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Written Answers

Volume 127: debated on Friday 12 February 1988

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Written Answers To Questions

Friday 12 February 1988

Home Department

Representation Of The People Act (Charges)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many charges under section 106 of the Representation of the People Act have been brought in each of the last five years.

The information requested is not available from the records held centrally.

Prisons (Management)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions he has had about involving the private sector in the construction and management of prisons.

We are carefully considering the recommendations of the Select Committee on Home Affairs and hope to reply shortly. The private sector is already heavily involved in the construction of new prisons. The new Prisons Building Board, which includes representatives from the private sector, will help to ensure that private sector expertise and techniques are harnessed to bring new prisons on stream as quickly as possible.

Crime Statistics

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will indicate the levels of reportable and detectable crime in Seaham and Peterlee subdivisions over the last five years.

I refer the hon. Member to the statistics given by the chief constable of Durham in his annual reports (Appendix G of the issue for 1986). The figures are collected centrally only for police force areas and are published each year in chapter 2 of the Command Paper "Criminal Statistics, England and Wales". Copies of both of these publications are available in the Library.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will indicate the levels of reported and detected crime in the Barnsley, East constituency over the last five years, on a year by year basis.

Crime statistics for the B (Barnsley) division of the South Yorkshire police are published by the chief constable in his annual reports (page 59 of the issue for 1986). The information which is collected centrally relates only to police force areas, and is published each year in chapter 2 of the Command Paper "Criminal Statistics, England and Wales". Copies of both publications are available in the Library.

Remand Prisoners

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has any plans to review the conditions under which remand prisoners are held in England and Wales.

No. The reasons for the unsatisfactory conditions in which many remand prisoners are held are well known — antiquated and inadequate buildings and a continually increasing remand population. In order to tackle these problems we have started the biggest prison building and refurbishment programme this century, built new courts, appointed additional judges, set time limits on the remand period before trial, provided for further bail hostel places and introduced other measures aimed at reducing the need for remands in custody.

Police Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information he has on the levels of police manning in the Barnsley, East constituency over the last five years on a year by year basis.

I understand from the chief constable that the information requested is as follows:

On 31 DecemberStrength
1983126
1984134
1985143
1986136
1987145

Radio Stations

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) whether he intends to limit the percentage of equity in new radio stations which can be held by companies involved in record production, newspapers, publishers or advertising; and if he will make a statement;(2) whether he intends to limit the percentage of equity in new radio stations which can be held by individuals who have substantial involvement with newspapers, publishing houses, record companies; or advertising agencies, and if he will make a statement.

We have not yet reached firm conclusions on all aspects of the rules on ownership of independent radio stations which may be needed in order to safeguard competition. We are giving careful consideration to this matter as we develop our proposals for legislation.

Dna Testing

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has now received the results and report on DNA testing that he had commissioned from Dr. Alec Jeffries; and when he intends to publish it.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to a question from the hon. Member for Bradford, West (Mr. Madden) on 5 February at column 781.

Wales

Regional Assistance

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what, in real terms, has been the difference between the expenditure on regional development grant and regional selective assistance in Wales since 1978–79; and what are the projected figures for the next three years.

Total expenditure in real terms1 on regional development grant and regional selective assistance in Wales between 1978–79 and 1986–87 (last complete fnancial year) was £1,029 million and £248 million respectively, the difference being £781 million. Planned provision for 1988–89 to 1990–91, as contained in the 1988 public expenditure White Paper, is, in real terms, £119 million for regional development grant and £141 million for regional selective assistance, the difference being an additional £22 million on regional selective assistance as compared with regional development grant. Additional resources are being provided for regional selective assistance following the ending of the regional development grant scheme; I hope that industry in Wales will take full advantage of the substantial resources being provided not only for regional selective assistance but for the Welsh Development Agency and the new investment, innovation, and business development grant schemes.

1 Cash figures adjusted for general inflation as measured by GDP deflator at market prices (1986–87 base year).

Welsh Development Agency

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what is his estimate of the proceeds accruing to the Welsh Development Agency's property budget for 1988–89; what will be derived from increased rents and the sale of property; and what were the comparable proceeds for 1987–88;(2) what is his estimate of the Welsh Development Agency's budget for

(a) its WlNtech operation, (b) its WlNvest operation and (c) its venture capital programme, in 1988–89; and what the comparable figures were in 1987–88;

(3) whether he will list the objectives and powers of the Welsh Development Agency's urban renewal unit; what is his estimate of the budget for that unit in 1988–89; and what the relationship will be between that unit and his own Department's organisation of urban development grants.

The buoyancy of the property market in Wales allows the Welsh Development Agency to plan for a continued rise in income generated from receipts. In total, the property-related receipts are forecast at £38 million in 1988–89, of which about £18 million and £14 million relate to factory rents and sales respectively. In the current financial year total property-related receipts are currently projected at £30·8 million, of which £14·3 million relate to rents and £11 million to sales.A detailed breakdown of the agency's increased budget for 1988–89 and comparisons with spending in the present financial year will be available when the Supply Estimates are presented to Parliament in March.The Welsh Development Agency's urban renewal unit will be strengthened considerably in 1988–89 in order for it to contribute even more effectively to the development and implementation of my urban policies.

Over the next three years the agency is likely to have up to £75 million available to fund its land reclamation, urban renewal and environmental improvement programmes—about 40 per cent. more than originally planned.

Further information on the role of the urban renewal unit, the measures at its disposal and the links with my Department and other bodies will be available when I announce my proposals for developing the valleys initiative.

Regional Development Grant

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is his most up-to-date estimate of the expenditure on regional development grants in Wales in the next financial year, if there were no changes in the regional aid scheme to industry.

[pursuant to his reply, 28 January 1988, c. 321–22]: The reply should have been as follows: The 1988 public expenditure White Paper contained planned provision of £63·5 million (net of non-EC receipts) for regional development grants in Wales in 1988–89. Equivalent provision in the 1987 public expenditure White Paper was £26·7 million. The increase in provision results from a combination of several factors, including the need to provide resources for those RDG applicants who meet the deadline of 31 March 1988 and are thus subject to the transitional arrangements provided for the ending of the scheme. I am not able to make any precise estimate of the cost of such transitional arrangements at this stage.

Attorney-General

Public Inquiries (Legal Fees)

To ask the Attorney-General if he will establish a scale of fees for (a) judges and (b) Queen's counsel (i) chairing or (ii) appearing before major public inquiries, involving the Cleveland child abuse inquiry and the King's Cross tube fire inquiry.

A judge who chairs an inquiry continues to receive the usual judicial salary. The amount of the fee for Queen's counsel chairing or appearing at an inquiry is a matter for negotiation between the counsel concerned and the person instructing that counsel. The fee payable depends on many factors, including the experience and seniority of counsel and the length and complexity of the inquiry. As each inquiry differs from another, scale fees would not be appropriate. Where a Queen's counsel is appointed by a Secretary of State to chair an inquiry, the fee is settled with the approval of the Treasury.

Conveyancing

To ask the Attorney-General in what ways the conveyancing standing committee of the Law Commission has attained its first objective of bringing about within two years of its appointment improvements in matters relating to conveyancing which will be apparent to ordinary housebuyers and sellers.

The conveyancing standing committee has published practice recommendations on preliminary inquiries before contract and on pre-contract deposit agreements. It has issued an explanatory guide to "House Selling the Scottish Way for England and Wales". It has also initiated the widespread use of mortgage certificates.

Council For Licensed Conveyancers

To ask the Attorney-General on what date the initial period of existence of the Council for Licensed Conveyancers contemplated by sub-paragraph (1) of paragraph 3 of schedule 3 to the Administration of Justice Act 1985 will come to an end.

It is envisaged that the initial period will come to an end on 28 February 1989.

To ask the Attorney-General what procedures the Council for Licensed Conveyancers has established for consultation with licensed conveyancers generally and for telling them about decisions taken or rulings made by the council itself and by the committees which it establishes and about action taken in the fulfilment of the general duty of the council, in accordance with subsection (2) of section 12 of the Administration of Justice Act 1985.

The Council for Licensed Conveyancers consults groups representing licensed conveyancers. The rules governing the profession and other forms of guidance will be made available to all licensed conveyancers. This action is taken in the fulfilment of the general duty to which the hon. Gentleman refers.

To ask the Attorney-General what committees have been established by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers under the power accorded in paragraph 8 of schedule 3 to the Administration of Justice Act 1985.

The council has established an education working group, a licence and practice working group and a financial working group.

To ask the Attorney-General who are the members of the discipline and appeals committee established by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers in accordance with the provisions of section 25 of the Administration of Justice Act 1985; and what relevant professional or other qualifications each member has.

Caroline Hutton, practising barrister; Peter Davis, licensed conveyancer; Katherine Foss, chairman of the Insurance Ombudsman Council; Ian Oddy, chartered surveyor, member of the Council of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and chairman of its professional practice committee; Peter Price, licensed conveyancer.

To ask the Attorney-General who are the members of the investigating committee established by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers in accordance with the provisions of section 24 of the Administration of Justice Act 1985; and what relevant professional or other qualification each member has.

Rachel Waterhouse, Ph D, chairman of the Consumers' Association; Robert King, solicitor, Law Society council member; Phillip Kenny head of law school, Newcastle-upon-Tyne polytechnic.

To ask the Attorney-General in what form the Council for Licensed Conveyancers is accountable to (a) Her Majesty's Government and (b) licensed conveyancers.

The Council for Licensed Conveyancers is accountable to Her Majesty's Government for the proper use of grants made to it by the Lord Chancellor in pursuance of the council's responsibility to give effect to the relevant provisions of part II of the Administration of Justice Act 1985. The council is responsible for publishing its audited annual accounts and for sending a copy of these, together with any report of the auditors thereon, to the Lord Chancellor.As to accountability to licensed conveyancers, from 1 March 1988 the Council for Licensed Conveyancers will comprise a majority of licensed conveyancers. After 1 March 1989 members of the council will be elected from among licensed conveyancers.

To ask the Attorney-General if he will give particulars of (a) attendance fees, (b) travelling allowances, (c) subsistence allowances and (d) other allowances paid during its first year by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers in exercise of the power accorded to it by paragraph 5 of schedule 3 to the Administration of Justice Act 1985.

The particulars for the first 15 months up to 31 March 1987 are:

(a) £16,654; (b) and (c) £8,952; and (d) none.

To ask the Attorney-General on what date the Council for Licensed Conveyancers published accounts for its first year of existence; arid by what means copies are made available for hon. Members and others.

Accounts for the first 15 months of the existence of the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (that is up to 31 March 1987) will be published shortly. Copies will be available to all licensed conveyancers on request and copies will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

To ask the Attorney-General if he will make a statement about the circumstances n which the Council for Licensed Conveyancers conducted a review of the outcome of examinations held by it in July 1987, with the result that a number of candidates who had been notified that they had failed to satisfy the examiners then were later notified that they had passed in papers which they had taken.

Representations made following the publication of the results of examinations held in July 1987 led the Council for Licensed Conveyancers to conclude that those results might not give a fair indication of candidates' abilities. The decision to review those results was taken in the knowledge that there would not be a further opportunity for unsuccessful candidates to demonstrate their abilities before they would be precluded, from 1 December 1987, from drawing or preparing a contract in addition to the instrument of conveyance.

Scotland

Blood Donors

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what information he has as to the proportion of blood donors in Edinburgh who are HIV positive.

Effective measures are taken to ensure that blood donations are free from HIV. First, all potential donors are required to sign a statement that they are not in one of the groups which have a high risk of catching AIDS. Secondly, all blood donations have been screened for HIV antibodies since October 1985. In the south-east of Scotland region (which includes Edinburgh) since screening began the proportion of donors found to be HIV positive is only 0·012 per cent.

Foreign Language Teaching

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what figures he has to show foreign language teaching provision in Scottish schools and that provided in other EEC countries.

The timetabled percentage of teaching group time in secondary schools in Scotland devoted to foreign languages was 7·6 in 1983. Comparable statistics for other European Community countries are not readily available.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he is taking to implement EEC recommendations about foreign language teaching in Scottish schools; if he has any plans to increase current language teaching provision; and what steps he is taking to improve the present situation.

Table 1: RSA Payments (£ million)
Greenock and Port Glasgow Parliamentary ConstituencyStrathclyde Region
YearCurrent pricesConstant (1986–87) pricesCurrent pricesConstant (1986–87) prices
1978–790·40·96·713·1
1979–801·01·69·716·1
1980–812·63·714·420·2
1981–822·83·613·417·2
1982–831·41·712·114·4
1983–840·80·913·415·2
1984–850·70·818·219·9
1985–863·83·930·030·9
1986–870·90·919·619·6
Table 2: Payments of revised RDG (£ million)
1984–85
1985–860·10·19·69·9
1986–870·60·631·631·6
Table 3: Payments of old RDG (£ million)
Greenock and Port Glasgow EO AsEO As lying wholly or mainly in Strathclyde region
1978–792·03·931·260·7
1979–800·40·717·228·6
1980–812·02·835·549·8
1981–825·16·551·966·3
1982–837·69·061·573·3
1983–842·22·534·639·5
1984–858·08·841·545·3
1985–868·89·139·740·8
1986–879·19·161·461·4

Advice on curricular design for the secondary stages of schooling was issued by the Consultative Committee on the Curriculum (CCC) with the approval of my right hon. and learned Friend in November of last year. The CCC has now submitted further advice on the teaching of languages other than English which my right hon. and learned Friend is now considering.

Regional Aid

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the total expenditure on regional aid to industries in (a) Greenock and Port Glasgow and (b) Strathclyde in each category of aid in each financial year since 1978–79, both at current and outturn prices.

Total payments of regional selective assistance under section 7 of the Industrial Development Act 1982 to firms in the Greenock and Port Glasgow parliamentary constituency and Strathclyde region are set out in table 1 at both current (synonymous with outturn) and constant (1986–87) prices. Total payments under the revised regional development grant scheme are set out in table 2.Information on the old RDG scheme is available only by local employment office area (EOA) for payments exceeding £25,000 to individual firms in any quarter. Payments to firms in the Greenock and Port Glasgow EOAs (which approximate to the Greenock and Port Glasgow parliamentary constituency) and in those EOAs which approximate to Strathclyde region are given in table 3.

Local Government

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what percentage of those eligible to vote in local government elections in (a) Strathclyde region and (b) Inverclyde district authority are (i) domestic ratepayers, (ii) spouses of domestic ratepayers and (iii) people who receive relief from domestic rates.

Sheep (Restricted Areas)

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, pursuant to the reply of 5 February, Official Report, column 786, how many (a) ewes, (b) rams and (c) lambs, respectively, were given a dispensation to be moved unmarked (i) within and (ii) out of the restricted areas following the Chernobyl accident; and on what dates.

During August 1986 60 ewes but no rams or lambs were allowed to be moved unmarked within the restricted areas. No ewes but seven rams and 8,404 lambs were allowed to be moved unmarked out of the restricted areas.

Student Grants

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what account he took, in providing for an increase of 3·9 per cent. in student grants for 1988–89, of the loss of housing benefit suffered by students.

The changes in claimants' entitlement to housing benefit, to be introduced in April of this year, will affect all beneficiaries, not simply students; but they do not amount to withdrawal of the benefit.The enhancement of the maintenance grant rates for students living away from the parental home, which was introduced in session 1986–87 in recognition of changes in benefit arrangements, was retained in the base used to calculate the 1988–89 rates. The changes in housing benefit were also one factor in the decision to increase the rates broadly in line with inflation.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what account he took in settling the student grant increase at 3·9 per cent. for 1988–89, of students' liability for the poll tax from 1 April 1989.

The grant rates for 1988–89, announced on 18 December, do not include any specific addition for students in Scotland who will be liable to pay 20 per cent. of the community charge from 1 April 1989. For most students, that liability extends to only a small part of the session.For the future, the student support review group is taking account of students' discounted liability for the community charge as part of its consideration of undergraduate student support in general.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he expects to publish the student financial support review.

We hope to publish the report of the student support review by June this year.

Education (Grant Allocations)

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will announce the recurrent grant allocations to the centrally funded colleges in Scotland for 1988–89; and if he will make a statement.

I am pleased to announce that my right hon. and learned Friend has made the following offers of grant to the 17 colleges of higher education in Scotland for 1988–89. These offers are conditional on parliamentary approval of the Supply Estimates.

£,000
Central institutions
Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art3,671
Dundee College of Technology6,636
Edinburgh College of Art4,100
Glasgow College of Technology11,861
Glasgow School of Art3,613
Napier College of Commerce and Technology16,499
Paisley College of Technology10,582
Queen Margaret College4,251
Queen's College, Glasgow3,042
Robert Gordon's Institute of Technology11,909
The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama2,479
Scottish College of Textiles2,344
Colleges of education
Craigie1,508
Jordanhill10,001
Moray House7,302
Northern6,141
St. Andrew's3,710
In contrast to previous years, the allocation of grant to individual institutions has been made without regard to estimates of other income available to each institution, but with regard to their efficiency and economy. I welcome the improvements in efficiency that have been achieved in recent years. I am sure that the colleges will respond positively to the incentives that we have now introduced to raise income from sources other than the Exchequer and to improve efficiency yet further.

Tayside Health Board (Staff)

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many doctors, dentists, nurses and other professional staff were employed by the Tayside health board in 1978, 1985 and 1986.

The information is shown in the following table.

Whole-time equivalent doctors, dentists, nurses and other professional staff1employed by Tayside health board at 30 September
Type of staff5197819851986
Hospital and community2
Doctors546·8552·0536·0
Dentists71·566·765·0
Qualified nurses32,721·03,259·03,385·5
Scientists41·045·344·9
Paramedical staff and speech therapists5260·8307·0318·4
Pharmacists4542·047·944·5
Opticians450·20·2
1 The data refer to qualified staff only. Students, helpers and other similar categories of staff are excluded.
2 Includes general practitioners employed part-time in hospitals.
3 The conditioned hours, on which whole-time equivalents is based, for nurses changed from 40 in 1979 to 3·5 hours

thereafter.

4 Excludes high street pharmacists and opticians.

5 Figures for 1978 for qualified Paramedical staff, Speech Therapists, Pharmacists and Opticians are not readily available. 1979 data are therefore shown.

Education And Science

Industrial Action

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether his Department is undertaking research into the effects of industrial action by teachers on the advancement and motivation of pupils.

No research on this topic is currently being funded by the Department.

Examination Syllabuses

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what measures have been taken to collate all previous examination syllabuses, including those for O-levels, CSE, GCSE and 16+, in order that comparative studies may be made.

The GCSE examining groups and the Secondary Examinations Council are responsible for ensuring continuity of standards and for making any comparative studies that may be required. Within the groups, the GCE and CSE boards are specifically charged with ensuring GCSE grades require at least the level of achievement required for the corresponding O-level and CSE grades.

American Degrees

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what progress has been made on the evaluation of American degrees for the purposes of pay of teachers in the United Kingdom with such degrees.

Under the provisions of the "School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document 1987" it is for local authorities to take a view on whether American and other overseas qualifications are of equivalent standard to a United Kingdom degree. Local authority employer and teacher union representatives are holding discussions with the National Academic Recognition Information Centre to consider how degrees from the USA might be scrutinised with greater sensitivity to assess equivalence.

Teachers (Trade Unions)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what information he has as to how many individual teachers are not members of national trade unions.

Inner London

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what studies he has commissioned on the viability of education provision in inner London being transferred to borough authorities under the provisions of the Education Reform Bill.

The Government's decision to legislate for the transfer of education responsibilities to the inner London councils took account of the nature of the present education service in the area, and of the experience of borough LEAs in outer London and in other inner-city areas.

Maintenance Grants

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what estimates he has made of the financial effect of indexing maintenance grants for each category of student.

The cost would depend on the index used and the date from which grants were assumed to be adjusted. In the 1988–89 academic year the main rates of student grant will be increased broadly in line with inflation.

Medical Students (Grants)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received regarding the reduction of parental contributions in grants for medical students; and what action he intends to take.

My right hon. Friend receives representations about various aspects of the system of parental contributions to student support; those in respect of medical students cannot be separately identified. Future arrangements for student support are the subject of a comprehensive review under my chairmanship.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what will be the financial effect of the abolition of the special equipment grant for medical students (a) for the Government and (b) for the students; and what representations he has received on this subject.

The abolition of the special equipment grant has achieved savings in public expenditure which have been redeployed within the student awards system. Students attending courses which began before 31 August 1986, and which were in subjects—including medicine—qualifying for the special equipment grant, continue to be eligible to claim up to £90 during their courses. Students whose courses began after 31 August 1986 are ineligible to claim.Since the abolition of the grant was announced, some 140 letters on the subject have been received, about half of them referring specifically to the situation of medical students.

Extra-Mural Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) if he will list the allocations of funds by the University Grants Committee for extra-mural education in Wales and England in each of the past 10 years;(2) if he will list the allocations of funds by the University Grants Committee for extra-mural education in Scotland in each of the past 10 years.

Extra mural provision is a factor in the Universty Grants Committee's calculation of university grant levels but is not separately identified in the distribution of block grant.

Students (Special Difficulties)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what funds have been allocated by University Grants Committee to students with special difficulties in each of the past five years in (a) Welsh and English and (b) Scottish universities; and which categories of students have benefited.

The University Grants Committee's distribution of recurrent grant makes no specific provision for students with special difficulties.

Press Releases

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how much in the last year for which figures are available, his Department has spent on the preparation and issue of press releases.

In 1986–87, the last financial year for which figures are available, the cost of printing and distributing the Department's press notices was £112,419.The preparation of press notices is undertaken as a normal part of their duties by departmental officials and cannot be costed separately.

Education Reform

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many bodies have expressed an interest in opting out of local education authority control in Barnsley under the terms of the Education Reform Bill.

All individual schools which have approached the Department have done so on the basis that their interest will be treated in confidence.

University Students

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will publish a table showing

Full-time students at Scottish universities in 1986
Numbers Domiciled inPercentages Domiciled in
TotalEngland and WalesScotland1Other2TotalEngland and WalesScotland1Other
Aberdeen5,6299303,853846100176815
Dundee3,3009671,874459100295714
Edinburgh10,1273,1615,5371,429100315514
Glasgow10,5217198,3691,43310078014
Heriot-Watt3,4876182,137732100186121
St. Andrews3,6271,7321,223672100483419
Stirling2,8978071,541549100285319
Strathclyde7,6423825,9151,34510057718
1 Includes those domiciled in Northern Ireland and overseas.
2 Percentages may not sum to 100 due to rounding.

Trade And Industry

Balance Of Payments

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what was the United Kingdom's balance of payments, current and trade, for the years 1972 to 1987, the (a) numbers of and (b) percentage of (i) English and (ii) Scottish students attending university in ( I) Scotland and (2) England; and if he will express the figures as a proportion of all students attending universities in each of the countries.

The information is shown in the following table:

Full-time students in 1986
Universities in
ScotlandEngland
Total47,230233,538
Numbers domiciled in
England9,073188,316
Scotland30,4492,938
Other17,70842,284
Total2100100
Percentages domiciled in
England1981
Scotland641
Other11618
1 Includes those domiciled in Wales, Northern Ireland and overseas.
2 Percentages may not sum to 100 due to rounding.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will publish a table showing the (a) numbers of and (b) percentage of (i)English, (ii) Scottish and (iii) other students attending each university in Scotland; and if he will express the figures as a proportion of all students attending each university.

Information is given in the following table. Figures for students domiciled in England are not readily available.with respect to the following groups

(a) worldwide, (b) total European Economic Community, (c) European Economic Community national, and (d) Japan; and what was the balance of trade in manufacturing goods with regard to those groups for the same period.

United Kingdom balance of payments

£ billion

World

European Community

Current balance

Visible balance

1

Manufactures

Current balance

Visible balance

1

Manufactures

19720·2-0·82·1n.a.-0·50·1
1973-1·0-2·61·5n.a.-1·3-0·4
1974-3·3-5·42·0n.a.-2·1-0·5
1975-1·6-3·33·7n.a.-2·5-0·6
1976-09-3·94·9-2·5-2·2-0·5
1977-0·1-2·35·9-2·3-1·8-0·5
19781·0-1·55·1-3·1-2·5-1·7
1979-0·7-3·42·7-3·2-2·7-2·6
19809·91·45·50·10·8-1·2
19816·33·44·60·70·1-2·6
19824·02·32·4-0·5-1·2-4·3
19833·3-0·8-2·3-1·1-2·4-7·2
19841·5-4·4-3·9-2·2-3·1-8·1
19852·9-2·2-3·0-2·8-2·0-8·7
1986-0·9-8·5-5·5-9·2-8·4-10·1
1987-2·7-9·8-7·3n.a.-8·9-10·2
n.a. = not available.

1 Standard International Trade Classification sections 5 to 8.

Source: CSO United Kingdom Balance of Payments 1987.

Department of Trade and Industry.

United Kingdom Balance of Trade

1

Overseas Trade Statistics basis £ million

European Community

Belgium/Luxemburg

Denmark

France

FRG

Greece

Ireland

Italy

Netherlands

Portugal

Spain

Japan

1972-57120-110-92-2505024-69-163-1332-143
1973-1,376-34-148-300-5615284-121-308-400-172
1974-2,380-58-146-429-876373-212-651-491-252
1975-2,508-181-177-457-69853-26244-752-4317-363
1976-2,369-180-47-344-91685199-278-921258-436
1977-2,214-278-11-508-1,078130327-554-3416930-590
1978-2,921-152-124-702-1,412113423-805-26730-25-741
1979-3,581-382-64-989-1,561122863-1,016-382-33-139-882
1980-70-122-76-254-58791870-39444156-95-1,110
1981-612-357-123-353-425921,031-58812435-48-1,593
1982-2,165-548-237225-1,993104886-71213149-70-1,978
1983-3,657-554-353608-3,597115766-918337-7918- 2,556
1984-4,281-636-4641,111-3,60475759-90512-259-370-2,845
1985-3,247-667-3441,136-3,68915814-827792-256-221-3,104
1986-9,580-251-545-1,177-5,58947499-1,203-1,181-296115-3,743
1987-10,141-505-642-600-6,38089343-1,071-1,292-14865-3,968

1 Standard International Trade Classification Sections 0 to 9.

Information on trade with individual countries is not available on a Balance of Payments basis.

Source: UK Overseas Trade Statistics.

United Kingdom Crude Balance of Trade in Manufacture

1

Overseas Trade Statistics basis £ million

European Community

Belgium/Luxemburg

Denmark

France

FRG

Greece

Ireland

Italy

Netherlands

Portugal

Spain

Japan

197211329592-30755166-3655684-141
1973-340-878-89-62469218-7011-1590-196
1974-647-296-106-90070245-110-43-8111-269
1975-540-34129-157-74984265-18610-15113-379
1976-494-60234-119-1,030104347-1904750123-464
1977-662-125264-280-1,334171476-376294104144-641
1978-1,981-177179-535-1,868141735-66716253-4-800
1979-3,144-403147-727-2,523184954-7968413-77-960
1980-1,743-168114-439-2,001140793-36818479-77-1,185
1981-3,014-379-5-594-2,152136690-497-19149-71-1,657
1982-5,024-525-1-535-3,314137547-826-46639-80-2,045
1983-8,071-499-71-1,082-4,926172471-1,175-803-74-84-2,654
1984-8,844-558-81-1,154-5069162495-1,302-844-236-257-2,913
1985-9,543-518-21-1,221-5833167548-1,387-747-238-293-3,206
1986-10,837-357-I-1,510-6,712149584-1,590-1,128-216-54-3,918
1987-11,083-529-57-1,161-7,456152488-1,554-1,119-98252-4,165

1 Standard International Trade Classification Sections 5 to 8.

Information on trade with individual countries is not available on a Balance of Payments basis.

Source: UK Overseas Trade Statistics.

Textile Products (West Bank)

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will list the action taken by Her Majesty's Government following the discovery of an alleged commercial violation by Israel of a consignment of textile products from the occupied West Bank in which the certificate of origin and description had been altered and if he will make a statement.

[holding answer 11 February 1988]: I am aware of one case involving a consignment of lingerie from a supplier in the occupied territories which arrived in the United Kingdom under cover of an Israeli certificate of origin. This certificate had been improperly substituted for the original document issued by a West Bank chamber of commerce. After consultation between officials from my Department and Customs and Excise, the goods were imported without difficulty. However, in view of the alteration of the certificate, the Government referred this case to the European Commission to investigate. I understand they have now made a formal complaint to the Israeli authorities, whose response is awaited.

Environment

Toxic Waste

To ask the Secretary of State for the Enviroment if he will list (a) the amount in tonnes of toxic waste imported through and offloaded at the port of Seaham over the last five years, (b) the composition of the toxic waste, (c) the point of origin of the toxic waste, (d) the dates of offloading of the toxic waste, (e) the point of disposal of the said toxic waste and (f) the method of transport.

My Department does not normally keep records of waste movements. However, I am advised by Durham WDA that no waste covered by the special waste regulation has been imported through Seaham in the last five years.

Badger Sets

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has received any representations seeking an amendment of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to protect badger sets.

We have recently received a number of representations from right hon. and hon. Members and members of the public on this matter.However, badgers are not under threat as a species and already receive a substantial degree of protection under the existing law. We therefore have no plans at present to amend the current statutory provisions.

Housing Associations

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received regarding the proposals in the Housing Bill to increase the level of private funding of housing associations.

My Department has received over 300 representations on the provisions of the Housing Bill relating to housing associations and in response to the consultation paper "Finance for Housing Associations" issued in September 1987.

Water Supplies

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list all public water supply zones in the Yorkshire and Southern water authority regions which failed on bacteriological criteria in the years 1985–87, in particular those which exhibited coliform contamination in distributed water samples on more than five per cent. of occasions.

No public water supplies in the Southern water authority area failed to meet the bacteriological standards set in the EC drinking water directive in the years 1985–87. In the Yorkshire water authoriy area the following supplies marginally failed at some time in 1985–87, but almost half of these now comply and the remainder will do so shortly.

Supply area

  • Calverley Service Reservoir
  • Garforth Service Reservoir
  • Tinshill Service Reservoir
  • Sowden Beck Spring
  • West Burton Spring
  • Sicklinghall Service Reservoir
  • Burnshall Spring
  • Crumma Spring
  • Carr Bottom Treatment Works
  • Panorama Treatment Works
  • Blackmoorfoot North Treatment Works
  • Blackmoorfoot South Treatment Works
  • Austwick Spring
  • Blackhill Service Reservoir
  • Kirkburton Service Reservoir
  • Ingbirchworth Treatment Works Royd Moor
  • Cranworth Service Reservoir
  • Kimberworth No. 1 Service Reservoir
  • Moonshine Service Reservoir
  • Sandtoft Service Reservoir
  • Stannington Service Reservoir
  • Wadsley Service Reservoir
  • Wickersley Service Reservoir
  • Jaw Hill Treatment Works
  • Gypsey Lane Service Reservoir
  • Hazelwood Service Reservoir
  • John O'Gaunts Service Reservoir
  • Middleton Service Reservoir
  • Moortown East Service Reservoir
  • Park Hill (2) Service Reservoir
  • Tinshill (3) Service Reservoir
  • Stalling Busk Spring
  • Countersett Spring
  • Norwood Treatment Works
  • Fossdale Spring
  • Marsett Spring
  • Gayle Spring
  • Middlesmoor Spring
  • Lofthouse Spring
  • Caperby Spring
  • Cranehow Bottom Spring
  • Ellingstring Spring
  • Newbiggin Spring
  • Feldom Spring
  • Cockmoor Service Reservoir
  • North Coates Road Service Reservoir
  • Dunnington Service Reservoir
  • Kexmoor Service Reservoir
  • Green Hammerton Service Reservoir
  • Gallogate Service Reservoir
  • Osmotherley Service Reservoir
  • Bentham High Level Spring
  • Bentham Low Level Spring
  • Blackhouse Spring
  • Chapel Le Dale Spring
  • Grassington Spring
  • Hawkswick Spring
  • Ingleton Low Level Spring
  • Lancliffe Spring
  • Baw Head Spring
  • Oughtershaw Spring
  • Moor Lane—Menston Service Reservoir
  • Clough Head—Goldear Service Reservoir
  • Cowersley Service Reservoir
  • Gledhill Service Reservoir
  • Star Inn Service Reservoir

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will estimate the proportion of private water supplies in the United Kingdom which fail the provisions of the European Community directive relating to the quality of water intended for human consumption; and whether the Government have requested the European Commission to exempt all private supplies from the provisions of the directive.

Local authorities are responsible for ascertaining the quality of private water supplies and information on the proportion which fail the provisions of the EC drinking water directive is not held centrally. The Government are discussing with the European Commission a suitable time scale for the application to private supplies of the lead and microbiological parameters of the directive.

Car Exhaust Emissions

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the total annual emissions of (i) nitrogen oxides, (ii) hydrocarbons and (iii) carbon monoxide from all petrol-engined motor vehicles registered in the United Kingdom for each of the following categories (a) over 2 litres cubic capacity, (b) 1·4 to 2 litres cubic capacity and (c) under 1·4 litres cubic capacity in each year since 1970, and the number of vehicles in each of these categories for each of the specified years.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to him on 20 January at column 753.

London Residuary Body

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how much office space is presently unoccupied at London's county hall; and how much is occupied by the London residuary body.

Vacant office accommodation in county hall amounts to 196,400 sq ft. The LRB currently occupies 237,450 sq ft of office accommodation.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment for what reason board members and staff of the London residuary body occupy office space at St. Vincent house, Orange street London.

The LRB was established some seven months before the GLC was abolished. It was therefore necessary to acquire premises outside the GLC's property portfolio. Suitable available space was identified at St. Vincent house. The continuing location of the board and support staff is an administrative matter for the LRB.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the cost to his Department of maintaining the headquarters of the London residuary body at St. Vincent house, 30 Orange street, London WC2H 7HH; and how much of the available space there is occupied by the London residuary body.

There is no cost to my Department. The London residuary body occupies about 5,400 sq ft of office space in St. Vincent house.

Care In The Community (Barnsley)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what extra resources he intends to make available to Barnsley metropolitan borough council to provide care in the community.

Net Current Expenditure Per Head
£
ServicesLancashire County CouncilAverage for all Shire County CouncilsSpending by Lancashire County Council in excess of the average for all Shire Counties
Education24522817
School meals and milk1183

Local authority revenue expenditure is supported by rate support grant block grant; this is an unhypothecated grant; which cannot be attributed to particular elements of an authority's expenditure. The 1988–89 RSG settlement makes provision for local authorities' spending needs on all services, including community care. If Barnsley MBC chooses to spend in 1988–89 at the level assumed in the settlement 55·1 per cent. of its total expenditure will be supported by block grant. In addition, local authorities have almost complete freedom to target their capital spending according to local appreciation of need, within their total capital resources.

Rate Limits

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what further progress there has been, since his reply to the hon. Member for Banbury on 3 February, Official Report, column 652, in the finalising of rate limits for rate-capped authorities in 1988–89.

I announced on 3 February that I was seeking the agreement of five rate-capped authorities to limits higher than those which I had proposed in December. Two of those authorities — Greenwich and Hackney — have accepted their new figure and these limits have now been prescribed by written direction.In three other cases, where I was prepared to agree a particular higher figure, the authorities did not accept my proposal. In these cases, and in the eight others where I was not minded to agree an increase over the limits proposed in December, I have looked carefully at any further information provided by the authorities and any further representations which they have made. I was not persuaded, however, that I should take a different view from that which I announced on 3 February. I have therefore today laid a draft order before the House and shall be seeking the approval of the House to the rate limits specified in that draft.

Lancashire

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list in the Official Report those services on which Lancashire county council spends above the national average; by how much; and if he will make a statement.

[holding answer 5 February 1988]: The comparative information has been presented in terms of net current expenditure per head of population in 1986–87 is as listed.

Services

Lancashire County Council

Average for all Shire County Councils

Spending by Lancashire County Council in excess of the average for all Shire Counties

Personal Social Services514110
Police53476
Fire13121
Courts and probation761
Town and Country Planning422
Local Transport34295

Employment

London Docklands

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if for each year since 1981, he will give the number of deaths or serious injury recorded by the Health and Safety Executive in the London docklands, together with the respective number of successful or unsuccessful prosecutions.

The information is not available in the form requested and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Industrial Tribunals (Membership)

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what percentage of industrial tribunal members are from ethnic minorities.

1.5 per cent. of the lay membership of industrial tribunals is from ethnic minorities.

Community Programme

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment whether proposals for the replacement for the community programme have been finalised; and if he will make a statement.

The details about the new training programme for unemployed adults, which is to replace the community programme from September this year, will be set out in a White Paper to be published very shortly.

Defence

Service Children's Education Authority

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is his policy on reducing cost-of-living allowances paid to single parents working as teachers for the Service Children's education authority in respect of dependent 18-year-old children when such children take up full-time undergraduate courses at English polytechnics.

In the circumstances described a single parent whose child is presently on a full-time course in the United Kingdom is treated no differently from their married colleagues. However, if the hon. Member has a particular case in mind perhaps he might care to send me the details.

Atomic Energy (Agreement)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library the full text of any addenda or amendments made to the 1958 agreement for cooperation on the uses of atomic energy for national defence purposes with the United States.

The 1958 United States/United Kingdom agreement for co-operation on the uses of atomic energy for mutual defence purposes and all subsequent amendments thereto have been published in Command Papers. Generally, the amendments have served only to extend the life of the agreement and keep pace with developments in nuclear technology.

Horse Riding

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will take steps to abolish limits on the number of permits for horse riding on his Department's land and towards the setting up of circular bridleway routes for each Ministry of Defence permit area; and if he will make a statement on any problems presently being faced by permit holders and those awaiting permits, in the Aldershot area.

It is Ministry of Defence policy to allow maximum use of its facilities for recreational purposes where such use is consistent with military requirements and with the interests of tenants and licensees and where it does not affect the local amenities and environment unreasonably. Within these parameters it is up to the local military commander, in consultation with the PSA estate surveyor, to decide to what extent horse riding may be permitted.The huge popularity of horse riding in the Aldershot area has necessitated the operation of a permit scheme so as to control the number of riders on MOD land. The number of permits issued is reviewed annually and reflects military training requirements and conservation interests, including the avoidance of soil erosion. In view of the large number of applicants on the waiting list, discussions were held with the British Horse Society in November last year with a view to doubling the number of permits but restricting the number of days each member of the public could ride. This proposal has not yet been accepted. It is not, however, my intention to abolish limits on the number of permits for horse riding in this area or to set up circular bridleway routes for each permit area.

D-Notice Committee

To ask the Secretary of State of Defence if he will publish in the Official Report the texts of the letter from Mr. Michael Ramsden, vice-chairman, to Sir Clive Whitmore, chairman of the D-Notice Committee, concerning the future of the D-Notice system, and Sir Clive's letter in reply; and if he will make a statement.

The text of the correspondence between Sir Clive Whitmore, chairman of the Defence Press and Broadcasting committee, and Mr. J. M. Ramsden, vice-chairman and leader of the press side, was published on Friday 5 February 1988. It is as follows:

Text of a letter from Sir Clive Whitmore to Mr. J. M. Ramsden, dated 21st January 1988

At the special meeting of the Defence Press and Broadcasting Committee which we held on 21st December to discuss the Government's actions in respect of the BBC 4 programme "My Country Right or Wrong" you made the following statement on behalf of the media members of the Committee:—
"We deplore the Government's resort for the second time this year to legal action in cases where the D Notice procedures have been scrupulously followed by the Press side of the D Notice Committee. The D Notice system rests on mutual trust between Government and media. This trust is now seriously at risk, putting into question the continued relevance of the D Notice Committee. In the light of the injunction against the BBC Radio 4 programme "My Country Right or Wrong" we seek an early statement clarifying the Government's attitude towards the D Notice system."
2. The main point that I wish to make in this reply is that the Government continues to place very great value on the D Notice system. It has served the country well. It has done so because there has been a general recognition on the part of the media, as well as the Government, that publication of certain material could or would prejudice national security and that it is in the national interest to avoid its being made public. The Government continues to hold that view and hopes that the media continue to share it.
3. The Government wishes to continue to operate the D Notice system on the established basis. As your statement above says, its continued value will require trust on both sides. The Government hopes and expects that the media will continue to discuss freely and fully with the Secretary of the DPBC any material within the scope of the D Notices, so that the Secretary can be in a position to provide clear and full advice.
4. The D Notice system deals with information in specific categories, as set out in the D Notices themselves. It is advisory and voluntary. It does not deal with the question of breaches of the duty of confidentiality owed by members and former members of the security and intelligence services to the Crown, a matter which therefore falls outside the remit of th DPBC Secretary. The Government's position, expounded at length in the Peter Wright case, is that members and former members of the security and intelligence services owe a lifelong duty of confidentiality to the Crown, and that the upholding of that duty is essential to the effectiveness of these services and thus to the overall security of the country. If advice on a question in this field is desired, the Treasury Solicitor would always be glad to provide it.
5. The D Notice system will continue only if both the Government and the media regard it as worthwhile in the national interest. Whatever disagreements there have been and may continue to be in other areas, nothing has changed, in the Government's view, with regard to the value of the system. The Government hopes very much that the media will agree with this and will continue to participate in the system.

Text of a letter from Mr. J. M. Ramsden to Sir Clive Whitmore, dated 2 February 1988

Thank you for your letter of January 21, and for your reassurance—which we understand has the backing of the Prime Minister and the Attorney-General — that the Government places great value on the D Notice system. We note that the Government wishes to continue to operate the system "on the established basis", but we have again to express our concern that this may not prove possible while the Government maintains its present course of proceeding against the media in the Courts rather than against those it believes to be in breach of their duty of confidentiality.
We accept the breaches of confidentiality by members and former members of the security and intelligence services should not be matters for the D Notice Committee, but we remind you that the Government's own actions have brought the issue before us. The injunction suppressing the BBC Radio 4 programme "My Country Right or Wrong" is still in force, though the Secretary of the D Notice Committee found nothing in it to prejudice national security; and reports on some activities of the security services which have been published in the past without objection from the 13 Notice Secretary are now the subject of injunctions in the Courts. These and similar inconsistencies on the part of the Government which have threatened the D Notice system and have led us to question our role in its operation. We cannot accept that the duty of confidentiality should become a Government licence to prevent the publication of ma terial which complies with D Notices.
You recognise that the system's "continued value will require trust on both sides". We have to warn you again that this trust will not be forthcoming from the Press side of the Committee if the principle of absolute confidentiality becomes enshrined in any new law with no corresponding recognition of the value of Press freedom.
Yours
J. M. Ramsden
Editor-in-Chief

Text of a letter from Sir Clive Whitmore to Mr. J. M. Ramsden, dated 5 February 1988

Thank you for your letter of 2nd February.
2. I have taken note of the response of the media members of the Defence Press and Broadcasting Committee to my letter of 21st January in which I explained why the Government placed great value on the D Notice system and hoped that the system would continue in being. I have drawn your letter to the attention of those in the Government who are concerned with these matters.

Isle Of Wight (Training Area)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many days in the last 12 months for which figures are readily available live ammunition was used by Her Majesty's forces in the Ministry of Defence danger area south of the Isle of Wight.

Figures are not readily available for the last 12 months, but during the six months from 3 August 1987 to 7 February 1988 live ammunition was used by Her Majesty's forces on 66 days in the danger area in question.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many men were trained in the Ministry of Defence danger area south of the Isle of Wight in the last 12 months for which figures are readily available; and what was the total cost of such training exercises.

It is not possible to quantify the benefits arising from these exercises in terms of individual training programmes. However, it may help my right hon. Friend to know that, during the period 3 August 1987 to 7 February 1988, for which records are available, exercise and trials activities in the area referred to amounted to some 530 ship days; and that independent flying activity in the same period totalled some 220 aircraft days. The cost of these activities cannot readily be extracted from the total operating costs of the ships and aircraft concerned.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the maximum height at which practice military targets fly within the Ministry of Defence danger area south of the Isle of Wight; and whether they are only used in good visibility.

The maximum heights for practice military targets used in tracking exercises and target towing exercises are 40,000 ft and 25,000 ft respectively. Good visibility is not necessarily a prerequisite for their use.

Search And Rescue Helicopters

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he is yet in a position to make a statement on his decision on proposals submitted to his Department advocating the transfer of responsibility for United Kingdom search and rescue helicopter units to civil contractors.

I refer the hon. Gentleman to the announcement made by my hon. Friend the Minister of State for the Armed Forces in the debate on the Royal Air Force on 11 February.

Hms Conqueror

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if, in the light of recent statements by a former official in his Department, Mr. Paul Newbigin, he will reopen the inquiry into the disappearance of the navigator's log book of HMS Conqueror.

I have already written to the hon. Member to explain that recent suggestions in the press that the missing control room logs of HMS Conqueror were destroyed on official orders have been looked into and found to have no substance. The civil servant alleged to have claimed that he was present at the destruction of the logs had no involvement in the administration or reception of units, including submarines, returning from the Falklands conflict. Indeed, he has never been in a post which brought him into contact with naval logs of any kind. As no new light has been shed on the disappearance of the logs since the statements made by my right hon. Friend the Member for Henley (Mr. Heseltine) on 30 November 1984, at columns 593–94, and by my right hon. Friend the Member for Tonbridge and Mailing (Mr. Stanley) on 25 October 1985, at column 277, it would serve no purpose to reopen the inquiry.

National Finance

Profit-Related Pay

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many copies of the Treasury leaflet on profit-related pay, ISBN 0 947819 088, were printed and circulated; and if there is a similar leaflet for profit-sharing schemes.

One hundred and ninety thousand copies of the Treasury leaflet on profit-related pay were printed and nearly all of them have been distributed. There is no separate Treasury leaflet on profit-sharing schemes, but I refer the right hon. Member to the reply which I gave to him on 21 January, at column 833, drawing attention to the variety of Inland Revenue leaflets which have been made available.

European Community (Finance)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what were the United Kingdom's net contributions to the European Community for the financial years 1982–83 to 1986–87; and what are the projected net contributions for 1987–88 and 1988–89.

The latest figures for the United Kingdom's net contributions to the European Community for the financial years 1982–83 to 1990–91 are shown in table 3.1 in the public expenditure White Paper (Cm. 288-II, page 33).

Parliamentary Papers

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what expenditure has been incurred on providing computers for use in producing (i) Order Papers and (ii) Amendment Papers for use in Standing Committees of the House; if he is satisfied with the arrangements for training Her Majesty's Stationery Office staff to use such equipment; and if he will make a statement.

The computers employed at the Parliamentary Press form part of an integrated computer typesetting system which is used to produce a wide variety and large volume of parliamentary work — of which Standing Committee Order and Amendment Papers form a part. It would not be possible to identify separately the expenditure on computers associated with production of Standing Committee Papers alone. The training for HMSO staff at the new press compares very favourably with that provided in the printing trade generally.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what action he proposes to take to improve the punctuality of delivery of (i) Order Papers and (ii) Amendment Papers for use in Standing Committees of the House.

I am advised that there has been no occasion during the current parliamentary Session when Standing Committee proceedings have been delayed owing to lateness of Order or Amendment Papers. These have been made available either in printed form or in typescript, but I am conscious of attendant difficulties. HMSO is making every effort to increase the number of Committees provided with papers in printed form, including the use of outside trade assistance to cope with the quite exceptional volume of parliamentary business.

Growth

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the reply of 25 January, Official Report, column 81, concerning the rate of growth in each of the past three decades, to what factors he attributes the higher rate of growth in 1957 to 1967; and whether he expects that rate of growth to be achieved in the next four years.

[holding answer 9 February 1988]: Among other things, the world economic environment was more favourable in the 1950s and 1960s than subsequently. Even so, growth in the non-oil economy over the past six years has averaged 3.3 per cent; higher than in the period 1957–67. The Chancellor will be publishing a forecast to mid-1989 at the time of the Budget.

Profits

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the level of profits in each major sector of the economy in each year since 1979, at both current prices and constant 1987–88 prices; and what has been the percentage increase in each case for each year since 1979, both in money and real terms.

[holding answer 11 February 1988]: The information is given in the tables. Profits figures for 1987 are not yet available. Financial year 1987–88 has not yet finished; the real profit figures cannot, therefore, be expressed in 1987–88 prices. Real profits are instead shown in 1980 prices.

Table 1
Profits1(including self employment income and other trading income) by sector 1979–86
19791980198119821983198419851986
£ million current prices
Agriculture forestry and fishing3,0683,3713,7914,2054,0634,5564,0894,206
Energy and water supply10,58014,29517,75819,80923,28725,20925,37915,993
Manufacturing14,72112,73312,11814,36216,60918,63421,17524,404
Construction4,4725,0535,4576,2857,3908,5539,78910,888
Distribution hotels, catering, repairs9,2338,5498,6918,71510,49912,41114,92118,019
Transport2,4522,2572,4172,6583,2143,4133,7774,718
Communication1,5041,5231,9672,5402,3372,7083,2263,686
Banking, finance, insurance, business services and leasing29,54610,03210,99713,19113,72815,07617,71820,463
Education and health services1,0751,3841,4811,5831,9872,2082,4992,928
Other services2,0732,2652,6412,8303,2603,6764,4115,511
Adjustment for financial services-7,323-9,353-10,609-11,728-11,636-13,793-15,734-17,404
Total gross profit58,72461,46267,31876,17886,37496,444106,984110,816
Percentage increases on a year earlier
Agriculture forestry and fishing11·59·912·510·9-3·412·1-10·32·9
Energy and water supply60·835·124·211·517·68·30·7-37·0
Manufacturing14·2-13·5-4·818·515·612·213·615·2
Construction22·013·08·015·217·615·714·511·2
Distribution hotels, catering, repairs16·7-7·41·70·320·518·220·220·8
Transport-0·5-8·07·110·020·96·210·724·9
Communication-3·51·329·229·1-8·015·919·314·3
Banking, finance, insurance, business services and leasing232·25·19·620·04·19·817·515·5
Education and health services15·128·77·06·925·511·113·217·2
Other services3·29·316·67·215·212·820·024·9
Adjustment for financial services
Total gross profit22·44·79·513·213·411·710·93·6
1 Including gross trading surpluses of public enterprises.
2 Includes adjustment for financial services.
Table 2
Profits1(including self employment income and other trading income) by sector 1979–86
19791980198119821983198419851986
£ million 1980 prices
Agriculture forestry and fishing3,6443,3713,4433,5673,2613,4892,9572,960
Energy and water supply12,56514,29516,12916,80218,68919,30218,35111,255
Manufacturing17,48312,73311,00612,18213,33014,26815,31117,174
Construction5,3115,0534,9565,3315,9316,5497,0787,662
Distribution hotels, catering, repairs10,9668,5497,8947,3928,4269,50310,78912,681
Transport2,9122,2572,1952,2542,5792,6132,7313,320
Communication1,7861,5231,7872,1541,8762,0742,3332,594
Banking, finance, insurance, business services and leasing211,33710,0329,98811,18811,01811,54412,81114,400
Education and health services1,2771,3841,3451,3431,5951,6911,8072,061
Other services2,4622,2652,3992,4002,6162,8153,1893,878
Adjustment for financial services-8,697-9,353-9,636-9,947-9,339-10,561-11,377-12,248
Total gross profit69,74361,46261,14264,61369,32173,84777,35677,985
Percentage changes on a year earlier
Agriculture forestry and fishing-1·1-7·52·13·6-8·67·0-15·20·1
Energy and water supply42·613·812·84·211·23·3-4·9-38·7
Manufacturing1·3-27·2-13·610·79·47·07·312·2
Construction8·2-4·9-1·97·611·310·48·18·3
Distribution hotels, catering, repairs3·5-22·0-7·7-6·414·012·813·517·5
Transport-11·7-22·5-2·72·714·41·34·521·6
Communication-14·4-14·717·320·5-12·910·612·511·2
Banking, finance, insurance, business services and leasing217·3-11·5-0·412·0-1·54·811·012·4
Education and health services2·18·4-2·8-0·118·86·06·914·1
Other services-8·58·05·90·09·07·613·321·6

1979

1980

1981

1982

1983

1984

1985

1986

Adjustment for financial services
Total gross profit8·6-11·9-0·55·77·36·54·80·8

1 Including gross trading surpluses of public enterprises.

2 Includes adjustment for financial services.

Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

Overseas Civil Service (Pensioners)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he has any plans to propose measures to safeguard the value of Her Majesty's overseas Civil Service pensions of those serving in or retired from Hong Kong following the transfer of sovereignty to the People's Republic of China and during the transition period prior to then; and if he will make a statement.

In the past sterling safeguards have normally been negotiated on behalf of members of Her Majesty's overseas Civil Service immediately before constitutional change. It would be a significant departure from previous practice to contemplate such arrangements at this stage, and we have no plans to do so.

Afghanistan

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government towards the sale of weapons to Afghanistan by British manufacturers; and if he will make a statement.

Our general policy is to consider all applications for licences to export defence equipment on a case by case basis.

Stalker/Sampson Report

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Government of the Republic of Ireland following the criticism by the Irish Minister for Justice, Mr. Collins, of the statements in the House on the Stalker/Sampson report by the Attorney-General; and if he will make a statement.

We fully conveyed our concern to the Irish ambassador at the time, and made it clear that certain of the remarks made on British radio and television by the Irish Minister for Justice were totally unacceptable.

Civil Service

Qualifying Test

To ask the Minister for the Civil Service what is the machine-marked qualifying test in the Civil Service; and how it operates.

There are two qualifying tests used in Civil Service selection. One is used in the executive officer scheme of recruitment, the other in the appointments in administration scheme. In both cases, the tests perform a dual function. First, they provide selectors with essential information about a range of aptitudes for the work—for example, candidates' verbal skills, numeracy and general reasoning ability. Secondly, they act as an objective method of reducing initial applicant numbers to proportions suitable for interview. The tests are in the multiple-choice form, which enables the Civil Service Commission to use a computer-linked optical mark reader to mark the answer papers.

Energy

Dr David Lowry (Publication)

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy (1) if he will seek to obtain for his departmental library a copy of Open University energy research group report, ERG-048, entitled "Reflections on Britain's Nuclear History, A Conversation with Lord Minton", by David Lowry, dated September 1984;(2) if he will seek to obtain for his departmental library a copy of the 1986 doctoral thesis, "Nuclear Powers—An Assessment of Nuclear Decision Making, 1932–1979, with Special Reference to the Anglo-American Atomic Relationship" by Dr. David M. Lowry, of the Open University.

Nuclear Power Stations (Tests)

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he or his predecessor informed the European Commission and Euratom under article 34 of the Euratom treaty of the test carried out at Hinkley Point; and if he will list all those occasions of which his Department has informed Euratom under article 34 of such tests in civil nuclear facilities in the United Kingdom.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Bradford, South (Mr. Cryer) on 10 February 1988 at column 227.

Coal Industry

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will indicate the proposed levels of capital investment at the following collieries in each of the years 1988–89 to 1990–91 (a) Houghton Main (b) Goldthorpe Hickelton, (c) Darfield Main, (d) Dearne Valley and (e) Grimethorpe.

Decisions on capital investment at individual collieries are a matter for British Coal.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what information he has about the workable reserves at the following collieries (a) Houghton Main (b) Goldthorpe Hickelton, (c) Darfield Main, (d) Dearne Valley and (e) Grimethorpe.

This is a matter for the British Coal Corporation, and I have asked the chairman to write to the hon. Member.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what information he has about the cost per colliery for subsidence at the following collieries in the past five years (a) Houghton Main (b) Goldthorpe Hickelton, (c) Darfield Main, (d) Dearne Valley and (e) Grimethorpe.

This is a matter for the British Coal Corporation, and I have asked the chairman to write to the hon. Member.

Nuclear Material (Safeguards)

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy on how many occasions since July 1986 nuclear material has been withdrawn from safeguards under article 14 of the 1978 tripartite agreement between the United Nations, Euratom and the International Atomic Energy Agency; from which reactors such material originated; what quantities of material were involved on each occasion; and to what use the material was being put.

[holding answer 22 January 1988]: In the period 1 July 1986 to 31 December 1987 there have been five withdrawals of plutonium in greater than gramme quantity. One withdrawal was permanent and involved material of Calder Hall/Chapel Cross origin. Four involved the temporary removal from safeguards of material for treatment by specialised equipment in non-civil plant. These are purely technical movements which are necessary for safety reasons. All of this material will be returned to safeguards after treatment.

£ million
1979–801980–811981–821982–831983–841984–851985–861986–87
NIHE (Rent, Rates District Heating)8·710·112·216·921·220·118·918·2
NIE (Electricity)12·011·112·78·17·97·57·17·0
Rating Division3·94·25·06·111·014·39·79·3
Belfast Gas3·73·73·73·63·63·33·12·8

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland from how many people deductions were made under the Payments for Debt (Emergency Provisions) Act (Northern Ireland) 1971 in each of the years from 1979 to 1986.

Numbers of people from whom deductions were made in each category are not available. However, the total number of debt cases recorded by the four creditor bodies was as follows:

YearNumbers
1979–80175,300
1980–81176,300
1981–82165,000
1982–83158,000
1983–84169,100
1984–85141,400
1985–86137,000
1986–87127,000

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what total deductions were made from public sector employees earnings in each of the years from 1979 to 1986 under the Payments for Debt (Emergency Provisions) Act (Northern Ireland) 1971.

Prime Minister

Stalker Inquiry

To ask the Prime Minister which members of the Government were consulted prior to the removal of Mr. John Stalker from his inquiry into the alleged shoot-to-kill policy of the Royal Ulster Constabulary.

I have been asked to reply.None. The then Attorney-General was, however, consulted about the decision to appoint Mr. Sampson to continue the investigation which Mr. Stalker had started. I and my Home Office colleagues were also informed of Mr. Sampson's appointment.

Northern Ireland

Debt

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what total levels of debt existed in each of the years from 1979 to 1986 in each category for which deductions were made from debtors in those years under the Payments for Debt (Emergency Provisions) Act (Northern Ireland) 1971.

The information is available only for financial years and is as follows:—

Information on the total deductions made from public sector employees earnings is readily available only for 1985–86 and 1986–87 and is as shown:

YearAmount £
1985–861,736,302
1986–871,799,290

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what were the total amounts recovered in each of the years from 1979 to 1986 under the Payments for Debt (Emergency Provisions) Act (Northern Ireland) 1971; and what were the total administrative costs for the recovery of these sums.

This information is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what total deductions were made from (a) criminal damage compensation payments and (b) criminal injury compensation payments in each of the years from 1979 to 1986 under the Payments for Debt (Emergency Provisions) Act (Northern Ireland) 1971.

The information is available only from April 1981 and is as follows:

Deductions from Compensation
Financial YearCriminal Damage £Criminal Injuries £Totals £
1981–82328,13776,362404,499
1982–8311,518,210113,6381,663,848
1983–84202,042119,143321,185
1984–85146,03898,074244,112
1985–8664,296102,223166,519
1986–8772,805139,720212,525
1 Included a single deduction in excess of £1·2 million.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what categories of debts payments were deducted from debtors in each of the years from 1979 to 1986 under the Payments for Debt (Emergency Provisions) Act (Northern Ireland) 1971; and what are the total amounts deducted in each category were in each of those years.

The categories of debt in respect of which deductions were made from 1979 to 1986 were rent, rates, district heating, electricity and gas. Information on the total amounts deducted over this period is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Travelling People

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans exist to establish further serviced legal sites for travelling people in Northern Ireland; where it is intended that these should be located; what services will be provided; and how many families will be accommodated at each site.

Current plans provide for additional serviced sites to Great Britain gipsy site design guide standards for 98 families distributed over three council areas; namely, Belfast city council 72, Derry city council 12 and Strabane city council 14.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps the Government have taken to prevent harassment of travelling people in Northern Ireland.

Travelling people are entitled to the same protection as other Northern Ireland citizens. The Advisory Committee on Travellers is particularly vigilant in respect of conflicts between the travelling people and local communities and seeks to resolve such conflicts as speedly and amicably as possible.

Education and Library Board£
1980–811981–821982–831983–841984–851985–8611986–8721987–88
Belfast16,76526,94150,34448,63145,39235,31830,08435,000
North-Eastern32,26254,64673,51774,02774,38252,27040,41638,000
South-Eastern21,78230,53136,66137,07543,52238,88730,92232,000
Southern71,573104,014172,745174,114180,459113,04887,29882,000
Western94,419162,758180,562189,991174,558124,467127,681101,000
1 Unaudited figures.
2 Estimated figures taken from 1987–88 revised recurrent schemes.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what environmental health monitoring is undertaken at legal and other sites occupied by travelling people in Northern Ireland.

Environmental health officers of district councils in Northern Ireland visit legal and other sites occupied by travelling people to monitor living conditions and general environmental and sanitary standards. Close liaison is maintained with doctors, health visitors and social workers who also visit the sites.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what provision has been made in the Belfast urban area plan for site provision for travelling people; and what plans exist for serviced site provision in the Belfast area.

Belfast city council plans to develop fully serviced sites for the 72 travelling families resident in its area. It has currently planning permission for one site and has made applications for planning permission to develop five other sites. A further location is under active investigation by the council. The Belfast urban area plan deals with strategic development issues and is not an appropriate basis for dealing with the needs of travelling people.The council was represented on the 1984 Department of Environment working party on travelling people. The working party produced recommendations which are the basis of current Department of the Environment policies for travelling people. The council has three representatives on the Advisory Committee on Travellers which advises the Minister on the implementation of travellers policy and takes an active role in promoting that policy.

Students

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what figures are available to indicate the number of students aged over 19 years who have received lesser value awards in each of the past five years in Northern Ireland.

Education Maintenance Allowances

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what figures are available to indicate the total amounts awarded in education maintenance allowances in each year since 1980 by each education and library board in Northern Ireland.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what figures are available to indicate the cost of administering education maintenance allowances in Northern Ireland;(2) what information is available to indicate the number of applications for education maintenance allowances in each board area in Northern Ireland in each year since 1980.

St Peter's Gaelic Athletics Association Club

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what information is available to him on what action is to be taken following the Local Government Auditor's inquiries regarding Craigavon council's expenditure in relation to St. Peter's Gaelic Athletics Association Club.

The Local Government Auditor has written to a number of former and serving members of Craigavon borough council setting out the matters which he proposes to take into account in relation to this case. The recipients have until 19 February 1988 to make written representations and to indicate whether they wish to seek an oral hearing. Following this the Local Government Auditor will decide whether to proceed with the issue of a certificate under section 82(1) of the Local Government Act (NI) 1972, as amended by article 28 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) (NI) Order 1985, that the loss has been incurred due to wilful misconduct.It is entirely a matter for the Local Government Auditor to decide on the action to be taken in such cases.

Social Services

Butane Gas

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he has any records concerning death or personal injury caused through the inhalation of butane gas.

It is not possible to give exact information relating specifically to injury or death associated with the inhalation of butane gas. Mortality data are available, but cannot precisely separate the category required. The tables show the most reliable currently available information.Table 1 shows the number of deaths the underlying cause of which relates to the use of liquefied petroleum gas distributed in mobile containers. Most, but not necessarily all, of these products contain butane; in addition, it is not possible to be sure whether butane was inhaled in each case.Table 2 shows data taken from a continuing study undertaken by the department of clinical epidemiology and social medicine of St. George's hospital medical school, London, of deaths associated with the abuse of volatile substances. This study collects data from a variety of sources, including death registrations and a survey of coroners' findings; the resulting data relate only to those cases where it appeared that the use of volatile substances was deliberate. As with table 1, most but not necessarily all the cases shown involved the use of butane.

Table 1: Number of deaths with an underlying cause relating to poisoning by liquefied petroleum gas distributed in mobile containers, England and Wales, 1980–86.
Number
YearICD (9) E868.0ICD (9) E981.1
1980180
1981121
198261
1983170
1984240
1985181
1986161
International Classification of Disease (ICD) E868.0: Accidental poisoning by liquefied petroleum gas distributed in mobile containers.ICD E981.1: as above, but undetermined whether accidentally or purposely inflicted.
Table 2: Number of deaths associated with the deliberate abuse of gas fuels, England and Wales, 1980–85.
YearNumber
19809
198111
19827
198313
198427
198522

Source: National Study of deaths associated with the abuse of volatile substances, Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Social Medicine, St. George's Hospital, London.

National Insurance

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what portion of national insurance contributions from the average family on average pay is attributable to the cost of the National Health Service.

In 1988–89, the NHS contribution from class 1 national insurance contributions will be 0·95 per cent. of earnings up to the upper earnings limit of £305 per week for all employees, and 0·8 per cent. of earnings for employers. The actual amount that the average family will pay will depend on their earnings, and whether one or both partners work. This NHS contribution will fund 13·2 per cent. of the gross cost of the NHS in Great Britain in 1987–88. The table provides the information.

Estimated Average amount of weekly National Insurance Contributions Paid to the NHS (couples with children) Great Britain 1988–89 (Employees Contribution)

Weekly Earnings (average)

NHS Contribution 0·9 per cent, of earnings

Total NIC (not contracted out)

Percentage of NIC Paid to NHS

£

£

£

One Earner Couples

Husband Working2802·6625·2010·6
Wife Working830·795·8113·6

Two Earner Couples:

Husband2572·4423·1310·5
Wife800·765·6013·6
Total3373·2028·7311·1

Note:

Earnings figures are based on the 1985 family expenditure survey with earnings uprated to 1988–89 levels in line with the normal assumptions about the growth of average earnings.

Family Statistics

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will update to 1985 the reply given to the hon. Member for Kensington, Official Report, 27 January 1987, column 215 showing the numbers of working and out-of-work families with children at different income levels.

I refer my hon. Friend to my reply to the hon. Member for Birkenhead (Mr. Field) on 21 January 1988 at columns 836–40.

Estimated number of the 10 most common forms of surgery (in order of frequency) performed in NHS non-psychiatric, non-maternity hospitals, England 1985
Condensed1list operation numberOperationEstimated number of operationsApproximate cost (current prices)Estimate based on
1. 080Dilatation, Curettage, Biopsy and Excision of Lesion of Cervix127,450£200 to £250National average cost per patient day in hospital
2. 093Treatment of Fracture by Operations105,850Not available
3. 061Cystoscopy (with Destruction of Lesion)87,680Not available
4. 023Tonsils and Adenoids83,550£300 to £350National average cost per patient day in hospital
5. 078Hysterectomy68,590£1,200Study carried out in 1982
6. 038Operations on Abdominal Wall, Peritoneum and Mesentery67,710Not available
7. 039Inguinal Hernia Operations66,660£650Study carried out in 19822 (average for all hernia operations)
8. 092Post-natal or Post-abortion Operations65,800Not available
9. 014Operations on Lens60,100£9501986 estimate for cataracts (including lens implant) only
10. 100Arthroplasty353,080£3,3001984 estimate for hip joint replacement only
1 OPCS condensed list of surgical operations.
2 Many of these operations are now carried out by day surgery but a separate costing for such operations is not available.
3 Arthroplasty also includes knee joint replacement for which a separate figure is not available.

Source: Hospital In-Patient Enquiry (HIPE).

Nhs Staff Statistics

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) how many medical dental and nursing/midwifery staff (a) left and (b) joined the service of the National Health Service in each of the past five years in (i) the Crewe health service district, (ii) the Chester health district and (iii) the Halton health district;

Operation Statistics

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what are the 10 most frequently performed surgical operations carried out in National Health Service hospitals; and what estimate he has of the average cost of each type.

The information requested is given in the table.(2) what were the numbers of directly employed medical/dental and nursing/midwifery staff at 30 September 1987 in

(a) Crewe health district, (b) Chester health district and (c) Halton health district.

The latest staff in post figures held centrally are for 30 September 1986. This information is shown in the table. Information on "leavers" and "joiners" is not held centrally.

National Health Service medical and dental and nursing and midwifery staff at 30 September 1986

Whole-time equivalents

1

District health authority

Medical and dental

2

Nursing and midwifery

3

Crewe891,794
Chester1091,744
Halton39604

Source: DHSS annual census of National Health Service medical and non-medical manpower.

1 Figures independently rounded to nearest whole-time equivalent.

2 Includes permanent paid, honorary and locum staff. Excludes consultants and senior registrars whose contracts are held by the regional health authority.

3 Includes agency staff.

Social Fund

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how much of the expenditure on the social fund set out in table 15.1 of volume II of the Government's expenditure plans 1988–89 to 1990–91 for each year between 1988–89 to 1990–91 is attributable to (a) help with maternity expenses, (b) help with funeral expenses, (c) severe weather payments, (d) community care grants, (e) budget loans and (f) crisis loans.

Information for 1989–90 and 1990–91 was given in my reply to the hon. Member for Derby, South (Mrs. Beckett) on 1 February at column 488. The breakdown for maternity and funeral payments for those two years is as follows:

£ million
1989–901990–91
Maternity payments19·319·6
Funeral payments15·916·7
The information for 1988–89 is as follows:

£ million
Maternity payments19
Funeral payments15
Exceptionally cold weather payments4·5
Community care grants60
Net cost of loans165
1 Separate allocations are not made for budgeting and crisis loans.

Operating Theatres

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps he is taking in the light of the report of the Audit Commission to increase the use of operating theatres in National Health Service hospitals; and if he will a statement.

The report by the National Audit Office on the use of operating theatres in the NHS is being studied by the Department together with that from the confidential inquiry into perioperative deaths to see what further initiatives by the Department would be helpful. The five district health authorities studied by the NAO have told us of a number of steps they have taken locally to improve utilisation.

Hospital Charges

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what is his estimat