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Written Answers

Volume 167: debated on Wednesday 14 February 1990

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Written Answers To Questions

Wednesday 14 February 1990

Environment

Dog Registration

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) how many local authorities and organisations representing local authorities, responding to the paper "Action on Dogs", were in favour of registration as a means of tackling the stray dogs problem;(2) how many responses were received from local authorities, and organisations representing local authorities, to the Government's consultation paper "Action on Dogs".

Out of 462 local authorities and organisations known to represent them, 247 responded to our consultation paper and 207 of those who responded supported a dog registration scheme of some kind.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps have been taken to assess the dog registration scheme in Northern Ireland with a view to applying that scheme in the rest of the United Kingdom.

My officials have made contact with officials in the Department of Agriculture, Northern Ireland, with a view to discussing with them their experience of the operation of the various dog control provisions in force in Northern Ireland, and in particular the enforcement of the requirement for dogs to wear identification tags. We believe that the enforcement of this existing requirement would be more effective than an elaborate registration scheme in solving the problems caused by irresponsible dog owners. Officials from my Department will be visiting Northern Ireland shortly for this purpose.

Toxic Waste Tips

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the danger posed by toxic waste tips to drinking water supplies and on current filling and safety regulations in respect of toxic tips; and what plans he has to amend these regulations in the future.

There are a range of statutory controls which provide effective protection of drinking water supplies. First, there is a requirement for waste disposal authorities—in considering applications for disposal licences made under the Control of Pollution Act 1974—to have regard to possible risks of water pollution, and to consult with the National Rivers Authority. Under provisions in the current Environmental Protection Bill, we propose to strengthen and extend the licensing controls. Secondly, under the Water Act 1989, water undertakings are under a statutory duty to supply wholesome water, and it is an offence to supply water which is unfit for human consumption. Thirdly, we have recently announced the formation of a new drinking water inspectorate whose job it will be to check that supplies meet the standards defined in the new water quality regulations. Fourthly, the NRA also have extensive programmes for monitoring the quality of ground and surface waters. Consequently, we now have a strong set of safeguards for drinking water supplies and I have no plans to amend the basic system of controls in this area.

Council Properties, Bolton

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many council-owned properties in the Bolton metropolitan borough area were renovated in 1989 and during each of the last 10 years; and what was the amount of Government grants given in respect of this work during the same period.

The number of renovations completed on local authority-owned dwellings in England appears in "Local Housing Statistics" [volumes 55 (table 9), 58 (table 7) and table 4 of volumes 65, 69, 73, 77, 81, 85, 89, 90 and 91 (first half 1989)].Copies are available in the Library.The cost of renovation works undertaken by a council is included in the calculation of its entitlement to main housing subsidy. Bolton received £3,070,669 in subsidy in 1981–82 and £126,447 in 1982–83. It has since been out of subsidy.

Bed-And-Breakfast Accommodation

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what are the latest figures for the number of people living in bed-and-breakfast accommodation.

Latest estimates of households temporarily resident in bed-and-breakfast accommodation appear in table 4(a) of "Local authorities' action under the homelessness provisions of the 1985 Housing Act: England. Results for the third quarter 1989. Supplementary Tables", which is in the Library.

Local Government Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what estimates he has made of the percentage of persons listed on community charge registers who will fail to pay the charge in 1990–91 for English shire counties; and what guidance he has issued to local authorities as to the estimates they should make for default when deciding on the amount of charge to meet their planned expenditure.

The Department has made no estimates of the proportion of charge payers who may fail to pay community charges and sees no need to offer advice on this to charging authorities. We have issued practice notes on steps that charging authorities may take to minimise arrears, and more flexible instalment regimes and improved powers of enforcement should improve authorities' ability to obtain arrears compared with that under the domestic rating system.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what were the totals of spending in 1990–91 by (a) Somerset county council and (b) Taunton Deane borough council assumed for the purposes of his calculations of illustrative combined capital value rates and local income tax published on 6 November 1989.

The assumed spending was the same as that used for the provisional assumed charges also published on 6 November.The assumed spending figures for 1990–91 were:

£ million
Somerset county council222·367
Taunton Deane borough council4·306

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, further to his answer to the hon. Member for Coventry, South-East on 6 February, Official Report, columns 582–83, if he will list all departmental circulars, excluding practice notes, issued by his Department in connection with the community charge, giving in each case, the date of issue and an outline of the contents; and if he will indicate whether copies of such have been placed in the Library.

[holding answer 13 February 1990]: No numbered departmental circulars have been issued about the community charge. A number of letters have been sent to all charging authorities. These are as follows:

Date of issueContents
1988
25 JulyCommunity charge costs: Price Waterhouse study
5 AugustLocal Government Finance Act
15 DecemberCommunity charge regulations: Valuation and Community Charge Tribunals
16 DecemberCommunity charge preparation costs
1989
31 JanuaryCommunity charge students regulations
31 JanuaryImplementation of the community charge
28 FebruaryCommunity charge implementation and minority language translations
17 MarchImplementation of rates reform
3 MayImplementation of the community charge and NNDR: questionnaire
5 MayLeaflet: "The community charge (the so-called Poll Tax): how it will work for you"
5 MayPayment of specific grant for community charge
10 MayUnited Kingdom service personnel
10 AugustCommunity charge registration and data protection
18 SeptemberAmendments to practice notes
11 OctoberSafety net and transitional relief
13 OctoberPayment of specific grant for community charge preparation
20 OctoberCommunity charge transitional relief
20 OctoberCommunity charge bill
26 OctoberAmendments to practice notes
3 NovemberExemption for those severely mentally impaired
9 NovemberCommunity charge transitional relief
16 NovemberLocal Government and Housing Act 1989: amendments to Local Government Finance Act
22 NovemberTransitional relief scheme—details
15 DecemberCommunity charge bill—details
28 DecemberCommunity charge: amendments to practice notes
1990
10 JanuaryCommunity charge transitional relief regulations
9 FebruaryDesignation of Ministry of Defence Establishments

Details of those letters amending practice notes are placed in the Library of the House.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will provide comparable figures to his November estimate of the amount of poll tax payable in 1990–91 per adult as against rates for each region and each metropolitan area and county council.

The information requested has been placed in the Library. The figures are consistent with the assumed charges published on 11 January.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what criteria he proposes to use to charge-cap those authorities whose proposed community charge is unacceptably high; and if he will make a statement.

I have nothing to add to the answer which I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Bristol North-West (Mr. Stern) on 17 January, Official Report, columns 252–3.

Rural Housing

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received over the shortage of council houses in rural areas; and if he will make a statement.

My right hon. Friend receives representations from time to time from hon. Members' interest groups and members of the public. I also refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Sheffield, Hillsborough (Mr. Flannery) on 13 December 1989, Official Report, column 711.

Hazardous Wastes

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his policy on control of the transfrontier shipment of hazardous wastes.

Government policy is to encourage international action to reduce transfrontier shipment of hazardous waste for disposal to the environmentally justified minimum and to monitor and control effectively, those movements that are necessary. These objectives are being pursued in discussions with the European Community, OECD and UNEP and through the provisions of national legislation.

Waste Dumps

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list in Northumberland the location of mine shafts currently in use as dumps for waste or special waste.

My Department has no record of any mine shafts currently in use in Northumberland for the disposal of controlled waste.

Water Supplies

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has as to the number of poison dumps which threaten water supplies; and what assessment he has made of the danger posed by such dumps to water supplies within the Newcastle-under-Lyme constituency.

These are matters for waste disposal authorities. They are required to operate disposal licensing controls under the Control of Pollution Act 1974, acting in consultation with what is now the National Rivers Authority, in order to prevent risks of water pollution. Under provisions in the Environmental Protection Bill, waste regulation authorities will also be required to inspect and monitor closed landfill sites.The recently publicised 1974 survey was a desk assessment to assist the relevant authorities in carrying out their statutory responsibilities. Since then, the Department has had an active research programme into the behaviour and characteristics of landfill sites, the results of which have been reflected in a series of waste management papers issued by the Department.

Council Contracts

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what action he is taking to prevent councils from avoiding competition by submitting contracts to tender in a way guaranteed to favour their own work force.

The Department investigates all complaints of anti-competitive practices by local authorities on their merits. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has powers of sanction under sections 19A and 19B of the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980 and sections 13 and 14 of the Local Government Act 1988 and will use them where necessary. To date, notices under section 19A of the 1980 Act have been served on the metropolitan borough of Wirral and the London borough of Brent. A direction was subsequently given to the metropolitan borough of Wirral under section 19B of that Act. Notices under section 13 of the Local Government Act 1988 have been served on five local authorities—the London borough of Hillingdon, Bristol city council, Wolverhampton metropolitan borough council, Knowsley metropolitan borough council and Charnwood borough council. My right hon. Friend is currently considering responses received from these authorities.

Homelessness

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what are the latest figures of acceptances of homeless households by local authorities in England and Wales.

Latest estimates of households accepted a s homeless in England appear in table 1(a) of "Local authorities' action under the homelessness provisions of the 1985 Housing Act: England. Results for the third quarter 1989. Supplementary Tables", which is in the Library.For information about Wales, I refer the hon. Member to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales.

Pollution

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what proposals he has to help Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution and local authorities recover the costs of regulating pollution.

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Welwyn Hatfield (Mr. Evans), on Tuesday 30 January 1990, Official Report, columns 173–74.

Right To Buy

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he has any plans to extend the right to buy to all tenants of non-resident landlords.

Lambeth

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what loss of income will accrue to Lambeth council when uniform business rates are not paid within the year to which demands relate.

Under the Non-Domestic Rating Contributions (England) Regulations 1989 (S I 2435), charging authorities in inner London, in calculating their provisional contributions to the national non-domestic rating pool, may deduct an allowance for possible losses of 0·45 per cent. of their estimated rate yield for the year. The regulations provide for all losses to be offset against contributions to the pool at outturn stage, subject to audit. Provision may be made at outturn stage for amounts which may have to be written off, again subject to audit. These arrangements were agreed by the local authority associations.

Revenue Support Grant, Northamptonshire

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the 1990–91 revenue support grant entitlement per head of population, before safety net adjustments, for each borough and district council in Northamptonshire, in descending order of magnitude.

The information requested is shown in the table:

1990–91 Revenue support grant per adult before safety net adjustments
AreaRSG before safety net
(£ adult)
Northampton239
Corby233
Wellingborough223
Kettering222
Daventry213
East Northamptonshire212
South Northamptonshire204

Genetically Modified Organisms

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has considered the issue of liability in respect of damage caused to the environment as a result of the release of a genetically engineered organism.

Part VI of the Environmental Protection Bill refers to the setting up of a statutory control system for genetically modified (engineered) organisms, making provision for criminal offences in the case of breach, including the general duties for preventing damage to the environment. Express provisions relating to civil liability are not included. However, Lord Lewis, chairman of the Royal Commission on environmental pollution, referred to the question of strict civil liability in his letter to the Secretary of State of 6 February. I am considering the position further.

Derbyshire County Council

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will set out a table showing for each year since 1981 the expenditure of Derbyshire county council in (a) cash terms, (b) constant price terms and (c) cash terms per head of population.

The information is as follows:

Net current expenditure—Derbyshire county council
Cash termsReal terms—1981–82 pricesCash terms per head
£ million£ million1£2
1981–82268·0268·0294
1982–83296·8276·8326
1983–84313·3279·2344
1984–85365·9310·6401
1985–86357·4287·9392
1986–87397·4309·7433
1987–88442·2327·3481
1988–89486·2335·5526
1989–90503·3324·6544
1Using the GDP deflator to convert from cash values to constant prices.
2Population figures used to derive per capita values are latest available Office of Population Censuses and Surveys mid-year estimates of total population.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will set out a table showing for each year since 1981 the staffing levels of Derbyshire county council (a) full time, (b) part time and (c) in total.

The information is as follows:

Derbyshire county council: All services at June
Full-timePart-timeTotal
198120,51717,89138,408
198220,21718,45538,672
198320,76518,34239,107
198420,81718,76439,581
198520,76419,25240,016
198620,90321,23442,137
198721,41223,50144,913
198822,56925,08147,650
198922,71223,59346,305

Planning Appeals

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many local authority planning decisions were overruled by his Department in 1989.

The figure is 7,681. This amounts to less than 2 per cent. of all planning decisions.

Property Services Agency

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) for what type of Property Services Agency the Thesis computer system has been designed;(2) what is the projected cost of equipping the Property Services Agency with the Thesis computer system.

The Thesis system is designed to provide IT support to PSA's maintenance management and associated operations throughout the United Kingdom. The equipment is estimated to cost £12·8 million over the next two years. The system is reviewed periodically against PSA's changing requirements. A review is now in progress in the light of PSA's transition to a commercial organisation and subsequent privatisation.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the discussions between representatives of the United States air force and the Property Services Agency about the implications for the United States air force of Property Services Agency privatisation.

Talks are continuing, and I have nothing to add to the answer I gave to the hon. Member on 21 December 1989, Official Report, column 436.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what estimate he has made of the time it is expected to take for the Property Services Agency to move from vote accounting to full commercial accounting in a trading fund.

It is planned to introduce full commercial accounts with effect from 1 April 1991. So long as the PSA remains a Government Department, it will retain vote accounts in parallel. There are no plans to establish PSA as a trading fund.

Crown Suppliers

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many grades 6 and above were working in the Crown Suppliers on 1 February 1988, 1989 and 1990.

At 1 February 1988, there were eight grade 6 staff; four grade 5 staff and one grade 3. At 1 February 1989, there were eight grade 6 staff; three grade 5 staff and one grade 3. At 1 February 1990, there were six grade 6 staff; five grade 5 and one grade 3.

Waste Sites (West Sussex)

To ask the Secretary of State for the environment what action his Department is taking to deal with the West Sussex toxic and domestic waste sites posing some risk to water in his Department's list of landfill sites in England and Wales.

[holding answer 9 February 1990]: The 1973–74 survey, featured in a recent newspaper article, was a desk assessment of possible risks to assist statutory authorities in controlling and monitoring waste disposal sites under public health legislation and, subsequently, the licensing requirements of the Control of Pollution Act 1974. The information was made available to the appropriate authorities at the time.

Since then, West Sussex county council and the Southern water authority will have monitored waste disposal sites and ground and surface waters in their areas in accordance with their responsibilities under the Water Act 1973 and the Control of Pollution Act 1974, which include powers to take action over pollution where this occurs.

Detailed, up-to-date information is not held centrally on the location of waste disposal sites and safeguards taken. Under the Water Act 1989, the National Rivers Authority now has responsibility for monitoring ground and surface waters and is currently reviewing the scope of these programmes. We are providing it with the list of sites identified in the 1973–74 survey for possible reference purposes.

Ssas, Yorkshire

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will set out the reasons for the variations in the standard spending assessment between the Harrogate borough council on a per capita basis, York city council and Scarborough borough council.

[holding answer 12 February 1990]: The standard spending assessments for these three authorities have been calculated in accordance with the formulae set out in the Revenue Support Grant Distribution Report (England). The table gives details for the three authorities of the amount of SSA in £/adult which is attributable to each of the indicators used to calculate their SSAs. The indicators are defined in annex A to the distribution report.

SSA £/per head of relevant population
IndicatorHarrogateYorkScarborough
Resident population817577
Daytime net inflow-130
Visitors nights115
Ward weighted density102612
Social index-21-1-14
Sparsity14011
Transfer to North Yorks CC-8-8-8
County level services111
Flood defence110
Coast protection002
Interest receipts-2-3-2
TOTAL OTHER SERVICES759584
TOTAL CAPITAL FINANCING668
TOTAL SSA8110291

Recycled Paper

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will consider financial measures that would encourage local authorities to use recycled stationery.

[holding answer 13 February 1990]: Financial measures are not necessary; stationery made from recycled fibre can already fulfil most requirements adequately at a competitive price. It is important for local authorities to consider whether they are over-specifying and demanding a quality of paper that is too good for the purpose. An expert working group set up under the aegis of the recycling forum chaired by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of Slate for Industry and Consumer Affairs is specifically considering such issues.

Metals (Recycling)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he is taking to encourage the recycling of metals.

I have been asked to reply.My Department's environmental programme includes a number of initiatives aimed at increasing awareness of the economic and environmental benefits of recycling, and at achieving increases in the levels of United Kingdom domestic and industrial waste now being recycled. The recycling advisory group which I formed last year is currently considering the best means of securing such increases for a range of products and materials, including metal containers, and Warren Spring laboratory has been co-operating with industry on research into techniques to reclaim more metals from the waste stream. My Department has also helped to organise the recycling of metalliferous materials international conference to be held in Birmingham in April.The Environmental Protection Bill also contains proposals which are intended to increase recycling levels, and it is the Government's intention to publish a White Paper on the environment later this year; this may also have implications for recycling.

Packaging

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what discussions he has had with the packaging industry about the need for minimum packaging policies to reduce waste; and if he will make a statement.

I have been asked to reply.My Department's environmental programme has given priority to waste minimisation issues and the "Cutting Your Losses" brochure published last year emphasised the importance of reducing waste in all industrial sectors, including the packaging industry. We are now organising a design for the environment conference at the national exhibition centre on 28 March; this will consider environmental design problems and in particular will examine how products can be redesigned to minimise waste during the manufacturing and packaging process. The conference will act as a springboard for other design-related initiatives to promote awareness in this area. My Department is also of course in frequent touch with the packaging industry on the full range of environmental issues.

Forestry

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many hectares of forest have been planted in each year since 1980.

I have been asked to reply.The information is given in the table. This covers the total new planting undertaken or grant-aided by the Forestry Commission in the years stated, rounded to the nearest 1,000 hectares. It does not include the restocking of woodland after felling.

Year ended 31 MarchTotal new planting
(hectares)
198024,000
198120,000
198223,000
198321,000
198425,000
198521,000
198623,000
198724,000
198829,000
198929,000

Education And Science

Special Educational Needs

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science by what means his Department is monitoring Government policy on the integration of children with special educational needs; and if he will make a statement.

The principal means used by the Department are the statistical returns from local education authorities and schools, HMI reports, surveys and research projects. Evaluation studies of the Education Reform Act will also take account of the position of pupils with special educational needs, where appropriate.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if, in the light of the findings of Her Majesty's inspector's report on education, he has proposals designed to improve the quality of education available to students with learning disabilities; and if he will make a statement.

The Government announced on 18 December their programme for the local education authority training grants scheme for 1990–91, under which £9·7 million will be devoted to six national priority areas in the field of special needs and issued for consultation on 9 January a draft circular on staffing for pupils with special educational needs, which sets out a number of considerations which local education authorities should take into account in reviewing local provision for these pupils in their areas. These measures will contribute to the achievement of the Government's education reforms which are intended to secure the best possible return from the resources which are invested in the education service and to raise the standards of achievement of all pupils, including those with special educational needs.

Project grants and yearNeurosciencesSystemsCellTotal
Total applications
1979–80272425280977
1988–89322380290992
Alpha applications
1979–80147225179551

Gcse

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many representations he has received from schools complaining about the dates of the GCSE examinations in 1989 and 1990.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will list the first and last dates of GCSE examinations in 1989 and in 1990 together with similar information for GCE O-levels in 1987.

In 1989, the first GCSE examination was on 15 May, the last on 23 June. In 1990, the first examination will be on 14 May, the last on 22 June.In 1987 the GCE O-level examinations of most of the boards ran from the beginning to the end of June.Since GCSE replaced GCE O-level and CSE, any comparison must also take into account the dates of the CSE examinations: in 1987, these generally ran from the end of April or the beginning of May to mid-June.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what arrangements exist for his Department to make representations to the GCSE examination boards about the dates of examinations.

Officials are in regular contact with the examining groups about this issue.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the policy of his Department about the proportion of the summer term which should be regarded as available for GCSE examinations and the relation of this to the spring bank holiday.

The GCSE examining groups are independent bodies, wholly responsible for the administration of their own examinations. Ministers have no powers to intervene directly in their day-to-day affairs. Nevertheless, I am concerned that the examination season should not encroach unnecessarily on the summer term. I am assured that the groups are aware of the anxiety which has been expressed on this issue, and that although it is now too late to change the timetable for 1990, the groups are looking very carefully at the position for 1991 and beyond.

Neurosciences Projects

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will list for the years 1979–80 and 1989–90 (a) total applications, (b) alpha applications, (c) awards and (d) alpha applications unfunded in Medical Research Council grants to cell systems and neurosciences projects.

The following table lists the figures for academic years 1979–80 and 1988–89. Figures for the academic year 1989–90 are not yet available.

Project grants and year

Neurosciences

Systems

Cell

Total

1988–89231233207671

Awards made

1979–80142228166536
1988–89121130119370

Alpha applications not funded

1979–8065415
1988–8911010388301

The Medical Research Council has reduced in recent years the proportion of funds available for short-term awards to universities in order to concentrate on long-term programmes both in universities and Medical Research Council establishments and to meet new problems such as AIDS.

Secondary School Buildings

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what proposals he has for renovating secondary school buildings, in the light of Her Majesty's inspector's second annual report; and if he will make a statement.

Local education authorities are responsible for deciding which building projects to undertake at individual county and voluntary controlled secondary schools, in the light of local needs and circumstances. For 1990–91, £485 million is available in annual capital guidelines for capital expenditure on schools and colleges in England, compared with £352 million under the old system of allocations for 1989–90. Local authorities are free to spend above the level of their annual capital guideline, by using capital receipts as permitted within the flexibilities of the Local Government Acts. In addition, £118 million of grant is available for voluntary aided, special agreement and grant-maintained schools.

Computers

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what estimate he makes of the number of computers per 100 pupils in (a) maintained secondary schools and (b) city technology colleges.

Four per 100 in maintained secondary schools and 25 per 100 in the city technology colleges established to date, none of which yet has its full complement of pupils.

Transport

Trains (Punctuality)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will obtain a copy of the year-round survey produced by the Railway Development Society's "Yorkshire Rail Review", which covers express and local trains and records their punctuality; and if he will make a statement.

London Docklands Railway

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the docklands light railway to meet the requirements of the docklands after its extension in 1992; and if he will make a statement.

I have asked the docklands light railway to prepare for my consideration a strategic review of the options for future development following the completion of the City and Beckton extensions, having regard to forecasts of demand and the planned extension of the Jubilee line to docklands.

Cyclists

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what considerations his Department has given to the impact on cyclists of the plans to dual trunk roads; and what steps will be taken to minimise the effects.

In planning new trunk roads and improving existing ones, close attention is paid to the suitability of the route for cyclists and to the design of junctions and other locations where cyclists are known to be at particular risk. Published material is available for the guidance of highway planners and engineers.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what further research and publications his Department intends to undertake in 1990 to encourage cycling.

We are pressing ahead with implementation of the remaining aspects of the cycle routes programme of research and application studies.Research continues into innovatory traffic engineering techniques to help cyclists. Currently, the main projects are concerned with finding further methods of improving safety on roundabouts; refining the use of advance stop lines for cyclists; and identifying a more efficient form of shared use crossing for cyclists and pedestrians.Our aim in undertaking research and publishing technical guidance on cycling issues is to assist highway authorities and others in efforts to create safer conditions for cyclists.So far, four local transport notes and 27 traffic advisory leaflets have been produced using the results from our cycling research. Further material on cycling will be published as the results of studies become available.

Woolwich Ferry

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the maximum number of passengers permitted on the Woolwich ferry under existing safety regulations; and what steps are currently taken to ensure that this figure is not exceeded.

Each of the three Woolwich ferries is allowed to carry a maximum of 300 passengers. The owner and master have the responsibility for ensuring that this number is not exceeded. Random checks are carried out by the Department's marine surveyors.

Severn Crossing

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he has now decided upon the method of financing the proposed second Severn crossing; and if he will make a statement.

No; the decision on whether to use private or public finance will depend on our final evaluation of the tenderers' corresponding proposals.

Mersey Tunnels

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he is in a position to respond to Merseytravel's case for Government financial assistance for the Mersey tunnels.

My right hon. Friend has today written to Councillor Ingham of Merseytravel to say that we have considered very carefully the case presented for Government financial assistance for the Mersey tunnels. In that letter, he explained that the merits of the case did not justify Government assistance. Indeed, our examination of the case suggests that the tunnels could become financially self-supporting in a few years' time.

Attorney-General

European Convention

To ask the Attorney-General what guidance is issued to English courts in respect of references to the European convention in continuing domestic legislation.

It is not appropriate for the Government to issue guidance to the courts on how legislation should be interpreted, and they do not do so.

Land Covenants, Ashworth

To ask the Attorney-General what representations he has received about relator proceedings on land covenants at Ashworth.

The solicitors to the relators in the proceedings against Barratt Manchester Limited and Bolton metropolitan borough council have supplied me with a copy of the judgment of Mr. Justice Scott which is now being considered.

Tax Law

To ask the Attorney-General (1) what discussions he has had with the Law Society concerning the introduction of a fair disclosure pact with the Inland Revenue in tax avoidance cases;(2) what discussions he has had with representatives of the legal profession concerning the duties of solicitors and members of the Bar in cases of

(a) tax avoidance, (b) tax evasion and (c) cases where the Inland Revenue seeks to discover documents to assess the difference between avoidance and evasion.

None. The Inland Revenue has statutory powers to require persons, including members of the legal profession to provide information in specified circumstances, where it is relevant to a taxpayer's affairs, except where the position is covered by privilege. In addition, the legal profession has codes of conduct which prevent members assisting clients in any unlawful activity, whether concerned with tax or otherwise.

Crown Prosecution Service

To ask the Attorney-General, pursuant to his response to the hon. Member for Norwood (Mr Fraser), Official Report, 12 February, column 67, if he will make a further statement on the role of the Crown prosecution service in relation to the case of Coren and Greenwood.

Primary responsibility for the enforcement of insider dealing legislation rests with the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry. The case of Coren and Greenwood involved a civil servant within the Office of Fair Trading, and because of the relation between that office and the DTI, the Crown prosecution service undertook the conduct of the proceedings. My assertion that this case was brought by the DTI was therefore incorrect, and I regret the mistake.

Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

British Passports

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many individuals currently resident (a) in South Africa and (b) in the rest of the world (i) hold a British passport and (ii) have the right to return to live in the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has no means of assessing accurately how many British nationals overseas hold British passports. British nationals resident in South Africa are estimated to number between 500,000 and 1 million. Most of them have the right to live in the United Kingdom. British nationals in the rest of the world, including dependent territories, are estimated to number 8 million to 8·5 million. Of these, it is estimated that 5 million have the right to live in the United Kingdom. However, many of these are likely to be dual nationals currently holding only the passport of their country of residence.

Chile

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what changes there have been in Her Majesty's Government's policy towards Chile since the democratic elections in that country.

With our European partners, we have welcomed the transition towards democracy in Chile, and look forward to a deepening of our bilateral relations.

British Embassy, Bangkok

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many (a) men and (b) women are awaiting interview at the British embassy in Bangkok for consideration for entry into the United Kingdom either as husbands or wives of British citizens.

As at 13 February 1990 there were two men and 97 women awaiting settlement interviews at the embassy in Bangkok.

Hong Kong

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many suicide attempts have occurred in Hong Kong detention camps for Vietnamese boat people since the inception of the camps: and if he will make a statement.

Eight people have inflicted injuries upon themselves in Hong Kong's detention centres since the closed camp policy started on 16 June 1988. One of those people was found to be suffering from a psychiatric illness and two gave their reasons for injuring themselves as family problems. Five people gave their reasons as a desire to protest against the policy of screening and repatriation. None sustained life-threatening injuries.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information is given generally to Vietnamese boat women in Hong Kong detention camps as to the health attributes of the contraceptive drug Depo Provera and its consequences; and if he will make a statement.

The Family Planning Association offers the usual range of contraceptive techniques to Vietnamese women. In offering Depo Provera it explains that it is a drug administered by injection and that it is effective for 12 weeks. It also explains all the possible side-effects. Depo Provera has been approved for use by the World Health Organisation. It is made available to Vietnamese women in detention centres on the same basis as it is offered to the general population in Hong Kong.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign arid Commonwealth Affairs whether the staff in Hong Kong detention camps have administered the contraceptive drug Depo Provera to Vietnamese boat women held there; and if he will make a statement.

Various methods of contraception are offered to Vietnamese boat people on an entirely voluntary basis by staff of the Family Planning Association. Some Vietnamese women have chosen to use Depo Provera.

Kurds

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has concerning the reported poisoning of Kurdish refugees in Turkey; and whether he intends to raise the matter with representatives of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and of the Turkish Government.

Staff from HM embassy have been in touch with the office of the UNHCR in Ankara which confirms that approximately 100 Iraqui Kurds at Diyarbakir entered hospital on 1 February after eating contaminated bread. We understand that all have been discharged. Samples of the bread are being analysed by the Turkish authorities.

Lord President Of The Council

David Lloyd George

To ask the Lord President of the Council whether he will arrange for the Refreshment Department to offer a special menu to commemorate the centenary of the election of David Lloyd George, MP, ex-Prime Minister, to Parliament on 10 April 1890.

The hon. Member's request will be considered by the Catering Sub-Committee.

Duchy Of Lancaster

Private Security Firms

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will list the names of all the private security firms currently employed by his Department, the number of employees for each firm on the contract, the total value of each contract and the total value of all contracts for each financial year since 1984–85.

The Duchy of Lancaster has not employed any security firms during the period in question.

Home Department

Metropolitan Police

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will call for a report from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis on how many Metropolitan police officers and how many person hours were spent on observation duties of public lavatories in the N division between 1 September 1989 and 31 December 1989;if he will call for a report from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis on how many men were arrested by Metropolitan police officers engaged on observation duties of public lavatories in the N division between 1 September 1989 and 31 December 1989;if he will call for a report from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis on how many men were arrested by Metropolitan police officers engaged on observation duties of the public lavatories located at Highbury crescent, London N5, between 1 September 1989 and 31 December 1989.

I understand from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis that the only police observation duties of public lavatories in the N division area during the period were at Highbury crescent, London N5. The operation involved the deployment of four officers over a total period of 239 hours, and 35 arrests were made.

Personal Data

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many members of staff in his Department have been disciplined for breaching internal regulations on the disclosure of personal data held by his Department within the last five years.

There is no central record of any disciplinary proceedings on such a basis in the last five years.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) on what statutory basis transfers of personal data take place from his Department to the police; and how many such transfers take place each year;(2) what kinds of personal data held by his Department are transferred to the police; and whether records are kept of such transfers.

There are frequent transfers of personal data between the Home Office and the police as part of the day-to-day business of the Department. I regret that more detailed information about the basis and frequency of such transfers could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Nato Courses

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list (a) Government Departments and (b) private or public bodies in the United Kingdom which send participants to the bi-annual courses on civil-military co-operation held by NATO at Oberammergau.

Such courses cover civil emergency planning as well as civil-military co-operation, and are attended by civil and military personnel who are directly involved in NATO planning. Members of staff from a number of Government Departments and the armed services have participated in the courses. We are not aware that any representatives from private or other public bodies in the United Kingdom have so far attended.

Boundary Commission For Wales

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the attendance record at meetings (a) since their appointment and (b) during 1989 of the current members of the parliamentary boundary commission for Wales appointed solely or jointly by him or his predecessors.

The parliamentary boundary commission for Wales is an entirely independent body and the disclosure of internal management information of this kind is more appropriate for the commission itself.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many of the nominees for the current appointments made solely or jointly by the parliamentary boundary commission for Wales declared a political affiliation in their curricula vitae; and of those declaring a political affiliation, how many showed allegiance to (a) Conservatives, (b) Labour, (c) the Liberal Democrats, (d) the Social Democratic party, (e) the Green party and (f) Plaid Cymru.

The parliamentary boundary commission for Wales makes no appointments. From time to time my right hon. and learned Friend appoints assistant commissioners to conduct local inquiries for the commission. Before their appointment, candidates are asked for an assurance that they have not been involved in political activity. There are no such assistant commissioners at present.

Dart Guns

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many dart gun firearms certificates have been granted; how many persons now have such weapons in England and Wales, broken down by police force areas; and how many are held by (a) deer farmers and (b) others.

The information requested is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Colin Wallace

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will reassess the answer of the Minister of State to the Adjournment debate on Colin Wallace's manslaughter conviction, Official Report, col 948–52, 27 June 1989, in the light of the most recent ministerial replies in relation to Colin Wallace.

I have nothing to add to the answer given to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Arundel (Mr. Marshall) on 30 January 1990 at column 119.

Animal Experimentation

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he is going to publish guidance on the operation of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986; and if he will make a statement.

Guidance on the operation of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 has today been laid before Parliament, in accordance with section 21(1) of the Act. The Animal Procedures Committee has been fully consulted about this guidance, in accordance with section 21(3) of the Act. The guidance will be published tomorrow as HC182 and a copy will be sent to every holder of a certificate of designation issued under sections 6 and 7 of the Act.The publication of this guidance is the last major step in the bringing into force of the 1986 Act. The changeover to the new legislation has been carried out swiftly and according to the timetable that we set ourselves. This is a major achievement, reflecting the positive response which the scientific community is giving to the 1986 Act. This guidance sets out fully how the strict controls of the Act are now operating.

The Arts

Royal Shakespeare Company

To ask the Minister for the Arts if he will make a statement on the latest position concerning the work of the Royal Shakespeare Company and its funding, taking into account the recent announcement of an increase in funding.

It is for the Arts Council to determine the level of its grant to individual companies in the light of their artistic importance and a range of other factors.In the case of the Royal Shakespeare Company, its national and international importance is not in doubt. The Arts Council has awarded the RSC an 11 per cent. increase in its grant for next year, taking it to over £6 million. This is a very substantial increase, well above the rate of inflation, and should help the company balance its books.In 1984, the Government wrote off the RSC's deficit and increased its baseline grant in order to put the company on a firm footing from which to plan its future programmes. This was in response to two of the three recommendations of the Priestley report. The recommendation to index-link the RSC's grant was not accepted.I understand that the company is to cancel the winter season planned at the Barbican for 1991. This is a management decision by the RSC, and it is entirely for it to make. It will continue production as normal in its other venues, and will reopen at the Barbican in spring 1991. It will continue to tour widely. I am sure that it will maintain its excellent attendance levels.The company has generated substantial income from the box office and the private sector, including generous sponsorship from Royal Insurance of £1·1 million over three years. I have every hope and confidence that the RSC will continue to build on its success.

Works Of Art

To ask the Minister for the Arts if there have been any items accepted in lieu of tax or allocated since he last made an announcement on the subject to the House.

Since my announcement on 22 January at column 536, I am pleased to announce that four offers of items have been accepted in lieu of tax; a collection of 20 modern paintings, a collection of Anglo-Saxon and medieval coins, a painting by Constable and an 18th century harpsichord. In accordance with the condition on which it was offered the coin collection will be allocated to the Fitzwilliam museum, Cambridge. It satisfied £418,429·20 tax and followed the precedent set by the acceptance of Picasso's "Weeping Woman" in that the Fitzwilliam agreed to pay the owner the difference (£108,128·80) between that tax liability to be satisfied and the special price of £526,558. The collection of modern paintings satisfied £82,742 tax and will be allocated to the Abbot Hall art gallery, Cumbria. No decision on allocation has yet been taken regarding Constable's "Farm Cart with Horse in Harness" or the harpsichord which satisfied £50,025 and £25,432·79 tax respectively. These items will be advertised to institutions in the usual way.Finally, I have decided that Cezanne's "Allée à Chantilly", accepted in lieu of tax in 1988–89, should be allocated to the National gallery.

Civil Service

Private Security Firms

To ask the Minister for the Civil Service if he will list the names of all the private security firms currently employed by his Department, the number of employees for each firm on the contract, the total value of each contract and the total value of all contracts for each financial year since 1984–85.

My Department currently has two contracts with Securiguard Services Limited, to the annual value of £85,420 and £14,175. The contracts provide for five employees, four of them operating in shifts. The total value of all contracts with private security firms in each financial year since 1984–85 is:

Year£
1984–8545,000
1985–8648,000
1986–8770,600
1987–8877,200
1988–8969,700
1989–9084,600

Occupational Health Department

To ask the Minister for the Civil Service when he expects to computerise information held by the Civil Service occupational health department at Murray house.

[holding answer 8 February 1990]: There are no plans to computerise the information held by the Civil Service occupational health service at Murray house. During 1990–91 a study is to be undertaken into the computerising of various financial and operational procedures, leading to the introduction of a new computer system serving the headquarters and all regional offices in 1991–92.

Trade And Industry

Waste Recycling

16.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will make a statement on the current level of incentive for industry to recycle its waste.

A very strong incentive—that of market economics—aleady exists, and I am pleased that many United Kingdom companies are saving money by recycling a very high proportion of their recyclable process scrap. I congratulate those companies but more could be done, and my Department is actively encouraging others to recognise the economic and environmental benefits of waste minimisation and recycling.

53.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he is taking to encourage investment in capital equipment for the purpose of recycling of waste materials in the United Kingdom.

Investment in capital equipment for this purpose will flow naturally when effective waste separation and processing systems are in place, when consumer demand for products manufactured from recycled materials is secure, and when commercial operations are in prospect. My Department is working closely with the Department of the Environment, industry, consumer groups and the voluntary sector to develop a coherent national approach to recycling, and this is also expected to lead to an increase in investment in capital equipment.

Post Office

19.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he last met the chairman of the Post Office; and what was discussed.

40.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he last met the chairman of the Post Office; and what was discussed.

84.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he last met the chairman of the Post Office; and what was discussed.

I last met the chairman of the Post Office, Sir Bryan Nicholson, on 11 January. We discussed various matters of mutual interest.

Insider Dealing

20.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he last reviewed the regulations to deal with insider dealing; and whether he has any plans to bring forward amendments.

39.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he last reviewed the regulations to deal with insider dealing; and whether he has any plans to bring forward amendments.

As I told the House on 8 December, the Government that day published a consultative document on proposals for changes to the law on insider dealing. A copy is in the Library. I will consider carefully any constructive proposals that may emerge from the consultation.

Product Safety

21.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he is considering to ensure greater product safety.

47.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he is considering to ensure greater product safety.

75.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he is considering to ensure greater product safety.

Product safety will continue to be a high priority for my Department. Provision is being made for the collection and analysis of accident statistics, the promotion of effective safety campaigns to raise public awareness, and for comprehensive statutory protection against unsafe goods. The Consumer Protection Act 1987, for example, makes it a criminal offence to supply any consumer product that is not safe. This is supported by specific safety regulations where necessary, and by my approval of specific safety standards, and the promotion of reasonable standards of safety in the marketing of consumer products.

Telephones (Number Displays)

22.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will make it his policy to encourage the telecommunications industry and Oftel to promote the introduction of telephones which display the caller's number.

The provision of calling line identification facilities is primarily a matter for the network operators. I know that the Director General of Telecommunications, Sir Bryan Carsberg, is keeping the position under close review.

Japan

23.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is the current trade deficit with Japan; and how much of the deficit is accounted for by manufactured goods.

102.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is the current trade deficit with Japan; and how much of the deficit is accounted for by manufactured goods.

In 1989 the deficit in total visible trade with Japan was £4·8 billion. In the same period the deficit for manufactured goods was £5·0 billion. Last year United Kingdom exports to Japan increased by £525 million to £2·3 billion, an increase of 30 per cent. over 1988.

Technological Standards

24.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what response he will be making to the report produced for the European Commission by the university of Louvain in respect of its assessment of the United Kingdom's technological standards; and if he will make a statement.

93.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what response he will be making to the report produced for the European Commission by the university of Louvain in respect of its assessment of the United Kingdom's technological standards; and if he will make a statement.

The report does not actually highlight the United Kingdom's technological backwardsness. The Government are well aware of the challenge of 1992 and we have policies in place to help firms in all regions to rise to it.

Trade Deficits

25.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the European Economic Community countries with which the United Kingdom has a manufacturing trade deficit.

61.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the European Economic Community countries with which the United Kingdom has a manufacturing trade deficit.

104.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the European Economic Community countries with which the United Kingdom has a manufacturing trade deficit.

In 1989 the United Kingdom had a manufacturing trade deficit with the following countries:

  • France
  • Belgium/Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • Federal Republic of Germany
  • Italy
  • Denmark
  • Portugal.

Public Ownership

26.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is the Government's policy as to the circumstances under which they would consider taking an industry or company into public ownership.

37.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is Her Majesty's Government's policy on taking industries or companies into public ownership.

The Government's policy is to return industrial and commercial activities to the private sector wherever practicable. I can think of no industry or company now in the private sector which would benefit from nationalisation.

Manufactured Imports

27.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what has been the growth in imports of manufactured goods from the European Community since 1979.

105.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and. Industry what has been the growth in imports of manufactured goods from the European Community since 1979.

Imports of manufactured goods from the European Community have risen from £16 billion in 1979 to £52·5 billion in 1989, an increase of £36·s5 billion.

Credit Unions

28.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what action his Department has taken to encourage the growth of the credit union movement in inner-city areas; and if he will make a statement.

My Department has not taken any action to support credit unions in the inner cities.

Information Technology

29.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he has any new plans to encourage research and development in information technology.

67.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he has any new plans to encourage research and development in information technology.

86.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he has any new plans to encourage research and development in information technology.

DTI policy and arrangements to encourage research and development in information technology were set out in the White Papers "Information Technology" (Cm. 646) and "DTI—the department for Enterprise" (Cm. 278). The Government have no plans to change these arrangements.

Trade Barriers

30.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what action he is taking to ensure that the European Economic Community does not erect protectionist trade barriers.

I am against protectionism. I will certainly ensure that any European Community proposals for protectionist trade policy action are rigorously opposed by the United Kingdom.

Monopolies And Mergers Commission

31.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans he has to change the role of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.

90.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans he has to change the role of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.

Eastern Europe

32.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the United Kingdom's balance of trade in manufactures in 1989 with (a) the USSR, (b) East Germany, (c) Poland, (d) Czechoslovakia and (e) Romania.

76.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the United Kingdom's balance of trade in manufactures in 1989 with (a) the USSR, (b) East Germany, (c) Poland, (d) Czechoslovakia and (e) Romania.

I refer the hon. Members to the answer I gave earlier to the question of the hon. Member for Birmingham, Ladywood (Ms. Short).

46.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps his Department is taking to encourage increased trade between the United Kingdom and eastern Europe.

85.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what his Department is doing to promote trade and investment by British companies in eastern Europe.

My Department is encouraging business men to look hard at the new commercial opportunities in eastern Europe. DTI Ministers are playing their part both by receiving incoming delegations and by leading business missions themselves. At the end of last year the Minister for Trade and I led business teams to the USSR and Hungary respectively. In the course of the next two months the Secretary of State and I will be taking business men to the USSR, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Romania whilst the Minister for Trade will be visiting British stands at the Leipzig fair in the GDR.My Department is also encouraging British business to take full advantage of the several United Kingdom, EC and multilateral assistance schemes becoming available to help explore the new opportunities for direct investment, joint ventures and other forms of industrial co-operation.

Financial Institutions (Self-Regulation)

33.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of self-regulation of the financial institutions.

34.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of self-regulation of the financial institutions.

98.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of self-regulation of the financial institutions.

The Securities and Investments Board is responsible for ensuring that the appropriate standard of protection for investors is provided by the self-regulating bodies recognised under the Financial Services Act.

Ec Financial Markets

35.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress is being made in discussions within the European Economic Community on the opening up of financial markets throughout the Community.

We are fully committed to the liberalisation of the EC's financial services sector. It is a fundamental element of the single market programme not only because of the beneficial effects of liberalisation which will be passed on to other sectors.The capital liberalisation directive adopted on 24 June 1988 will enable the free movement of capital across the Community. Remaining exchange controls will be abolished. Many member states have already removed most if not all their controls.More recent progress includes the adoption of the second banking co-ordination directive on 15 December 1989, which sets out the conditions on which credit institutions (broadly banks and building societies) may establish a branch in, or provide a wide range of cross-border services into, another member state on the basis of home state authorisation. The related solvency ratios directive adopted on 18 December and own funds directive adopted on 17 April set out minimum standards of capital adequacy for credit institutions.The life services directive awaits the opinion of the European Parliament. The directive lays down rules for the writing of life assurance by an insurer established in a member state other than that of the policyholder.Other measures at an earlier stage of discussion will, when implemented, open further the single market in financial services. The investment services directive will provide a similar single passport for investment firms to that available to banks under the second banking co-ordination directive. The supporting capital adequacy directive has not yet been presented to the Council, but the Commission hopes to propose a draft text in March. Its aim is to set out capital requirements for firms doing investment business.The Commission has recently announced plans for a single licence approach to life and non-life insurance, similar to the single passport concept in the banking and investment service fields.

Manufacturing Industry

36.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he next expects to meet the president of the Confederation of British Industry to discuss manufacturing industry.

60.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he next expects to meet the president of the Confederation of British Industry to discuss manufacturing industry.

71.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he next expects to meet the president of the Confederation of British Industry to discuss manufacturing industry.

103.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he next expects to meet the president of the Confederation of British Industry to discuss manufacturing industry.

My Department maintains regular and frequent contacts with the Confederation of British Industry at all levels on a wide range of matters relating to manufacturing industry.

78.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he last met the Confederation of British Industry to discuss the prospects for manufacturing industry; and if he will make a statement.

I have met representatives of the Confederation of British Industry on several occasions recently, and discussed with them matters relevant to the prospects of manufacturing industry.

101.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations he has received on the competitiveness of British manufacturing industry.

119.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations he has received on the competitiveness of British manufacturing industry.

Most contacts that my Department has with industry and commerce involve matters having a bearing on United Kingdom competitiveness.

64.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he next expects to meet the director general of the National Economic Development Council to discuss manufacturing industry.

79.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he next expects to meet the director general of the National Economic Development Council to discuss manufacturing industry.

106.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he next expects to meet the director general of the National Economic Development Council to discuss manufacturing industry.

I expect to meet the director general of the National Economic Development Office on 4 April, at the next meeting of the National Economic Development Council. The council will discuss several items relevant to manufacturing industry.

Consumer Guarantees Bill

38.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent representations he has had from consumer organisations in respect of the Consumer Guarantees Bill.

97.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent representations he has had from consumer organisations in respect of the Consumer Guarantees Bill.

116.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent representations he has had from consumer organisations in respect of the Consumer Guarantees Bill.

There have been representations from various organisations both for and against aspects of the proposal. Unless agreed otherwise with the parties concerned, these representations have been made in confidence and it would be inappropriate to name the organisations or to indicate the interests they represent.

100.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the representations he has received for or against the Consumer Guarantees Bill.

117.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the representations he has received for or against the Consumer Guarantees Bill.

There have been numerous representations both for and against various aspects of the proposal. Unless agreed otherwise with the parties concerned, these representations have been made in confidence and it would be inappropriate to list them.

Technology (Co-Operation)

41.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he has any plans to submit new proposals for co-operation in technology within the conference on security and co-operation in Europe process at the forthcoming conference on economic co-operation in Europe to be held in Bonn on 19 March to 11 April.

It is intended that proposals by the 12 member states of the European Community will be co-ordinated at Community level, but we will be considering whether or not to propose any separate national initiatives to complement the Community's efforts.

1992

42.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he will next meet the European Commission to discuss the implications of 1992 for British industry.

52.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he will next meet the European Commission to discuss the implications of 1992 for British industry.

I continue to keep in close contact with the EC Commission across a broad range of issues.

118.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much money has been spent by his Department on awareness-raising about the implications of the single European market among British businesses; and if he will launch a survey of how many British companies are aware of the implications of 1992.

Expenditure to date on the DTI's "Europe Open for Business" campaign to encourage businesses to prepare for the single market is £13·6 million. A weekly survey of business attitudes to the single market amongst firms employing 10 or more people is already undertaken on behalf of DTI. A hundred different firms are surveyed each week. The results show that business awareness of the single market is in excess of 95 per cent. Some 50 per cent. of firms are currently taking action to prepare themselves for the single market.

94.