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Written Answers

Volume 129: debated on Friday 18 March 1988

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Written Answers To Questions

Friday 18 March 1988

Energy

Nuclear Material

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Meirionnydd Nant Conwy, 9 March, Official Report, columns 200–1, how much nuclear material in the United Kingdom has been subject to exchange of safeguards obligations on the basis of strict equivalent in quantity and quality, in each year since 1973.

This information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Sellafield

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Meirionnydd Nant Conwy, 29 February, Official Report, column 483, when he expects the particular safeguards provisions for Sellafield referred to therein to enter into force.

Our aim is to bring the first four particular safeguards provisions for Sellafield into force by the end of 1988.

Uranium

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is Her Majesty's Government's policy on the acceptance of unsafeguarded uranium into the United Kingdom for processing and subsequent re-export without direct use or application in the United Kingdom.

All civil uranium imported into the United Kingdom for processing and subsequent re-export is under safeguards.

Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

Falkland Islands

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has on the gross national product of the Falkland Islands economy in (a) 1986 and (b) 1987.

The Falkland Islands gross national product for 1986 is estimated to have been approximately £9·9 million. In 1987 it was estimated to have risen to approximately £30·2 million.

Phyllis Coard

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Government of Grenada on the treatment in prison of Phyllis Coard; and if he will make a statement.

No. The enforcement of prison regulations, which are presently the same as those introduced by the People's Revolutionary Government of which Mrs. Coard was a member, is entirely a matter for the Grenadian authorities.

Mr Raoul Wallenberg

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he last raised the case of Mr. Raoul Wallenberg with the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics; and if he will make a statement.

The case of Raoul Wallenberg was last raised with the Soviet authorities at ministerial level by the then Minister of State, my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Edinburgh, Pentlands (Mr. Rifkind), during discussions in Moscow in July 1985.

Northern Ireland

Mairead Farrell

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he will call for a report from the Queen's university, Belfast, authorities on the status of Mairead Farrell; what public funds she was receiving in the year before her death; what steps will be taken to ensure that those with terrorist backgrounds are not able to receive public funds; and if he will make a statement.

Mairead Farrell was a full-time student in her first year of study in the faculty of economics at Queen's university, Belfast., Since her enrolment, on 23 September 1987, she received a maintenance grant of £1,380 from the Belfast education and library board. Grants for eligible students are mandatory.

Prime Minister

Members' Delegations

To ask the Prime Minister what guidance she gives to departmental Ministers about receiving delegations from right hon. and hon. Members; and if she will make a statement.

Such meetings are a matter for the judgment of individual departmental Ministers.

South Manchester Health Authority

To ask the Prime Minister if, in the light of his refusal to meet a delegation of hon. Members to discuss the financial position of South Manchester health authority, she will dismiss the Minister for Health, the right hon. Member for Braintree (Mr. Newton); and if she will make a statement.

Mr R W Marshall (Letter)

To ask the Prime Minister when she replied to a recent letter by Mr. R. W. Marshall of Cymerau, Dolwen, Blaenau Ffestiniog, on the subject of nuclear reactor risks, radiation fog and smog from power plants.

It is not my usual practice to give information on correspondence from third parties.

Attorney General

Unification Church

To ask the Attorney-General which religious organisations were approached for assistance when preparing the now abandoned appeal against the decision not to remove charity status from the Unification Church.

[pursuant to his reply, 8 February 1988, c. 42]: Such an approach was made to the Church of England. I also received representations from the following organisations:The Churches Main Committee; The General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches; The Arya Samaj in London; The Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

Education And Science

Schools (Discipline)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he is now in a position to announce the details of the inquiry he has decided to set up into discipline in schools.

The inquiry will be chaired by my noble Friend Lord Elton, will extend to England and Wales, and will have the following terms of reference:—

"In view of public concern about violence and indiscipline in schools and the problems faced by the teaching profession today, to consider what action can be taken by central Government, local authorities, voluntary bodies owning schools, governing bodies of schools, head teachers, teachers and parents to secure the orderly atmosphere necessary in schools for effective teaching and learning to take palce."
Other members of the Committee are:—

Vice-Chairman

Dr. Roy Bennett, Emeritus Reader in Educational Studies, Derbyshire College of Higher Education.

Members

Mr. Roy Atkinson, Chief Education Officer, Northamptonshire Education Authority.
Mr. J. A. Phillips, OBE, Headteacher of Graveney School, Wandsworth.
Mr. Linbert Spencer, Chief Executive, Project Fullemploy Ltd, London.

I shall be appointing two further members shortly. My intention is that the committee should start its work as soon as possible, and aim to complete its report by the end of the year.

Trade And Industry

Ministers (Integrated Office System)

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster which companies were asked to tender for the supply of the integrated Office System for Ministers in his Department; on what basis they were selected; what assessment was made of the suitability of HM Systems to provide the service; and if he will make a statement.

A networked engagements management system was needed that could be met only by a bespoke software development. The Department was aware of the typical diary facilities available from a wide range of office automation suppliers and these fell far short of meeting the requirement.The Department had previously used a particular software systems company to develop an earlier engagement management system. On the basis of that earlier successful implementation, a time and materials contract was placed with that company for the software development and hardware implementation. As part of the implementation, the software systems company had to take account of compatibility requirements. Additional facilities have subsequently been added to provide Ministers with an integrated office system.

Palestinian Terrorists (Military Equipment)

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what progress is being made with Her Majesty's Government's inquiry into the allegations of sales of military equipment to Palestinian terrorist organisations; and when it will be completed.

[holding answer 9 March 1988]: Allegations that in 1981–82, military communications equipment was licensed for shipment to the PLO have been investigated by the Departments concerned with the active co-operation of Racal-Tacticom.Applications to export military communications equipment are considered by relevant Government Departments before any licence is granted by the DTI. Records have been examined and there is no trace of any licence having ever been granted for shipment to the PLO.The investigation has revealed that in the case of one export licensed in 1982 to a company in the Lebanon an error occurred so that the usual procedures were completed without taking into account information showing that the Lebanon company had links with the PLO. It is possible therefore that this consignment eventually reached the PLO. It was of very small value and the equipment was non-lethal.No evidence has been found to justify any suggestion of unlawful actions by Racal-Tacticom.

Home Department

Special Hospitals

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many patients at Park lane hospital have been granted privileges to live at an outside hostel or to study at university while subject to a restriction order in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement.

During the last five years one patient subject to a restriction order has been given permission to leave Park lane hospital to attend a college of further education. None has been given leave to attend a university. Two patients in 1983, two in 1985 and one in 1987 were granted leave from the hospital to live at an outside hostel on a trial basis.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance his Department issues to special hospitals on the provision of unescorted trips for inmates who have not been approved for release by mental health tribunals.

Under sections 41 and 49 of the Mental Health Act 1983, persons detained in hospital subject to restriction orders may be granted leave of absence only with my right hon. Friend's consent. Consent is given only when, on the best assessment that can be made in advance, there appears to be no serious risk to the patient or to the public.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many patients detained under the Mental Health Acts have been released from (a) Park lane, (b) Rampton and (c) Broadmoor hospitals in each year since 1979; and how many of those released have since reoffended.

The readily available information is given in the table:

Discharges into the community of patients subject to special restrictions on discharge from special hospitals
BroadmoorPark LaneRampton
197918111
198018114
19816418
19822114
198341010
198492218
1985121910
19865615

Self-Help Transmitter Scheme

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has any plans to amend the self-help transmitter scheme as a way of providing alternative television programmes to areas such as Gloucester.

The self-help transmitter scheme enables isolated communities not served by the BBC or IBA to construct at their own expense transmitters to relay existing television signals on spare UHF channels. Recently, a community group was licensed on an experimental basis to provide a transmitter offering an alternative to the regional service provided by the BBC-IBA transmitter. Further schemes of this nature will be considered in the light of the current experiment and once decisions have been taken on the possible alternative use of UHF frequencies.

Refugees

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received concerning the implications for his policy on refugees of Amnesty International's code of practice for fair treatment of refugees in the United Kingdom, a copy of which has been forwarded to him; and if he will make a statement.

A number of hon. Members and others have written to me drawing attention to Amnesty International's code of practice for fair treatment of refugees in the United Kingdom. I set out our views on Amnesty's proposals in my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Welwyn Hatfield (Mr. Evans) on 16 March at column 572.

Gary John Byrne

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he proposes to reply to the letter of 29 February from the hon. Member for Vauxhall concerning the treatment of Gary John Byrne.

I assume that the question refers to Gary John Byrne. I hope to reply shortly.

National Finance

Bad Debt

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what information he has as to the total amount of (a) United Kingdom and (b) overseas bad debt written off by United Kingdom banks in the financial years 1979–80 and 1986–87 at 1986 prices; and what has been the cost at 1986 prices to the Exchequer in each of those years of allowing these provisions to be written off against tax.

I regret that information is not readily available in the form requested.

Customs Clearance (Channel Tunnel)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he now has plans to introduce customs clearance for passengers on Channel tunnel trains terminating at London, Waterloo.

No. The most efficient and practicable customs control will be airport-type red and green channels at Waterloo. We are therefore planning on this basis.

Value Added Tax

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he has received any representations on value added tax rules applied to working men's clubs and institutes; and if he will make a statement.

A few representations about VAT on gaming machines were received in the run-up to the Budget, including those made by the Committee of Registered Clubs Associations.

Excise Duty

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will state those treaty obligations of Her Majesty's Government that either prevented him from making or required him to make changes in rates of excise duty between 1987–88 and 1988–89; and if he will list the commodities so affected.

[holding answer 17 March 1988]: There is no obligation in the treaty of Rome which requires member states to set particular rates of excise duty. But, amongst other things, article 95 of the treaty prevents any member state from imposing, directly or indirectly, any internal taxation on the products of other member states in excess of that imposed directly or indirectly on similar domestic products. Article 95 applies to all the excise duties levied in the United Kingdom.

Environment

Housing

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the total of Government (a) assisted and (b) allowed capital expenditure by local authorities on (i) local authority housing, (ii) private sector improvement, repair and intermediate grants, and (iii) housing association grants in the financial years 1970–71 to 1986–87 in 1986 prices.

At 1986–87 prices the total of gross capital public expenditure on housing in England (local authorities, Housing Corporation and new towns) in 1971–72, the earliest year for which figures are available on a consistent basis, was £4,327 million. The comparable figure for 1986–87 is £3,446 million.Available information for the three categories of expenditure specified, for England and at 1986–87 prices, is set out in the table. Although the net total of local authority capital spending is cash limited, spending on the individual component elements specified is not. "Allowed" expenditure is taken to mean gross outturn public

Housing, England
All in 1986–87 prices1
£ million
Local Authority HousingPrivate ImprovementSupport to Housing Associations
YearLA8HC7LA3HC9
PE2Vote3PE4Vote5PEVote
1971–72122,819n/a194n/a2004310n/a
1972–73123,341n/a347n/a25310610n/a
1973–74124,251n/a539n/a31913510n/a
1974–755,4661,763475171467413110
1975–764,8783,82818720053351911370
1976–774,5542,191162194529630425566
1977–783,7692,114142177485629413663
1978–793,3042,057175176359637435675
1979–803,1562,087200164316669278591
1980–812,3612,167182159239714337401
1981–821,7691,318252176182669254368
1982–832,030778508214160902196499
1983–842,1614581,0403111588381621,000
1984–852,261503802412161762163868
1985–862,018517474434124733155793
1986–871,910626392473126715120690
Note: PE gross outturn figures taken from Public Expenditure White Papers; Vote outturn figures taken from Appropriation Accounts.
1 Uprated from the published cash figures using the GDP deflator.
2 Consists of Housing Revenue Account (HRA) renovation, HEA land and dwelling acquisitions, HRA new building for rent and Estate Action. Does not include public expenditure on central government subsidies to LA capital expenditure (eg Main Housing Subsidy).
3 Consists mainly of main housing subsidy which is paid to certain authorities reflecting annual revenue deficits as well as loan charges on capital borrowing. Also includes housing subsidies to the New Towns, which cannot easily be disaggregated.
4 Public Expenditure on Home Improvement, Repairs and Intermediate Grants.
5 Voted expenditure supporting Home Improvement, Repairs and Intermediate Grants.
6 Local Authority support to housing associations for fair rent and low cost home ownership.
7 Housing Corporation support to HAs for fair rent and low cost home ownership.
8 Housing Association Grant (HAG) paid via local authorities.
9 HAG paid via the Housing Corporation.
10 Before 1974 the Housing Corporation/local authorities made loans to Housing Associations without exchequer support. A new system of funding, including capital grants, was introduced in the 1974 Housing Act.
11 Cannot be disaggregated.
12 For these years disaggregated Vote information is not available.

Planning Applications

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish in the Official Report the percentage of planning applications dealt with by local authorities within the statutory eight-week period at the latest available date; and if he will give figures for comparable periods since 1979.

The information requested for the latest available quarter and comparable periods since 1979 are given in the table.

expenditure by local authorities. "Assisted" expenditure is taken to mean Exchequer contributions voted in estimates. Exchequer contributions in respect of assistance to housing associations cannot be disaggregated before 1976–77 as between local authority and Housing Corporation-sponsored schemes. For completeness, the table therefore also includes public and voted expenditure figures in respect of Housing Corporation-sponsored schemes. Information on public expenditure before 1971–72 and on voted expenditure before 1974–75 cannot be made available except at disproportionate cost.

Planning applications decided in eight weeks July-September quarter in each year England

Year

Percentage decided in eight weeks

197960
198063
198164
198270
198368
198469
198568
198664

11987

60

1 Provisional estimates based on returns from early responding authorities.

Transport

Vehicle Excise Duty (Evasion)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his reply of 7 March, Official Report, columns 97–98, to the hon. Member for Gloucester, what is the cost of each intensive local comaign to discourage the evasion of vehicle excise duty carried out during 1987–88; what size of geographical area is covered by each such campaign; and if he has plans to establish a nationwide campaign.

The costs to the Department, together with the relicensing revenue and the court penalties imposed on evaders, of each of the campaigns already held or under way in the present financial year are estimated as follows:

DTp1costsRelicensing revenueCourt penalties
£££
April 1987
South Yorkshire49,000876,0008,600
Nottinghamshire48,000747,0006,700
May 1987
Lothian and Borders49,000688,0006,700
London Metropolitan/City107,0007,000,000335,300
July 1987
Merseyside57,000919,0007,000
September 1987
Tayside32,000233,000200
October 1987 (All Wales)
Dyfed157,000429,0001,500
Gwent389,0004,000
North Wales524,0006,500
South Wales1,016,0003,500
February 1988
Hampshire53,000Results awaited
March 1988
Cambridgeshire36,000
Lincolnshire35,000
Norfolk40,000
Suffolk37,000
700,00012,821,000380,000
1 Police costs are not included; in total, they are probably of a similar order of magnitude.
Each campaign covers a single police force area and is the subject of separate negotiations with the chief constable. Where better publicity can be achieved by synchronised campaigns in adjacent areas, officials endeavour to arrange them in collaboration with the police. I have no plans for a single nationwide campaign.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimates have been made by his Department about the number of cars which are in use without a valid road fund licence.

The most recent estimate of vehicle excise duty evasion in Great Britain is based on a national survey in June 1984 which indicated that 580,000 unlicensed cars and vans were in use on the road.

Employment

Official Notepaper

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment why the Royal Arms no longer appear on the official notepaper of his office.

The Royal Arms crest appears on all letterhead paper supplied to the office of the Secretary of State, for official purposes.

Vocational Education And Training

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what are the terms of reference, and when is publication expected, of the study of the funding of vocational education and training being undertaken by the Manpower Services Commission.

The terms of reference of MSC's study of the funding of vocational education and training are:

  • (a) to describe fully current mechanisms for the financing of vocational education and training in Great Britain (excluding initial continuous full-time schooling) and of individuals (employed and unemployed) undertaking vocational education and training;
  • (b) to investigate, describe and analyse the effects and effectiveness of those mechanisms; and
  • (c) to make recommendations on ways in which the mechanisms and means for the financing of vocational education and training could be improved so as to achieve a system which
    • —brings to bear sufficient resources for achievement of the New Training Initiative objectives and the proper vocational education and training of all the country's workforce;
    • —is effective and efficient in the use of resources;
    • —is responsive to changing needs; and
    • —meets labour market requirements.
    The study is to be informed by an extensive programme of original research which will report to MSC during the spring and early summer. It is anticipated that the final report will be published later in 1988.

    Children

    To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he has any plans to introduce legislation requiring employers to provide adequate insurance cover for children in their employment.

    Such provision already exists under the Employers' Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969.

    Industrial Tribunals

    To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many prosecutions have taken place as a result of industrial tribunals in the south-west in the last year; and in what areas.

    None. Industrial tribunal decisions do not of themselves lead to prosecutions.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many women have served as sidesmen in industrial tribunals in the south-west in the last year.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many women have served as chairpersons of industrial tribunals in the south-west in the last year.

    Scotland

    Plant Grant And Felling Licence Applications

    To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many planting grant and felling licence applications to the Forestry Commission were objected to on environmental grounds in the last full year for which figures are available.

    Twenty-four applications for planting grant were referred to the Forestry Commission's regional advisory committees in the year to 31 December 1987 because of sustained objections on environmental grounds. There were no sustained objections to applications for felling licences.

    Civil Defence

    To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, in the event of civil or nuclear disaster, what arrangements have been made for distribution of emergency supplies including food.

    Regional and island councils have contingency plans for dealing with emergencies, which include arrangements, as appropriate, for the distribution of food and other supplies.

    Electorate

    To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the electorate in each local authority district council ward in Scotland according to the electoral roll currently in force.

    I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 10 March to the hon. Member for Angus, East (Mr. Welsh) at columns 327–30.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the electorate in each parliamentary constituency in Scotland, according to the electoral roll currently in force.

    A table giving this information will be available in April, when I shall send a copy to the hon. Member and place one in the Library.

    Rating Reform

    To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the latest estimate of the level of uniform business rate for Scotland taking account of proposed rates for the financial year 1988–89.

    I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave on 27 November to the hon. Member for Clydebank and Milngavie (Mr. Worthington) at column 132.

    Police Officers

    To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish a table showing for each rank of police officer in Scotland the number who are (i) from ethnic minorities and (ii) women; and what is the total number of police officers in Scotland.

    The position at 31 December 1987 was as follows:

    RankEthnic minoritiesPolicewomen
    Chief Constable
    Deputy Chief Constable
    Assistant Chief Constable
    Chief Superintendent
    Superintendent1
    Chief Inspector3
    Inspector11
    Sergeant350
    Constable11870
    Total14935
    On the same date, total police strength in Scotland was 13,476.

    Judges

    To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many judges in Scotland are (i) from ethnic minorities and (ii) women; and what is the total number of judges in Scotland.

    Of the 24 senators of the College of Justice, six sheriffs principal and 89 sheriffs, four are women. No information is collected centrally on the ethnic origins of judges in Scotland.

    Private Medical Projects

    To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what factors of medical policy are considered by the Scottish Development Agency when considering financial support for private medical projects.

    [holding answer 22 February 1988]: The agency undertakes consultation with appropriate interests in considering support for any private medical project. If consultations bring out factors of medical policy then these are considered by the agency.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give the number of staff in the Scottish Development Agency, and their numbers, currently involved in the consideration of private medical projects.

    [holding answer 22 February 1988]: The numbers of agency staff, and their allocation among divisions, are given in the agency's annual report which is laid before Parliament each year. The staff in post, as at 31 March 1987, was 683.No members of the agency's staff are employed solely in the consideration of private medical projects such as nursing or other homes for the elderly. Staff in the agency deal with such projects as and when appropriate.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the private medical projects currently being considered by the Scottish Development Agency for financial assistance, giving the companies involved and the level of assistance.

    [holding answer 22 February 1988]: For reasons of commercial confidentiality, I am unable to provide this information. The number of private medical projects currently being considered by the agency is eight. These comprise projects where one or more medically qualified staff are involved in providing health care.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if, when considering financial support to private medicine, he takes into consideration the equivalent number of jobs and quality of health care that could be provided in the National Health Service for a similar investment.

    [holding answer 22 February 1988]: No. Applications for financial assistance in respect of health care projects are assessed in terms of any relevant statutory provisions — for example, the Industry Acts — and against the criteria appropriate to the form of assistance applied for.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland who are the Scottish Development Agency's medical advisers concerned with private medical projects.

    [holding answer 22 February 1988]: The Scottish Development Agency health care division provides in-house expertise in the evaluation of health care projects. Where necessary, this expertise is supplemented by the provision of advice from specialists who are consulted, in confidence, on a case by case basis.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assistance has been given by the Scottish Development Agency to the setting up of private homes or hospitals for the elderly in each of the years 1983 to 1987; what individuals or companies were involved and what non-financial assistance was provided.

    [holding answer 22 February 1988]: The financial support given by the Scottish Development Agency to the setting up of private homes or hospitals for the elderly in each of the years 1983 to 1987 was as follows:

    YearAssistance givenNumber1
    £
    1983–84101,5003
    1984–8590,0002
    1985–86139,0004
    1986–87180,0004
    1987–88
    1 Companies-individuals assisted.
    In each case the information relates to the Agency's Financial Year (ending 31 March).The projects identified in the table comprise nursing or residential homes where one or more medically qualified staff are involved. Financial support was provided by way of loan and-or equity as appropriate.For reasons of commercial confidentiality the names of individuals or companies assisted cannot be given.In all cases the Scottish Development Agency's full range of business development advisory services was made available.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what are the guidelines within which the Scottish Development Agency considers requests for financial or other forms of assistance from private health care projects.

    [holding answer 22 February 1988]: Private health care projects are considered for financial or other forms of assistance by the Scottish Development Agency in exactly the same manner as projects in other business sectors. Projects are evaluated in terms of market demand, any relevant technical factors and the skills and experience of those engaged in management. Where investment or other forms of financial assistance are being considered, a financial appraisal is also undertaken. Investments are made under financial guidelines set jointly by the Secretary of State and the Treasury, with the agency board having delegated authority of up to £1 million or 30 per cent. of equity, whichever is the lower. Any investment proposed outside the guidelines has to be approved on a case by case basis by the Scottish Office.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will set out in the Official Report the employment creation criteria used by the Scottish Development Agency when assessing private health care projects.

    [holding answer 22 February 1988]: The employment creation criteria used by the Scottish Development Agency in assessing private health care projects are no different from those used in assessing projects in other areas of business activity. The agency takes into account the additional earnings generated both directly by the project and elsewhere within the Scottish economy.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland which of his Departments is consulted about Scottish Development Agency support for private medical schemes; and which Department accepts final responsibility for approval.

    [holding answer 22 February 1988]: Within the limits of the agency's delegated authority, consultation in respect of any particular project is a matter for the agency's own discretion. Out with these limits, the Industry Department for Scotland is responsible (in consultation with the Scottish Home and Health Department) for approval of agency involvement in such projects.

    Elderly Persons' Homes

    To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assistance in the form of loan guarantees has been given by the Scottish Development Agency towards setting up homes for the elderly in each year from 1983; and what are the names of individuals and companies involved.

    [holding answer 22 February 1988]: There has been no such assistance over the period 1983 to date.

    Coatbridge Project

    To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions he has had with the Scottish Development Agency about extending the geographical area of the Coatbridge project to cover a larger area in Monklands district; and if he will make a statement.

    [holding answer 17 March 1988]: I am pleased to say that agreement has been reached between the Scottish Development Agency and its partners in the Coatbridge project on an extension both to the area of the project to include the rest of Monklands district, and for a further two years from 1 April 1988. The new project will be known as the Monklands project. This does not require the approval of my right hon. and learned Friend. While, therefore, I have kept myself informed about the current discussions between the Scottish Development Agency and its partners about an extension, I have seen no need for separate discussions with the agency, which—as I said in my answer to the hon. Member on 2 1 January—is aware that we regard Lanarkshire as an area which continues to need its special attention.

    Social Services

    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will give figures for the last five years (a) by region, (b) by district and (c) nationally, and the

    Average daily available beds, GP maternity specialty, 1979 and 1982 to 1986
    Health Authority197919821983198419851986Percentage change 1979–86
    Hartlepool1·44·04·04·02·50·5-64·3
    North Tees13·013·115·014·414·814·310·0
    South Tees58·637·037·037·037·036·5-37·7
    East Cumbrian/a12·012·09·08·08·0n/a
    South Cumbrian/a26·726·023·716·517·3n/a
    West Cumbria13·510·09·99·210·010·0-25·9
    Northumberland47·043·043·044·743·440·6-13·6
    Gateshead6·06·06·06·06·06·00·0
    Northern RHA190·5151·8152·9148·0138·2133·2-30·1
    Hull17-41·00·92·84·03·8-78·2
    East Yorkshire64·561·661·360·736·727·1-58·0
    Grimsby24·424·521·020·620·019·6-19·7
    Scunthorpe40·645·842·031·027·027·0-33·5
    York14·014·014·114·58·56·8-51·4
    Scarborough12·012·011·912·012·012·00·0
    Harrogate19·023·023·021·521·915·2-20·0
    Bradford9·18·69·28·17·16·3-30·8
    Airedale19·619·720·017·914·212·6-35·7
    Calderdale10·010·010·010·110·09·8-2·0
    Leeds Westernn/a16·016·016·016·016·0n/a
    Pontefract12·012·011·912·012·012·00·0
    Yorkshire RHA258·6248·2241·3227·2189·4168·2-35·0
    North Derbyshire51·051·037·741·841·942·6-16·5
    South Derbyshire74·383·082·980·382·075·00-9
    Leicestershire98·898·194·688·789·177·6-21·5
    North Lincolnshire29·622·922·514·63·11·3-95·6
    South Lincolnshire29·014·014·011·011·010·9-62·4
    Central Nottinghamshire42·020·418·517·418·318·1-56·9
    Barnsley17·914·214·915·614·110·2-43·0
    Doncastern/a17·519·518·718·314·7n/a
    Rotherhamn/a6·25·26·89·19·8n/a
    Trent RHA382·3327·3309·8294·9286·9260·2-31·9
    Peterborough12·012·012·012·012·012·00·0
    West Suffolkn/a12·70·80·70·50·4n/a
    East Suffolkn/a26·828·028·228·228·0n/a
    Norwich34·033·434·019·317·016·8-50·6
    Great Yarmouth13·914·013·913·711·710·0-28·1
    Huntingdonn/a22·014·90·00·00·0n/a
    East Anglian RHA140·3120·9103·673·969·467·2-52·1
    North Bedfordshire6·06·06·06·06·00·0n/a
    North Hertfordshire6·06·06·05·83·60·0n/a
    North West Hertfordshire10·08·88·08·01·30·0n/a
    South West Hertfordshire12·012·012·012·012·012·00·0
    North West Thames RHA34·032·832·031·822·918·0-47·1
    Basildon and Thurrock7·05·37·07·07·07·00·0
    Mid Essex28·028·028·028·028·028·00·0
    North East Essex63·049·247·045·236·435·1-44·3
    West Essex21·612·50·011·911·88·6-60·2

    percentage change since 1979 for (i) the number of general practitioner maternity beds, (ii) the number of maternity units in hospitals and (iii) the number of maternity hospitals.

    The available information about general practitioner maternity beds is given in the table. Maternity beds is given in the table Consultant obstetric wards may also have beds available for use by general practitioners.Information about individual units and maternity hospitals could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

    Health Authority

    1979

    1982

    1983

    1984

    1985

    1986

    Percentage change 1979–86

    Barking, Havering and Brentwood1·72·02·53·33·32·017·6
    Islingtonn/a5·51·50·00·00·0n/a
    Enfield8·110·914·914·814·614·984·0

    North East Thames RHA

    136·1113·4100·9110·2101·195·6-29·8
    Eastbourne7·88·07·67·57·63·9-50·0
    Hastings10·06·05·45·95·46·0-40·0
    Canterbury and Thanet10·00·90·30·40·20·2-98·0
    Dartford and Gravesham12·00·81·21·00·80·3-97·5
    Maidstone20·020·016·14·83·83·7-81·5
    Tunbridge Wells37·033·724·723·619·017·6-52·4
    Bexley9·08·08·08·08·08·0-11·1

    South East Thames RHA

    105·877·463·351·244·839·7-62·5
    North West Surrey53·430·030·030·08·45·8-89·1
    West Surrey and North East Hampshire5·83·83·53·93·22·0-65·5
    South West Surrey10·09·99·85·70·00·0n/a
    Mid Surrey5·05·05·05·05·05·00·0
    East Surrey11·011·011·01·00·60·0n/a
    Mid Downs26·321·021·021·011·67·5-71·5

    South West Thames RHA

    115·180·780·366·628·820·3-82·4
    East Dorset20·06·06·06·06·06·0-70·0
    West Dorset11·112·012·012·012·011·53·6
    Portsmouth70·360·960·457·852·952·7-25·0
    South West Hampshire and Southampton52·856·148·852·557·049·7-5·9
    Winchester12·811·510·510·811·010·8-15·6
    Basingstoke24·821·521·411·86·81·7-93·1
    Salisbury8·08·08·06·00·00·0n/a
    Swindon2·02·02·02·02·02·00·0
    West Wiltshire and Bath122·0103·096·292·791·889·7-26·5

    Wessex RHA

    323·8281·0265·3251·6239·5224·1-30·8
    West Berkshire64·553·543·149·048·948·5-24·8
    Aylesburyn/a18·018·018·018·09·2n/a
    Wycombe31·931·125·815·819·721·7-32·0
    Milton Keynesn/a36·036·025·217·214·1n/a
    Kettering20·020·015·014·010·50·0n/a
    Northampton12·011·911·112·012·011·1-7·5
    Oxfordshire57·745·945·445·645·738·9-32·6

    Oxford RHA

    240·1216·4194·4179·6172·0143·5-40·2
    Bristol and Weston24·430·830·930·830·612·2-50·0
    Frenchay10·310·410·29·810·510·2-1·0
    Southmead16·016·010·70·00·00·0n/a
    Cornwall and Isles of Stilly45·043·043·036·236·737·0-17·8
    Exeter53·046·848·648·249·137·1-30·0
    North Devonn/a19·019·019·019·016·4n/a
    Plymouthn/a42·742·242·740·921·0n/a
    Torbay32·133·331·931·91·90·2-99·4
    Cheltenhamn/a8·08·08·08·08·0n/a
    Gloucestern/a57·057·747·546·040·4n/a
    Somerset56·852·151·153·040·741·5-26·9

    South Western RHA

    365·8359·1353·3327·1283·42240-38·8
    Bromsgrove and Redditch17·012·08·21·60·10·0n/a
    Herefordshire11·69·69·38·98·29·0-22·4
    Kidderminster and District39·022·022·022·023·424·0-38·5
    Worcester and District29·029·029·029·029·026·5-8·6
    Shropshire85·170·171·372·277·872·5-14·8
    Mid Staffordshire36·027·720·28·67·37·7-78·6
    North Staffordshire30·030·029·524·423·322·6-24·7
    South East Staffordshire11·814·014·014·09·315·833·9
    North Warwickshiren/a10·010·010·09·28·3n/a
    South Warwickshiren/a11·010·511·09·74·0n/a
    Central Birminghamn/a20·020·018·420·020·0n/a
    North Birmingham27·728·228·415·314·21·8-93·5
    Coventry22·421·422·123·023·019·0-15·2
    Dudley70·963·267·052·442·042·0-40·8

    Health Authority

    1979

    1982

    1983

    1984

    1985

    1986

    Percentage change 1979–86

    Sandwell3·04·94·94·94·65·686·7
    Solihulln/a3·11·91·51·91·7n/a
    Walsall23·011·111·111·011·010·6-53·9
    Wolverhampton23·023·021·021·021·021·0-8·7

    West Midlands RHA

    485·2410·3400·4349·2335·0312·1-35·7
    Chester1·71·51·41·11·00·9-47·1
    Crewen/a19·716·616·116·415·5n/a
    Halton18·017·618·09·30·00·0n/a
    Macclesfieldn/a11·07·30·00·00·0n/a
    Wirral11·02·10·00·00·00·0n/a

    Mersey RHA

    97·851·943·326·517·416·4-83·2
    Lancaster2·22·32·93·00·90·0n/a
    Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde10·617·04·317·011·10·0n/a
    Prestonn/a9·09·09·09·04·9n/a
    Blackburn, Hyndburn and Ribble Valley53·155·354·054·053·853·60·9
    Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale19·713·811·17·15·86·1-69·0
    Chorley and South Ribblen/a23·225·628·128·025·9n/a
    Bolton2·81·10·00·00·00·0n/a
    Bury8·15·05·05·05·05·0-38·3
    North Manchester5·24·84·60·10·00·0n/a
    Oldham5·83·34·25·85·95·91·7
    Stockport15·814·615·516·814·714·7-7·0
    Tameside and Glossop10·214·11·30·40·60·5-95·1
    Trafford20·16·06·05·46·06·0-70·1
    Wigan32·933·021·96·01·80·3-99·1

    North Western RHA

    223·5202·5165·4157·7142·6122·9-45·0
    England3,098·92,673·72,506·22,295·52,071·41,845·4-40·4
    n/a = Comparable data not available for 1979, due to NHS restructuring in 1982.

    Operations (Cancellations)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what estimates he has as to the number and percentage of operations which are cancelled due to the absence of the consultant surgeon; and if he will make a statement.

    This information is not held centrally. Following implementation of the recommendations of the health services information steering group, information is now, for the first time, to be collected centrally on the availability and use of operating theatres, including the number of sessions cancelled during the year (but not the reason for those cancellations). Information for 1987–88 is exepected to be available later this year.

    Consultative Documents

    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make it his policy that responses received to consultative documents issued by his Department be made publicly available by placing them in his Department's library, except where the respondent has specifically asked that this not be done; and if he will arrange for this procedure to be made clear when future consultative documents are issued.

    I am not planning to make special arrangements in this regard. Organisations which respond to consultative documents are of course free to publicise their replies as they see fit.

    Health Care

    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will publish the total spent on health care in the United Kingdom for each year since 1979, in absolute terms and as a percentage of gross national product.

    The table shows for 1979 to 1986 total, net public and private expenditure on health care on the United Kingdom in both absolute terms and as a percentage of gross domestic product. The data have been derived from Central Statistical Office national accounts.

    Expenditure on Health Care in the United Kingdom
    £ millionPercentage of GDP
    Total expenditureNet publicPrivateTotalNet publicPrivate
    197910,2299,2459845·24·70·5
    198013,37511,9911,3845·85·20·6
    198115,24613,7221,5246·05·40·6
    198216,30814,3731,9355·95·20·7
    198318,35916,2532,1066·15·40·7
    198419,84717,2862,5616·25·40·8
    198521,11218,2972,8156·05·20·8
    198622,86919,8693,0006·15·30·8

    Source: CSO.

    Note: There are slight rounding differences between these figures and those published by the OECD for purposes of international comparisons.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what information he has as to the total cost of health care in France and Germany as a percentage of each country's own gross national product for each year since 1979.

    The table shows for the period 1979 to 1985—the latest readily available year—total, public and private expenditure on health care in France and Germany as a percentage of their respective gross domestic products. The data have been derived from OECD accounts.

    Expenditure on Health Care as a Percentage of Gross Domestic Product, 1979–1985
    FranceGermany
    TotalPublicPrivateTotalPublicPrivate
    19797·25·81·47·66·11·5
    19807·46·01·47·96·31·6
    19817·76·21·58·26·51·7
    19827·96·31·68·16·31·8
    19838·16·51·68·06·21·8
    19848·46·71·78·16·31·8
    19858·46·71·78·26·41·8

    Source: OECD.

    Nurse Teachers

    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list those regional health authorities with a shortfall in nurse teachers; and what is the shortfall in each of the five parts of the nursing education register.

    Information on shortfalls of nurse teachers is not collected centrally. However, a sample survey by regional health authority chairmen in March 1987, for the pay review body, showed that 4·1 per cent. of all tutorial staff posts had been vacant for three months or more.

    Nhs (Land And Property Sales)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will give for each regional health authority, district health authority and special health authority and for each year since 1982–83 the total income from the sales of surplus land and property in the National Health Service.

    Tables showing each health authority's income from the sale of land and buildings as recorded in its annual accounts for the years requested have been placed in the Library.

    Geriatric Care

    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps are being taken by his Department to ensure that Health Service managers and practitioners are informed of his Department's policy on geriatric care; and what measures are being taken to ensure that they are carrying out the policy.

    Our policy for geriatric care remains as set out in the 1981 White Paper "Growing Older", as amplified and extended by the annual planning guidelines issued to health authorities.We monitor the effectiveness of service in a range of ways; including regular reports on aspects of performance, statistical returns of activity levels, and annual reviews with regional health authorities.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he will make it his policy to issue guidelines to health authorities to provide for the continuation of geriatric nurse training to ensure the provision of competent practitioners for this client group;(2) what plans he has to ensure the full use of specialist trained geriatric nurses in patterns of service training.

    All nurse learners have an allocation to elderly care units as part of their basic training. In addition, outline curricula for two post-basic clinical courses on care of the elderly have been published by the English National Board for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting. It is for health authorities to determine their training needs, and seek approval to run courses based on these curricula.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what assessment he has made of the value to geriatric services of improvements in co-ordination and co-operation between various agencies involved, rather than a single agency taking lead responsibility; and if he will make a statement.

    I refer the hon. Member to my right hon. Friend the Minister for Health's reply to him on 16 March at column 614. Similar considerations apply to care services for elderly people.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services how many (a) geriatric (b) mentally handicapped and (c) mentally ill people are waiting in special hospitals for places to be offered them in local authority residential homes.

    The table shows the number of patients in the special hospitals who, at 16 January, were waiting for places to be offered them in local authority residential homes:

    BroadmoorMoss SidePark LaneRampton
    Geriatric1
    Mentally handicapped116
    Mentally ill people224
    1 Detained patients who are either mentally impaired or severely mentally impaired.
    2 Detained patients who are either mentally ill or psychopathically disordered.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what guidelines have been issued by his Department to health authorities concerning the detaining of (a) geriatric, (b) mentally ill and (c) mentally handicapped people in special hospitals while waiting for places in local authority residential homes.

    The Department has issued no guidelines to health authorities on this matter. Guidelines issued to the special hospitals on the care of elderly and long-stay patients recommend that where such a patient is ready for discharge before suitable alternative provision has been made, he should be allowed to remain in the special hospital temporarily as an informal patient.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services how many (a) privately run nursing homes and (b) local authority run nursing homes accept elderly severely mentally ill people in each local authority area in England.

    The information requested is not available. The numbers of private and local authority homes and hostels for the mentally ill in each local authority are published in "Homes and Hostels for Mentally Ill and Mentally Handicapped People". The numbers of private and local authority homes for the elderly and younger physically handicapped people in each local authority are published in "Residential Accommodation for the Elderly and Younger Physically Handicapped People: All Residents in Local Authority, Voluntary and Private Homes". Both these publications are available in the Library, the latest relating to 1986.

    Mental Illness

    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what evaluation has been made by his Department of the contribution of qualified psychiatric nurses to the success of the community care initiatives relating to mental illness and the use of such qualified nurses by local services in these initiatives.

    The contribution of all care and support staff will be taken into account in the evaluation of the care in the community pilot projects which is now under way. It is hoped the evaluation will be completed in 1989.

    Senile Dementia

    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services how many people with irreversible senile dementia are being cared for in mental hospitals in each health authority area in England.

    I am sorry I cannot give the hon. Member the information he seeks in the form requested. Statistics on resident in-patients by diagnosis are not collected centrally. The table gives the most recent information on admissions, and some people may have been readmitted during the year.

    Admissions with main diagnosis of senile and presenile organic psychotic conditions to NHS mental illness hospitals and units, England 1986
    Region-districtNumber of admissions
    Northern RHA1,358
    Hartlepool108
    North Tees169
    South Tees40
    East Cumbria122
    South Cumbria34
    West Cumbria89
    Darlington43
    Durham87
    North West Durham45
    South West Durham151
    Northumberland146
    Gateshead111
    Newcastle29
    North Tyneside0
    South Tyneside64
    Sunderland120
    Yorkshire RHA1,949
    Hull0
    East Yorkshire213
    Grimsby58
    Scunthorpe1
    Northallerton0
    York342
    Scarborough118

    Region-district

    Number of admissions

    Harrogate33
    Bradford43
    Airedale229
    Calderdale123
    Huddersfield171
    Dewsbury0
    Leeds Western161
    Leeds Eastern75
    Wakefield220
    Pontefract162
    Trent RHA2,094
    North Derbyshire325
    Southern Derbyshire230
    Leicestershire302
    North Lincolnshire163
    South Lincolnshire98
    Bassetlaw65
    Central Nottinghamshire261
    Nottingham67
    Barnsley106
    Doncaster64
    Rotherham126
    Sheffield287
    East Anglian RHA1,261
    Cambridge425
    Peterborough89
    West Suffolk138
    East Suffolk157
    Norwich128
    Great Yarmouth and Waveney248
    West Norfolk and Wisbech1
    Huntingdon75
    North West Thames RHA1,127
    North Bedfordshire7
    South Bedfordshire326
    North Hertfordshire136
    East Hertfordshire45
    North West Hertfordshire82
    South West Hertfordshire112
    Barnet117
    Harrow7
    Hillingdon3
    Hounslow and Spelthorne56
    Ealing37
    Brent84
    Paddington and North Kensington36
    Riverside79
    North East Thames RHA1,303
    Basildon and Thurrock86
    Mid Essex14
    North East Essex251
    West Essex44
    Southend151
    Barking, Havering and Brentwood120
    Hampstead120
    Bloomsbury11
    Islington0
    City and Hackney70
    Newham0
    Tower Hamlets40
    Enfield80
    Haringey16
    Redbridge195
    Waltham Forest105
    South East Thames RHA945

    Region-district

    Number of admissions

    Brighton68
    Eastbourne211
    Hastings1
    South East Kent31
    Canterbury and Thanet128
    Dartford and Gravesham42
    Maidstone133
    Medway9
    Tunbridge Wells19
    Bexley49
    Greenwich5
    Bromley83
    West Lambeth103
    Camberwell2
    Lewisham and North Southwark61
    South West Thames RHA1,240
    North West Surrey157
    West Surrey and North East Hampshire97
    South West Surrey84
    Mid Surrey47
    East Surrey42
    Chichester164
    Mid Downs179
    Worthing District19
    Croydon40
    Kingston and Esher183
    Richmond, Twickenham and Roehampton0
    Wandsworth152
    Merton and Sutton76
    Wessex RHA1,736
    East Dorset91
    West Dorset144
    Portsmouth and South East Hampshire325
    Southampton and South West Hampshire294
    Winchester0
    Basingstoke and North Hampshire166
    Salisbury225
    Swindon47
    Bath District401
    Isle of Wight43
    Oxford RHA1,799
    East Berkshire176
    West Berkshire161
    Aylesbury Vale313
    Wycombe143
    Milton Keynes57
    Kettering289
    Northampton199
    Oxfordshire461
    South Western RHA1,481
    Bristol and Weston16
    Frenchay31
    Southmead25
    Cornwall and Isles of Scilly243
    Exeter195
    North Devon17
    Plymouth253
    Torbay88
    Cheltenham and District0
    Gloucester369
    Somerset244
    West Midlands RHA1,414
    Bromsgrove and Redditch106
    Herefordshire40
    Kidderminster and District80

    Region-district

    Number of admissions

    Worcester and District36
    Shropshire84
    Mid Staffordshire17
    North Staffordshire209
    South East Staffordshire213
    Rugby0
    North Warwickshire0
    South Warwickshire187
    Central Birmingham12
    East Birmingham0
    North Birmingham53
    South Birmingham49
    West Birmingham20
    Coventry35
    Dudley59
    Sandwell0
    Solihull61
    Walsall35
    Wolverhampton118
    Mersey RHA1,389
    Chester79
    Crewe194
    Halton6
    Macclesfield180
    Warrington284
    Liverpool282
    St. Helens and Knowsley167
    Southport and Formby103
    South Sefton39
    Wirral55
    North Western RHA1,740
    Lancaster97
    Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde126
    Preston201
    Blackburn, Hyndburn and Ribble Valley148
    Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale60
    West Lancashire30
    Chorley and South Ribble79
    Bolton80
    Bury34
    North Manchester143
    Central Manchester58
    South Manchester80
    Oldham9
    Rochdale9
    Salford219
    Stockport110
    Tameside and Glossop65
    Trafford35
    Wigan157
    Special Health Authority22
    (Bethlem Royal and Maudsley Hospital)
    England Total20,858

    Maternal Deaths

    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services how many (a) direct and (b) indirect maternal deaths in England and Wales in each year since 1985 occurred in National Health Service hospitals without consultant obstetric units; and how many were associated with anaesthesia.

    Fraud

    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the total amount of money obtained by fraud from his Department's offices in the Bolton area during the last 12 months for which figures are available; how many cases this involved; and what action is being taken to prevent further occurrences.

    It is not possible to ascertain the total amount of money obtained by fraud. In the year ended 9 February 1988 fraud staff in the Bolton area discovered overpayments of benefit amounting to £129,691. To prevent fraud, benefit procedures are kept under continual review and measures are adopted to combat fraud wherever possible.

    Nhs (Birmingham)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will now reply to a letter and analysis of the revenue and capital situation in the National Health Service in Birmingham sent on behalf of the five Birmingham community health councils dated 12 February.

    We can find no record of the original letter of 12 February although a copy has now been received. A reply to earlier correspondence from Central Birmingham community health council was sent by my right hon. Friend the Minister for Health on 17 March.

    Dental Charges

    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what representations he has received from the General Dental Practitioners' Association in respect of the proposal to levy a charge for dental examinations; what his response has been; and if he will make a statement.

    I received a letter from the General Dental Practitioners' Association dated 20 January which expressed the association's opposition to our proposals concerning charges for dental examinations. In my response, as with the similar representations I have received, I expressed the view that it is reasonable for patients who can afford it to make a contribution towards the cost of the dental examination of less than £3 at today's prices. Moreover, I pointed out that we were retaining all current exemptions from dental charges, and that therefore the charge could not be expected to have any significant deterrent effect.

    Salford Health Authority (Delegation)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what criteria he used in deciding to meet a delegation of hon. Members about the financial position of Salford health authority; what criteria the Minister for Health the right hon. Member for Braintree, (Mr. Newton), used in refusing to meet a delegation of hon. Members about the financial position of the South Manchester health authority; and if he will make a statement.

    Such meetings are a matter for the judgment of individual departmental Ministers. In this case, the hon. Members refused an offer by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Security to meet them.

    Natural Medicine

    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he will detail proposed changes to the licences of natural medical practitioners;(2) if he has received representations concerning the proposed changes in regulating licensed natural medical practitioners; and if he will make a statement;(3) how many licensed natural medical practitioners have been licensed to practise in England, by regional health authority, in each of the past eight years.

    Medical treatment provided under the National Health Service must he given or prescribed by a practitioner registered by the General Medical Council. Practitioners of alternative therapies who are not registered with that council are free to offer their services privately subject to the appropriate provisions of statute and common law and the Department does not collect information on them.

    Narcolepsy

    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he has received any representations from the Narcolepsy Association (UK) concerning changes in drug availability; and if he will make a statement.

    We have no record of any representations from the Narcolepsy Association (UK) about the availability of drugs required by people who suffer from narcolepsy. Amphetamines are normally prescribed for narcolepsy, and although these are controlled drugs, they continue to be available on NHS prescription from general practitioners.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list those research projects dealing with the problem of narcolepsy, stating in which regional health authorities these projects are being undertaken and the funding arrangements for each project.

    Narcolepsy is an irresistible tendency to go to sleep. It is more usual to speak of the narcolepsies, rather than of narcolepsy, for sudden, repetitive attacks of sleep occurring in the day-time arise in diverse clinical conditions.It is understood the United Kingdom incidence of narcolepsy is very small.The Department is not at present directly supporting any research into the problem of narcolepsy. I am not aware that any is being carried out by a regional health authority under the locally organised research scheme.I understand there is a project on narcolepsy being carried out by the University of Manchester. Details of this and its funding are not held centrally.

    Family Planning

    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he will make a statement about the future of the family planning services provided by district health authorities;(2) whether he has plans to require all district health authorities to make sterilisation and vasectomy operations available on the National Health Service;(3) if he plans to issue a circular to district health authorities about family planning services.

    The principles underlying the 1974 memorandum of guidance on family planning services in the NHS continue to reflect Government policy, and we have no plans to issue new guidance. The memorandum includes advice on the availability of male and female sterilisation on family planning as well as medical grounds, and asks health authorities to ensure that those with a priority need for the operation are enabled to receive it quickly.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list district health authorities which are currently reducing the family planning services they provide.

    I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the right hon. Member for Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale (Mr. Steel) on 15 March at column 548.

    Medical Appeal Tribunals (South-West)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services how many women have served as chairpersons in medical appeal tribunals in the south-west in the last year.

    I am advised by the president of social security appeal tribunals and medical appeal tribunals that, in the region covering Wales and the south-west, there are currently 19 persons appointed to serve of whom one is a woman. In England and Wales, nominations are made by the president from a panel appointed by the Lord Chancellor.

    Contraception

    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what analysis his Department has made of the most cost-effective means of contraception.

    The Department has made no such analysis. The method used should be that which is most suitable and acceptable in each individual case.

    Unwanted Pregnancies

    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what he estimates the number of unwanted pregnancies is per year.

    Supplementary Benefit Tribunals

    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services how many women have served as chairpersons in supplementary benefit tribunals in the south-west in the last year.

    Nursing and midwifery staff at 30 September
    Whole-time equivalents1
    1983198419851986
    RegionNursing and midwifery staff2AgencyBankNursing and midwifery staff2AgencyBankNursing and midwifery staff2AgencyBankNursing and midwifery staff2AgencyBank
    Northern26,720312026,52022026,87024027,10040250
    Yorkshire29,82032029,89034030,100407030,10090100
    Trent35,10013035,38016036,48019036,870260
    East Anglian14,420409014,75011011015,15016017015,200180210
    North West Thames27,79062024027,53085026027,0801,08029027,0701,360230
    North East Thames34,28060037033,93098035033,31085040032,4601,400480

    I am advised by the president of social security appeal tribunals that, in the region covering Wales and the south-west, there are currently 105 persons appointed to serve of whom 11 are women. In England and Wales, nominations are made by the president from a panel appointed by the Lord Chancellor.

    Local Authority Expenditure

    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what real percentage increase, according to personal social services pay and prices, in expenditure would have been required between 1978–79 and 1986–87 by local authority social services departments in order to keep pace with demographic and other pressures; which local authorities fell below this line in 1986–87; what the budget growth of these authorities was; what was the actual expenditure on personal social services in these authorities; what the expenditure should have been to meet the level indicated; and what was the difference between these two levels of expenditure.

    [holding answer 15 March 1988]: Taking 2 per cent. per annum as a broad measure of demographic and other pressures on the personal social services at national level, a 17·2 per cent. real percentage increase would have been required over the period 1978–79 to 1986–87. But demographic and other pressures do not bear evenly on individual local authorities and it is therefore not appropriate to apply this figure at authority level. Full relevant information is not available to enable a calculation based on local circumstances.

    Nurses

    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the number of nurses directly employed by National Health Service hospitals on (a) permanent and (b) temporary contracts, by region, for each year from 1983 to 1987; and what was the number of agency or bank nurses employed by National Health Service hospitals, by region, for each year from 1983 to 1987.

    [holding answer 11 February 1988]: Information about the number of nurses on permanent and temporary contracts is not collected centrally and information specifically for nurses employed in hospitals is not readily available.The total number of nursing and midwifery staff employed in each region on 30 September 1983, 1984, 1985 and 1986 and the number of agency and bank staff is given in the table. Similar information for September 1987 is not yet available.

    1983

    1984

    1985

    1986

    Region

    Nursing and midwifery staff

    2

    Agency

    Bank

    Nursing and midwifery staff

    2

    Agency

    Bank

    Nursing and midwifery staff

    2

    Agency

    Bank

    Nursing and midwifery staff

    2

    Agency

    Bank

    South East Thames30,76048029029,98077031029,55082041029,110860390
    South West Thames24,53038028023,99048039023,72052047023,210620520
    Wessex21,6604026021,8806031022,36010029022,640120300
    Oxford16,500

    3

    9016,7801020016,6004023016,60090260
    South Western25,820

    3

    27025,8401031026,3404034026,50040430
    West Midlands40,750106040,76010014041,75010021042,060170280
    Mersey22,1302016021,6406015021,9104020021,98080270
    North Western37,0605037,17015037,48017037,63020210
    London Post Graduate Special Health Authorities4,910250204,580310104,620330204,50037020
    England Total392,2502,4402,430390,6303,7503,110393,3204,1203,710393,0205,4504,220

    1 All figures are independantly rounded to the nearest ten (10) whole-time equivalents.

    2 Includes qualified nurses and midwives, learners and unqualified staff. Excludes Agency and Bank.

    3 Less than five (5) whole-time equivalents.

    Source: DHSS (SR7) Annual Census of NHS Non-Medical Manpower.

    Yorkshire Health Authorities (Staffing)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list the staffing levels in each health authority within the Yorkshire region in each of the following categories (a) ancillary posts, (b) nursing, (c) medical dental (d) administration and clerical and (e)

    NHS directly employed staff in post—30 September each year
    Whole-time equivalents1
    Yorkshire RHAMedical and Dental2Nursing and Midwifery3Administration and Clerical
    District health authorities19851986Per cent. change 1985–8619851986Per cent. change 1985–8619851986Per cent. change 1985–86
    Hull160140-92,5202,5702620600-2
    East Yorkshire7070-21,7701,700-43203100
    Grimsby7070-41,3401,39032802901
    Scunthorpe707071,1301,13002702801
    Northallerton2020105305300130130-3
    York10011052,3402,36014604701
    Scarborough5050685087021902006
    Harrogate7070-31,1501,130-22502706
    Bradford17018032,8102,770-15805901
    Airedale5060241,4301,390-32702802
    Calderdale809021,5201,55022902902
    Huddersfield11011052,0602,020-24004102
    Dewsbury808071,0101,03012302508
    Leeds Western39040013,3803,360-1790770-3
    Leeds Eastern330320-33,0803,16027707801
    Wakefield11011002,2002,130-33703904
    Pontefract6070111,0801,10022502605
    Regional Total2,9202,970230,22030,29007,0207,0200
    Yorkshire RHAAncillaryOther Staff Groups4Total directly employed staff5
    District health authorities19851986Per cent. change 1985–8619851986Per cent. change 1985–8619851986Per cent. change 1985–86
    Hull930800-149901,06085,2105,180-1
    East Yorkshire710540-24340340-13,2102,960-8
    Grimsby450420-728030052,4302,4601
    Scunthorpe360320-1122023052,0602,040-1
    Northallerton170170-2120120-3970970-1
    York780660-1574077044,4204,370-1
    Scarborough340320-521022021,6401,6601
    Harrogate450430-428030062,2002,1900
    Bradford990900-962065055,1705,090-2
    Airedale500450-10330320-12,5802,500-3
    Calderdale520350-3331033052,7202,600-4
    Huddersfield730650-10460460-13,7503,650-3

    other grades, including ambulance staff and technicians, in 1986 and 1987, indicating the percentage increase or decrease in each category and in the total.

    [holding answer 18 January 1988]: Figures shown in the table relate to staff in post at 30 September 1985 and 1986. Figures are not yet available centrally for 1987.

    Yorkshire RHA

    Ancillary

    Other Staff Groups

    4

    Total directly employed staff

    5

    District health authorities

    1985

    1986

    Per cent. change 1985–86

    1985

    1986

    Per cent. change 1985–86

    1985

    1986

    Per cent. change 1985–86

    Dewsbury340290-1424025051,9001,9100
    Leeds Western1,3101,230-61,1301,18057,0106,940-1
    Leeds Eastern1,3401,280-589090016,4106,4300
    Wakefield800680-15360460273,8503,770-2
    Pontefract420240-4326027052,0701,940-6
    Regional Total11,3009,870-139,1709,410360,64059,570-2

    Source: DHSS (SR7) Annual censuses of NHS medical and non-medical manpower.

    1 Figures are independently rounded to the nearest ten (10) whole time equivalents. Percentage changes are calculated on unrounded figures.

    2 Includes permanent paid, honorary and locum staff. Excludes consultants from non-teaching districts and senior registrars from all districts. Contracts for all senior registrars and for most consultants are held by regional health authorities centrally. There will therefore be more doctors and dentists actually working in the districts than are accounted for in the table.

    3 Includes agency staff.

    4 Includes Professional and Technical, Works, Maintenance and Ambulance Staff (including Officers).

    5 Includes Medical and Dental, Nursing and Midwifery, Professional and Technical, Works, Maintenance, Administrative and Clerical, Ambulance (including Officers) and Ancillary Staff.

    6 Includes staff at Regional Headquarters and HQ Units. Includes Senior Medical and Dental; staff whose contracts are held by the Regional Health Authority (see note (2)).

    Agriculture, Fisheries And Food

    Thames Flood Plains

    To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment his Department has made of the role of the River Thames flood plains in preventing serious flooding.

    [holding answer 10 March 1988]: It is for the water authorities to plan flood protection as they consider appropriate, and this Ministry is involved only when projects are proposed for grant approval.

    Defence

    Chemical Weapons

    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment his Department has made of Soviet modernisation of their chemical weapons; and if he will make a statement.

    The Soviet Union commands the world's largest and most sophisticated chemical warfare capability. In 1987, it admitted that it possessed chemical weapons but the dated examples on display during the visit to the Soviet chemical weapons facility at Shikhany last October, revealed little of Soviet modern weapons or chemical agent technology.There have been many advances in chemical weapons technology in recent years. New methods of delivering an expanding range of potential new agents have been developed. We assess that the Soviet Union's extensive research and development programme will have enabled it to exploit many of these advances and to develop new weapons utilising advanced and sophisticated chemical agents.

    Sea Systems Controllerate

    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to receive the reports concerning the reorganisation of the sea systems controllerate.

    I expect to receive a report of a full investment appraisal into the options for the co-location of the controllerate project staffs in the autumn.

    Management In Government (Report)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what action he is taking on the recommendations of the efficiency committee report, "Improving Management in Government: The Next Steps," which are within the area of responsibility of his Department.

    In accordance with the policy on Civil Service management announced by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 18 February, the Ministry of Defence is considering two candidates for possible agency status: the Non-Nuclear Research Establishments and the Meteorological Office.

    Nuclear Missiles

    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to reach a decision with his North Atlantic Treaty Organisation counterparts on the replacement of the intermediate range of land-based nuclear missiles, with new air and sea-launched cruise missiles and other nuclear weapons, in accordance with the Montebello programme.

    NATO is not planning to replace intermediate range land-based nuclear missiles.

    Nato Meeting (Belgium)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence why he did not attend the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Ministers and Heads of State meeting in Belgium on 2–3 March.

    In accordance with the normal practice for such meetings the United Kingdom was represented at the meeting of the North Atlantic Council on 2–3 March by my right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary.