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Written Answers

Volume 87: debated on Monday 18 November 1985

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Written Answers To Questions

Monday 18 November 1985

Prime Minister

Departmental Files

asked the Prime Minister what arrangements operate for the logging of those who have access to (a) computer and (b) manual files kept on individuals by the Cabinet Office and staff of 10 Downing Street; and if she will describe the procedures in operation for both categories.

Specific guidelines on security of automatically processed data in Government Departments are observed. They are contained in 'Protection of Information in Computer Systems' and 'Central Government Code of Practice No. 21', issued by the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency, which give recommended procedures to safeguard data in computer installations. Copies of these guidelines have been placed in the Library.Access to manual files is restricted to nominated staff appointed to designated posts in the Cabinet Office and 10 Downing Street.

State Opening Of Parliament

asked the Prime Minister what was the cost to public funds of the State opening of Parliament on 6 November.

Clinical Academic Staff

asked the Prime Minister if she is satisfied with co-ordination between the Secretary

Royal CommissionJudgeEstablishedReported
The ConstitutionLord Kilbrandon19691973
Civil liability and compensation for personal injuryLord Pearson19731978
The PressMr. Justice Finer19741977
Standards of conduct in public lifeLord Salmon19741976
Information on Departmental committees is not collected centrally.

Education And Science

Ethnic Minorities (Swann Report)

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what action he has taken in the light of the Swann report on the education of ethnic minorities.

Action is continuing on the various initiatives described by my right hon. Friend in his response to a question from my hon. Friend the Member

of State for Education and Science and the Secretary of State for Social Services on the implementation of the 1985 pay award for clinical academic staff; and if she will make a statement.

Yes. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science will reply as soon as possible to the request from the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals for additional funds to allow the universities to apply to clinical academics the 1985 pay award for NHS doctors and dentists.

Housing Co-Operatives

asked the Prime Minister, pursuant to her reply on 14 November, if she will make a statement about the use of the Secretary of State's powers in section 62 of the Housing Associations Act 1985 in respect of tenant management housing co-operatives; and how much money will be lost by affected co-operatives.

The Secretary of State for the Environment has power under section 93 of the Finance Act 1965 (which will be supplanted by section 62 of the Housing Associations Act 1985 on commencement of that Act on 1 April 1986) to make grants to compensate certain housing associations for tax they have paid.Tenant management co-operatives which are registered housing associations, and which are operating under agreements, approved by the Secretary of State, with local authorities, are in principle eligible for a section 93 grant. The position on a small number of applications made by tenant management co-operatives and rejected by the Secretary of State is being urgently reviewed.

Judges

asked the Prime Minister how many Royal Commissions and major departmental committees have been chaired by judges since 1969; and in each case who was the judge and what was the subject of inquiry.

Since 1969, four Royal Commissions, set up by Royal Warrants signed by the Home Secretary, have been chaired in whole or in part by serving judges. They are as follows:for Harrow, East (Mr. Dykes) on 17 July 1985. In particular comments have been received on the consultation paper inviting views on the possible reasons for the apparent under-representation of ethnic minorities in the teaching force and on ways of countering this. These comments are being considered, as are also comments on the consultation paper concerning the collection of statistics on the ethnic origins of school teachers and students in teacher training.A working group is being established, to consider the collection of statistics on teachers in the first instance. The working group on the collection of ethnically-based statistics on school pupils is continuing its work, with the aim of submitting a report by the end of the year.In August local education authorities were invited to submit proposals for projects to be supported through education support grants in 1986–87 (in addition to those so supported which are due to begin in 1985–86) on the response of the education system to ethnic diversity. More than 150 proposals from 67 local education authorities were received and are now being considered with a view to supporting in 1986–87 the start of a second tranche of projects costing around £1 million a year.My right hon. Friend has decided, after discussion with the local authority associations, that the in-service teacher training grants scheme should be extended from 1986–87 to include training dealing with the need to respond to ethnic diversity. Amendments to the regulations will be brought before the House shortly. My right hon. Friend has also written to the Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education drawing attention to those of the criteria for the approval of initial teacher training courses which bear on the response to ethnic diversity and to the Swann committee's recommendations that all teacher training students should have an opportunity to gain teaching experience in a multi-racial school.Her Majesty's Inspectorate is continuing to encourage good practice in teaching English as a second language and mother tongue teaching. An HMI conference on the teaching of mother tongues in September was attended by chief education officers and others. As regards examinations, syllabuses for the new GCSE examinations are being prepared. They will conform to the requirements of the national criteria that examining groups should ensure that syllabuses and examinations are free of ethnic bias, and should bear in mind the linguistic and cultural diversity of our society.

Student Support

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will express the resources made available for student support as a proportion of total public expenditure on higher education in the United States of America, France, West Germany and the United Kingdom.

Valid international comparisons of education expenditure are difficult to make. However the available information, drawn mainly from UNESCO sources, is as follows:

CountryDate of InformationHE student support as a percentage of all HE public sector current expenditure
United States of America19793·9
France19804·6
19814·9
West Germany198016·2
United Kingdom198019·5
198320·8

Notes:

(1) The student support systems of the above countries vary and involve grants or loans, or a combination of the two.

(2) The way in which educational expenditure is allocated to the different sectors of education varies both between countries and within countries over time, thus making comparisons difficult.

High Energy Particle Physics

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science, in view of the evidence from the Advisory Board for Research Councils on the drain of scientists away from centres of excellence in the United Kingdom, what he estimates will be the effect on high energy particle physics following the reduction of the United Kingdom's subscription to CERN.

My right hon. Friend is still considering the advice he has received from the ABRC and the SERC on the recommendation of the Kendrew review group that the United Kingdom should continue its membership of CERN beyond 1989 only if this can be achieved at a significantly lower cost. My right hon. Friend will take into account all the implications of accepting the recommendation before any decision is made on whether to reduce the United Kingdom's subscription to CERN.

Scientists (Emigration)

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) what particular steps he now proposes to take to arrest the science brain drain from the United Kingdom, in the light of the recent Advisory Board for Research Councils' report on the subject;(2) what particular steps he proposes to take to seek to reduce the migration of talent in chemistry to the United States of America;(3) what particular steps he proposes to take to seek to persuade very able scientists in biochemistry and molecular biology from migrating abroad.

My right hon. Friend intends to add £45 million to the science budget compared with previous plans over the three years 1986–87 to 1988–89. My right hon. Friend also intends to increase the amount available to the University Grants Committee for the improvement of equipment in selected centres of research from £7 million to £10 million in each of the financial years 1986–87 and 1987–88 and to make the same provision in 1988–89. The additions to the science budget will be distributed following advice from the ABRC; the UGC will be responsible for distributing the selective equipment funds. My right hon. Friend hopes that together the additional provisions will provide more opportunities and better facilities for talented scientists—chemists, biochemists, molecular biologists and others—to pursue their work in this country.

Departmental Files (Access)

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what arrangements operate for the logging of those who have access to (a) computer and (b) manual files kept by his Department on individuals; and if he will describe the procedures in operation for both categories.

Specific guidelines on security of automatically processed data in Government Departments are observed. They are contained in "Protection of Information in Computer Systems" and "Central Government Code of Practice No. 21", issued by the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency, which give recommended procedures to safeguard data in computer installations. Copies of these guidelines have been placed in the House Library.

A written record is maintained of all staff to whom manual files kept on individuals are referred.

Undergraduate Statistics

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) what information he has as to how many first-year undergraduates with solely Scottish Examination Board qualifications were admitted to universities in England and Wales in the academic year (a) 1984–85 and (b) 1985–86;(2) what information he has as to how many first-year undergraduates were admitted to each of the Scottish universities with only English GCE qualifications.

The available information for fulltime undergraduates paying home fees entering in 1983 (the latest year for which information is available) is as follows.

Main entry qualification
SCEGCEOtherTotal
Universities in England and Wales52054,3785,95960,857
Universities in Scotland7,3532,13594310,431
Information on each of the Scottish universities is not readily available.

University Entrance Qualifications

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will list the universities in England and Wales which do not recognise (a) the Scottish Certificate of Education higher grade certificates and (b) the Scottish Examination Board certificate of sixth year studies qualification for purposes of university entrance qualifications.

All universities in England and Wales are prepared to consider applications from Scottish candidates offering passes gained in the examination for the Scottish certificate of education (SCE) or in the certificate of sixth year studies (CSYS) in lieu of GCE ordinary (grades A, B or C) and advanced level passes. However, the conditions on which these qualificatins are accepted vary from university to university.The Compendium of University Entrance Requirements 1986–87, appendix 1, lists the specific conditions imposed by individual universities for candidates with SCE or CSYS. A copy of this publication is available in the Library.

Expenditure

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what will be the percentage change in constant prices of expenditure on education and on higher or further education, in particular, between 1978–79 and 1986–87.

After adjusting for the transfer to the Manpower Services Commission in 1986–87 of funding of £105 million for some work-related non-advanced further education the information is as follows:

£ million at 1984–85 prices
1978–791986–87
Total expenditure on education13,22212,491

1978–79

1986–87

of which:
Higher and further education3,9203,892

In real terms (as measured by the GDP deflator) planned expenditure for education as a whole is 5·5 per cent. lower, and for higher and further education is less than 1 per cent. lower, in 1986–87 than outturn in 1978–79.

Over three quarters of total expenditure on education is current expenditure by local authorities. Planned expenditure in 1986–87 must be seen in the context of the continuing fall in pupil numbers—estimated at about 16 per cent. over the same period—and the need for local authorities to review those aspects of their provision which offer the prospect of efficiency savings.

Nursery Schools

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what was the number of nursery schools in England in 1984.

School Closures

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many proposals for school closures were (a) approved and (b) refused in 1984 for (i) first, (ii) junior, (iii) middle and (iv) secondary schools.

Details are shown in the table, which also gives the numbers of school closure proposals detennined by local education authorities in accordance with section 12(7) of the Education Act 1980. Separate records are not kept for junior school proposals: these are included in the figures for primary schools.

School closure proposals 1984
Approved by the Secretary of StateDetermined by LEAsRejected by the Secretary of State
(i) First Schools
18(25)1(1)
(ii) Primary Schools
(Excluding First Schools)
102(118)31(36)12(12)
(iii) Middle Schools
17(19)4(4)1(1)
(iv) Secondary Schools
36(51)5(5)5(7)

Note: The first figure in each case is the number of proposals; and the figure in brackets is the number of schools.

Science Students

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what was the number of science students who were awarded a first degree in 1979 and each of the subsequent years for which statistics are available (a) in total and (b) as a percentage of all students awarded a first degree.

The information is as follows

Great Britain—Thousands
19791980198119821983
Science first degree graduates*17·017·519·019·720·4

Great Britain—Thousands

1979

1980

1981

1982

1983

As a percentage of all first degree graduates2019202020

* Excluding engineering; technology; agriculture and medicine.

Notes

DES estimates based on data from the Universities Statistical Record and the CNAA.

Degrees awarded in public sector institutions but validated by Universities are excluded.

Engineering And Technology Programme

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the total amount of money afforded to universities and polytechnics, respectively, under the engineering and technology programme; which universities and which polytechnics will benefit or have benefited; and by what amount in each case.

Of the £43 million in total made available under phases 1 and 2 of this programme, £35·4 million has been allocated for 30 universities which are funded through the University Grants Committee; £5·7 million in total for eight polytechnics; and £0·5 million for Cranfield institute of technology. (These totals include sums in respect of student awards). The Open university has been allocated £1·4 million.The final detail of funding to all individual institutions over the three years of the programme is yet to be settled. Allocations under phase 2 of the programme are also provisional pending the receipt of information from institutions concerning additional industrial support made available to them.Details of the institutions to be included in the Programme were published in the Department's press notices No. 83/85 and 249/85. I am sending copies to the hon. Member and placing further copies in the Library.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the intended unit of resource per student in the university and polytechnic sector, respectively, and as an average for both under the engineering and technology programme.

Year1978197919801981198219831984
Number of proposals formally submitted under the energy efficiency demonstration scheme (formerly the energy conservation demonstration projects scheme)
United Kingdom114251106815356
Scotland1556524
Domestic buildings sector0117634
Non-domestic buildings sector12931271120
Number of projects offered grant assistance
United Kingdom10254187674247
Scotland1345522
Domestic buildings sector0115502
Non-domestic building sector11922231119

British National Oil Corporation

asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether he has yet appointed a date for the transfer to the Oil and Pipelines Agency of the property rights and liabilities of the British National Oil Corporation; and if he will make a statement.

Resources under the engineering and technology programme have been allocated on the basis of competitive bids from individual higher education institutions. The unit of resource per student place will hence vary according to the circumstances of the individual institution concerned.

Correspondence

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science on what date the hon. Member for Southampton, Itchen can expect to receive a reply to his letter of 8 August about the Wessex institute of technology.

I apologise to my hon. Friend about the substantial delay in replying to his letter of 8 August about the Wessex institute of technology. I have replied to him today, on behalf of my right hon. Friend.

Energy

Ncb (Extraction Policy)

21.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what recent discussions he has had with the chairman of the National Coal Board over future strategy for coal extraction.

The National Coal Board sees its future strategy for coal extraction as related to the industry's need to produce coal for the market at competitive prices.

Energy Efficiency Demonstration Scheme

asked the Secretary of State for Energy how many applications have been received under the energy efficiency demonstration scheme in each year of its existence; how many were successful in each year; and if he will break down the totals into the following categories: (a) domestic buildings sector, (b) non-domestic building sector, (c) all the United Kingdom and (d) Scotland only.

Pursuant to section 3(1) of the Oil and Pipelines Act 1985 I made, on 15 November, the Oil and Pipelines Act 1985 (Appointed Day) Order 1985 (S.I. No 1749) appointing the 1 December 1985 as the date on which the property, rights and liabilities of BNOC are to be transferred to the Oil and Pipelines Agency. The order has the effect of bringing into force section 3, schedule 2 and part I of schedule 4 to the Act.

I also made on 15 November the Oil and Pipelines Act 1985 (Commencement) Order 1985 (S.I. No 1748) (c. 41) appointing 1 December 1985 as the date on which all other provisions of the Act are to come into force with the exception of the repeals set out in part II of schedule 4 to the Act which will take effect on the dissolution of BNOC.

Council Of Energy Ministers

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement about the meeting of the European Community's Council of Energy Ministers on 11 November.

I represented the United Kingdom at the Energy Ministers' Council on 11 November.I am pleased to say that the Council agreed to extend by six months the present decision governing the payment of aids by member states to their coal industries, which was due to expire at the end of this year. This extension will allow proper time for a discussion of the Commission's proposals for a new regime governing state aids to the coal industry. Agreement was also reached to continue sales aid for coking coal until the end of 1986 at a reduced quantity of 8·5 million tonnes.The Council discussed the need for a further transfer of additional support for social measures resulting from the restructuring of the coal industry, and the question of making resources available for this purpose was remitted for further consideration.There was another discussion of the proposed Community energy objectives for 1985. It was accepted that the objectives should in principle be expressed in qualitative terms but that they could also incorporate some illustrative quantification. Detailed consideration of the objectives will continue.Ministers returned to the issue of refining and trade in oil products. Commissioner Mosar undertook to monitor the progress of the measures recently announced by Japan to open her markets to refined products. He will be visiting Japan in December to emphasise the importance the Community attaches to this question.The Council approved final texts of the regulations extending for another four years the Community's schemes for aiding energy demonstration projects and projects to develop new technologies in the hydrocarbons sector. A directive governing the use of substitute fuels in petrol was also agreed.

Home Department

Building Industry (Crime Prevention)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what advice on crime prevention his Department gives to the building industry.

The Home Office crime prevention centre provides expert advice on how buildings and construction sites may be made more secure. In addition, at the instigation of the Home Office, the British Standards Institution has prepared a guide on the security of dwellings. This is expected to be published in February and will provide specific guidance on security measures which can be incorporated in a range of new and existing dwellings.

Refugees

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the average time taken to process applications for refugee status.

On the information available, it is estimated that 50 per cent. of applications decided in the first nine months of this year were completed within about 13 months of application.

Wandsworth Prison

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the average population of Wandsworth prison in the week ended 2 November or any other recent typical week.

On 31 October 1985 the population of Wandsworth prison was about 1,550. Average weekly populations are not recorded centrally.

Wormwood Scrubs Prison

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the average population of Wormwood Scrubs prison in the week ended 2 November or any other recent typical week.

On 31 October the population of Wormwood Scrubs prison was about 1,370. Average weekly populations are not recorded centrally.

Special Nationality Inquiries Unit

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many staff have been assigned to the special nationality inquiries unit at Lunar House; how many inquiries they have carried out; and how many inquiries they expect to handle between now and the end of the current year.

There are ten staff in the naturalisation inquiry unit, of whom eight conduct interviews. From 9 April to 31 October 1,238 interviews were conducted. It is estimated that from 1 November to 31 December 1985 a further 350 interviews will be conducted.

Metropolitan Police

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received from the Metropolitan police advocating more police officers.

My right hon. Friend met the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis on 16 October, when he put forward his view that the force required additional manpower.

Leoni Price

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is satisfied with the arrangements for liaison between the police forces engaged on investigations into the murder of Leoni Price at Barton Mills, Suffolk.

As I explained in my reply to my hon. Friend's question on 25 October, full liaison exists between Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex police with additional assistance from other forces to computerise the investigation incident room. Detective Chief Superintendent Shields of Suffolk constabulary, who is in overall command of the enquiry, has received training in the handling of investigations of this kind, developed following the Byford review of the 'Yorkshire Ripper' investigation.

Departmental Files

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what arrangements operate for the logging of those who have access to (a) computer and (b) manual files kept by his Department on individuals; and if he will describe the procedures in operation for both categories.

Specific guidelines on security of automatically processed data in Government Departments are observed. They are contained in "Protection of Information in Computer Systems" and "Central Government Code of Practice No. 21", issued by the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency, which give recommended procedures to safeguard data in computer installations. Copies of these guidelines have been placed in the Library.The control and routing of manual files within the Department conform with generally recognised and accepted service-wide procedures for, the safeguarding of personally sensitive and confidential information.

Winson Green Prison

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many baths, showers and toilets are available to (a) convicted prisoners and (b) prisoners on remand at Her Majesty's prison, Winson Green, Birmingham; how many baths or showers each prisoner is allowed each week; and how many changes of top and underclothes each prisoner is allowed weekly.

The numbers of baths, showers and toilets available are as follows:

Convicted prisonersRemand prisoners
Baths353
Showers567
WCs10125
Urinals7316
Each prisoner is normally allowed one bath or shower per week and an additional shower when he makes use of the gymnasium. In addition, prisoners employed on jobs that are of a physically dirty nature have a shower each day, as do prisoners returning from court appearance.Prisoners at Birmingham have one change of clothes per week consisting of two shirts, two pairs of socks, two pairs of underpants, two vests and one T-shirt. Overclothing is changed as necessary but on return from court, prisoners receive a full kit of clean clothes. In addition two towels, one sheet and one pillow case are changed weekly and a full set of bedding is available to prisoners on return from court.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many square feet of exercise space is available to prisoners at Her Majesty's prison, Winson Green, Birmingham; and for how many hours each day it was used by (a) convicted prisoners and (b) prisoners on remand in the week ended 2 November.

Birmingham prison has available 46,000 square feet in exercise yards and 8,500 square feet in the gymnasium. In the week ending 2 November 1985 the various exercise yards were in use for two to three hours a day and all prisoners had at least one hour and more normally two hours exercise each day. Information on the use of the gymnasium is available only in the form of total inmate hours per day as follows.

Hours
27 October91
28 October113
29 October82
30 October107
31 October160
1 November65
2 November111

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the daily population of (a) convicted prisoners, (b) remand prisoners and (c) prisoners awaiting sentence at Her Majesty's prison, Winson Green, Birmingham, in the week ended 2 November.

On 31 October 1985 there were about 340 untried prisoners, 60 convicted unsentenced prisoners and 500 sentenced prisoners in Birmingham prison. Average weekly populations are not recorded centrally.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the maximum number of prisoners who can be employed on any one day in workshops at Her Majesty's prison, Winson Green, Birmingham; and how many prison officers and instructors are needed to make maximum use of workshop facilities.

There are two heavy textile workshops and a laundry at Birmingham prison which can employ a maximum of 157 inmates. The authorised complement of instructors provides for two senior officer instructors and seven instructors, of which one senior officer instructor and four instructors are currently in post. A total of four prison officers are required daily to provide security cover.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department for how many hours in the week ending 2 November workshops at Her Majesty's prison, Winson Green, Birmingham, were open; what was the average daily number of prisoners employed; how many classes took place and for how many hours; what was the average number of prisoners in each class; and how many individual prisoners attended at least one class during the week.

In the week ended 2 November one of the two workshops at Birmingham prison was closed. The other was open for 10 hours employing 39 prisoners and the laundry was open for 25 hours and employed 22 prisoners. In addition 60 prisoners were regularly employed on catering, stores and maintenance duties with others employed on cleaning duties. There were no classes during the week ended 2 November because of the half-term break.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much time each day (a) convicted prisoners and (b) prisoners on remand spent in their cells at Her Majesty's prison, Winson Green, Birmingham, in the week ended 2 November; and how this compares with the same period one and two years earlier.

In the week ended 2 November, convicted prisoners at Winson Green prison who were in employment spent up to seventeen and a half hours each working day in their cells; unemployed convicted prisoners and those on remand were in their cells up to twenty two and a half hours. In both cases these hours were reduced for some prisoners by visits, interviews, court appearances, use of the prison library and canteen, and other out of cell activities for periods which it is not practicable to calculate.This information shows little change from the position which existed in the same period in 1983 and 1984.

Mrs Margaret Livesey

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action he proposes in the case of Mrs. Margaret Livesey, in the light of the memorandum submitted to him in July 1985 by the standing committee on miscarriages of justice.

Following receipt of the memorandum my right hon. Friend directed that the entire case be reexamined by officials in the light of the issues which it raised. The hon. Member subsequently made further representations and the examination is continuing. We shall write to the hon. Member and to the chairman of the standing committee of 'Justice' as soon as we can.

Docklands Policing Secretariat

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is, by rank, the number of Metropolitan police personnel attached to the Docklands policing secretariat.

The secretariat consists of one full-time executive officer with the part time assistance of a clerical assistant.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what effect the existence of the Docklands policing secretariat will have on the reorganisation of the Metropolitan police districts.

Leeds Prison

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many baths, showers and toilets are available to prisoners in Leeds prison; how many baths or showers each prisoner is allowed per week; and how many changes of clothes each prisoner is allowed per week.

Leeds currently has available to inmates a total of seven baths, 41 showers, 93 WCs and 82 urinals. Each prisoner is normally allowed one bath or shower per week and an additional shower when he makes use of the gymnasium. In addition, prisoners employed on jobs that are of a physically dirty nature have a shower each day as do prisoners returning from court appearance. Prisoners at Leeds have one change of clothes per week consisting of one shirt, one pair of socks, one pair of underpants and one vest. Overclothing is changed as necessary but, on return from Court, prisoners receive a full kit of clean clothes.

In addition one towel, two sheets and one pillow-case are changed weekly and a full set of bedding is available to prisoners on return from court.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many square feet of exercise space are available to prisoners in Leeds prison.

40,837 square feet in exercise yards, 5,662 square feet in the hard surfaced games area, and 1,690 square feet in the gymnasium are available in Leeds prison.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the average population of Leeds prison in the week ended 2 November, or any other recent typical week.

On 31 October 1985 the population of Leeds prison was about 1,280. Average weekly populations are not recorded centrally.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department for how many hours in the week ended 2 November, or any other recent typical week the workshops in Leeds prison were open; what was the average number of prisoners employed; how many classes took place and for how many hours; what was the average number of inmates in each class; how many individual prisoners attended at least one class during the week; and how much time on average each prisoner spent out of his cell during that week.

In the week ended 2 November 1985 one of seven workshops at Leeds prison was closed for structural alterations. The remaining six workshops were open for an average of 21 hours employing an average of 37 prisoners. In addition 238 prisoners were employed on domestic, catering and maintenance duties.Ninety-five classes were held during this week with total class hours of 195½ and the average number of prisoners attending each class was 6½. One hundred and forty-three prisoners attended at least one class. It is not practicable to calculate the average amount of time spent out of cells since this covers many things besides work and education, for example, visits, medical treatment and applications to see the Governor.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the maximum number of prisoners who can be employed in workshops in Leeds prison on any one day.

Police Trainees (Cwmbran)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many trainee police officers have passed through the police training centre at Cwmbran in each year from 1980 to 1985, inclusive.

The number of police recruits completing courses at the police training centre Cwmbran in each year from 1980 to 1985 is as follows:

1980–1,055; 1981–891; 1982–562; 1983–605; 1984–608; 1985–616 (including those currently at the centre and due to complete courses by 20 December).

Police

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of current expenditure on the police in England and Wales is represented by wages and salaries of (a) police officers and (b) civilians.

The provisional figures for current expenditure on the police in England and Wales in the financial year 1986–87 forecast 71 per cent. on police officers' pay and allowances, and 11 per cent. on civilians' pay.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has any proposals to transfer duties now performed by police officers to civilians.

This is primarily a matter for chief officers of police and their police authorities, in the light of Home Office circular No. 114/1983 on manpower, effectiveness and efficiency in the police service, a copy of which was placed in the Library. We continue to encourage chief officers of police to release police officers, wherever possible, from duties which can be more properly and economically carried out by civilians. My right hon. Friend shall shortly be issuing guidance about coroners' officer posts.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what indicators are used by his Department to assess value for money or productivity in the police forces of England and Wales; and if he will arrange for the regular publication of information relating to such indicators.

We look to Her Majesty's inspectors of constabulary for a professional judgment of a force's overall effectiveness. Home Office circular 114/1983, a copy of which is in the Library, sets out the broad criteria they will apply in considering whether a force is effectively and efficiently managed. I would also refer the right hon. Member to "Measures of Police Effectiveness" (Home Office Research and Planning Unit Paper 25), a copy of which is also in the Library. This has been drawn to the attention of chief officers of police and police authorities. We have asked HM inspectors to pay particular attention to the ways in which performance is assessed in forces, in order that good practices may be identified and more widely encouraged.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what is the anticipated total expenditure on wages and salaries of (a) police officers and (b) civilians in the police forces of England and Wales in 1985–86, 1986–87, 1987–88 and 1988–89; and what are the manpower assumptions on which the projections are based;(2) what is the anticipated manpower of the police forces of England and Wales for the years 1985–86, 1986–87, 1987–88 and 1988–89, distinguishing between police officers and civilians;(3) what is the anticipated total expenditure on the police in England and Wales in 1985–86, 1986–87, 1987–88 and 1988–89.

The information requested, which is available, in respect of the financial years 1985–86 and 1986–87 is as follows. Details for the further two years 1987–88 and 1988–89 cannot be given in advance of the forthcoming White Paper on the Government's Expenditure Plans 1986–87 to 1988–89.

Financial Year
1985–86 1986–87
££
Total Expenditure on the Police2,935·3 million3,024·8 million
Pay and Allowances
Police Officers' Pay and Allowances*2,016·7 million
Civilians' Pay*315·1 million
Manpower Assumptions
Police Officers120,888121,661
Civilians†39,11139,882
Total Manpower Assumptions159,999161,543

Notes

* The total expenditure figure for 1985–86 includes the sum of current expenditure in local authority budgets, from which the pay and allowances element is not separately identifiable.

† The civilian figure includes part-time staff on a 2 for 1 basis and excludes traffic wardens and cadets.

Bangladesh Passengers

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many passengers from Bangladesh were detained overnight during July and September compared with the same period in the previous year.

The information in the form requested is available only for the immigration service detention units at Harmondsworth, Queen's Building, Heathrow, and Gatwick.The number of passengers from Bangladesh who were detained for further examination, or after being refused leave to enter, for at least one night at those three units for the months of July, August and September is as follows:

19841985
Harmondsworth25242
Queen's Building59101
Gatwick215
It is possible that there may be a small element of double counting in these figures as some detainees may have moved from one unit to another.

Immigration (Detained Persons)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list all people currently in detention under immigration regulations, where they are detained and the date they were first held.

Departmental Publicity

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) different press releases were issued, (b) press conferences were held and (c) different documents or papers relating to information or publicity were issued by his Department in the past 12 months.

In the 12 months up to 14 November 1985 my Department:

  • (a) issued 345 press notices.
  • (b) held 20 press conferences.
  • and (c) issued 110 publicity and information leaflets and booklets.
  • asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the cost to his Department of issuing press releases, holding press conferences and issuing documents or papers of information or publicity in the last 12 months for which figures are available.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department in what form his Department keeps accounts of its expenditure on publicity; and by what means those accounts are published.

    Provision to meet expenditure on publicity is made in the Supply Estimates in votes IX, 7 subheads K1 (6) and D 10 (1) and IX, 8 subhead All (3).Detailed expenditure records are kept for all publicity projects and are available on request to right hon. and hon. Members.

    Trade And Industry

    Export Licensing

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what were the costs of the export licensing operations for 1984 and 1985; and what is the estimated increased cost of operating the new export of goods order licensing regime for 1985 and 1986.

    The costs of my Department's staff handling export licence applications, together with an appropriate share of accommodation costs and overheads are:

    £ million
    19841·21
    *19851·41
    *19861·56
    * Estimate.
    No separate estimate has been made of what the costs might be if the new order had not been made.

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many export licence applications he has had since the Export of Goods (Control) Order 1985 came into operation; how many of those applications have been dealt with and how many are pending; and of these, how many have been pending for more than 18 weeks.

    25,800 export licence applications have been received since 25 July of which 24,000 have been cleared and 1,800 are pending. Most of the pending cases have been received within the past two weeks. None has been pending for more than 18 weeks.

    Export Administration Act 1985

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he has taken to seek to bring to an end the implementation of the United States Export Administration Act 1985 in the United Kingdom.

    My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State and I continue to emphasise to the United States Administration the Government's objections to the claims to extraterritorial control over exports maintained in the new Export Administration Act and to warn of the damaging consequences to our mutual interests of attempts to enforce such claims in the United Kingdom. Efforts to prevent or resolve problems arising from such controls will continue to be made under the consultation arrangements agreed by the United Kingdom and United States Governments in November 1984.

    Computers

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many computer systems in the United Kingdom, and in United Kingdom Government installations, are subject to movement and change of use restrictions imposed by the vendors according to United States export laws and regulations.

    Fireworks

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will introduce legislation further restricting the sale of fireworks to schoolchildren; and if he will make a statement.

    It is already an offence to sell fireworks to anyone under 16. Since the main problem lies with the 13 to 15-year-olds, we intend to revise the legislation so that magistrates can impose heavier penalties for selling fireworks to people under 16 and for letting them off in public.

    Cement

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations he has received about the implications for the United Kingdom cement industry of the current level and pattern of imports of cement; and if he will make a statement.

    Both my Department and the Department of the Environment maintain close contact with the cement industry and are fully aware of the concern expressed at the increased level of low-priced imports of certain types of cement into the United Kingdom. Following a complaint from the liaison committee of the cement industries in the European Community alleging that imports of Portland cement originating in Spain, Poland, GDR and Yugoslavia were being dumped and thereby causing or threatening injury to the Community cement industry, the Commission opened an anti-dumping investigation on 2 April 1985. It is expected that an announcement of the preliminary findings of the Commission's investigation will be made shortly.

    Alvey Programme

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will indicate what proportion of the research work being carried out under the Alvey programme by GEC is applicable (a) purely to defence purposes, (b) purely to civilian use and (c) either to defence or civilian use.

    The work supported under the Alvey programme is of an advanced nature and its potential applications are not all, as yet, entirely determined. My assessment is that none of the work funded by the Alvey programme at GEC is applicable purely to defence purposes and almost all could be applicable either to defence or civilian use.

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he expects the full amount allocated to the Alvey programme to be used in 1985–86; and what expenditure he anticipates being incurred in financial years beyond 1985–86.

    As I explained in my reply to the hon. Member on 30 October, I expect expenditure by the Department of Trade and Industry in 1985–86 to be £18 million, this is the sum currently allocated for this year. Expected expenditure for the years 1986–87 and 1987–88 is £20.8 million and £23 million respectively. Spending allocations have not yet been determined beyond the end of 1987–88.

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what criteria he has established for giving or withholding his agreement in respect of the exploitation outside the EEC of the results of work funded under the Alvey programme.

    The occasion for making such decisions has not yet arisen. When it does, the criterion will be the national interest in the light of conditions prevailing at the time.

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if, further to his reply of 30 October, Official Report, column 480, about the continued support for the development of advanced information technology in Britain beyond the cessation of the Alvey programme in 1988, he will indicate the status of views expressed at the Alvey conference in July by the Minister for Information Technology that any continued programme would rely on less Government money, more commercial financial involvement, and increased European collaboration.

    I do not think that my hon. Friend's remarks were meant to carry as precise an interpretation as the hon. Member has placed on them and I have thus arranged to place a copy of the text of what he actually said in the Library of the House. My hon. Friend was setting the scene for the debate on the lessons learned from the Alvey programme and on what is to follow it.

    High Technology Companies

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) if he or his officials have contacted high technology companies which are or have been trading in the United Kingdom about granting access for United States customs officials to their sales and other internal documents;(2) what discussions his Department has had with the American Government about granting access for United States customs officials to the sales and other internal documents of United Kingdom high technology companies; and if he will make a statement.

    Following discussions with the United States authorities about the request from the Department of Commerce to make visits in connection with the new distribution licence regulations, my officials have contacted a number of British companies to seek their views. The Government will in due course consider whether to agree to such visits and on what terms. In the meantime, none have been approved.

    Consultancies

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he has made any assessment of the financial value arising from the contractual and manufacturing opportunities arising in the United Kingdom from British consultants' achievements overseas.

    Overseas work undertaken by British consultants has provided opportunities for United Kingdom contractors and manufacturers, but it is not possible to quantify the financial value.

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what initiatives he proposes to take to seek to ensure British consultants working overseas have the same financial support as do other countries' consultants from their Governments.

    United Kingdom consultants do benefit from Government financal support both directly, from bilateral aid including the aid and trade provision, and the overseas projects fund; and indirectly, through consultancies funded by multilateral lending agencies to which the United Kingdom subscribes. The independent and professional status of United Kingdom consultants does not enable direct comparisons to be made with many overseas consultants. The Overseas Projects Board, which includes experienced consultants, has taken an interest in this subject, and I welcome the recent establishment by the British Consultants Bureau of a group to consider the issues in more detail.

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is his estimate of the current annual value of work of British consultants in the construction industry in overseas earnings.

    The net overseas services earnings in 1984 of United Kingdom firms of consulting engineers, process engineers, architects and chartered surveyors is estimated at about £1 billion.

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is his estimate of the current annual value of work of British consultants in overseas earnings; and what proportion of the total of British overseas earnings this represents.

    The net overseas services earnings in 1984 of specialist United Kingdom consultancy firms is estimated at about £1·25 billion. This represents just under 1 per cent. of all United Kingdom overseas earnings.

    Girobank

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the reasons for and the implications of the decision to turn Girobank into a public limited company, as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Post Office, on 3 October.

    The transfer of the Post Office's banking business to a subsidiary company, Girobank plc, was the logical culmination of the policy of creating smaller, fully accountable units within nationalised industries in the interests of maximum efficiency. The Post Office has said that the bank's relations with its customers will not be affected in any way.

    Allied Lyons (Takeover)

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) when he expects to receive a report from the Director General of Fair Trading on the proposed takeover of Allied Lyons by Elders IXL;(2) if he will refer to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission the proposed takeover of Allied Lyons by Elders IXL.

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he expects to reach a decision on the possible reference to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission of the bid by Elders IXL Ltd. to take over Allied Lyons; and if he will make a statement.

    The proposed merger between IXL Ltd and Allied Lyons plc is currently being considered by the Office of Fair Trading. My right hon. and learned Friend will anounce his decision on a reference to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission as soon as is practicable in the light of the advice which he will receive from the Director General of Fair Trading.

    Trade Statistics

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what was the balance of trade in (a) information technology and (b) micro-electronics in 1979 and in each of the subsequent years for which statistics are available.

    Available information is shown in the table.

    Crude balance of trade* £ million
    Information Technology—Manufacturing Component†Micro-Electronics‡
    1979-468-13
    1980-384-8
    1981-1,070-144
    1982-1,458-182
    1983-2,149-418
    1984-2,259-679

    Notes:

    * The crude balance of trade is exports fob less imports cif.

    † The manufacturing component of the information technology industry is defined as the following activity headings in the Standard Industrial Classification (1980): Office machinery (AH 3301), electronic data processing equipment (AH 3302), telegraph and telephone equipment (AH 3441), radio and electronic capital goods (AH 3443), passive electronic components (AH 3444), active electronic components and sub-assemblies (AH 3453), and electronic consumer goods (AH 3454).

    ‡ The micro-electronic industry is taken as being the following two activity headings in the Standard Industrial Classification (1980): passive electronic components (AH 3444) and active electronic components and sub-assemblies industries (AH 3453).

    Industrial Output

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what percentage of total United Kingdom manufacturing industrial output is represented by (a) automobiles and (b) electronics in 1979 and each of the subsequent years for which statistics are available.

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what percentage of the national output of manufacturing industry is represented by the largest 100 companies in (a) 1955, (b) 1970, (c) 1979 and (d) 1984.

    Figures provided in the following table relate to the manufacturing activity of the largest 100 enterprises in the private sector, defined in terms of their employment in manufacturing. Estimates for 1983 and 1984 are not yet available. No comparable figures exist for years prior to 1970.

    Share of Total Manufacturing Activity accounted for by the Largest 100 Private Sector Enterprises
    Net Output (per cent.)
    197036
    197937
    198237

    Source: Annual census of production; Business Monitor PA 1002.

    Insurance

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will introduce legislation to require all insurance companies to pay interest on life policies from the day on which the policy becomes due.

    Whilst my right hon. and learned Friend has no plans to introduce such legislation, I welcome the fact that in the forthcoming revision of Association of British Insurers' Statement of Long-Term Insurance Practice, which will contain a number of changes, there will be a revised requirement to pay interest in all cases from a date two months after the happening of the insured event (death or maturity or from the date on which the unit-linking ceased.) This does not of course preclude companies from paying interest from an earlier date, but builds into the statement current industry good practice.

    Job Creation (Bolton)

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many jobs have been created in the Bolton area since June 1983 as a result of his Department's special measures.

    Three hundred and forty-three jobs are expected to be created as a result of regional selective assistance, and 54 as a result of investment grants associated with the business improvement services. Figures are not readily available for the other schemes operated by the Department.

    British Overseas Trade Board

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the funding of the British Overseas Trade Board.

    The BOTB net expenditure budget has been set at the following levels:

    £ million
    1986–8726·9
    1987–8826·6
    1988–8927·3

    Note: The budgets for 1986–87 and 1987–88 are £500,000 lower than those shown in the BOTB's consultation document issued on 3 December 1984. This is solely a technical adjustment to compensate for the transfer to the BOTB budget from another Department of Trade and Industry Vote of estimated revenue from the export intelligence service; the effective amount of the BOTB budget is unchanged from the consultation document figures.

    As my hon. Friend will appreciate with the soft loans scheme announced by my right hon. and learned Friend, the total audit of resources devoted to helping British exports has been substantially increased.

    West Midlands County Council (Trade Promotion)

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether his Department provided any advice or assistance to the West Midlands county council in connection with its recent trade promotion visit to Hong Kong; and if he will make a statement.

    The most recent missions to Hong Kong from the West Midlands which received British Overseas Trade Board support were those organised by the Coventry and Dudley chambers of commerce in March 1985 and October 1985 respectively.

    Financial Aid Statistics

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will publish a table showing the application for (a) regional development grants and (b) selective financial assistance in each year since 1979, and by each standard region.

    Wales

    Welsh Development Agency

    13.

    asked the Secretary of State for Wales what is the total expenditure by the Welsh Development Agency since its inception.

    From 1 January 1976 to 31 March 1985 gross expenditure by the Welsh Development Agency totalled £560·9 million. Gross expenditure in the current year is expected to be of the order of £70 million.

    Health Service (Private Practice)

    14.

    asked the Secretary of State for Wales what role he envisages for private practice in the Health Service in Wales.

    My right hon. Friend has no plans to alter the long-standing practice of providing for limited facilities for private practice in NHS hospitals.

    Computer Studies

    15.

    asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many children at present in the fifth and sixth forms in schools in Wales are being taught computer studies.

    Last summer about 8,250, or 19 per cent., of fifth formers and 480, or 5 per cent., of sixth formers in Wales sat 16 plus or A-level WJEC computer studies examinations. This indicates the scale of study of this subject although not reflecting the widespread use of computers across the curriculum.

    Nhs (Pay Awards)

    16.

    asked the Secretary of State for Wales what is his policy towards the funding of National Health Service pay awards in the Principality next year.

    Health authorities in Wales will be expected to meet all pay and price increases from within the resources allocated to them for 1986–87 by my right hon. Friend. Authorities will be notified of their allocations for 1986–87 as soon as possible after decisions have been taken.

    Hospital Buildings, Bangor

    17.

    asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will now make a statement on progress since his statement in the House on 28 February in resolving the dispute between the Welsh Health Common Services Authority and IDC Ltd. concerning defective hospital buildings in Bangor.

    WHTSO, now named the Welsh Health Common Services Authority, claimed £130,000 from IDC Ltd., being the cost of remedying building defects in the staff residences at Ysbyty Gwynedd. The present position is that WHCSA has exercised its right to set off the full amount of this claim against money payable to IDC Ltd. under the contract. As far as WHCSA is concerned, it has therefore recovered the full cost of the remedial measures, and there the matter rests.Legal action against the Hospital Design Consortium (HDC Ltd.) and Haden Young Ltd. for defective work on the main hospital building and the staff residences is being vigorously pursued by WHCSA. I shall report the outcome fully to the House.

    Hospital Ancillary Services (Tendering)

    18.

    asked the Secretary of State for Wales what steps he proposes to take to seek to ensure that area health authorities in Wales open their hospital ancillary services to competitive tender.

    My right hon. Friend has made it absolutely clear that he expects health authorities in Wales to take decisive action to test the efficiency and cost effectiveness of their catering, domestic and laundry services by implementing competitive tendering programmes. Experience in Wales and elsewhere has already clearly shown that such programmes can achieve substantial savings for use in providing improved patient care.All authorities have now responded to my right hon. Friend's request for progress reports, and these are currently being studied.

    Farm Incomes

    19.

    asked the Secretary of State for Wales by how much average real farming incomes in Wales have changed over the past two years.

    The latest published figures from the farm management survey in Wales show that average real farming incomes on fully-time dairy and livestock farms in Wales decreased by £355 in 1982–83 and £565 in 1983–84, representing decreases of 5 and 8 per cent., respectively. These follow increases of 12 and 27 per cent. in 1980–81 and 1981–82.

    Economic And Industrial Prospects

    20.

    asked the Secretary of State for Wales what is his general assessment of economic and industrial prospects in Wales.

    The continued growth of activity within the economy as a whole will bring benefit to industry within Wales. Levels of inward investment, new projects secured and the successful creation of small businesses all point to a broadening and strengthening of the Welsh economy, which I very much welcome.

    Toxic Waste

    asked the Secretary of State for Wales whether his Department has issued any general guidance to district councils in Wales concerning procedures relating to the disposal of toxic waste; and whether he has received any representations recently concerning such procedures.

    Guidance to district councils explaining the controls introduced by the Control of Pollution (Special Waste) Regulations 1980 was issued to local authorities in the form of Welsh Office circular 8/81, a copy of which is in the Library of the House. Representations from local authorities, trade and industry have been under consideration by a joint review committee. A statement will be made shortly by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment.

    Gwynedd Health Authority

    asked the Secretary of State for Wales what representations he has received from Gwynedd health authority in the current year advocating improved treatment facilities for cancer sufferers living in Gwynedd; and if he will make a statement.

    In the course of its consultations, a Welsh Office working group has been instructed to review the provision of regional services, including facilities for cancer sufferers, in north Wales, and has received representations from Gwynedd health authority for improvements in treatment facilities. These are being considered and a report is expected in the near future.

    Youth Training Scheme

    asked the Secretary of State for Wales what percentage of youth training scheme leavers in Wales who left the scheme during 1985 are currently in full-time employment; and if he will make a statement.

    Information about YTS leavers in 1985 is not yet available. The most recent published results of a sample survey of people who left youth training schemes in Wales related to the period between July and September 1984. This gave a figure of 49 per cent. in full-time employment. In addition, 10 per cent. were in part-time employment, college or school or another youth training scheme.

    Hypothermia

    asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many people have died of hypothermia in Wales in each year from 1979 to 1984, inclusive.

    In the years 1979 to 1984 the number of deaths of people usually resident in Wales where hypothermia was mentioned on the death certificate was as follows:

    YearNumber of Deaths
    197973
    198041
    198157
    198252
    198329
    1984*37
    * Provisional.

    Council House Sales

    asked the Secretary of State for Wales what are the latest figures for council house sales in each Welsh district authority.

    The latest available figures for council dwelling sales in each Welsh district authority are as follows:

    All sales
    Welsh districts1979 to September 1985
    Alyn and Deeside956
    Colwyn451
    Delyn1,235
    Glyndŵr722
    Rhuddlan469
    Wrexham Maelor1,408
    Carmarthen789
    Ceredigion826
    Dinefwr401
    Llanelli2,041
    Preseli1,254
    South Pembroke529
    Blaenau Gwent971
    Islwyn2,319
    Monmouth1,401
    Newport2,420
    Torfaen1,821
    Aberconwy964
    Arfon782
    Dwfor239
    Merionydd547
    Yns Môn745
    Cynon Valley796
    Merthyr Tydfil1,060
    Ogwr2,452
    Rhondda276
    Rhymney Valley2,087
    Taff-Ely1,879
    Brecknock830
    Montgomery845
    Radnor369
    Cardiff3,816
    Vale of Glamorgan2,031
    Afan1,876
    Lliw Valley1,001
    Neath1,279
    Swansea1,412
    Wales Total45,299

    Hospital Waiting Lists

    asked the Secretary of State for Wales what changes have occurred in hospital waiting lists in Wales during the period since 1979.

    Percentage changes
    Waiting list at 31 December 19791980–791981–801982–811983–821984–83
    Inpatients38,395-1·4-12·4+24·1-2·8+0·8
    Outpatients57,554-3·8+6·1+10·1+6·8+13·2
    Information relating to hospital waiting lists at 31 December for individual specialties is published annually in "Bed Use Statistics". A copy of the publication for each of the years 1979 to 1984 is available in the Library.

    Hospital Building

    asked the Secretary of State for Wales what will be the consequences in Wales of increased resources for hospital building recently announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

    Provision for capital spending in future years will be determined by my right hon. Friend in the light of the announcement made by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor in his autumn statement, and in the light of other considerations relating to the allocation of funds between those programmes for which my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales has discretion to apportion expenditure.

    Hip Replacement Operations

    asked the Secretary of State for Wales what is the average waiting period for non-emergency hip replacement operations in the areas of each of the Welsh health authorities.

    The information is not available centrally in precisely the form requested. The following table relates to patients admitted to hospital from the waiting list who were discharged in 1984 following a hip replacement operation.

    Area of TreatmentAverage Waiting Time (days)
    Clwyd440
    East Dyfed149
    Pembrokeshire365
    Gwent268
    Gwynedd145
    Mid Glamorgan192
    Powys
    South Glamorgan190
    West Glamorgan196

    Departmental Publicity

    asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many (a) different press releases were issued, (b) press conferences were held and (c) different documents or papers of information or publicity were issued by his Department in the past 12 months.

    The following table shows the year on year percentage changes in the size of the inpatient and outpatient hospital waiting lists for all specialties in Wales during the period December 1979 to December 1984.

    Over the 12 months ending 31 October 1985 my Department (a) issued 1,139 different press releases; (b) held regular press conferences, briefings and interviews; (c) issued 184 posters, leaflets and other printed material in both English and Welsh languages.

    asked the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what was the cost to his Department of issuing press releases, holding press conferences and issuing documents or papers relating to information or publicity in the last 12 months for which figures are available;(2) in what form his Department keeps accounts of its expenditure on publicity; and by what means those accounts are published.

    Records for these activities are not separated from overall publicity costs, and accounts of publicity expenditure are not published.

    Overseas Development

    St Helenian Ebony

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has on the incidence of St. Helenian ebony; and if he will make a statement.

    St. Helenian ebony, one of roughly 40 endemic species on the island, was presumed extinct for more than a century until it was discovered in November 1980. It has since been successfully propagated both by the island's Forestry Department and at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew. Conservation of endemic flora is one element of a five year forestry project which was approved earlier this year. One of the long-term objectives of the project is re-afforestation of eroded areas. Trials have indicated that ebony and other endemic species can contribute towards this. In the past two years, more than 1,100 ebonies have been planted on the island.

    Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

    Prospective Parliamentary Candidates (Wales)

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the European Commission to seek to ensure that prospective parliamentary candidates are excluded from employment by the Commission in Wales.

    The European Communities staff regulations, in article 12, lay down safeguards governing the outside activities of officials of the Communities. It is for the appointing authority to enforce these regulations, and we hope they will do so scrupulously.

    Argentina

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received from British companies wishing to tender for oil exploration contracts in Argentina about the implications for their chances of obtaining such contracts of the current state of relations between Argentina and the United Kingdom.

    None. In general we welcome efforts by British companies to expand their activities in Argentina. Our initiative in lifting restrictions of imports from Argentina in July, to which the Argentine Government have still not responded constructively, was aimed at improving commercial relations.

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made during the past six months on establishing normal diplomatic relations with the Argentine; and if he will make a statement.

    We have taken a number of initiatives to begin the process of restoring confidence and rebuilding our bilateral relations. The most recent step was the lifting of our ban on Argentine imports into the United Kingdom in July. We still hope that the Argentine Government will see the advantages of responding constructively.

    Departmental Files

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what arrangements operate for the logging of those who have access to (a) computer and (b) manual files kept by his Department on individuals; and if he will describe the procedures in operation for both categories.

    Specific guidelines on security of automatically processed data in Government Departments are observed. They are contained in "Protection of Information in Computer Systems" and "Central Government Code of Practice No. 21", issued by the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency, which give recommended procedures to safeguard data in computer installations. Copies of these guidelines have been placed in the House library.Access to manual files on individuals is strictly limited on a need to know basis. The list of authorised persons is kept under review.

    Immigration

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs why there is a time lag of eight years in New Delhi between an application for a special voucher to settle in the United Kingdom and the date for the applicant to be interviewed; how many applications are now outstanding; how many entry clearance officers are at present in post at the high commission; and if he will make a statement.

    I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave him on 11 November at column 63. The issue of vouchers in India is regulated by the quota. Demand has exceeded the quota resulting in a queue. Waiting times are falling.At 31 July there were 3,137 applications outstanding. There are four entry clearance officers in New Delhi; a further entry clearance officer will join the establishment in December. There are also five entry clearance officers in Bombay.

    Gchq

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about the reasons for the rejection by Government: communications headquarters management of the attempts of the two recent trade union rejoiners to return the £1,000 payment made in lieu of statutory trade union rights.

    Under the terms of General Notice GN 100/84 which explained the changes in terms and conditions of service at Government communications headquarters, staff there were asked to choose one of two options:

  • (a) to remain at GCHQ under the revised terms and conditions of service; or
  • (b) to transfer elsewhere in the Civil Service.
  • Option A involved giving an undertaking not to join a trade union other than a Departmental staff association approved by the director. In addition, my right hon. and learned Friend issued certifications under section 138(4) of the Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act 1978 and section 121(4) of the Employment Protection Act 1975 exempting GCHQ staff, on national security grounds, from the application of those acts. In recognition of the withdrawal from GCHQ staff of those statutory rights, a special ex gratia payment of £1,000 was made to those who elected to remain with the Department. We expect those staff who signed option A to honour their undertaking, and we do not accept that they can evade this responsibility by simply returning the ex gratia payment.

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will list the occasions when trade union membership and related action has led to breaches of security at Government communications headquarters; and if he will make a statement.

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he is satisfied with the current state of security at Government communications headquarters; and if he will make a statement.

    Although it is never possible to guarantee that security anywhere is entirely watertight, security at GCHQ is constantly under review; and we are satisfied that all practicable and desirable measures necessary to ensure security at GCHQ are either already in force. or are being introduced in the light of recommendations made by the Security Commission.

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he is satisfied with the effectiveness of Government communications headquarters' contributions to Western intelligence; and if he will make a statement.

    In a statement made to the House on 12 May 1983, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister said that

    "the functions of GCHQ are to ensure the security of the United Kingdom's military and official communications and to provide signals intelligence in accordance with the requirements laid down by the Government in support of the Government's defence and foreign policies".
    We are satisfied that GCHQ carries out these functions in an effective and professional manner.

    Afghanistan

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he has taken to publicise and protest against abuses of human rights in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement.

    We take every opportunity to make clear our grave concern at the gross violation of human rights by the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and did so most recently on 13 November in the United Nations General Assembly debate on Afghanistan. We welcomed the fact that the Assembly condemned the Soviet occupation by a record majority of 122 votes to 19.

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has held with other EEC countries about events in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement.

    On 22 and 23 July 1985, my right hon. and learned Friend discussed developments in Afghanistan with his Community colleagues. Their joint statement supporting the UN peace talks and condemning the Soviet occupation formed the basis of the statement made by the Luxembourg Foreign Minister on behalf of the Community to the UN General Assembly on 12 November.

    Expenditure

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about Her Majesty's Government's plans for expenditure (a) on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and (b) on its associated public bodies for the years 1986–87 and 1987–88.

    I refer my hon. Friend to the statement made in the House by my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 12 November at column 431. Further details of expenditure plans will be published in the Public Expenditure White Paper in January and thereafter in the Supply Estimates.

    Mr Peter Glibbery

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement concerning assistance given by Her Majesty's Government to Peter Glibbery of Shirley in Solihull currently held in custody in Costa Rica.

    Since Mr. Glibbery's arrest on 24 April he has received almost weekly consular visits. Representations have been made by HM ambassador on three occasions at a very high level, in addition to regular approaches by his staff at official level, to secure Mr. Glibbery's release or to bring his case to court.

    The case was also raised by my right hon. and noble Friend Lady Young on 11 November with the Costa Rican Foreign Minister.

    Foreign Ministers (Meeting)

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the recent meeting of Foreign Ministers from the EEC, Central American and Contadora countries, in Luxembourg.

    The Luxembourg meeting, which my right hon. and learned Friend and my right hon. and noble Friend the Minister of State attended, was a practical demonstration by the members of the European Community of support for the Contadora peace process. Political and economic agreements with the Central American states were successfully concluded. The European Community agreed to increase substantially aid to promote economic co-operation in the region.

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether a United Kingdom Minister will be attending next year's meeting of European Economic Community and Central American Foreign Ministers to be held in Guatemala; what consideration will be given to the absence of consular and diplomatic relations between the United Kingdom and Guatemala; and if he will make a statement.

    Our representation at the next meeting of the European Community, Central America and the Contadora states in Guatemala will be considered in due course in consultation with our European partners. We hope the election of a democratic Government in Guatemala will facilitate a resumption of official relations for which we have always been ready.

    Special Voucher Applications

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) how much longer he estimates that an applicant for a special voucher which was lodged at the district high commission in Bombay on 24 October 1979 will have to wait for it to be processed;(2) at the most recent convenient date, how many special voucher applications were awaiting processing in India;(3) if he will give the approximate date on which applications were made for the special vouchers which are currently being processed at the district high commission in Bombay.

    Waiting times are not generally forecast because they are determined by variable factors and may also be substantially affected by unforeseen circumstances. Applicants issued with special vouchers in Bombay this month had applied in December 1977. We anticipate waiting times will now shorten as the number of applications lodged since 1977 has declined.At 31 July there were 3,137 special voucher applications outstanding in India.

    Employment

    Self-Employed Persons

    asked the Paymaster General how many self-employed persons there were in each of the years 1979–80, 1980–81, 1981–82, 1982–83, 1983–84, 1984–85 and the current year to date.

    The estimated total numbers of self-employed persons in Great Britain in June of each year since 1979 are as follows:

    Number
    19791,842,000
    19801,950,000
    19812,057,000
    19822,109,000
    19832,160,000
    19842,433,000
    19852,559,000
    The estimate for June 1985 is provisional.

    Community Programme

    asked the Paymaster General what steps he takes to seek to ensure consistency in the operation of the community programme, particularly in south coast areas.

    The community programme is mounted on a national basis, and the same rules and guidelines apply in all areas.

    Labour Statistics