiChief Engineer, Technical Administration Department, Hitachi Ltd.
Mr. SakaiManager, Administration Department, Technology Administration Divisions, Fujitsu Ltd.
Mr. SuzukiAssociate Director, Engineering Tokyo Branch, Matsushita Electric Industrial Company, Ltd.
Mr. YamamotoSenior Staff, R&D Headquarter, Mitsubishi Electric Group.
Mr. H. HiroshigeSenior Executive Director, ICOT.
Mr. IchikawaManager, Administration Department, ICOT.
Mr. KurozumiAssistant Director, Research Centre. ICOT.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if, pursuant to the answer of 17 December 1984, Official Report column 21, indicating that the majority of the 50 or so firms now participating in the Alvey programme have interests in both civil and defence applications of information technology, he will indicate precisely how many firms fall into this category.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what major advances in the development of advanced information technology have been achieved to date by work carried out under the Alvey programme in each of the following areas (a) software engineering, (b) person/machine interface, (c) intelligent knowledge based systems, (d) very large scale integrated circuits and (e) communications; to what practical use these advances have so far been put; and if he will make a statement.

Alvey is a five-year programme with long-term objectives. Most of the work under the programme is defined and under way but it is early yet to predict quantified results. Some work, such as that in software engineering, may be expected to lead to exploitation within the next year or so; some, such as that in advanced computer architectures, is unlikely to lead to new products before the end of this decade. Progress on projects under way is, however, outlined in the details referred to in my earlier reply to the hon. Member which are being placed in the Library of the House.

Advanced Information Technology

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what proposals he has for continued support for the development of advanced information technology in Britain beyond the cessation of the Alvey programme in 1988.

The community of those involved in relevant research and development is currently formulating its views on the need for further activity of this sort. Such views will need to be taken into account before any decisions are taken and they will need to be assessed in the light of current proposals for advanced technological collaboration at the European level.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what information he has as to the percentage of research and development work being undertaken in Britain at present in advanced information technology represented by work funded under the Alvey programme.

Data are not available in this detail. Independent evaluations of the Alvey programme have been commissioned which should go some way to answering this question. These will be published.

Electricity (Resale)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is his policy towards the recommendation of the Director General of Fair Trading in his report on the resale of electricity by landlords that there should be a new criminal offence of reselling electricity for domestic use at a price higher than the maximum price fixed by the appropriate electricity board.

The Government will shortly be making an announcement in response to the report by the Director General of Fair Trading.

Technological Innovation

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what are the latest Government proposals to help stimulate technological innovation in British industry.

The best way the Government can help to stimulate technological innovation in British industry is by continuing to work towards providing a business climate favourable to enterprise and initiative.In addition, my Department offers a range of measures to assist industrial research and development and innovation. On 25 March my right hon. Friend the then Secretary of State explained that following a review of policy the Department would be making more money available for collaborative research, advisory services and schemes for encouraging best practice, and that support for projects in individual firms would be concentrated on innovative projects which represent a significant advance. Within these arrangements we continue to emphasise certain key technologies and their application such as microelectronics, fibre optics and computer software.For 1985–86 the Department's provision for scientific and technological assistance and support for investment in innovation totals £420 million.An account of the Department's recent activities in support of technological innovation is given in the report entitled "Science and Technology Report 1984–85" published on 28 October, a copy of which I am placing in the Library of the House.

Tin

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he has any plans to give financial assistance to the International Tin Council in its current efforts to establish a new international tin agreement.

I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply my right hon. and learned Friend made yesterday to my hon. Friend the Member for St. Ives (Mr. Harris).

Steering Location Inquiries (North-West Region)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many steering location inquiries have been received in the north-west region of his Department; and of these how many have been referred to the Cumbria county council industrial development unit during the last month for which statistics are avialable.

In September 1985 the north west regional office received 24 steering location inquiries: one of these was referred to Cumbria county council's industrial development unit (IDU). Close liaison between the regional office and the IDU continues.

Regional Assistance

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what was the total number and value of offers of regional assistance made to companies in the West Cumbria travel-to-work areas, in Cumbria as a whole, in the north west region and in the northern region for the last month for which statistics are available.

In September 1985, 11 offers of assistance totalling £454,000 were made under section 7 of the Industrial Development Act 1982 towards projects in the north west region. There were no offers made to projects in Cumbria during this month. 17 offers totalling £4·97 million were made towards projects in the north cast region.Under the new regional development grant scheme 51 offers of assistance totalling £1·26 million were made to companies in the north west. Of these there were three offers totalling £26,455 made to projects in West Cumbria. 96 offers totalling £1·76 million were made towards projects in the north east.

Shipbuilding Redundancy Payments (Appeals)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether the British Shipbuilders' national appeal procedure, as laid out in paragraph 12 of the shipbuilding redundancy payments scheme internal appeals procedure, has been implement.

Not yet. However, British Shipbuilders will be discussing the shipbuilding redundancy payments scheme internal appeals procedure with the unions later this week with a view to hearing outstanding national appeals as soon as possible. They expect them all to be heard in November.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many appeals under the British Shipbuilders' national appeal procedure relating to the shipbuilding redundancy payments scheme internal appeals procedure have been carried out in each year since 1980; and how many appeals are at present outstanding.

No appeals at national level have been heard under the shipbuilding redundancy payment scheme internal appeals procedure. There are 15 appeals outstanding at this level.

Qe2 (Re-Engining)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if consultations have taken place between his Department and Cunard Shipping Ltd. concerning the reengining of the QE2; and if he will make a statement.

Discussions about the re-engining of the Queen Elizabeth 2 have taken place between Trafalgar House plc, the parent company of Cunard, and my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry. On Friday 25 October Trafalgar House announced that the investment would go ahead but that, as no United Kingdom yard had been able to offer to carry out the work, the contract had been placed abroad. Nevertheless Trafalgar House announced that some £25 million or 30 per cent. of the total cost will be spent in the United Kingdom. GEC will supply the electric motors arid generating plant, while Harland and Wolff will supply certain engine components.

British Shipbuilders (Subsidies)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list for each year since 1979–80 the

1979–801980–811981–821982–831983–841984–85
Government subsidy for British Shipbuilders* (£ million)267150153114220154
Percentage of sales value of work done32·816·714·910·424·817·3
Subsidy per employee (£)3,3382,1432,2971,7703,7803,359
* Intervention fund assistance and payments of public dividend capital to British Shipbuilders.
Includes public dividend capital provided to permit a repayment of a £55 million loan from the National Loans Fund.
Excludes the cost of the sale of Scott Lithgow Ltd. to Trafalgar House Ltd. in March 1984.

Cloft Scheme

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress has been made in seeking alternatives to the CLOFT scheme rejected by the EEC, so that assistance can be given to the footwear and leather industries.

The proposed CLOFT scheme envisaged assistance to eligible small firms in the footwear, clothing, knitting and textile industries, but not to the leather industry. As regards footwear, we are considering a proposal from the industry, as my hon. and learned Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State with responsibility for corporate and consumer affairs informed the House on 23 October. We do not regard this as an alternative to CLOFT, which was a sectoral aid scheme.

Japan (Leather Imports)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he is taking to try to obtain the abolition of Japanese quotas and other impediments to imports of leather and leather products.

The Japanese Government have made some proposals which are under examination within the GATT. The initial EC view is that they do not represent sufficient progress towards the degree of liberalisation required. The Commission will, within the GATT negotiations, press for more effective measures of real benefit to Community producers.

Leather (Labelling)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will introduce legislation providing for mandatory labelling requirements for leather products.

Gross Domestic Product

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is the gross domestic product of each region in England for the last 12 months for which figures are available; and how each region compares with the figures for 1980 and 1975 in real and cash terms.

Current price (cash terms) gross domestic product data for the regions of England are published in the article "Regional Accounts 1983" ("Economic Trends" November 1984), a copy of which is available in the House of Commons Library. This article total subsidy paid to British Shipbuilders; and if he will calculate what these data are as (a) a percentage of sales value of work done and (b) per employee.

Following are the figures:covers 1983 (the latest available), 1980 and 1975. Constant price (real terms) gross domestic product data for the regions are not available.

Ec (Spanish Subsidies)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what arrangements have been made during the negotiations for the entry of Spain into the EEC to remove Spanish subsidies on finished leather;(2) what arrangements have been made during the negotiations for the entry of Spain into the EEC to remove the Spanish subsidy on exports of scoured wool.

From 1 January 1986, Spanish Government subsidies will have to comply with the state aids provisions of the Treaty of Rome. The export subsidy provided through the operation of the present tax system will automatically disappear when VAT is introduced in Spain on the same date.

Ec (Raw Hides And Skins)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what arrangements have been made during the negotiations for the entry of Spain into the EEC to ensure that there will be free availability of raw hides and skins within the Community.

Under article 42 of the Treaty of Accession, quantitative restrictions on trade between the Community and Spain are to be abolished on 1 January 1986, except where a derogation is specifically provided for. There is no such derogation in relation to raw hides and skins.

Ec (Footwear And Leather)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions there have been in the negotiations for the entry of Spain and Portugal into the EEC regarding the footwear and leather industries.

During the accession negotiations there were extensive discussions on the arrangements governing trade with Spain and Portugal in industrial products from 1 January 1986. A substantial part of these were concerned with the arrangements for footwear and leather products. The British footwear and leather industry was consulted throughout.

Ec (Product Liability)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on progress towards the implementation in the United Kingdom of the European Commission directive on product liability.

My Department will be issuing a consultative document before the end of this year on implementation of the EC directive on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the member states concerning liability for defective products. Following this consultation, legislation will be introduced as soon as the parliamentary timetable permits.

English Estates

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, pursuant to the answer of 23 October, Official Report, column 160, if he has had any discussions with the pensions fund industry or local authority superannuation fund managers about the possibility of their providing capital to meet the demand for English Estates to build factories to the specific order of prospective tenants; and if he will make a statement.

No, Sir. But as my hon. Friend will appreciate. English Estates is required under statutory guidelines to secure the maximum possible level of private sector funding in all its development projects and seeks to do so.

East Midlands (Productivity)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what has been the change in productivity in the east midlands since (a) 1979 and (b) 1981.

[pursuant to his reply, 29 October 1985]: There are no data available for the change in productivity

Expenditure on full-value Mandatory Awards £000Percentage value in real termsExpenditure on full-value Discretionary Awards £000Percentage value in real terms
1979–801983–84(1979=100)1979–801983–84(1979=100)
Barking40253992384581
Barnet3,2544,1958938050291
Bexley1,3391,6808621523575
Brent2,2153,2651017111,679102
Bromley2,6003,3168822723070
Croydon2,6733,4638921822872
Ealing2,2153,3271033496913
Enfield2,1882,51279566682
Haringey2,2553,0079239426446
Harrow1,9102,7019721919461
Havering1,3771,712851549442
Hillingdon1,5972,0628931020345
Hounslow1,2552,14711717014759
Kingston-upon-Thames1,1941,609931366131
Merton1,2391,69494934534
Newham9741,52410710914390
Redbridge1,7572,4099424624067
Richmond-upon-Thames1,5362,37010622617553
Sutton1,1301,71910516912952
Waltham Forest1,1711,71210024723064
Inner London16,40524,9261046,0179,415107
Birmingham6,6308,9399312546999
Coventry2,3913,65310528123858
Dudley1,5462,418107114214129

in the east midlands since 1979 and 1981. However, output per person employed in the whole economy has risen by 13·1 per cent. since the first quarter of 1979 and by 13·4 per cent. since the first quarter of 1981, compared to the first quarter of 1985.

British Telecom

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will publish a list of the firms with which British Telecom shares were placed at the beginning of the offer period; and if he will specify how many shares each firm underwrote.

[pursuant to the reply, 25 October 1985, c. 292]: All allocations made at the time of the British Telecom offer for sale, including placing allocations made to firms acting as priority applicants, were recorded in the company's share register. This is available for public inspection.

Education And Science

Maintenance Awards

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what are the total amounts paid out in each of the last five years for which figures are available on (a) mandatory maintenance awards and (b) discretionary' maintenance awards in real terms using 1979–80 as a base, by local education authorities.

A full reply could only be provided at disproportionate cost. The following table shows the amounts paid out in respect or full-value mandatory and discretionary awards by each local authority in England and Wales in 1979–80 and 1983£84, and the value in percentage terms of the 1983–84 payments deflated by increases in retail prices, using 1979–80 as the base.

Expenditure on full-value Mandatory Awards £000

Percentage value in real terms

Expenditure on full-value Discretionary Awards £000

Percentage value in real terms

1979–80

1983–84

(1979=100)

1979–80

1983–84

11979=100)

Sandwell1,0301,75111716222294
Solihull1,8282,37689819581
Walsall1,3502,186111930234172
Wolverhampton1,6442,530106136NilNil
Knowsley1,0071,27487192382
Liverpool4,3065,04981NilNilNil
St. Helens1,2871,8209711212979
Sefton3,2174,69510018120377
Wirral3,1124,803106409874147
Bolton1,7282,97311820419967
Bury1,3952,14010522317755
Manchester3,3804,2588747139457
Oldham1,1901,8431067610090
Rochdale1,2301,87510513419398
Salford1,1751,6399621920966
Stockport2,8144,0259826229878
Tameside1,1011,60410084150122
Trafford2,1383,435110133NilNil
Wigan1,6152,724116119259149
Barnsley9471,39810120720267
Doncaster1,5852,508109166273113
Rotherham1,1402,02212281159134
Sheffield3,0324,86311053775797
Bradford2,9984,883112562978120
Calderdale1,0791,85911815119890
Kirklees2,4893,68910235850898
Leeds4,7647,11710349027238
Wakefield1,5261,9678922331697
Gateshead1,0311,4549720815150
Newcastle upon Tyne2,1522,7738930834777
North Tyneside1,4411,7958621717455
South Tyneside9601,4001008386
Sunderland1,5332,323104375571104
Isles of Scilly142813611210
Avon6,85510,8101087451466135
Bedfordshire2,9294,98311735851198
Berkshire4,9518,983125434884140
Buckinghamshire4,4017,17511240650085
Cambridgeshire3,5775,86811354261678
Cheshire7,06011,4371119771,684118
Cleveland3,5145,58510956376393
Cornwall2,3663,90911329236285
Cumbria2,9494,16597548893112
Derbyshire5,1067,45610042238663
Devon6,1879,6211071,5961,93983
Dorset4,2716,2301008561,07086
Durham3,2844,78610051971294
East Sussex4,3157,02311292353139
Essex8,04511,7651001,4921,26158
Gloucestershire3,8136,0791097321,04898
Hampshire9,47414,2771042,1322,66786
Hereford and Worcester4,2256,92811346966998
Hertfordshire8,25610,6808992116212
Humberside4,6127,1551079031,713130
Isle of Wight5831,137134113178108
Kent9,67014,8871062,1732,83790
Lancashire10,47314,852971,1501,888113
Leicestershire5,8689,1811074861,472208
Lincolnshire3,3045,096106439966151
Norfolk3,5655,58610875349945
North Yorkshire4,9747,4841038351,739143
Northamptonshire2,8304,770116344599120
Northumberland1,8992,93210623024874
Nottinghamshire5,7328,85710660980991
Oxfordshire4,1416,55710948739756
Salop2,3243,752111410674113
Somerset2,6804,35411234629258
Staffordshire5,6569,00110974879773

Expenditure on full-value Mandatory Awards £000

Percentage value in real terms

Expenditure on full-value Discretionary Awards £000

Percentage value in real terms

1979–80

1983–84

(1979=100)

1979–80

1983–84

(1979=100)

Suffolk3,0834,9221108731,14690
Surrey9,00313,0259991279160
Warwickshire3,6715,60410559865175
West Sussex4,5736,97210563452857
Wiltshire3,3795,18910561357665
Clwyd2,6984,213107265526136
Dyfed2,7194,39211115524
Gwent3,1645,188113303473107
Gwynedd1,6232,802119413457
Mid-Glamorgan3,2424,69910044651
Powys7721,20310733737476
South Glamorgan3,6025,635107483716102
West Glamorgan2,6484,89212748062489
Total England and Wales332,209502,07710449,45263,66588

Youth Training Scheme

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many young people have been taken on under the youth training scheme by his Department and by bodies for which his Department is responsible.

Cern

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether Her Majesty's Government have reached a decision following Sir John Kendrew's report relating to the United Kingdom subscription to CERN and related facilities.

The Government are considering the advice of the Advisory Board for the Research Councils and the Science and Engineering Research Council on this matter.

Alvey Programme

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will indicate what funds the Science and Engineering Research Council has made available in each of the financial years 1984–85 and 1985–86 to work undertaken under the Alvey programme.

The figures for funds actually spent by SERC on work undertaken under the Alvey programme in 1984–85 and provided in the budget for 1985–86 (at 1985–86 outturn prices) are as follows:—

1984–85 £ million1985–86 £ million
611·4

Teachers (Expenses)

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what information he has as to which local authorities offer inducements to teachers to attend courses during holidays by paying expenses.

It is common practice for local authorities to provide some reimbursement to teachers of costs incurred as a result of attendance at in-service training courses, as resources allow. The Department does not collect information on the extent of this practice.

Teachers (Pay)

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will make proposals for reductions in teachers' remuneration where disruption is caused by industrial action.

It is for the employers to implement the contracts of employment which they have with their teachers. I understand that these contain provisions for the deduction of salary in certain circumstances including strike action. I also understand that a small number of authorities have made deductions in respect of disruptive action short of strikes, such as refusal to cover for absent teachers. I further understand that the National Union of Teachers contends that employers do not have the right to make such deductions, and court action is pending involving five local education authorities.

Burnham Committee

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what account he took of the non-recognition by certain local education authorities of the Professional Association of Teachers when revising the union side representatives of the Burnham committee; and if he will make a statement.

In reviewing the composition of the teachers' panel of the Burnham P&S committee, I have followed my predecessors as Secretary of State and used as my criteria the numbers in membership of the different unions and the distinctive nature of their membership. The committeee is responsible for reviewing the pay of school teachers throughout England and Wales and these criteria reflect that national function.

Research Scientists

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what study his Department has made of the consequences of the level of funding for equipment in research laboratories on the movement of scientists from the United Kingdom.

The responses to the ABRC's brain drain inquiry suggest that dissatisfaction with the level of funding for research equipment is one of a number of reasons for British scientists taking research appointments overseas. The responses show that the provision in last year's PES settlement of additional funds to the UGC for re-equipping some of the best university research groups has been a factor in persuading some senior researchers to stay in the United Kingdom.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will give what statistics he has available about the quitting from the United Kingdom of people of the highest scientific calibre to research institutes and laboratories in North America, Europe and Australia in the spheres of electronics, biochemistry and biophysics.

National statistics are not available. However the ABRC's report to my right hon. Friend on their brain drain inquiry gives some figures for losses overseas from the university and research council groups covered by their survey. Copies of the ABRC's report will be placed in the Library.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will publish the Advisory Body on Research Councils' report to his Department on the brain drain of human resources particularly in the areas of high technology and areas of scientific excellence.

Haringey (Educational Provision And Response)

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if the report by Her Majesty's Inspectors of Schools on educational provision and response in some Haringey schools has been withdrawn; and if he will make a statement.

The report has not been withdrawn, either in whole or in part.When the report was, published in July 1984, discussions took place between the inspectorate and Haringey local education authority about the interpretation of examination results in the authority in relation to national figures. On the basis of figures then provided by the authority in substitution for other figures it had provided earlier, some of the comparisons drawn in the report would have been slightly different, as the senior chief inspector acknowledged in a letter to the authority's chief education officer. However, these figures would still have shown examination results in Haringey falling below national averages, and gave no cause for the inspectorate to alter the judgment in the report that results achieved by fifth-formers in the borough—particularly in the schools inspected—were disappointing, even after allowing for socio-economic factors in pupils' background.The concern expressed by Her Majesty's inspectors about educational provision in Haringey secondary schools related to many other issues in addition to examination results. Concern was also expressed about the quality of education in primary schools, where examination results are not at issue.The authority accepted the report as a basis for action, and is seeking to develop ways of responding constructively to the inspectorate's findings. It has submitted a progress report to me, and will be submitting a further progress report at the end of the year.

Natural Environment Research Council

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when the Natural Environment Research Council intends to appoint a director of earth sciences.

I understand that it is the intention of the Natural Environment Research Council to appoint a director of earth sciences as soon as possible and that action is now in hand.

British Geological Survey

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what the organisational structures of the British Geological Survey will be in future in the context of its recently agreed terms of reference; and if he will make a statement.

The organisational changes of the British Geological Survey are still under discussion in the context of the published NERC corporate plan. I understand that a final structure will be agreed after further consultation, particularly involving the director of earth sciences when appointed.

Energy

Nirex

asked the Secretary of State for Energy when he proposes to reconstitute NIREX as a public company; and whom he proposes for the composition of the board of directors and the chairman of the company.

Opencast Coalmining

asked the Secretary of State for Energy how many opencast coalmining operations (a) are currently working and listed, (b) have been authorised in the past decade with specific method of use and (c) are subject to a planning application; and if, in the latter case, he will give an indication of the average time taken to obtain approval.

Forty-four NCB opencast sites are currently coaling in England and Wales and 10 in Scotland. The respective figures for licensed opencast sites is 57 and 25.In the 10 years to September 1985, 112 authorisations have been granted in England and Wales and 25 in Scotland. Of the 112, 7 were specifically for coking coal and 11 for anthracite; of the 25, 2 were for low volatile coals.Since the requirement for planning permission was placed on the NCB on 1 March 1984, 5 NCB sites in England and Wales have received planning permission and authorisation under the Opencast Coal Act 1958. Four of these are now working. A further 23 have yet to be resolved because planning permission has been refused or authorisation not yet granted or the planning application has not yet been determined. It would not be meaningful, in the circumstances, to quote an "average time", but there can be as long as 15 months between application and determination.

Youth Training Scheme

asked the Secretary of State for Energy how many young people have been taken on under the youth training scheme by his Department and by bodies for which his Department is responsible.

Cegb (Publicity Material)

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will give the Central Electricity Generating Board a general directive that it should submit all publicity material to him for his prior approval; and if he will make a statement.

No. The CEGB will remain free to issue any relevant publicity material consistent with its statutory powers and duties.

British Gas

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what steps he proposes to take to seek to secure efficiency and competitive advantages from the privatisation of British Gas.

The proposals for the privatisation of British Gas will be of benefit to the consumer in the encouragement of efficiency by every means.

Energy Conservation

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what representations he has received concerning the distribution of his Department's save energy booklets by Marketforce in Newcastle under Lyme; and if he will make a statement.

Crude Oil

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what information he has as to the trend in crude oil prices over the 12-month period to the latest date for which figures are available; and what projections are available to him about trends over the ensuring three-month period.

Figures published by the International Energy Agency show that the average price of a barrel of crude oil imported into the IEA area fell about $1·60 between the second quarter of 1984 and the second quarter of 1985.Short-term indicators show some strengthening of crude oil prices in the third quarter.

Northern Ireland

Social Security (Fraudulent Claims)

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether, with a view to the discouragement of fraudulent claims for social security payments, he will consider the desirability of the Housing Executive requiring receipts for payments for work done as a condition of the payment of improvement and repair grants on private houses.

The prime requirement for the payment of a house renovation grant is the completion to a satisfactory standard of all the work specified by the Housing Executive. The sub mission of receipted builders' accounts is not a prior condition for payment of grant.I am reluctant to introduce a procedure which might hold back claims from the less well-off for grants to combat housing unfitness and disrepair; particularly as, it is doubtful if it would be an effective discouragement to fraudulent social security claims.

European Regional Development Fund

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will give details of recent tourist project to benefit from the European Regional Development Fund.

The information is as follows (Commitments made since 1980):

ERDF Grant Committed
Project£
Altmore picnic site, Dungannon1,117
Amelia Earhart tourist centre, Londonderry36,000
Annalong marine park195,000
Ardown arts and tourist centre850,000
Benone tourism and recreation scheme102,305
Carnfunnock tourism scheme174,030
Carnlough harbour52,000
Castlecoole golf course159,000
Clogher valley picnic sites26,750
Cranagh tourism development scheme17,500
Cranfield tourist development scheme113,500
Dungannon DC mobile promotional unit8,475
Fermanagh DC mobile promotional unit8,500
Flagstaff tourist information centre43,750
Forkhill tourist amenity block11,065
Foyle valley railway, Londonderry161,500
Garrison hostel95,000
Giants Causeway visitors centre210,000
Gortin glen transit caravan park139,175
Gortin glen scenic route72,500
Gortin history park450,000
Keggal road, Carnlough tourist amenity block26,750
Kilbroney park, Rostrevor287,500
Killmaddy Evans tourist amenity and information scheme (Dungannon)150,000
Knockninny beach tourism development29,600
Knockninny hostel45,000
Londonderry interpretive centre225,000
Londonderry tourist information centre19,500
Marble Arch show caves328,000
Newcastle leisure pool242,500
Newcastle promenade67,500
Newcastle tourist centre213,800
Newtownstewart caravan park41,000
Newtownstewart tourist information centre32,500
Omagh tourist information centre90,325
Plumbridge tourist amenity block18,000
Portaferry amenity park45,000
Portaferry visitors centre107,400
Portrush water world466,203
Sion Mills tourist information centre24,250
Smith's strand tourist scheme20,000
Sperrins visitor centre93,700
St Patrick's heritage centre39,000
Ulster American folk park125,000
Project£
Ulysses Grant heritage centre, Dungannon109,805
Washing Bay tourist development scheme11,585
Waterfoot tourist development scheme55,500

Remand Prisoners

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many persons were remanded in custody and subsequently acquitted or not proceeded with in the years 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983 and 1984, respectively, in Northern Ireland in respect of (a) scheduled and (b) non-scheduled offences.

Information is not kept in the form requested and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what was the average time spent on remand for those who were subsequently acquitted or not proceeded with during 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983 and 1984, respectively, in Northern Ireland in respect of (a) scheduled and (b) non-scheduled offences.

Information is not kept in the form requested and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many persons who were remanded in custody and subsequently acquitted or not proceeded against with, spent (a) nil to three months on remand, (b) three to six months on remand, (c) six to nine months on remand, (d) nine to 12 months on remand and (e) over 12 months on remand in respect of those first remanded during 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983 and 1984, respectively, in respect of (i) scheduled offences and (ii) non-scheduled offences.

Information is not kept in the form requested and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Payments to H&W £ millionSelling value of work done (SVWD) £ million Payments as percentage of SVWDEmployeesPayment per employee
1979–8022·567·333·47,5422,983
1980–8141·257·371·97,3705,590
1981–8240·197·541·17,0345,701
1982–8346·272·563·76,2637,377
1983–8440·085·946·65,4907,286
1984–8537·559·163·55,1637,263

Notes:

1. The payments are made under the Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries (Northern Ireland) Order 1979.

2. Until 1980 the company's annual accounts were on a calendar year basis; those for 1981–82 were adjusted and covered a 15-month period; thereafter on a financial year basis. The selling value of work done and employee figures follow this pattern. Both are based on the company's annual accounts.

Store Lambs (Imports)

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many store lambs were imported from the Republic of Ireland during the months of August, September and October.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what was the weekly cost of keeping a prisoner in custody in the years 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1985, respectively, in a remand institution in Northern Ireland in respect of (a) scheduled and (b) non-scheduled offences.

Northern Ireland has no separate remand institutions; nor is information about costs maintained separately in respect of scheduled and other offences.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he has any plans to introduce financial compensation for those prisoners who were remanded in custody and subsequently acquitted or not proceeded with in Northern Ireland in respect of (a) scheduled and (b) non-scheduled offences.

Industrial Development Board

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many industrial national inquiries have been directed to (a) his Department and (b) the Northern Ireland Industrial Development Board during the last month for which statistics are available.

Since September 1982 the Northern Ireland Industrial Development Board has been responsible for processing all inquiries about possible investment in Northern Ireland. The IDB received 13 firm inquiries from companies outside Northern Ireland in September 1985.

Harland And Wolff

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will express the totals of payments to Harland and Wolff for each year since 1979–80 in (a) a percentage of the sales value of work done and (b) per employee.

Following is the information:

Sheep and Lambs
Numbers
August8,390
September7,851
October*4,974
* Three weeks to 19 October 1985.

Separate figures are not held to differentiate sheep and lambs.

Fat Lambs (Exports)

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many fat lambs were exported to the Republic of Ireland from Northern Ireland during the months of June, July, August, September and October, respectively.

Recorded exports were as follows:

Number
June354
July1,286
August1,577
Figures for September and October are not yet available.

Cattle Imports

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many cattle were imported from the Republic of Ireland and immediately slaughtered in each of the marketing weeks of August, September and October, respectively.

The information is as follows:

Week Commencing
5 August 1985362
12 August 19851,997
19 August 19852,049
26 August 19852,610
2 September 19852,559
9 September 19853,243
16 September 19853,441
23 September 19854,424
30 September 19853,893
7 October 19855,758
14 October 19853,812

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many store cattle were imported from the Republic of Ireland during the months of August, September and October, respectively.

The information is as follows:

Numbers
August7,097
September9,204
October (3 weeks)6,986

De Lorean (Ruc Investigations)

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to his answer of 21 October, Official

Planning totals
£ billion
YearCash*Real termsPublic expenditure as a percentage of GDPGGE as a percentage of GDP
1974–7539·4119·545·547·9
1975–7648·9118·145·748·5
1976–7754·5116·343·946·0
1977–7856·8106·639·742·3
1978–7965·8111·740·243·3

Report, column 64, when the investigations being carried out by the Royal Ulster Constabulary into the alleged misappropriation of funds from De Lorean Motor Cars Limited are likely to be completed.

The Arts

Merseyside

asked the Minister for the Arts if he will outline the provision for the funding of the arts in the county of Merseyside from 1 April 1986; and if he will make a statement.

[pursuant to his reply, 28 October 1985, c. 315]: The Government announced last year that £34 million of additional central funding would be made available in 1986–87 for support of the performing ants, film and museums following the abolition of the GLC and metropolitan county councils, after allowing for a contribution from borough and district authorities relieved of precepts. Of this sum, £16 million for the performing arts would be administered by the Arts Council and £1 million for film by the British Film Institute. The remaining £17 million would be for museums.It will be for the Arts Council and British Film Institute to determine, from within the resources available to them, the funding which they will pass to bodies in the area now administered by Merseyside county council. A new national trustee body will be established by Order in Council under section 46 of the Local Government Act 1985 to own and manage the bulk of the existing Merseyside museums and art galleries service. Its budget for 1986–87, which has yet to be determined, will be met from within the additional £17 million for museums.

National Finance

Government Expenditure

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the total Government expenditure for the years 1975 to 1985, inclusive, expressed (a) at current prices, (b) in cost terms and (c) as a percentage of gross domestic product at market prices.

Detailed figures of public expenditure over the period 1974–75 to 1984–85 were given in an article entitled "Measuring Public Expenditure" published in the August 1985 issue of Economic Trends.The figures requested have been extracted from the above named article and are as follows:

YearCash*Real termsPublic expenditure as a percentage of GDPGGE as a percentage of GDP
1979–8077·0112·339·743·4
1980–8192·7113·942·246·0
1981–82104·7117·043·546·3
1982–83113·4118·643·046·7
1983–84120·3120·342·645·8
1984–85129·7124·243·345·8
* Cash figures adjusted for general inflation as measured by the GDP deflator at market prices (1983–84 base year).
As defined for the calculation of public expenditure as a percentage of GDP in the 1985 public expenditure White Paper.
General Government expenditure as defined in the medium term financial strategy (MTFS) and national accounts.

National Debt

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the trend in the size of the national debt in real terms in the past decade.

I shall write to the hon. Member as soon as possible and place a copy of the letter in the Library.

Youth Training Scheme

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many young people have been taken on under the youth training scheme by his Department and by bodies for which his Department is responsible.

I shall write to my hon. Friend as soon as possible and place a copy of the letter in the Library.

Inland Revenue (Staff)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the approximate proportions, for each Inland Revenue region, of tax officers higher grade with (a) less than one year's experience, (b) between one and five years' experience and (c) more than five years' experience; and if he will make a statement.

The information requested is as follows:

Tax officers higher grade per cent.
Less than 1 year1·5 yearsMore than 5 years
Head Office31384
London North164440
London East184141
London South184141
London West173647
North151768
South Yorkshire152560
Eastern Counties192853
South East193051
South West112861
West Midlands192556
Greater Manchester131869
North West122662
Wales92170
Scotland132859
Northern Ireland183349
TOTAL152659

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the approximate proportions, for each Inland Revenue region, of tax officers with (a) less than one year's experience, (b) between one and five years' experience, (c) more than five years' experience; and if he will make a statement.

The information requested is as follows:

Tax Officers
per cent.
Less than one yearOne to five yearsMore than five years
Head office32572
London North193051
London East153550
London South243442
London West203347
North171964
South Yorkshire142462
Eastern counties173449
South East283141
South West192853
West Midlands182359
Greater Manchester102169
North West112564
Wales23464
Scotland192655
Northern Ireland102367
Total162757

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish a list showing, for Inland Revenue staffing in each of the last three years (a) the average number of inspectors of taxes, (b) the number of recruitments and promotions to inspector of taxes, (c) the number of retirements of inspectors of taxes and (d) the number of resignations of inspectors of taxes.

The information requested is as follows:

Year to 31 March
198319841985
a. The average number of inspectors of taxes6,3786,4026,425
b. The number of recruitments and promotions to inspector of taxes558662731
c. The number of retirements of inspectors of taxes279224257
d. The number of resignations of inspectors of taxes5370170

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish a list showing, for Inland Revenue staffing in each of the last three years (a) the average number of tax officers higher grade, (b) the number of recruitments and promotion to tax officer higher grade, (c) the number of retirements of tax officers higher grade and (d) the number of resignations of tax officers higher grade.

The information requested is as follows:

Year to 31 March
198319841985
a. The average number of tax officers higher grade9,6709,84610,309
b. The number of recruitments and promotions to tax officer higher grade7719461,339
c. The number of retirements of tax officer higher grade188245175
d. The number of resignations of tax officer higher grade209238270

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish a list showing, for Inland Revenue staffing in each of the last three years (a) the average number of tax officers, (b) the number of recruitments and promotions to the tax officer grade, (c) the number of retirements from the tax officer grade and (d) the number of resignations from the tax officer grade.

The information requested is as follows:

Year to 31 March
198319841985
a. The average number of tax officers15,75515,11114,240
b. The number of recruitments and promotions to tax officer1,3955642,030
c. The number of retirements of tax officers236434282
d. The number of resignations of tax officers831870886

Arts Donations

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will introduce legislation to exempt from tax donations to the arts by private or corporate donors, and if he will make a statement.

I have noted my hon. Friend's suggestion. Many bodies concerned with the arts are charities, and donations made to them under deed of covenant already qualify for tax relief.

Ec (Finance Ministers' Meeting)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will report the outcome of the latest meeting of the European Community's Council of Finance Ministers.

The ECOFIN Council met in Luxembourg on 28 October. I represented the United Kingdom.The Council has preliminary discussions on the Commission's annual economic report and the recent Greek economic measures. Lord Cockfield put forward the Commission's views on indirect tax harmonisation. The Council agreed to return to these matters at its next meeting, on 18 November.The Council discussed the proposal in the Commission's amending letter of 11 October to increase the 1986 budget provision for the United Kingdom's 1986 VAT abatement under the Fontainebleau system by 264 mecu (some £155 million). The Council agreed that the United Kingdon was entitled to receive this additional sum during 1986. The Commission was invited to bring forward an amending budget in September 1986, which would take account of the 264 mecu and of any other corrections indicated by the latest budgetary information, and the Council undertook to take the necessary decisions on the basis of the Commission's proposal.I proposed that the Community should take an early opportunity to consider how the financial guideline limiting agricultural spending should be applied to the Community of Twelve. The Commission undertook to prepare a communication to the Council about this.Finally, considerable progress was made in the Council's discussion on liberalising the marketing of unit trusts throughout the Community. Subject to a waiting reserve by Denmark, the Council agreed the texts of co-ordination and capital movements directives establishing common rules for unit trusts and other undertakings for collective investment in financial securities (UCITS). These directives are intended to take effect from October 1989.

Ec (Farm Budget)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the increased costs to the draft 1.980 European Economic Community farm budget caused by each percentage fall in the value of the dollar below the dollar/ecu rate of 1·2 specified in that budget, what reserve contingency is available to meet these increased costs and what steps he has taken to seek to ensure that such variations in the exchange rate do not increase the farm budget beyond the agreed budgetary discipline limits.

Estimating the budgetary costs of a depreciation of the dollar against the ecu below the level of 1·20 assumed in the draft budget for 1986 is a complicated operation, which the Commission is best placed to undertake. Account has to be taken not only of the direct impact on export refunds and certain production aids but also of indirect effects such as the supply and demand response on world markets for agricultural products whose prices are denominated in dollars.There is no contingency reserve in the draft budget for 1986 to cover such eventualities as a change in the dollar/ ecu exchange rate. However, the Council agreed in its conclusions on budgetary discipline to proceed so as to keep expenditure relating to agricultural markets within the financial guideline and, if an overrun threatened., to take the necessary decisions to prevent this. The Commission has undertaken to avoid an overrun by management measures and by putting necessary policy proposals to the Council and not to introduce a supplementary budget until it has exhausted all these opportunities for savings.

Customs (Drug Imports)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many customs officials at ports of entry were engaged on the prevention of illegal drug importation in each year since 1960.

Separate figures for the number of customs officials at ports of entry engaged in the prevention of illegal drugs importation are not available prior to 1978. The figures from 1978 to 1986 (estimated) are as follows:

Numbers
1 April 19783,274
1 April 19793,445
Numbers
1 April 19803,214
1 April 19813,027
1 April 19822,890
1 April 19832,795
1 April 19842,721
1 April 19852,823
1 April 1986*3,000
*Estimated

Defence

Raf Upper Heyford (Noise Tests)

asked the Secretary of State for Defence when he will announce the results of the recent noise tests at RAF Upper Heyford.

We intend to publish the results of the tests once decisions on the Department's noise compensation policy review have been taken. My noble Friend the Minister of State for Defence Support intends to make an announcement on this shortly. I can, however, say that the tests indicated that a noise insulation scheme would be justified.

Aircraft Noise (North Devon)

asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many complaints he has had about problems of RAF aircraft noise in urban areas in North Devon in the last 12 months; and what steps he is taking to seek to alleviate them.

In the last 12 months, the Ministry of Defence has received eleven complaints from urban areas in north Devon about military aircraft noise. The heights and speeds at which flying training is conducted in the United Kingdom are limited in order to contain noise levels, and adherence to these limitations is closely monitored. Our rules on low flying are summarised in the Ministry of Defence leaflet "Why low flying", copies of which I am sending to my hon. Friend and am also placing in the Library.

Japan (Prisoners Of War)

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if Her Majesty's Government will take up with the Japanese authorities questions of compensation for allied prisoners who were used as guinea pigs for medical research at Mukden and elsewhere during world war II.

My noble Friend the Minister of State for Defence Support will write to the hon. Member.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence on what date his Department received a letter from the hon. Member for Caernarfon, dated 22 July 1985, concerning allegations that the Japanese used prisoners of war as guinea pigs for medical experiments during world war 2; when he intends to reply to the letter; and if he will make a statement.

The hon. Member's letter was received on 24 July and my noble Friend the Minister of State for Defence Support will be replying shortly.

Ulster Defence Regiment

asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many full-time members of the Ulster Defence Regiment have been medically discharged by the Army since 1970; of these, how many were under civilian doctor or consultant care; and how many full-time members of the Ulster Defence Regiment have been brought before a medical board and found unfit and have subsequently been discharged on termination of engagement.

The information is not available in the form requested. My noble Friend the Minister of State for Defence Support will write to the hon. Member as soon as possible with such information as can be derived from existing records.

Youth Training Scheme

asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many young people have been taken on under the youth training scheme by his Department and by bodies for which his Department is responsible.

Radar Station, Fylingdales

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what are the costs of improvements being made or planned at the radar station at Fylingdales; whether the United States Government are paying any portion of these costs; and if he will make a statement.

We have received proposals from the United States Government to update the facilities at Fylingdales. These proposals are still under discussion with the US Government, and we have not yet made a decision. If the update were to proceed, we expect that the US Government would bear most of the cost.

Alvey Programme

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what funds he has made available in each of the financial years 1984–85 and 1985–86 to work undertaken under the Alvey programme.

Defence expenditure on the Alvey programme totalled £2–8 million in 1984–85. Expenditure of £10·3 million is planned for 1985–86.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what approaches he has received from the United States Government, or from United States based companies, expressing an interest in the purchase of information technology arising out of defence aspects of the work of the Alvey programme: what has been his response; and whether any of these approaches have been related to the strategic defence initiative.

Official Secrets Act (Trial)

asked the Secretary of State for Defence for how long Senior Aircraftsman Gwynfor Owen was kept in solitary confinement; what was the size of his cell; for how many days and for how long each day he was interrogated; and for how many hours he was locked up in a cell alone after his arrest on charges relating to the Official Secrets Acts.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the circumstances in which the seven service men based in Cyprus were (a) detained and (b) interrogated by the Provost Marshall's department after their arrest on charges relating to the Official Secrets Acts.

I refer the hon. Gentleman to my statement in the House yesterday at c. 842–3.

Ethnic Minorities

asked the Secretary of State for Defence (1) in each of the three services, what are the total numbers of ethnic minority members holding officer rank;(2) if he will estimate the total numbers and percentages of ethnic minority members in the armed forces as a whole, and in each of the three services.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of each armed service are black and what percentage in each case this represents of the total strength; how many members of the Royal Greenjackets are black and what percentage this represents of the total strength; and if he will make a statement.

The information requested is not held by the Ministry of Defence.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on Her Majesty's Government's policy towards the promotion of racial equality of opportunity in recruitment to the armed forces and on the means used to give effect to and monitor the operation of that policy.

The Race Relations Act 1976 applies to the armed services, subject to certain qualifications. As such, no form of racial discrimination is tolerated either in recruitment or in subsequent employment. A complaint from an individual that he had not been recruited to the armed forces on racial grounds could be brought before an industrial tribunal in the normal way. Any complaint of racial discrimination brought by a member of the armed forces concerning his treatment in the service would be fully investigated under existing redress of grievance procedures provided for in the Service Discipline Acts.

Nuclear Weapons

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on proposals for the modernisation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation's short-range nuclear weapons.

I refer the hon. Member to the answers given by my right hon. Friend the Minister of State for the Armed Forces to the hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Ashdown) on 26 June 1985 at columns 437 and 438.

Defence Planning Committee

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is the date of the next ministerial meeting of the Defence Planning Committee.

The next ministerial meeting of the Defence Planning Committee will take place in Brussels early in December.

Uss Iowa

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether the USS Iowa will visit Britain in 1985.

We have received no request from the United States Navy for such a visit.

Cruise Missiles

asked the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many cruise missiles are at Greenham Common at present;(2) how many cruise missiles are expected to be at Greenham Common in January 1986.

I cannot at present add to what is said In paragraph 27 of Annex A to Volume I of "The Statement on the Defence Estimates 1985". I also refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Denton and Reddish (Mr. Bennett) on 26 June 1984 at column 418.

Hms Otter And Euryalus

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what parts of the refit programe for HMS Otter and HMS Euryalus which were originally to be carried out by the contractor have been subsequently carried out by industrial civil servants employed by the Royal Navy.

No part of the refit of HMS Otter, originally to be carried out by the contractor, has subsequently been carried out by industrial civil servants. A missile launcher for HMS Euryalus which had been defective on supply to the contractor and as a result was damaged in setting to work, was repaired by industrial civil servants in the Portsmouth fleet maintenance and repair organisation.

Royal Navy (Reserve Forces)

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether any new procedures are to be introduced to improve the administration and readiness of the Royal Navy's reserve forces; and if he will make a statement.

The Royal Navy intends to introduce a system of annual reporting for most members of the Royal Fleet Reserve with effect from 1 April 1986. The arrangements will be similar to those for Army reservists which were introduced in 1981. Once a year, the Royal Navy reservists will be summoned individually, by letter, to report for one day to an annual reporting centre within 50 miles of their home. The aim is to maintain regular contact with the reservists, to verify personal details, determine current state of health and welfare, check and update documentation, and ensure that kit is complete and serviceable. Each individual will receive a payment for attendance. Annual reporting will enable the Navy to make better use of the skills of members of the Royal Navy Fleet Reserve should the need arise, and it will help to ensure that they are ready to play their part in meeting their mobilisation commitments. I hope that employers will do all they can to help in releasing the reservists they employ so that they can meet this important commitment.

Maternity Leave

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will seek to apply to service women the provisions of current employment protection legislation with respect to maternity leave and the right subsequently to resume employment.

Married Service Women

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will take steps to abolish the rule whereby, in situations which require service personnel to state their rank and number, a married service woman is obliged to give the relevant information in respect of her husband; and if he will make a statement.

Married service personnel are only required to give details of the spouses in cases where that information is directly relevant.

Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

Hong Kong (Exhibition)

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will arrange for an exhibition relating to "Hong Kong—into the Future" to be displayed in the Upper Waiting Hall.

I understand that, under procedures agreed by the Services Committee, arrangements have been made with the authorities of the House for the exhibition to be held in the Upper Waiting Hall from 11 to 16 November.

El Salvador (Refugees)

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether Her Majesty's Government have made representations to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights about the position of refugees from El Salvador in Honduras.

We are in touch with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and others in connection with the problems of these refugees. We have contributed over £1,300,000 for the relief of refugees and displaced persons in central America since 1981, £530,000 of which has gone to the UNHCR.

Irish Republic

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether, in respect of the current negotiations taking place between the British and Irish Government, any formal discussions have also been held with the official opposition in the Irish Republic.

Disarmament

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on progress on the conference on disarmament in Europe talks.

During the seventh session of the conference, agreement was reached on a new informal working structure. We and our allies hope that this s significant development will enable us to make progress on the practical confidence and security building measures proposed in the working documents which we and our allies have tabled.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on progress in the conference on disarmament in Europe talks in Geneva.

The conference completed its programme of work for 1985 on 30 August and will resume on 4 February 1986. Useful discussions have taken place this year under all agenda items. The United Kingdom has participated actively and constructively and we have tabled four working papers: two on chemical weapons, one on seismic monitoring for a comprehensive nuclear test ban, and one on the principal international agreements relevant to outer space. Limited progress was made in the negotiations for a total ban on chemical weapons. This will continue to be the United Kingdom's main priority at the conference throughout 1986, when the Leader of the United Kingdom delegation will be chairing the negotiations on chemical weapons.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress is being made at the mutual and balanced force reduction talks in Vienna.

There is no significant progress to report from the mutual and balanced forces reductions talks. During the 37th round which will end on 5 December, we and our allies have continued to explore eastern positions in the hope of identifying ways forward.

European Community

Council Of Ministers

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish in the Official Report a statement of forthcoming business in the European Community Council of Ministers.

The usual written forecast was deposited in the House earlier today. At present, nine meetings of the Council are scheduled for November.The Fisheries Council is expected to meet on 4 November to consider Norway pout; Monkfish and Megrim quotas; increase in plaice total allowable catch quotas in zone 7F and G; marketing standards for shrimps and certain fresh and chilled fish; relations with certain third world countries and international organisations; flat rate quotas for hake, horse mackerel and blue whiting for Spain in 1986; and, possibly, proposals on improving fishing control measures and on technical measures in the Baltic and the Belts.

The Development Council is scheduled to meet on 11 November to discuss the famine in Africa; co-ordination of member states' aid policies; women in development, and trade promotion.

The Energy Council is also scheduled to meet on 11 November to consider the investment proposal for solid fuels; coal aid social measures; state aids for coal; subsidised coking coal; demonstration projects and projects in the hydrocarbons sector; energy objectives; the oxygenate directive and oil refining and oil product prices.

The Transport Council is expected to meet on 14–15 November. Shipping matters to be discussed are unfair practices, the freedom to provide services, cargo sharing and competition rules. Aviation tariffs, capacity and competition rules will also be on the agenda. The Council will additionally discuss drivers' hours, and haulage capacity, lorry weights, drive axle, the Italian 'master plan' initiative and relations with Austria. It is hoped that the Council will be able to start finalising plans for the European Road Safety Year in 1986. Road quotas for Spain and Portugal and the plating directives are possible agenda items.

The Economic and Finance Council is expected to meet on 18 November to continue discussion on the annual report on the economic situation in the Community, and on the recent economic measures in Greece. The Council is also likely to consider proposals for amendments to the Treaty of Rome in respect of the European monetary system; indirect tax approximation in the context of the internal market; and the calculation of commercial interest reference rates which apply to export finance. The Council will probably give final agreement to the Unit Trusts and associated capital movements Directives.

The Agriculture Council is scheduled to meet on 18/19 November to resume its discussion on cereal and rapeseed prices for 1985–86 and the Commission's Green Paper on perspectives for the CAP. It is also expected to consider the review of the sugar regime; ACP — African, Caribbean and Pacific states — sugar; sugar for the chemical industry; starch production refunds; olive oil consumption aid; hormones; and pesticide residues in cereals and foodstuffs of animal origin.

The Foreign Affairs Council is expected to meet on 25/26 November to discuss a negotiating mandate for adaptation protocols to amend the trade regimes under the Community's agreements with Mediterranean countries to take account of enlargement; the Community's trade relations with the United States and Japan, and proposals for special measures to be adopted under ERDF regulation to support regions of the community affected by the difficulties facing the textiles, shipbuilding and fisheries industries, and certain problems faced by border areas.

The Budget Council is expected to meet on 26 November to consider the European Parliament's amendments and modifications to the 1986 draft budget of the European Communities.

The Environment Council is due to meet on 28 November to discuss a directive on agreed limits on vehicle exhaust emissions, a directive on the reduction in emissions of sulphur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen and dust from all existing large combustion plants, the new water directive, the regeneration of waste oils, the harmonisation of member states' programmes for the reduction and eventual elimination of pollution by wastes from industrial establishments, safeguarding against possible harmful effects from the spreading of sewage sludge on agricultural land, a proposed directive to reduce the maximum permitted sulphur content of gas oil, and the marine pollution information system.

Attorney-General

Crown Prosecution Service

asked the Attorney-General what salary scale and conditions the Director of Public Prosecutions intends to offer solicitors and banisters taking up posts in the Crown prosecution service (a) in London and (b) elsewhere in England and Wales, following enactment of the Prosecution of Offenders Act 1985; and what information he has as to how these compare with the average remuneration available to solicitors and banisters engaged in private work.

The posts of banisters and solicitors employed in a professional capacity in the Crown prosecution service will be graded at one of the following levels:

  • Crown prosecutor
  • Senior crown prosecutor
  • Grade 6
  • Grade 5
  • Grade 4
  • Grade 3
  • Grade 2
  • Grade 1
Subject to pay protection arrangements which it is intended to include in regulations to be made under section 11 of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 in relation to staff transferring from other authorities, the salary scales of such persons will be those applicable to their grade. All the above grades except Crown prosecutor and senior Crown prosecutor are of general application within the Civil Service. The grades of senior Crown prosecutor and Crown prosecutor will be special to the new service. The Director of Public Prosecutions has proposed that the former should correspond with that of principal in the Civil Service and that there should be a salary scale for the latter of £9,700–£14,000. I am at present considering representations from staff representatives on this issue. Staff employed in London will receive a London weighting allowance appropriate to the location of their office. Conditions of service will be those applicable to the Civil Service generally subject to such reserved rights as may be appropriate in relation to staff transferring from other authorities. These are at present the subject of discussions between officials of the Director of Public Prosecutions and representatives of the relevant unions.The average remuneration of solicitors and banisters in private practice is not known centrally.

Police National Computer