Written Answers To Questions
Friday 3 April 1987
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the total number of persons proceeded against as illegal immigrants in each 12 months period ending in September, in each year from 1980 to 1985, inclusive.
Information on persons dealt with as illegal entrants is published quarterly in the Home Office statistical bulletins on the control of immigration statistics. Figures for the periods requested are given in the following table.
|Persons against whom action was commenced as illegal entrants|
|Number of persons|
|12 months ending September—|
|(1) Rounded to the nearest 10 as precise figures are not available for the quarters of 1981.|
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will take steps, following the observation of Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary in his report for 1985, to ensure that the allocation of resources for traffic regulation enforcement takes proper account of the potential and actual consequences of motor vehicles as agencies of death and injury: and if he will make a statement.
HM's inspectors of constabulary already take account of these considerations in the course of their inspections and we are satisfied that chief officers fully appreciate the importance of effective enforcement as a contribution to road safety.
|Police force||Authorised Police Establishment||Police strength||Civilian strength1||Total police and civilian manpower1|
|1 Excluding traffic wardens and cadets Including part-time civilian staff on a two for one basis.|
New Hall Prison, Wakefield
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the proposed future use of New Hall prison, Middlestown, Wakefield, and on the implications for the communities in Overton and Middlestown, Wakefield.
Work is in progress to convert the former detention centre at New Hall into a closed prison for females. As a detention centre New Hall functioned as a closed establishment for male young offenders in the 17 to 20-year-old group. We do not see the change of use of New Hall as having any implications for the communities in Overton and Middlestown. If the right hon. Member has any specific concerns which he would like to bring to our notice, I will be pleased to answer them.
Crime (Clear-Up Rate)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give details of the percentage of recorded offences cleared up by the police in Wales in 1986, according to offence groups.
The information requested is given in the table.
|Clear-up rates1 for notifiable offences recorded by the police 1986, by offence group|
|Violence against the person||83|
|Theft and handling stolen goods||56|
|Fraud and Forgery||82|
|Other notifiable offences||96|
|Total notifiable offences 2||40|
|1 The proportion of notifiable offences cleared up by the police expressed as a percentage of those recorded.|
|2 Excluding offences of 'other criminal damage' value £20 and under.|
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give details of the authorised establishment and strength of the police force in Wales in 1986, according to police force areas.
The information as on 31 December 1986 is as follows:
Mr Azad Akhtar
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) when Azad Akhtar — reference: TN3/IS/334/3/87— arrived in the United Kingdom; by which British post his visitor's visa was issued; when a telex was sent to the post seeking information about Mr. Akhtar; when the reply to that telex was received; and when a decision was taken on Mr. Akhtar's application to enter the United Kingdom;(2) where Mr. Azad Akhtar has been detained pending a decision on his application to enter the United Kingdom; if he has been informed as to his eligibility to apply for release on bail; and when he was advised of his rights to appeal against any decision to refuse him entry to the United Kingdom.
Mr. Azad Akhtar arrived on 26 March with a visitor's visa issued in Bahrain. Telex inquiries were sent to the post on 27 and 31 March, and replies were received on 30 March and 1 April. He was detained pending further examination in the detention accommodation at Harmondsworth, and was informed as to his eligibility to apply for release on bail. He was refused leave to enter on 2 April following further examination and was then given notice of his right of appeal against that decision. He has been granted temporary admission pending his decision on whether or not he wishes to appeal.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will provide a breakdown of the latest crime statistics according to the ethnic origins of the offenders.
For many offences recorded by the police the offender is not known. Neither is information on ethnic origin regularly collected centrally for known offenders, apart from those received into prison department establishments. Information available on the ethnic appearance of offenders in the Metropolitan police district between 1977 and 1983 was published in a Home Office statistical bulletin issue 22/84, a copy of which is in the Library of the House.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he intends to make any changes in citizenship fee levels for 1987–88.
I am pleased to say that citizenship fees for 1987–88 will be held at their present levels. This is a tribute to the staff who, by bringing about improvements in the cost effectiveness of the service, have enabled us to plan on the basis that over the next financial year fees should continue to cover the cost of issuing certificates. I have placed in the Library a copy of the nationality fees budget income and expenditure account for the year ending 31 March 1988.
asked the Prime Minister how many civil servants accompanied her to Moscow; from which Departments they came; and if she will make a statement.
Fifteen civil servants, of whom nine were secretarial and support staff, accompanied me and my right hon. and learned Friend the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary to Moscow. Nine were from No. 10, five from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and one from the Central Office of Information.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what has been the total capital expenditure over the past five years on developing the coal mining industry; and what proportion of this has taken place in the coalfields of Wales.
Capital expenditure in the coal industry over the past five years has totalled almost £3·3 billion, of which £175 million (at outturn prices) has been invested in Wales.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether he expects the feasibility study into the proposed Mersey barrage to be completed on time; and if he will make a statement.
The Mersey Barrage Company is making good progress in its work and expects that the feasibility study will be completed on time by the end of 1987.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) what was the total production by the National Coal Board of Welsh anthracite in 1984, 1985 and 1986, respectively; and what is the anticipated production in 1987;(2) what tonnages of Welsh anthracite were allocated for disposal to each National Coal Board region in 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1987 respectively;(3) What tonnage of Welsh anthracite was shipped to Northern Ireland in 1984, 1985 and 1986, respectively; and what is proposed to be shipped in 1987;(4) what tonnage of Welsh anthracite was exported in 1984, 1985 and 1986, respectively; and what exports are planned for 1987.
[pursuant to his reply, 20 March 1987, c. 648]: Total production by British Coal of Welsh anthacite since 1983–84 is as follows:
- 1983–84 — 1,858·8 thousand tonnes
- 1984–85 — 1,044·1 thousand tonnes
- 1985–86 — 2,288·2 thousand tonnes
|West of England||90·3||18·3||102·9|
|London and South||206·9||14·1||224·7|
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what advice is given to contracting Departments to ensure that they do not award contracts involving unlimited liability which cannot be covered on the insurance market.
None. As in the private sector, a contractor may be held responsible without limit for costs arising from any default which would otherwise fall on the public purse as a result of his action. This is reflected in the standard conditions used in departmental contracts. In certain cases he may be required to carry specified levels of insurance cover. Otherwise it is a matter for him to decide what insurance he needs and can obtain.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the level of investment, capital consumption and net investment each year in manufacturing industry since 1970.
I shall let the hon. Member have a reply as soon as possible.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has received from The Library Association concerning the continuation of zero rating on books and other literature after the harmonisation of value added tax arrangements within the European Community; and what response he has made.
The chief executive of the Library Association wrote to my right hon. Friend the Minister for the Arts on 9 February. His letter was passed to me for reply. In my letter of 12 March I informed the association that the European Commission has not yet made detailed proposals for the approximation of VAT rates but that, when it does, the proposals will require unanimous agreement. Questions concerning the VAT treatment of books and other literature will therefore remain wholly a matter for national decision and subject to full parliamentary consideration.
South Africa (Military Equipment)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will give details of all cases in which prosecutions of Customs compounding have taken place in relation to the supply of arms and related material to South Africa since the adoption of United Nations Security Council resolution 418, 1977;(2) what action has been taken following the discovery by Her Majesty's Customs officials on 27 February 1986, that cargoes on board the MS St Maguire at Felixstowe described as agricultural machinery bound for a company known as M & I Engineers Pty, Pretoria, South Africa, were in fact components of 140 mm howitzers being exported in breach of the United Nations mandatory arms embargo; and if he will make a statement;(3) what action will be taken by Her Majesty's Customs and Excise to investigate allegations that the MV Lady Anita exported 140 howitzers from Felixstowe on 28 November 1984 which were destined for South Africa in breach of the United Nations mandatory arms embargo.
I shall let the hon. Member have replies as soon as possible.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will state the estimated receipts in 1986–87 and the forecast receipts in 1987–88 from excise duties on spirits, beer, wine, made wine, cider and perry, respectively; and if he will explain any differences or special factors.
I shall let my hon. Friend have a reply as soon as possible.
Clement Shaw Ltd
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give details of the results of the investigation into Clement Shaw Ltd. in relation to possible breaches of the United Nations mandatory arms embargo; and if he will make a statement.
I shall let the hon. Member have a reply as soon as possible.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will publish in the Official Report his best estimate of the cost of new cars purchased by companies in 1986–87 for their own use, including by their directors and employees, or for the use of other business under lease or contract hire.
I have been asked to reply.I regret that estimates of this nature are not available.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will publish in the Official Report representative figures showing the current annual cost to companies of providing new cars for the use of directors and higher-paid employees where the beneficiary is entitled to choose his own car within a specified price, but where (i) the car is acquired under a straightforward lease and (ii) the whole cost of putting the car on the road and maintaining it is carried by the supplier under a term-mileage contract; and if he will provide figures for a representative price range of cars within each category of scale charge, and for a Roll-Royce.
I have been asked to reply.I regret that the information is not available.
Education And Science
Science And Engineering Research Council
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how much has been disbursed by the Science and Engineering Research Council teaching in companies scheme in each year since the scheme was introduced; how much has been disbursed to (a) individuals and (b) companies in Yorkshire and Humberside in each year since this scheme was introduced; how much is to be disbursed to individuals and companies in Yorkshire and Humberside under the council's latest allocation; what representations about this allocation he has received; and if he will make a statement.
The following table shows the information requested in the first part of the question:
|Amount disbursed by SERC on teaching company scheme|
|Financial Year||Net Expenditure3|
|1 Provisional outturn|
|3 The teaching company scheme is jointly funded. Up to 1984–85, it was funded on a 50–50 basis by the SERC and the Department of Trade and Industry. Since 1985–86, the Economic and Social Research Council has contributed an additional £80,000 a year matched by the DTI. The Northern Ireland Department of Economic Development joined the scheme in 1986–87 when it contributed £20,000. Its estimated contribution in 1987–88 is £150,000.|
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what conclusions have been drawn by the Medical Research Council's study of the possible relationship between aluminium saucepans, aluminium rich foods and senile dementia.
I understand the MRC is studying the possible relationship between aluminium in drinking water and the prevalence of Alzheimer's disease. No conclusions can be drawn until this study is complete in 1988.
University Grants Committee
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the average annual current expenditure allocated by the University Grants Committee (a) on arts students and (b) on engineering students in a university in the last year for which figures are available.
The estimated average net recurrent expenditure by universities per student in the 1984–85 academic year was £3,930 for arts subjects and £6,070 for engineering subjects. The UGC's recurrent grant is, however, allocated on a different basis, as described in its circular letters 22/85 and 6/87, copies of which are in the Library.
Universities And Polytechnics
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what was the total expenditure on capital equipment in (a) universities and (b) polytechnics in the last year for which figures are available; what were the corresponding numbers of full-time equivalent students; and what were the corresponding per capita allocations on equipment in the two types of institution.
The following table relates to expenditure on equipment in the financial year 1984–85 by universities and by local authorities in respect of polytechnics. Allocations of funding for equipment are not made on a per capita basis in either sector.
|Expenditure (£m)||Student Numbers1 (000s)||Expenditure per FTE student (£)|
|1 Full-time equivalent (FTE), academic year 1984–85|
|2 Great Britain|
Broadacres School, Hixon
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on the future of Broadacres school, Hixon, Staffordshire, in the light of the representations he has received from the hon. Member for Mid-Staffordshire.
Staffordshire LEA's proposals to reorganise educational provision in Stafford and the surrounding area, including Hixon, are currently before my right hon. Friend and a decision will be announced soon which will take into account all representations received.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is his policy towards the retention of sixth forms in schools, with particular reference to sixth forms with substantial numbers and a high proportion of young people undertaking two-year courses leading to examinations at the advanced general certificate of education level.
Under the Education Act 1980 local education authorities are free to propose any pattern of school, including sixth form, organisation they may choose. My right hon. Friend considers such proposals on their merits: in doing so he takes account amongst other things of numbers, the range and diversity of the curriculum and the quality of examination results.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) if he will publish a table showing for each year from 1982–83 to 1985–86 inclusive (a) the total of capital allocations made to local education authorities in Greater London, (b) the total of capital expenditure bids submitted by local education authorities in Greater London and (c) the figure (a) expressed as a percentage of the figure (b); and if he will make a statement;(2) if he will publish a table showing for each year from 1982–83 to 1985–86 inclusive
(a) the total of capital allocations made to metropolitan district education authorities outside Greater London, (b) the total of capital expenditure bids submitted by metropolitan
Authorities in Greater London
Metropolitan district authorities
|LEA's plans (£000's)||(1)||(1)||(1)|
|Allocation as a percentage of plans||—||—||—|
|LEA's plans (£000's)||(1)||(1)||(1)|
|Allocation as a percentage of plans||—||—||—|
|LEA's plans (£000's)||70,994||148,507||324,094||543,595|
|Allocations as a percentage of plans||47||52||59||55|
|LEA's plans (£000's)||90,404||159,188||339,340||588,932|
|Allocation as a percentage of plans||44||48||56||52|
asked the Secretary of State for Wales if extra funds will be made available to farmers to overcome the problems of extra cull cows coming on to the market; and if he will make a statement.
The Commission has the necessary powers to introduce extra support through the management committee if there is undue weakness in the beef market as a result of heavy cow cullings. The budgetary and expenditure forecasts include appropriate provisions for this.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will direct the Ordnance Survey to depict on its maps at 1: 25,000 and 1: 50,000 scale all open land to which the public has a right of access.
district education authorities outside Greater London arid (c) the figure (a) expressed as a percentage of the figure (b); and if he will make a statement;
(3) if he will publish a table showing for each year from 1982–83 to 1985–86 inclusive (a) the total of capital allocations made to non-metropolitan county education authorities, (b) the total of capital expenditure bids submitted by non-metropolitan county education authorities and (c) the figure (a) expressed as a percentage of the figure (b); and if he will make a statement.
[pursuant to his replies, 12 March 1987, c. 260–61]: The information requested for the years 1982–83 to 1985–86 for local education authorities within Greater London, metropolitan districts and non-metropolitan authorities as set out in the table.
Ordnance Survey already depicts information on open land where this is available in a suitable form.
Frontier Regions (Conference)
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if consideration was given to representation at the fourth European conference of frontier regions in the light of invitations to both the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland; and if he will make a statement.
This conference of frontier regions took place in Spain on 23–25 March. Officials from the 21 member states of the Council of Europe with an interest were invited; its aim was to review the problems facing transfrontier co-operation in Europe, to discuss achievements and shortcomings, and to examine prospects for the year 2000. The United Kingdom decided on this occasion not to be represented because as an island the transfrontier problems being discussed were of little relevance. I understand that the Republic of Ireland similarly sent no representatives.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has any plans to compensate, or consider compensation claims from, yacht chandlers or other retailers having stock of TBT-based anti-fouling agents purchased before the implementation of the ban on such products.
I have no such plans.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many complaints he has received from within London with regard to nuisance caused by urban pests such as bees, foxes, wasps, cockroaches; and how many representations he has so far received, and from whom, in regard to the relevant consultation paper.
A few local authorities, including some in London, have in the past suggested that their current powers were insufficient to control various-species which can cause nuisance in urban areas. We have therefore consulted on possible amendments to the Public Health Acts 1936 and 1961. Of some 290 responses to the Department's consultation document received up to 31 March, some 200, including 180 from beekeepers or organisations representing beekeepers, have commented on these particular proposals. As was made clear in the consultation document itself, we will in due course be placing in the Library of the House copies of all responses where the authors have agreed to this; other responses will be included in any numerical analysis of views received.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what will be the relationship between his new planning circular, and circular 15/84.
The draft circular on development involving agricultural land and circular 15/84 are intended to be consistent with each other. The new circular and circular 15/84, as with all circulars containing planning policy, would need to be taken into account in each particular case to the extent that each is material to the decision.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make available in the Vote Office copies of his draft circular "Development Involving Agricultural Land."
Copies of the draft circular have been available in the Vote Office since February.
Sports Grounds (Safety)
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what alterations to the November 1985 Building Regulations have been made following the recommendations contained in paragraph 3.90 of the final report of Mr. Justice Popplewell into safety at sports grounds.(2) what guidance has been issued to local authorities, sporting bodies and other interested organisations regarding the criteria applied by the November 1985 Building Regulations to the construction of sports stands, including the materials which may be used; and if he will make a statement.
I shall answer these questions shortly.
Out-Of-Town Retail Developments
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the out-of-town retail developments which are currently before his Department for consideration.
[pursuant to his reply,2 April 1987]: The following out-of-town retail developments are currently before the Department as appeals or applications called in for determination by the Secretary of State. The list relates to proposals for development of 20,000 sq m or more outside established shopping centres at 31 March 1987.
|Local planning authority||Applicant/Appellant||Gross-floor area (sq-metres)|
|North Tyneside MBC||Tyne Tunnel Trading Estate Ltd.||35,394|
|Yorkshire and Humberside|
|Leeds CC||Leeds University||27,870|
|Leeds CC||Mountleigh Development Ltd.||46,450|
|North West Region|
|Bury MBC||North West Regional Health Authority||23,225|
|Macclesfield BC||Tesco/Marks and Spencer||25,000|
|Rochdale MBC||J & J Fee1||74,320|
|St. Helens MBC||Citygrove Developments Ltd1 Pilkington1 United Co-operative Society Ltd.||30,416|
|Salford MBC||J & J Fee1||92,900|
|Stockport MBC||North West Regional Health Authority||23,220|
|Spring Park Securities||74,320|
|Trafford MBC||Manchester Ship Canal Company||92,900|
|Trafford MBC||Prudential Assurance Co. Ltd/Shell UK1||116,125|
|West Midlands Region|
|Solihull MBC||B & Q (Retail) Ltd.||33,400|
|Standard Life Assurance Co.||37,160|
|East Midlands Region|
|Mansfield DC||Chico Land Ltd.||23,480|
|Blaby DC||Centre 21 (Penwise Properties)1||64,566|
|W. J. Parker Ltd/Everards Ltd./Tiger Brewery1||30,310|
|St. Albans City DC/Three Rivers DC||Town and City Properties (Developers) Ltd.||52,000|
|South Bedfordshire DC||BTR plc/Citygrove developments Ltd.||20,000|
|South Cambridgeshire DC||Camtech Developments Ltd.||27,870|
|Thurrock DC||Capital Counties plc/Lakeside trading1||206,800|
|South West Region|
|Prudential Assurance Co. Ltd.||46,450|
|East Devon DC||EBC||25,700|
|Exeter CC||M Baker Property Services Ltd.(and alternative scheme)||32,515|
|Teignbridge DC||Shearwater/Digby Hospital1||58,990|
Local planning authority
Gross-floor area (sq-metres)
South East Region
|Spelthorne BC/Windsor and Maidenhead RBC||ARC Properties Ltd.||81,500|
|LB of Brent||IKEA Ltd.||22,500|
|Tonbridge and Mailing DC||ASDA||27,870|
1 Indicates case called-in for the Secretary of State's decision.
Table 1 Projects by Type and Sponsor (total) Great Britain
Local Education Authority
|Building and Landscaping||88||49||1||27||0||3||0||0||2|
|Research and Surveys||437||218||0||8||0||9||10||1||3|
|Other Social Services||97||29||2||37||0||5||1||0||2|
|CP Agent Management||908||374||1||9||3||29||8||2||3|
|Environmental and Landscaping||3,075||1,771||0||0||7||51||7||14||3|
|Building and Construction||1,488||634||0||4||4||46||8||1||1|
|Young Peoples Services||1,169||433||0||1||1||13||7||8||2|
|Services for the Elderly||1,902||581||0||3||13||33||24||0||5|
|Services for the Disabled||1,109||370||0||3||3||3||29||0||1|
|Centres for the Unemployed||124||84||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
Old peoples groups
Environmental and conservation groups
Other voluntary organisations
|Building and Landscaping||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||3||0|
|Research and Surveys||16||15||15||4||1||3||5||29||84||14|
|Other social services||2||0||3||2||0||5||0||0||4||4|
|CP agent management||5||96||47||16||6||14||13||47||179||54|
|Environmental and Landscaping||8||£181||77||24||1||10||2||317||338||253|
|Building and Construction||8||133||122||39||4||5||13||44||286||132|
asked the Paymaster General if he will publish the most recently available information to show the total number of community programme projects and places by type of project and type of sponsor.
The total number of community programme projects and authorised places, by project and sponsor type, are as follows. Table 1 gives information about projects, and table 2 places as at 20 February 1987.
Old peoples groups
Environmental and conservation groups
|Young peoples services||44||33||72||142||1||6||22||18||305||59|
|Services for the elderly||12||121||163||61||64||6||28||7||550||229|
|Services for the disabled||14||22||56||6||3||197||3||4||315||76|
|Centres for the unemployed||0||3||2||3||0||0||3||0||25||4|
Table 2—Number of places by project Type and Sponsor (total) Great Britain
Local Education Authority
|Building and Landscaping||1,637||985||12||468||0||82||0||0||18|
|Research and Surveys||4,687||2,107||0||57||0||95||137||28||28|
|Other Social Services||1,208||450||10||428||0||34||1||0||11|
|CP Agent Management||16,685||6,613||6||72||89||507||149||35||67|
|Environmental and Landscaping||85,122||49,704||0||0||134||1,006||123||250||99|
|Building and Construction||42,834||17,498||0||198||96||1,413||238||38||55|
|Young Peoples Services||18,944||6,502||0||12||2||216||161||159||25|
|Services for the Elderly||52,572||16,254||0||40||200||941||452||0||183|
|Services for the Disabled||20,597||6,834||0||35||SI||48||389||0||3|
|Centres for the Unemployed||1,478||873||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
Old peoples groups
Environmental and conservation groups
Other voluntary organisations
|Building and Landscaping||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||16||35||0|
|Research and Surveys||194||176||128||46||7||57||98||387||943||160|
|Other social services||31||0||20||91||0||60||0||0||19||48|
|CP agent management||61||1,819||948||230||115||146||337||546||3,753||1,178|
|Environmental and Landscaping||199||6,521||2,267||432||43||341||20||6,568||8,751||8,227|
|Building and Construction||134||3,585||3,905||661||466||239||454||1,086||8,368||4,360|
Old peoples groups
Environmental and conservation groups
Other voluntary organisations
|Young peoples services||532||537||1,036||2,981||6||172||641||335||4,895||715|
|Services for the elderly||279||2,762||1,636||1,250||1,673||117||802||186||14,930||7,851|
|Services for the disabled||174||596||1,232||48||35||3,805||42||92||5,747||1,443|
|Centres for the unemployed||0||40||28||72||0||0||34||0||387||44|
asked the Paymaster General if he will list the net jobs loss for (a) all employees, (b) employees in manufacturing and construction (c) employees in manufacturing, (d) employees in engineering and allied industries and (e) employees in metal manufacturing, and the percentage fall, from June 1979 to the latest date for which figures are available for (i) Greater London, (ii) Birmingham, (iii) Liverpool, (iv) Manchester, (v) Newcastle, (vi) Glasgow, (vii) Cardiff, (viii) Bristol, (ix) Coventry, (x) Leicester, (xi) Bradford, (xii) Edinburgh, (xiii) Dundee and (xiv) Swansea.
[pursuant to his reply, 26 March 1987, c.241]: I regret the information is not available as there was no employment census in 1979 or 1980. Between census dates information about employees in employment subdivided by industry is available only for those areas listed in table 1.5 of the Employment Gazette, a copy of which is in the Library. Greater London was added to these areas in 1981.
House Of Commons (Ministers)
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list, for Sessions 1984–85, 1985–86 and for the current Session to date, the number of (a) ministerial statements, (b) private notice questions, (c) debates on Government motions, (d) debates on Opposition motions, (e) Bills passing all stages (other than Consolidated Fund Bill debates), (f) debates on the Adjournment (other than the half-hour Adjournment), (g) half-hour Adjournment debates, (h) debates on statutory instruments and (i) other debates including debates following proceedings on the Consolidated Fund Bill which required the attendance in the House of Ministers or officials in his Department.
The information requested is as follows:
|1984–85||1985–86||1986–87 to date|
|(a) Ministerial statements||6||4||6|
|(b) Private Notice Questions||2||3||—|
|(c) Debates on Government motions||1||1||—|
|(d) Debates on Opposition motions||—||1||2|
1986–87 to date
(e) Bills passing all stages (other than Consolidated Fund Bill Debates)
(f) Debates on the adjournment (other than the half-hour adjournment)
(g) Half-hour Adjournment debates
(h) Debates on Statutory Instruments
(i) Other debates including debates following proceedings on the Consolidated Fund Bill
1 Includes one Private Members Bill.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will set out the costs and penalties involved in any cancellation of Trident; how these can be offset against savings; and if he will make a statement.
In the event of cancellation the costs payable would reflect contractors' properly incurred liabilities at termination. (These costs should be less than the total amount committed, which currently stands at about £3 billion).As Trident will provide the United Kingdom with much the most cost-effective minimum deterrent to succeed Polaris, the risks to our security involved in its cancellation would be very grave indeed.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he has received from British industry and trade unions about the role of Trident within the United Kingdom economy.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he has received from other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries about the role of Britain's independent nuclear deterrent.
Britain's NATO partners have welcomed the contribution made to the Alliance's forces by the British nuclear deterrent and have consistently supported our efforts to maintain its effectiveness. The most recent collective expression of this support was contained in the communiqué issued following the October 1986 meeting of the NATO Nuclear Planning Group, a copy of which is in the Library. Subsequently, at his meeting with the Prime Minister at Camp David in November 1986, President Reagan confirmed his full support for the arrangements made to modernise Britain's independent nuclear deterrent with Trident.
Directorate General Of Defence Quality Assurance
asked the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what is the estimated cost of housing of the main units of the directorate general of defence quality assurance of Royal Arsenal unit in accordance with his Department's recommendations;(2) when he expects to complete his appraisal of the possible location for the main units of the directorate general of defence quality assurance;(3) if he will publish the evidence which led his Department to recommend the Royal Arsenal unit as the preferred location for the directorate general of defence quality assurance, together with the list of other locations now being considered.
I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 19 January 1987, at column 452. The further appraisal of the future accommodation needs of the directorate general of defence quality assurance is still in progress.
Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many staff accredited with diplomatic status work in the offices of the British high commission in (a) Australia, (b) India and (c) Canada.
I shall let my hon. Friend have a reply as soon as possible.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many staff accredited with diplomatic status work in the United Kingdom offices of (a) the Australian high commission, (b) the Indian high commission and (c) the Canadian high commission.
The Austrialian high commission has 42 diplomatic staff; the Indian high commission 66; and the Canadian high commission 63.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has had about the Hong Kong Public Order (Amendment) Ordnance; and if he will make a statement.
We have received a number of representations about this ordinance. In reply we have made clear that while this is primarily a matter for the Hong Kong Government, we support the action they have taken. The legislation passed by a large majority in the Legislative Council of Hong Kong on 11 March included the repeal of a number of stringent provisions of the control of publications ordinance that had been part of the laws of Hong Kong for many years, but which have not prevented the Hong Kong media from being among the most free and outspoken in Asia. In reviewing this legislation and deciding upon these repeals, the Hong Kong Government considered that in such a small and densely-populated place as Hong Kong, it was nevertheless necessary to retain some power to act against anyone publishing false news likely to cause alarm to the public or disturb public order. The provision is not, therefore, a new one, and the result of the legislation passed on 11 March represents a major liberalisation compared with the position before that date.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what conclusions were reached in discussions he has had with other Commonwealth countries about the possible acceptance of further Vietnamese refugees into their respective countries who are presently resident in Hong Kong.
We remain in close contact with other members of the Commonwealth about the resettlement of Vietnamese refugees in Hong Kong. We are grateful for their increased intakes of refugees from Hong Kong in response to our decision in 1985 to accept some 420 more of them for settlement in the United Kingdom.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is his policy towards the acceptance of further Vietnamese refugees, presently resident in Hong Kong, into Britain.
We are considering the question of possible further resettlement in the United Kingdom of Vietnamese refugees in Hong Kong, and hope to make an announcement soon.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will outline the emergency procedures available at the immigration departments at United Kingdom diplomatic missions in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh for the issue of visitors' visas in cases of extreme urgency.
I refer my hon. friend to the reply that I gave to the hon. Member for Vauxhall (Mr. Holland) on 9 December 1986 at column 122.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on how many occasions, and in relation to which cases, Her Majesty's Government have reported details of breaches of the United Nations mandatory arms embago of South Africa to the United Nations Security Council committee on the arms embargo established by resolution 421 of 1977.
There is no requirement to report such breaches to the United Nations Security Council committee on the arms embargo, but where the committee has asked for information we have always endeavoured to meet its requests. For example, we kept the committee fully informed of the Coventry case in 1984–85.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he has discussed with the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany plans for the manufacture of submarines supplied from the Federal Republic of Germany to South Africa in breach of the United Nations mandatory arms embargo; and if he will make a statement.
It is not our practice to take up with other Governments allegations of breaches of the arms embargo. In accordance with accepted procedures, the matter is currently the subject of correspondence between the chairman of the Security Council committee established under Security Council resolution 421 (1977) and the Federal German Government.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has as to which members of the United Nations Security Council, other than the United Kingdom, expressed reservations or qualifications in relation to United Nations Security Council resolution 591 of 1986.
None expressed reservations or qualifications. In his statement following the adoption by consensus of Security Council resolution 591 the United States representative noted that the arms embargo was essentially directed at the South African military and police a point also made by the United Kingdom representative.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if Her Majesty's Government have reported to the United Nations Secretary-General on action taken to implement United Nations Security Council resolution 591 of 1986; and if he will make a statement.
No new action is necessary in the United Kingdom to implement United Nations Security Council resolution 591.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will give details of the qualifications expressed by Her Majesty's Government in relation to the United Nations Security Council resolution 591 of 1986.
The United Kingdom representative expressed British support for Security Council resolution 591 which we saw as a clarification of Security Council resolution 418. He noted that certain paragraphs should not be interpreted as restricting trade in items intended for non-military purposes, and placed the obligation with regard to military co-operation within the context of the Luxembourg and Nassau comminqués of September and October 1985. He also reiterated our view that peaceful means must be used to bring about an end to apartheid.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish in the Official Report the statement of the United Kingdom ambassador to the United Nations made following the vote adopting United Nations Security Council resolution 591 of 1986.
In view of its length, I am arranging for copies of the statement in question to be deposited in the Libraries of both Houses.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what arrangements are being made for airborne fisheries patrols between the conclusion of the existing contract at the end of May and the commencement of the new arrangement at the beginning of July; and if he is satisfied that the new aircraft and radar will be ready for operation in July.
Between the conclusion of the present arrangements and the commencement of the new arrangements the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland will deploy the inshore surveillance aircraft to cover offshore fisheries and a chartered Piper Aztec will maintain surveillance over coastal fisheries. I am assured that the new aircraft and radar are on programme for operation in July.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will provide figures showing, in comparable terms, the annual total cost of operating his Department's airborne fisheries patrols by RAF Nimrod, Dornier 228 with Benedix radar as operated under contract between September 1986 and May 1987 and Fokker F27–200 with Ferranti radar provided by his Department but operated and maintained under separate contracts as proposed for the future.
The best estimate that can be made of the costs which would have been incurred in operating the three types of aircraft with their different performance levels during the complete financial year 1986–87 are:
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland why he is offering separate contracts for (a) operating inshore fisheries surveillance, (b) operating offshore fisheries surveillance and (c) maintaining his Department's fisheries surveillance aircraft and equipment; and if he has considered continuing any or all of those contracts.
The Department has had three years' experience in the operation of a charter aircraft and a further 2½ years' experience operating and maintaining a Government-owned aircraft for inshore surveillance but only seven months' experience in operating an aircraft, other than Nimrod, on offshore surveillance. It is considered prudent at present not to combine the various elements but to proceed on the basis of a separate contract for the operation and maintenance of the inshore aircraft and separate contracts for the operation and maintenance of the larger and more complex offshore aircraft. The award of a three-year operator/maintenance contract for the inshore aircraft, effective from September 1987, is imminent, and it is hoped that the operator and maintenance contractors for the offshore aircraft will be announced later this month.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland which organisations have had grant assistance approved for 1987–88 under the National Heritage (Scotland) Act 1985; and what sum each will receive.
Grants available under the National Heritage (Scotland) Act 1985 for the financial year ending 31 March 1988 are as follows:
|National Library of Scotland||5,132,000|
|National Museums of Scotland||5,017,000|
|National Galleries of Scotland||3,417,000|
|Scottish Museums Council||440,000|
|Royal Society of Edinburgh||273,000|
|Royal Scottish Geographical Society||3,000|
|Cultural Organisations formerly grant-aided under the Further Education (Scotland) Regulations 1959|
|National Youth Orchestra of Scotland||23,000|
|Scottish Youth Theatre||39,500|
|Scottish Community Drama Association||24,000|
|Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association||5,000|
|Scottish Council for Dance||4,000|
|An Comunn Gaidhealach||35,000|
|Sabhal Mor Ostaig||40,000|
|Comunn na Gaidhlig||45,000|
|Comhairle nan Sgoiltean Araich||32,000|
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many car parks are still run by the Northern Ireland Department of the Environment; and if he will state reasons in each case why they have not yet been privatised or handed over to district councils.
There are 302 car parks still run by the Department of the Environment (NI); 228 of these are currently free car parks. Charges are levied in the remaining 74, mainly by the pay and display system. The Department is engaged in a programme of extending pay and display charging and a significant increase in the extension of the charging system needs to take place before an assessment of the cost-effectiveness of privatisation of car parks can be undertaken.At present there are no plans to hand over car parks to district councils. However, councils will have the opportunity to compete with other interests when offers are invited at a later stage for the privatisation of car parks.
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the approximate number of Northern Ireland farmers and the value of monetary compensation amounts payments owed them in connection with cattle purchases in the Irish Republic; for how long these payments have been outstanding; what representations have been made to the Irish authorities; with what result; and if he will make a statement.
I shall reply to my hon. Friend as soon as possible.
Agriculture, Fisheries And Food
Green Currency Rates
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many differing green currency rates are operated throughout the entire European Economic Community.
There are 40 green rates currently applying in the 12 member states of the European Community; six in France, five in the United Kingdom, four in Spain, two in Belgium and Luxembourg and three in all other member states.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the different green pound rates operative in various agricultural commodities and each individual rate for each type of cereals and other crops listed under cropping in the annual review of agriculture White Paper for (a) Great Britain, (b) Northern Ireland and (c) the Republic of Ireland.
The green rates currently applying thoughout the United Kingdom and in Ireland are as follows:
|Beef and veal||0·668197||0·817756|
|Other livestock products||0·635626|
|All arable products||0·626994||0·782478|
Rights Of Way
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps he is taking to monitor and ensure the compliance by farmers with the code of practice on ploughing and rights of way published jointly by his Ministry and the Countryside Commission in July 1986.
Both the Countryside Commission and the Ramblers' Association are monitoring the effects of the ploughing code. ADAS staff in the field are aware of the code's provisions and will take account of it when advising farmers in circumstances where it is relevant.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will list the pesticides which have been approved for use in the United Kingdom and in respect of which toxicological data were submitted which originated from the International Bio Test laboratory.
To answer my hon. Friend's question in full would involve disproportionate cost. International Bio Test laboratories were involved in producing studies to support the registration of pesticides for over 10 years until 1978, but the question of fraudulent studies arose chiefly in the later years. In 1978 the United States authorities listed 123 products (both active ingredients and formulations) whose United States registration depended in part on IBT studies from all periods of the company's operation. The United Kingdom's examination in 1980 demonstrated 12 active ingredients which were of concern as a result and the Government's handling of these cases was detailed in the reply from my predecessor in this post to the hon. Member on 9 June 1986. No estimate is available of the number of studies which were judged at that time to give no grounds for concern.
Aluminium Cooking Utensils
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what information he has on the variations in the extent to which particular foods dissolve aluminium from cooking utensils.
The interdepartmental steering group on food surveillance has examined information on aluminium in food from aluminium cookware. It has concluded that the contribution to the average dietary intake from this source was small.
Airborne Fishery Patrols
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if he will make a statement on the cost, efficiency and effectiveness of the airborne fishery patrols operated for his department in England and Wales and in the Falkland Islands;(2) what aircraft and radar equipment are used for airborne fishery patrols by his Department in England and Wales and in the Falkland Islands; and what contractual arrangements apply to the operation of this service.
My right hon. Friend announced on 14 November 1985 the conclusions of a Government review of the arrangements for fishers protection in the United Kingdom. On long-range aerial surveillance, where the role is more observation and collection of information rather than direct enforcement, Ministers concluded that the task could he carried out at lower cost using civilian aircraft of a lighter type than RAF Nimrods then employed for this task. Inshore aerial survillance would continue to be provided by civilian aircraft. Arrangements were put in hand to implement these conclusions.At present, inshore surveillance patrols in England and Wales are undertaken by a Turbine Islander, while a Dornier 228 operates in offshore areas. A second Dornier 228 is due to come into service in July. The Turbine Islander and the Dornier are equipped with a Sperry Prisms 500 radar; both Dorniers will use a Bendix RDR 1500 radar as from July.The operational requirements for serial surveillance are controlled by the Ministry, but the aircraft and their equipment are provided, and flown under contract by FR Aviation Limited at a cost of just over £2 million per annum over the next five years. This "turn-key" arrangement has proved to be a most cost-effective way of implementing the Ministry's aerial surveillance responsibilities.The arrangements made by the Falkland Islands authorities for aerial surveillance of their waters are a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many instances have occurred where supplies of surplus European Economic Community food being made available for free distribution have been found on sale in retail shops; and if he will make a statement.
[pursuant to his reply, 30 March 1987, c. 389]: The Intervention Board for Agricultural Produce has detected three such cases involving a total of 81 retail-size packs of butter, and investigations of the circumstances are proceeding. All the butter concerned has been recovered for free distribution by charitable organisations to the most needy.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will discuss the distribution arrangements for European Economic Community butter with the voluntary organisations which have been responsible for its distribution in Birmingham.
[pursuant to his reply, 30 March 1987, c. 389]: My Department is in regular touch with the charitable organisations mentioned in my reply of 29 January to the hon. Member for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley (Mr. Foulkes). They and others have put to us a number of points about distribution arrangements in Birmingham and other areas. The scheme ended on 31 March, but these observations will be noted for future reference.
Oils And Fats
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what information he has on the scope and nature of the proposed European Economic Community tax on oils and fats.
[pursuant to his reply, 31 March 1987, c. 445]: The European Commission's proposal for a vegetable and marine oil price stabilisation system would involve a tax on all refined vegetable and marine oils for human consumption, whether produced in the Community or imported from third countries with effect from 1 July 1987. The initial rate of tax is forecast at about £250 per tonne which would approximately double the price of refined oils subject to it. The Government are firmly opposed to this proposal.
Trade And Industry
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a further statement on the problems arising from restrictions on Anglo-Japanese trade.
We and our Community partners are determined to reduce restrictions on Anglo-Japanese trade, whether formal or resulting from structural macro economic factors. To this end we have called on Japan to implement the Maekawa report recommendations and to proceed more rapidly with its action plan for market access. Where specific problems arise, for example on alcoholic drinks, we are pursuing these vigorously through the GATT.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if, in the light of the adoption of United Nations Security Council resolution 591 of 1986, Her Majesty's Government will review their decision to license the export to South Africa of the Plessey AR3D military radar system; and if he will make a statement.
I shall reply to the hon. Gentleman as soon as possible.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is Her Majesty's Government's policy towards the export of Landrovers to South Africa for use by the South African military and police; and if he will make a statement.
Exports of vehicles specially designed for military purposes are subject to control to all destinations under the Export of Goods (Control) Order 1985, as amended. The Government fully comply with the United Nations arms embargo against South Africa.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what action has been taken since 28 November 1986 to implement the ban, in United Nations Security Council resolution 591, on the export to South Africa of (a) aircraft, (b) aircraft engines, (c) aircraft spares, (d) electronic and telecommunication equipment, (e) computers and (f) four-wheel drive vehicles, destined for the military or police forces and which have a military capacity or are intended for military purposes.
None is required. Security Council resolution No. 591, which is non-mandatory, is a clarification of the 1977 embargo, which we already fully implement, and not an extension of its provisions.
Television Pictures By Telephone (Exhibition)
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if his Department has considered an application for an exhibition relating to television pictures by telephone for defence and security to be displayed in the Upper Waiting Hall.
Arrangements have been made for such an exhibition in the Upper Waiting Hall to take place from Monday 4 May to Friday 8 May 1987.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is the total expenditure by all Government Departments on Westland in each of the last five years.
[pursuant to his reply, 18 March 1987, c. 525]: Government expenditure on Westland in the financial years 1981–82 to 1985–86 (the last full years for which figures are available) was as follows:
MOD: In each of the above years the company was paid over £150 million (at the price levels for the relevant years) by the Ministry of Defence.
Heavy Goods Vehicles (Sideguards)
asked the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he has taken to bring to the attention of haulage contractors the requirement to install sideguards on heavy goods vehicles; and what steps he has taken to monitor their effectiveness.
The regulations have had very wide publicity and I believe haulage contractors know their legal obligations. The effect should in due course show in a reduction in the number of pedestrians and cyclists killed or severely injured by heavy goods vehicles. This is monitored through the accident reporting system.
Motorways (Crash Barriers)
asked the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what steps he proposes to take to ascertain whether steel motorway crash barriers have been installed correctly;(2) if he will publish the construction specification of steel motorway crash barriers relevant to their original installation;(3) if he will estimate how many miles of steel motorway crash barrier have been installed to substandard specification;(4) if he is satisfied with the standard of construction of steel motorway crash barriers.
Detailed inspection of safety fences are being made where land closures are required for major carriageway works that give access to safety fences. These inspections are in addition to those being carried out under a code of practice for routine maintenance introduced in 1985.A specification for tensioned corrugated beam safety fences, the most common type of fence used on motorways, was first issued in 1969. It has been revised several times since then. All specifications have been published and are listed as follows:
- Specification for Road and Bridge Works—4th Edition 1969.
- Technical Memorandum No. 119/73, Safety Fences 1973.
- Specification for Road and Bridge Works—5th Edition 1976.
- Specification for Road and Bridge Works—Supplement No. 1 1978.
- Specification for Highway Works—6th Edition 1986. To be implemented in 1988.
A reliable estimate of the length of safety fences that does not meet our specification cannot be made. The inspections already referred to are designed to identify the conditions of safety fences and remedial works required. We estimate that detailed inspections this year will cover a sample of up to about 150 miles of motorway safety fences.
Research has shown that the safety fences generally perform well, and I have no reason at present to believe that they are not constructed generally to a satisfactory standard.
I refer my hon. Friend to my answer of 25 March to my hon. Friend the Member for Ealing, Acton (Sir G. Young), and my subsequent letter to him of 27 March, a copy of which is in the Library.
Care In The Community
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many elderly, mentally ill and mentally handicapped patients have been discharged from hospital under the care in the community programme for each year since it began.
Information on the numbers of patients discharged from hospital under the care in the community programme is not collected centrally. Using duration of stay information collected in the mental health inquiry, an indication of the number of mentally ill and mentally handicapped people who have been settled in the community after, in effect, living in hospital can be derived from statistics of those discharged after stays of five years or more as given in the table. Some of these people may need to be readmitted for a time; for example, because of changes in their condition. Duration of stay information is not collected centrally for elderly patients and it is therefore not possible to derive a similar indication for them from the figures.
|Discharges1 from mental illness and mental handicap hospitals and units in England after durations of stay of 5 years or more (excluding transfers to other NHS hospitals and special hospitals)|
|Year||Mental Illness||Mental handicap|
|1 Excludes transfer to other NHS hospitals and Special hospitals.|
Note: 1986 figures not yet available.
Mentally Handicapped Patient (Sterilisation)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on the effects on his policy for mentally handicapped people of the recent Appeal Court ruling approving of the sterilisation of a 17-year-old mentally handicapped patient.
Whether sterilisation is advisable for any mentally handicapped child or adult, and the rights and duties of the individual, parents and others concerned, are important and difficult issues on which up to now the law has not been entirely clear. Following the recent appeal court ruling in an individual case, the House of Lords heard an appeal on 2 April, and the Government will await the outcome before considering what further action may be necessary.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many persons were detained under section 47 of the Mental Health Act 1983 in special hospitals in the last four years for which records are kept, broken down by special hospitals.
The numbers of patients detained under section 47 of the Mental Health Act 1983 in each of the four special hospitals, as at 31 December 1983, 1984 and 1985 (the last year for which figures are available) were as follows:
|Special Hospital||31 December 1983||31 December 1984||31 December 1985|
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what is the ethnic origin of persons detained under section 47 of the Mental Health Act 1983 in special hospitals in the last four years for which records are kept, broken down by special hospitals;(2) if he will list the ethnic origin of persons detained in special hospitals in the last four years for which figures are available, broken down by special hospital and by sections of the Mental Health Act or other legislation under which persons were detained.
I regret that this information is not available.
Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what research is being financed by his Department into the rare disease called dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa.
The main Government agency for the promotion of medical and related biological research in the United Kingdom is the Medical Research Council (MRC) which receives its grant-in-aid from the Department of Education and Science.This Department and the MRC are not at present funding research into dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he received the report of the working groups of the Committee on Medical Aspects of Food Policy (COMA) on dietary matters; when it is to be published; and if he will make a statement.
I assume my hon. Friend is referring to the report of the COMA working group on very low calorie diets. I refer him to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Ashford (Mr. Speed) on 26 March at column 259.
Family Heart Association (Exhibition)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if his department has considered an application for an exhibition relating to the Family Heart Association 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 27 April 1987 to 1 May 1987.
Artificial Limbs And Appliances
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what representations his Department has received from the Muscular Dystrophy Group of Great Britain and Northern Ireland concerning the Government's decisions on the future of the services provided by artificial limb and appliance centres; what reply has been sent; and if he will make a statement.
The Muscular Dystrophy Group of Great Britain and Northern Ireland submitted a detailed response to the McColl report on artificial limb and appliance centre services immediately following its publication. Since then, its view that the recommendation to provide dual-purpose powered wheelchairs should be implemented as a matter of urgency has been the subject of a number of letters received from local branches of the group. In addition,. on 7 May 1986, my predecessor accepted a petition from Sir Richard Attenborough, the president of the group, in support of this request.On the specific point of dual-purpose powered wheelchairs the Muscular Dystrophy Group has been advised that there are major cost considerations still to be resolved and that a final decision has not yet been made.On the wider issue of the future of the artificial limb and appliance centre services, I refer the right hon. Member to my statement to the House on 10 March 1987 at columns 149–51.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many applicants for the vaccine damage payment have had their application rejected because their application was out of time.
At 6 March 1987, the latest date for which information is available, 73 claims had been rejected because they were out of time.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will take steps to ensure that in every centre where vaccination is carried out there is a poster drawing attention to the provision of a vaccine damage payment.
We have no plans to do so. General information about the vaccine damage payments scheme is contained in our leaflets dealing with benefits for sick and disabled people. These leaflets are freely available at local social security offices and post offices. In addition, the Health Education Council publishes leaflets on whooping cough and on immunisation generally which set out clearly all the facts on vaccination. These are available to the public.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if, pursuant to the reply to the right hon. Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe, on 11 March, Official Report, column 230, he will state the value of each of the benefits listed for a single person without dependants at 1986–87 prices in 1978–79 and 1986–87; if he will indicate those benefits which have increased by 30 per cent. in real terms; and if he will make a statement.
The table shows the average rates of the relevant benefits in constant 1986–87 prices. It should be stressed that the figures in the table relate to specified basic rates of benefit rather than to the average amount received by an individual sick or disabled person. The latter amount increased by roughtly 9 per cent. in real terms over the period; the figure of 30 per cent. relates to the proportion of the total increase in expenditure due to increases in average amounts rather than increases in numbers of beneficiaries.
|Average rates of benefit paid to a single person, 1978–79 and 1986–87 at 1986–87 prices|
|1978–79 average £||1986–87 average £||Percentage change 1978–79 to 1986–87|
|Industrial Disablement Benefit (100% rate)||57·85||62·95||9|
|Attendance Allowance (Higher Rate)||28·30||30·85||9|
|Attendance Allowance (Lower rate)||18·85||20·60||9|
|Severe Disablement Allowance||21·20||2315||9|
|Invalid Care Allowance||21·20||23·15||9|
|War disablement pension (100% rate, lowest rank)||57·85||62·95||9|
|Standard housing benefit3||50·45||47·95||-5|
|1 The comparison is between the Christmas bonus paid in December 1978 and that paid in December 1986.|
|2 This comparison is between the average (1978–79 and 1986–87) ordinary scale rates for single householders used in calculating supplementary benefit entitlement both in 1986–87 prices. The structure of supplementary benefit is such that the scale rate is only an imprecise guide to the amount of benefit actually paid.|
|3 The comparison is between the average 1978–79 and 1986–87 needs allowance for a single person. As for supplementary benefit, such a comparison is not an accurate guide to the amount of benefit actually paid.|
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the estimated cost in benefits in a full year of unemployed school leavers between the ages of 16 and 18; and if he will make a statement.
I shall let my hon. Friend have a reply as soon as possible.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will provide estimates of the numbers of (a) family income supplement recipients and (b) standard housing benefit recipients by earnings distribution using the following ranges of gross weekly earnings (i) below £80, (ii) £80 to £90, (iii) £90 to £100, (iv) £100 to £110, (v) £110 to £120 and (vi) above £120; and if he will indicate the average amount of benefit paid to those falling within each of these ranges.
I shall let the hon. Member have a reply as soon as possible.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his estimate of the number of people suffering from progressive senile dementia.
Various estimates, including those of the Health Advisory Service in its 1982 report "The Rising Tide", and those of the Royal College of Physicians in its 1981 report on "Organic Mental Impairment in the Elderly", put the prevalence of dementia in the elderly at between 5 per cent. and 10 per cent. in those over the age of 65, and around 20 per cent. in those over the age of 80. However, such estimates must be treated with caution, since functional psychiatric illness and confusional states in the elderly can be confused with dementia. Long-term studies are needed to provide more accurate estimates of incidence, and one such study is currently under consideration by the Medical Research Council.
District Health Authorities
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the revenue surplus or deficit, and the level of annual spending, of each district health authority at the end of each financial year since 1979.
I shall let the hon. Member have a reply as soon as possible.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he will consult with doctors on whether further opportunities exist to reduce the number of drugs available on the limited list; if he will further consider the effects of such a reduction on patient care; and if he will make a statement;(2) what measures he is taking to foster competition between drug manufacturing companies in the provision of medicines; and if he will make a statement;(3) if he will consider whether the system of licensing and approving new improved drugs could be assisted by encouraging limited trials within the National Health Service; and if he will make a statement.
I shall let my hon. Friend have replies as soon as possible.
War Widows (Pensions)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what would be the cost or providing an additional £10 pension per week for war widows who were widowed before 1974; and if he will make a statement.
It is estimated that the cost would be in the region of £30 million a year.War widows pensions are the same irrespective of the date of widowhood or the conflict in which the service man was injured or gave his life.The basic war widows pension will be increased to £51·35 a week from 6 April. That is about 30 per cent. higher than national insurance widows pension. In addition, age allowances are paid. They are also being increased from 6 April, to £5·50 a week at age 65, £11 at 70 and £13·85 at 80. The pensions are tax free. War widows may also receive other benefits, such as a retirement pension if they have paid national insurance contributions, and housing benefit.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps he takes to ensure that all cases of meningitis are reported to the communicable disease surveillance centre.
[pursuant to her reply, 16 March 1987, c. 412]: Meningitis, as a notifiable disease, is required to be notified to the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys (OPCS) through the medical officer for environmental health, and not to the communicable disease surveillance centre (CDSC). However, CDSC does receive reports from public health laboratories of all cases of meningitis confirmed in the laboratory, and has prepared a composite of these reports and the notifications to OPCS. A comparative study has shown that there is a high degree of concordance between the two sets of figures.
Mentally Handicapped People
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is Her Majesty's Government's policy towards civil rights for mentally handicapped people.
[pursuant to her reply, 2 April 1987]: The Government's policy is that people with a mental handicap should, within their capacity to exercise those rights directly and through the advocacy of others where necessary, have the same basic rights as everyone else; and should in addition be entitled to enabling support according to their current individual needs.
Health Centre, Moulsecoombe
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will take steps to persuade the South-East. regional health authority that the proposed start date for the health centre on the Moulsecoombe estate should be brought forward from 1992 in line with its agreed priority for the area.
[pursuant to her reply, 2 April 1987]: The views of local general practitioners are being sought by Brighton health authority on whether or not a health centre on the Moulsecoombe estate in Brighton would best meet local primary health care needs. The planning of local health services is primarily a matter for individual health authorities. The hon. Member may therefore care to address any further inquiries to the chairman of Brighton health authority.