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Written Answers

Volume 170: debated on Thursday 19 April 1990

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Written Answers To Questions

Thursday 19 April 1990

Agriculture, Fisheries And Food

Land Tenure

13.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the discussions within the industry concerning land tenure.

We welcome the debate within the industry on ways of revitalising the tenanted sector. Whilst consensus would be desirable we recognise that complete agreement may not be possible. Any proposals must genuinely address the problem and increase the availability of land for letting, including for new tenants. We hope the industry will pursue the debate vigorously with the need for effective measures uppermost in their minds.

Marine Environment

14.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what action his Department is taking to improve the quality of the marine environment.

We have set a date to end all dumping of liquid industrial waste, flyash and sewage sludge, and we will cease incineration at sea at the end of this year.

Scotch Whisky

15

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what subjects he expects to discuss at his next meeting with representatives of the Scotch whisky industry; and if he will make a statement.

I will discuss any issues of current commercial interest to the industry should a meeting be requested.

Farms (Pollution)

16.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what schemes his Department has to help farmers deal with on-farm pollution and waste disposal.

All farmers are entitled to initial free technical advice and we also make 50 per cent. grants available for the handling, storing and treatment of agricultural effluent and waste. In nitrate-sensitive areas further payments will be made for substantial restrictions to cut nitrate leaching.

Cereals

17.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the total United Kingdom hectarage of cereals for each of the last five years.

22.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the total United Kingdom hectarage of cereals for each of the last five years.

35.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the total United Kingdom hectarage of cereals for each of the last five years.

Total United Kingdom hectarage of cereals in million hectares over the last five years is:

YearMillion hectares
19854·015
19864·024
19873·935
19883·896
198913·894
1 Latest estimate

Agricultural Subsidy

18.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the total current level of subsidy to agriculture.

Expenditure on agricultural support in the United Kingdom in 1989–90, under the EC's common agricultural policy and on national grants and subsidies, is forecast to be £1,255·5 million.

Green Pound

19.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many European Community countries are in favour of devaluation of the green pound.

In the negotiations on the 1990 agricultural price proposals no member state has opposed the principle of a green pound devaluation.

Animal Welfare

20.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he last met the director of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; and what was discussed.

I met the chief executive and other officers from the society on 27 March when many current issues on farm animal welfare were discussed.

23.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what reports he is expecting from the Farm Animal Welfare Council.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave earlier to the hon. Member for Pontypridd (Dr. Howells).

25.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he plans to bring forward any primary legislation on farm animal welfare.

57.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he plans to bring forward any primary legislation on farm animal welfare.

My right hon. Friend the Minister recently announced a major new initiative by the Government to tighten up farm animal welfare standards throughout the European Community. We intend to seek the fullest degree of harmonisation so that all countries of the Community operate to the same high standards. We shall seek to ensure that welfare measures which we consider to be desirable to introduce are, so far as possible, adopted throughout the European Community.The Government have already announced that primary legislation is required to implement a number of recommendations by the Farm Animal Welfare Council relating to the welfare of animals at slaughter. It remains our intention to introduce the legislation as soon as the parliamentary timetable permits to make provision for those measures which may not be covered by Community law.

38.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on policy towards animal welfare within the United Kingdom and the European Community.

42.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps he is taking to ensure that the welfare of farm animals is given priority throughout the European Community.

As explained in the reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Hereford (Mr. Shepherd) on 7 February, Official Report, column 712, we are pressing for a comprehensive package of measures on farm animal welfare to be adopted in the Community in order to achieve the widest possible safeguards.

44.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the Farm Animal Welfare Council.

The Government value the Farm Animal Welfare Council's independent and authoritative advice very highly. The council has provided the impetus for many new welfare measures and will, I am sure, continue to lead the way in its future work.

White Fish (North Sea)

21.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what recent discussions he has had with his European Community counterparts regarding further conservation measures for the fishing of North sea white fish stocks.

High-level discussions are now taking place in Brussels on conservation and I expect the report on this to be discussed at the next Fisheries Council. The United Kingdom has submitted proposals, following discussion with the industry.

Agriculture (Capital Investment)

24.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the figure for the amount of fixed capital investment in the agricultural industry over the last five years for which figures are available.

The figures requested are as follows:

Annual fixed capital investment in the United Kingdom agricultural industry
£ million (current price)
19851,226
19861,057
1987941
£ million (current price)
19881,010
119891,004
1 Provisional.

Extensification

26.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the European Community proposals for extensification.

36.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the European Community proposals for extensification.

We shall shortly be announcing decisions on pilot schemes for extensification of beef and sheep following consultations with interested organisations and with the Commission.We are also intending to issue a consultation document outlining a possible extensification scheme under which grant aid would be available to farmers wishing to convert from conventional to organic production.

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

27.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what has been the cost to date of the bovine spongiform encephalopathy slaughter and compensation schemes.

56.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what has been the cost to date of the bovine spongiform encephalopathy slaughter and compensation scheme.

From the introduction of the compulsory slaughter policy on 8 August 1988 to the end of February 1990, the total cost was £6,436,167.

34.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what further action he proposes to reduce the risk of bovine spongiform encephalopathy; and if he will make a statement.

The Government have introduced a comprehensive package of measures to tackle BSE in cattle and to eliminate the remote risk to public health.

52.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the estimate of the Southwood committee of the level of reporting of bovine spongiform encephalopathy; what is the current level of reporting; and if he will make a statement.

The Southwood working party did not predict the level of reporting of suspect BSE cases. It did, however, make certain estimating assumptions about the development of the disease and concluded that there might be some 350 to 400 cases of BSE per month. Since the beginning of this year, the number of suspect BSE cases notified to the Ministry has risen and at present around 350 to 400 are being reported each week.

Milk Marketing Board

28.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the factors that will affect the operation of the Milk Marketing Board in 1992.

1992 will not, of itself, affect the operation of the Milk Marketing Board. But the single market will reduce barriers to trade and there is now more milk available as a result of the recent increase in quotas. It is important that our dairy industry should be in a position to compete vigorously at home and in other member states in order to exploit these new opportunities. That is why I am encouraging the board and the Dairy Trade Federation to pursue discussions with a view to devising milk marketing arrangements suited to the 1990s.

Fishing Industry

29.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will assess the prospects for the United Kingdom fishing industry; and if he will make a statement.

While fishing opportunities in 1990 for certain stocks, in particular North sea cod and haddock, have had to be reduced to safeguard the stocks, the value of landings in the early part of the year has been similar to that at the same time last year. We are, however, working hard on improvements to measures aimed at the conservation of fish on a Communitywide basis to achieve improved fishing prospects in the future.

Fishing Industry (Northumberland)

30.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the effect of recent restrictions on the viability of the fishing industry in the Northumberland fishing ports.

The measures I announced on 8 March were necessary to conserve North sea haddock, in the light of the current state of that stock. For this reason, they are essential to ensure the long-term viability of all sections of the haddock industry.

Food Safety Bill

31.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he expects to lay the first orders under the Food Safety Bill.

The Food Safety Bill is very much an enabling framework and many orders and regulations will be required. I hope to issue the first of these for consultation soon after Royal Assent.

46.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether the regulations under the Food Safety Bill will cover diet products.

At present foods marketed as diet products are subject to the general provisions of the Food Act 1984 and to regulations made under it. In particular, schedule 6, part II, item 6 of the Food Labelling Regulations 1984 lays down the conditions under which slimming claims may be made. Some slimming aids for consumption are marketed as medicines and are licensed under medicines legislation. It is intended that these arrangements should be continued under the Food Safety Bill, but my hon. Friend may wish to be aware that the definition of food is being extended in the Bill to include

"articles and substances of no nutritional value".
This is to make it entirely clear that all diet products fall within the scope of legislation.

Consumer Needs

32.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what action his Department is taking to encourage farmers to meet the needs of the consumer.

Recent changes to the common agricultural policy, which the Government have supported, are intended to increase the role of market forces in agriculture and so encourage farmers to respond more effectively to demand from consumers. The Government have also taken a number of specific measures, including continued funding of Food from Britain, to help farmers respond rapidly to market signals.

Bovine Offal

33.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will reconsider his decision on the bovine offal ban so as to include calves of under six months of age.

37.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will reconsider his decision on the bovine offal ban so as to include calves of under six months of age.

50.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will reconsider his decision on the bovine offal ban so as to include calves of under six months of age.

No. These animals were born after the ban on ruminant feedstuffs was introduced and even if BSE is transmitted from dam to calf, the agent would be undetectable in such young animals.

Dairy Sector

39.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he next intends to meet the president of the National Farmers Union to discuss the dairy sector.

I have nothing to add to the reply that I gave to my hon. Friend on 8 March, Official Report, column 847.

National Farmers Union

40.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he last met representatives of the National Farmers Union; and what was discussed.

The Minister and I meet representatives of the National Farmers Union frequently to discuss agricultural matters.

Less-Favoured Areas

41.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assistance has been given to help farmers in the less-favoured areas; and if he will make a statement.

Farmers in the less-favoured areas benefit from the payment of hill livestock compensatory allowances and from higher rates of grant for investments under the farm and conservation grant scheme. They are also eligible for a wider range of grants than other farmers under the farm diversification grant scheme and for special aid to encourage co-operative forage production. All told, these extra payments amount to over £140 million a year for the United Kingdom. This is a considerable package of extra help over and above our general agricultural support policies which benefit hill farmers as well as other farmers.

Access To The Countryside

43.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on his Department's policy on access to the countryside.

Under section 17 of the Agriculture Act 1986 we have to balance the interests of promoting an efficient agricultural industry, the conservation and enhancement of the natural beauty and amenity of the countryside and its enjoyment by the public. It is generally recognised that there is a delicate balance between the increasing demand for public access and its impact upon the countryside and farming. My Department's policies are designed to encourage farmers wherever practicable to provide for countryside recreation. To this end, grants are available under the farm diversification grant scheme for farm walks and nature trails and this Department, jointly with the Countryside Commission, has published a ploughing code which reminds farmers of their responsibilities in relation to rights of way. Furthermore, we support the Rights of Way (Agricultural Land) Bill, introduced by my hon. Friend the Member for Gainsborough and Horncastle (Mr. Leigh), which seeks to clarify the existing law on rights of way over agricultural land.

Food Labelling

45.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what further action he proposes to improve the labelling of foodstuffs; and if he will make a statement.

On 15 November 1989 I announced that I had asked the Food Advisory Committee to carry out an independent assessment of our current food labelling legislation and practices to see how these can best be developed to give consumers what they need and want to know. I look forward to receiving the committee's recommendations. In the meantime proposals relating to datemarking and nutrition labelling, resulting from recently agreed Community legislation, are already in preparation.

North Sea Dumping

47.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what representations he has received from North sea fishermen about the dumping of industrial waste; and if he will make a statement.

We have received representations from fishermen's organisations and individuals concerned about the dumping of industrial waste in the North sea. I am able to reassure them that licensed dumping is strictly controlled and has no adverse effects on fish stocks.In view of progress in the development of safe alternative land-based disposal methods I have recently announced termination dates for the sea dumping of industrial waste and sewage sludge, and marine incineration.

54.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what research his Department is pursuing into ways of reducing North sea dumping of industrial and other wastes.

In the light of progress in the development of environmentally acceptable methods of disposal of waste on land we have now set deadlines for the termination of the sea dumping of industrial waste and sewage sludge, and marine incineration.

Coastal Flood Defences

48.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when his Department last reviewed coastal flood defences.

The state of the country's flood defences, both inland and on the coast, is kept under continual review through close contact between my officials and drainage bodies, in particular the National Rivers Authority. The increases in grant provision from £36 million to £54 million for the period 1989–90 to 1992–93 announced following the public expenditure surveys in 1988 and 1989, resulted from our most recent reviews of current and future flood defence needs.We are currently considering with the National Rivers Authority and local authorities the need for adjustments to current programmes as a result of recent storm events.

Anti-Pollution Measures

49.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what representations he has received about the cost to the agricultural industry of complying with anti-pollution measures.

We have received representations on the proposed regulations setting minimum standards for silage, slurry and agricultural fuel oil installations issued for consultation by the Department of the Environment, the proposal to ban, in time for the 1993 harvest, the burning of crop residues, and the proposed pilot nitrate sensitive areas scheme.

Sheep

51.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the present state of the sheep industry.

Prices and exports of lamb are well above the levels of the corresponding period in 1989. The increase in exports suggests that the industry is already taking advantage of the opportunities offered by the new sheepmeat regime.

Agricultural Intervention Board

53.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he expects to announce the name of the site chosen for the relocation of the agricultural intervention board.

As soon as my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Wales, and for Northern Ireland, my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Minister have concluded their consideration of the advice received from the Intervention Board for Agricultural Produce.

Pesticides

55.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he last reviewed the arrangements for pesticide approval.

I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for Daventry (Mr. Boswell) on 3 April, Official Report, column 86.

Badgers

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) how many badgers were killed by or on behalf of his Department during 1989; and whether all those were killed under the bovine tuberculosis control scheme;(2) how many of the badgers killed by his Department during 1989 were

(a) uninfected with tuberculosis, (b) showing signs of tuberculosis and (c) capable of infecting other animals;

(3) if he will make a statement on the progress made to date in developing (a) a vaccine against tuberculosis in badgers and (b) a live trap side test for tuberculosis;

(4) what extensions have recently taken place to the scope of the badger destruction element of his bovine tuberculosis clearance scheme; and if he will make a statement;

(5) what was the total cost during 1989 of the tuberculosis eradication scheme; and of this sum how much was earmarked for badger control.

A total of 727 badgers were killed by Ministry Officers in 1989, all in connection with the eradication programme for bovine tuberculosis. Tuberculosis was not identified in 605 badgers. Tuberculosis was confirmed in 122 animals and those animals were considered capable of transmitting the disease to other animals.Collaborative research on the development of a vaccine has been carried out by workers at the Middlesex hospital and the Ministry's central veterinary laboratory. Workers from the Middlesex hospital have completed a study in the Republic of Ireland on the acceptance of the vaccine by wild badgers. A field trial of efficacy is in progress, again in the Republic of Ireland. A pilot study at the central veterinary laboratory of the possibility that the vaccine could sensitise cattle to tuberculin, and a larger study in Ireland, have suggested that this would not be a problem. An experiment at the central veterinary laboratory to investigate possible desensitisation of cattle infected with tuberculosis has been approved in principle, and is likely to start this year; it will take at least 15 months to complete.A diagnostic test for use in badgers has been developed at the central veterinary laboratory and shows some promise. It has reached a stage where a field trial is necessary to study its effectiveness and the logistics of its use. It is hoped that a trial will begin in September 1990.There have been no modifications to the policy of badger control adopted following the Dunnet review.

The total cost of the tuberculosis eradication programme in the financial year 1989–90 was £7·3 million. Of this, £0·4 million was spent on the badger control strategy.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the findings of the Stormont research laboratory on the spread of bovine tuberculosis; what action he proposes to take in the light of the reports' findings; and if he will make a statement.

I am aware of the work done by the veterinary research division at Stormont. The conclusions in no way invalidate the existing badger control strategy.

Record Keeping

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what new administrative responsibilities regarding the keeping of records on the movement of animals, artificial insemination, home mixing of feed, and use of medicines and crop sprays have been imposed on farmers since 1 September 1989.

On 1 September 1989 the requirements of the Movement of Animals (Records) Order 1960 were extended to the movement of deer. As regards crop spraying, the health surveillance requirements of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1988, parts of which took effect after 1 September 1989, involve keeping of records of employees' work with pesticides containing anticholinesterase compounds. This builds upon obligations previously in the Poisonous Substances in Agriculture Regulations 1984. There have been no new administrative responsibilities placed upon farmers as regards the keeping of records relating to artificial insemination, home mixing of feed and on the use of veterinary medicines since 1 September 1989.

Bass

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he proposes to proceed with plans to designate nursery areas for the protection of juvenile bass stocks; and if he will make a statement.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales and I have decided that, following extensive consultations with interested parties over the last two years, regulations should be introduced as soon as practical to establish 34 nursery areas in the coastal waters of England and Wales in which fishing for bass from any boat will be prohibited for all or part of the year. The nursery areas and the duration of the seasonal prohibition on bass fishing will be as follows:

AreaDuration of prohibition (dates inclusive)
Bradwell Power Station outfall (River Blackwater)1 May to 31 October
Isle of Grain Power Station outfall (River Medway)All year
Kingsnorth Power Station outfall (River Medway)All year
Chichester Harbour1 May to 31 October
Langstone Harbour1 May to 31 October
Portsmouth Harbour1 May to 31 October
Southampton Water1 May to 31 October
Fawley Power Station outfall (Stanswood Bay, Solent)1 May to 31 October
AreaDuration of prohibition (dates inclusive)
Poole Harbour1 May to 31 October
The FleetAll year
River Exe1 May to 31 October
River Teign1 May to 31 October
River Dart1 May to 31 December
Salcombe Harbour1 May to 31 December
River Avon (Devon)1 May to 31 December
River Yealm1 May to 31 December
Plymouth RiversAll year
River Fowey1 May to 31 December
Fal Estuary1 May to 31 December
Percuil River1 May to 31 December
Helford River1 May to 31 December
River Camel1 May to 30 November
River Torridge1 May to 31 October
River Taw1 May to 31 October
Aberthaw power Station outfallAll year
Burry Inlet1 May to 31 October
Taf, Twyi and Gwendraeth Estuary1 May to 31 October
Milford Haven1 May to 31 October
River Dyfi1 May to 31 October
River Mawddach1 May to 31 October
Dwyryd/Glaslyn Estuary1 May to 31 October
Conwy Estuary1 May to 31 October
Dee Estuary1 June to 30 September
Heysham Power Station outfall (Morecambe Bay)1 June to 30 September
We shall also be inviting the National Rivers Authority and sea fisheries committees to consider the introduction of additional restrictions in some areas or parts of areas where juvenile bass stocks are particularly vulnerable to other fishing activities. Full details of the extent of the 34 nursery areas and the additional restrictions proposed have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. It is not proposed that any restrictions should be placed on fishing from the shore for which primary legislation would be necessary. However, any bass taken from the shore and landed will still need to comply with the minimum landing size of 36 cm.The introduction of nursery areas forms the final part of the package of measures that are being adopted for the long term conservation and management of the bass fishery in our coastal waters. The other measures, the introduction of mesh size controls for gill and similar nets and an increase in the minimum landing size for bass from 32 to 36 cm, which was subsequently adopted by the European Community, took effect from 1 January this year.

Drift Net Fishing

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on drift net fishing.

Properly regulated drift net fishing is an efficient method of fishing. We oppose the indiscriminate use such as the large-scale drift net operations for tuna on the high seas which has been occurring in the south Pacific and the United Kingdom has supported the recent United Nations resolution promulgated to deal with by such misuse. In United Kingdom waters drift nets are generally used in small-scale coastal operations for herring or salmon and where needed controls are placed on these fisheries.

Prime Minister

Official Information

To ask the Prime Minister if she will list those statutes currently in force which control the release of official information.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my hon. Friend the Minister of State, Home Office, to my hon. Friend the Member for Aldridge-Brownhills (Mr. Shepherd) on 2 April 1990 at columns 439-41, which listed statutes other than the Official Secrets Acts which create criminal sanctions for the release of certain kinds of information.

Television Licences

To ask the Prime Minister what correspondence she has received from Key housing association about concessionary television licences; what were its terms; and what action she proposes.

Key housing association wrote to me on 20 March asking that its accommodation should attract the £5 concessionary television licence available to occupants of certain residential homes and comparable accommodation.I welcome Key housing's policy of providing mixed housing developments designed to integrate mentally handicapped people into the community. But I am advised that such accommodation cannot qualify for the concessionary television licence. The regulations approved by Parliament in 1988 were explicitly intended to restore the original intention of the concessionary scheme, which was to cater for self-contained units of accommodation rather than those which are mixed in with other housing.

Nuclear Non-Proliferation

To ask the Prime Minister when she last raised the issue of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and its forthcoming fourth review conference with a visiting Head of State or Government; and when she next expects to do so.

I have not recently discussed this issue thoroughly with a visiting Head of State or Government, and do not have plans to do so. The non-proliferation treaty and other matters related to non-proliferation are regularly discussed in the appropriate fora, and in bilateral contacts at various levels.

Engagements

To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 19 April.

To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 19 April.

To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 19 April.

To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 19 April.

To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 19 April.

This morning I presided at a meeting of the Cabinet and had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in this House I shall be having further meetings later today.

Northern Ireland

Ramsar Convention

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he last designated an area under the Ramsar convention on the conservation of wetlands of international importance; if he will indicate the area which is next to be designated; and when he expects to designate it.

At the time of ratification of the Ramsar convention on wetlands of international importance especially as waterfowl habitat by the United Kingdom in 1976 Lough Neagh and Lough Beg were jointly listed as being conserved under the terms of the convention. This is the only Ramsar site in Northern Ireland, although a number of other areas are under consideration. It is essential that any further sites in Northern Ireland are fully protected under the provisions of the Nature Conservation and Amenity Lands (Northern Ireland) Order 1985 before designation as Ramsar sites and there are no plans for the listing of further sites in the immediate future.

Police And Criminal Evidence

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list the authorities and officials who have to operate under (a) a code of practice under article 65 of the Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 and (b) the persons, authorities and officials who are covered for the purposes of article 65 by section 66.

Those who have to operate under a code of practice issued under article 65 of the Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 are members of the following police forces:

  • the Royal Ulster Constabulary;
  • the Belfast Harbour Police;
  • the Larne Harbour Police;
  • the Northern Ireland Airport Police.
Those who are covered for the purposes of article 65 by article 66 and who are therefore required to have regard to the provision of such a code are persons, other than police officers, who are charged with the duty of investigating offences or charging offenders.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list the persons and organisations whom he consulted before introducing codes of practice under the provisions of article 65 of the Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989.

The information is as follows:

  • Kevin McNamara Esq MP
  • Labour Party
  • Right Hon. Paddy Ashdown MP
  • Social and Liberal Democrats
  • Right Hon. Dr. David Owen MP
  • Social Democratic Party
  • The Lord Prys-Davies
  • Labour Party
  • The Lord Blease
  • Labour Party
  • The Lord Donaldson of Kingsbridge OBE
  • Social and Liberal Democrats
  • The Lord Hampton
  • Social and Liberal Democrats
  • The Lord Hylton DL
  • Rt Hon. James Molyneaux MP
  • Ulster Unionist Party
  • Rev I R K Paisley MP MEP
  • Democratic Unionist Party
  • John Hume Esq MP MEP
  • Social Democratic and Labour Party
  • J A Kilfedder Esq MP
  • Ulster Popular Unionist Party
  • Dr. J Alderdice
  • Alliance Party
  • The Secretary
  • Progressive Unionist Party
  • The Secretary
  • The Workers' Party
  • The Secretary
  • Labour Party of Northern Ireland
  • The Secretary
  • Irish Independence Party
  • The Lord Cheif Justice for Northern Ireland
  • Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland
  • The Cheif Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary
  • The Director
  • Northern Ireland Court Service
  • The Chairman
  • Independent Commission for Police Complaints for Northern Ireland
  • The Chairman
  • Police Authority for Northern Ireland
  • The Chairman
  • Standing Advisory Commission on Human Rights
  • The Secretary
  • Association of Chief Police Officers for Northern Ireland
  • The Secretary
  • Superintendents' Association for Northern Ireland
  • The Secretary
  • Police Federation for Northern Ireland
  • The Secretary
  • Northern Ireland Committee
  • Irish Congress of Trade Unions
  • The Secretary
  • Northern Ireland Resident Magistrates' Association
  • The Secretary
  • Belfast Solicitors' Association
  • The Secretary
  • The Law Society for Northern Ireland
  • The Secretary
  • The Committee on the Administration of Justice
  • The Secretary
  • Bar Council
  • Belfast
  • The Secretary
  • The Belfast Law Centre
  • Information Officer
  • Northern Ireland Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux
  • The Secretary
  • Northern Consensus Group
  • Belfast
  • The Secretary
  • Two Traditions Group
  • Belfast
  • The Moderator
  • Presbyterian Church in Ireland
  • President of the Methodist Church in Ireland
  • Dr. R. H. A. Eames LLB PhD
  • Church of Ireland Archbishop and Primate of all Ireland
  • His Eminence Cardinal Tomas O'Fiaich
  • Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of all Ireland
  • The Chief Officer
  • Belfast Harbour Police
  • The Chief Officer
  • Larne Harbour Police
  • Chief Executive
  • Northern Ireland Airports
  • HM Customs and Excise
  • London
  • HM Customs and Excise
  • Belfast
  • The Secretary
  • Northern Ireland Committee
  • Quaker Peace and Service
  • The Director
  • Northern Ireland Branch CBI
  • The Dean
  • Faculty of Law
  • Queen's University of Belfast
  • Ministry of Defence
  • Home Office
  • Scottish Home and Health Department
  • All Northern Ireland Government Departments
  • Belfast Education and Library Board
  • Fisheries Conservancy Board for Northern Ireland
  • Bar Library
  • Belfast
  • Law Lecturer
  • University of Ulster
  • The Secretary
  • Foyle Fisheries Commission

Probation Board for Northern Ireland

Clerks of the following District, Borough and City Councils:

  • Limavady
  • Omagh
  • Hillsborough
  • Strabane
  • Derry
  • Magherafelt
  • Ballycastle
  • Newry
  • Bangor
  • Antrim
  • Belfast
  • Newtownards
  • Coleraine
  • Armagh
  • Cookstown
  • Ballymena
  • Portadown
  • Ballymoney
  • Downpatrick
  • Banbridge
  • Dungannon
  • Enniskillen
  • Carrickfergus
  • Larne
  • Director of Administration
  • Council Offices
  • Ballyclare
  • Director of Environmental Health Services
  • Belfast City Council

The Principal Environmental Health Officers of the following

Committees:

  • Western Group Public Health Committee—Omagh
  • Northern Group Public Health Committee—Ballymena
  • Eastern Group Public Health Committee—Upper Castlereagh Belfast
  • Southern Group Public Health Committee—Armagh

Strangford Lough

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many applications have been made for consents to carry out notifiable operations in the Strangford Lough area of special scientific interest; and in how many cases consents have been granted.

To date, 45 applications have been made. In 36 cases consents have been issued and in two cases consents were not actually required. Three consents are expected to be given shortly and four cases are as yet unresolved.I am pleased to note that 22 of the applications were verbal. Landowners and occupiers are taking full advantage of this less formal approach which was introduced by article 10 of the Nature Conservation and Amenity Lands (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order 1989.

The Sunday Times

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether any current officials of his Department or others involved in security force operations in Northern Ireland requested permission to give evidence on behalf of The Sunday Times in the libel action brought by Mr. T. Murphy and Mr. P. Murphy; and if he will make a statement.

Lough Foyle

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the minimum depth of water in the shipping channel to Lisahally dock in Lough Foyle.

Kincora Boys Home

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he hopes to complete his consideration of the issues raised by the Channel 4 television programme of 28 March on Kincora.

[holding answer 2 April 1990]: I have studied the transcript of the Channel 4 News programme. I note that there were some statements by Mr. Mike Taylor which are not consistent with what I understand to be the content of his 1982 statement to the police. If he has anything to add to his 1982 statement, he should give it to the police.For the remainder, the transcript contains no new material. As the Terry report confirmed, rumours about the homosexual tendencies of one member of the staff at Kincora reached the police in Northern Ireland during the 1970s but this did not amount to substantive evidence of homosexual abuse of boys at the hostel. Sir George Terry in his published conclusions refers, against the background of intense contemporary terrorist activity, to

"an understandable inability to recognise that extremely vague information which arose in 1974, if probed thoroughly, may well have revealed that which was finally discovered in [the] 1980 investigations"

but adds:

"I do not consider … that an earlier investigation would reasonably have been prompted on the basis of the information available …"

A full account of such rumours, which are known to have come to the attention of social services, is contained in the Hughes report. Rumours that a man may have homosexual tendencies are not by themselves a basis for criminal or disciplinary action against him. However, if anyone believes that they have substantive new evidence which is relevant, they should give it to the police.

Stevens Inquiry

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many soldiers from the Ulster Defence Regiment who were arrested in connection with the Stevens inquiry but who were not charged with a scheduled offence have subsequently had to move home for security reasons.

[holding answer 23 March 1990]: I understand that 10 such soldiers have moved house, or plan to do so.

Health

Nuclear Weapons Testing

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will publish in the Official Report the correspondence between himself and Mr. Chazov, Minister of Public Health of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, about nuclear weapons testing.

I have placed copies of the relevant correspondence in the Library.

South Manchester Health Authority

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the average cost per head of spending in the National Health Service for the South Manchester district health authority in each of the past 15 years (a) in cash terms and (b) in real terms.

Figures of average annual expenditure per head of resident population for the South Manchester health authority for the years since its establishment on 1 April 1982 are shown in the table:

Revenue expenditure per head of resident population Hospital and community health services (HCHS)
£ (cash)£ (at 1989–90 prices)
1982–83388559
1983–84416572
1984–85434568
1985–86453563
1986–87473569
1987–88518591
1988–89571608

Sources:

  • (a) Annual accounts of the South Manchester Health Authority —1982–83 to 1988–89 (latest available).
  • (b) Mid-year estimates of resident population—1982 to 1988 (Office of Population, Censuses and Surveys).
  • Notes:

  • 1. The figures have been expressed at 1989–90 prices by the use of the gross domestic product deflator.
  • 2. HCHS includes hospital, community health and other services provided by the health authority. Capital expenditure and expenditure on family practitioner services is excluded; the latter expenditure is accounted for by family practitioner committees (FPCs) and cannot be attributed to particular districts.
  • 3. People do travel across district boundaries for treatment and resource allocations reflect the pattern of service provision locally. The population figures used make no allowance for people resident in one district who receive treatment in another or for the difference in morbidity and age/sex structure of particular populations.
  • 4. Prior to 1 April 1982 the authority's predecessor health district formed part of a larger area health authority and in such cases district based figures were not collected centrally.
  • Distinction Awards

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he has met the chairman of the Central Advisory Committee on Distinction Awards to discuss progress towards a more open system, as advocated by the Review Body on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration in April 1988.

    Discussions have taken place between the chairman of the advisory committee on distinction awards and the Department of Health's officials and with the British Medical Association about ways to make the awards system more open and better understood. Further information about the operation of the awards system, following the changes proposed in the Government's White Paper "Working for Patients" will be available later this year.

    Gp Budgets

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether any general practitioners' practices have expressed an interest in holding their own budgets.

    I refer my hon. Friend to the reply that my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Wyre Forest (Mr. Coombs) on 14 March at column 280

    Acute Operations

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the current average waiting time for acute operations in (a) England and (b) Cornwall.

    The median waiting time for patients who underwent surgery in the year ending March 1989 was seven weeks for England and nine weeks for Cornwall and Isles of Scilly.Source: Hospital Episode Statistics 1988–89

    Mentally Handicapped People

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the provision of services for the profoundly mentally handicapped.

    Government policy is to encourage the development at local level of a comprehensive range of well co-ordinated health and social services for mentally handicapped people. Advice to authorities in meeting the needs of those who are profoundly mentally handicapped was contained in "Helping Mentally Handicapped People with Special Problems" 1984—a copy of which is in the Library.

    Community Care

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he will take to improve the management of social services departments prior to implementation of care in the community.

    It is predominantly, of course, for local authorities themselves to determine the management skills and approaches they need to develop in order to implement care in the community policy. The Department is supporting management development through a joint project between the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) and the Association of Directors of Social Services (ADSS) on financial management training and also a joint project between ADSS and Price Waterhouse looking at the organisational response needed successfully to implement the policy.

    Family Planning (Nottingham)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received on the reduction of family planning services in Nottingham district health authority.

    Mike Heaffey Sports Centre, Stanmore

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health if the Health Service will be making any contribution to the funding of the Mike Heaffey sports centre for the disabled, Stanmore; and if he will make a statement.

    I am informed that North West and North East Thames regional health authority will be offering ASPIRE a joint contribution to the running costs of the Mike Heaffey centre of £45,000 in 1990–91, to be followed by a further £45,000 in 1991–92.North West Thames RHA, whose patients are the main users of the Royal National Orthopaedic hospital where the Mike Heaffey centre is sited, will be contributing a total of £60,000; North East Thames, whose patients are the second main users, will be contributing a total of £30,000. These contributions will help put the finances of the Mike Heaffey centre on a firm footing; and, by demonstrating the NHS's support for ASPIRE's efforts to improve the situation of those with spinal injuries, encourage further voluntary donations to this worthwhile cause, which has much public support.

    Health Authorities

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the largest population served by one health authority in Great Britain.

    West Midlands RHA (resident population 5,206·5 thousand) and Leicestershire DHA (885·5 thousand) were the largest regional and district health authorities respectively in England and Wales at mid-1988. In Scotland, the Greater Glasgow health board served a resident population of 939·2 thousand at the same date.

    Porton Down

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement about the future of the centre for applied microbiology and research at Porton Down, near Salisbury.

    I said in my reply of 7 February to my hon. Friend the Member for Salisbury at column 705 that we were considering a number of possible options for the future of the centre for applied microbiology and research (CAMR), including an approach by Porton International plc to acquire CAMR. The current proposal from Porton International is unacceptable, but talks between the financial advisers to the two sides are continuing. Whatever the outcome, I am confident that the essential public sector interests in CAMR's work, including its public health aspects, can be safeguarded.

    Nhs Capital Expenditure

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list National Health Service capital expenditure for each year since 1979–80 (a) in cash terms, (b) adjusted by the gross domestic product deflator and (c) adjusted by the appropriate service deflator, listed both inclusive and exclusive of income from National Health Service land sales.

    [holding answer 30 March 1990]: The information requested is given in the table.

    National Health Service capital expenditure since 1979–80

    £ million

    Net public expenditure

    Total at 1988–89 prices adjusted to:

    Capital receipts (mainly land sales)

    Total

    Total at 1988–89 prices adjusted to:

    GDP deflator

    HCHS capital deflator

    GDP deflator

    HCHS capital deflator

    1979–8040776670710417785724
    1980–8155287876016568903782
    1981–82673975899206931,004925
    1982–8370094692019719971945
    1983–8471892792534752971969
    1984–85793975980518441,0381,043
    1985–86842983984859281,0831,084
    1986–878589689541501,0071,1371,120
    1987–888388988872041,0421,1161,102
    1988–898308308303001,1301,1301,130
    1989–90967908

    1

    2921,2591,182

    1

    1HCHS capital inflation figure for 1989–90 is not available yet.

    Transport

    Railways, Greater Manchester

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement about the provision of funding for railway services in Greater Manchester.

    The provision of funding for local passenger rail services in Greater Manchester is a matter for agreement between the Greater Manchester PTE and British Rail.

    Coastal Trading

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list those nations whose ships are able to carry cargoes in the coastal trade of the United Kingdom but whose coastal trade is closed to British registered ships.

    The United Kingdom's coastal trades are open to all vessels regardless of flag. In the EC, British registered vessels do not have reciprocal rights presently in France, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece. We are pressing vigorously for these coastal and offshore trades to be liberalised before the end of 1992. Further afield, opportunities for British registered vessels to carry cargoes in coastal trades are extremely limited.

    Light Dues

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he has received the British Ports Federation study about extending light dues to pleasure craft.

    The British Ports Federation report is being published today, and I have placed copies of it in the Library.I am grateful for the work done by the Federation on this difficult subject. I will wish to consider its report carefully, and I have reached no conclusions on its primary recommendation. This is that a flat rate light dues charge should be introduced for pleasure craft users based on a new compulsory registration system. The federation argues that closer regulation of the growing number of pleasure craft is increasingly desirable to assist with crime prevention and safety as well as to provide a basis for levying a contribution towards the costs of the aids to navigation provided by the general lighthouse authorities which are used by pleasure craft.I believe these wider issues require careful consideration, and I am therefore seeking the views of interested parties on all aspects of the BPF report before reaching any conclusions. The changes recommended by the BPF could in any event not be implemented without primary legislation.

    Learner Drivers

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has reached a decision on the regulations governing those who are supervising learner drivers; and if he will make a statement.

    Responses to the recent consultation indicated overwhelming support for the introduction of minimum requirements on the age and experience of those who supervise learner drivers.In the light of the comments received, I have decided to introduce requirements for a minimum age of 21 years and three years as the holder of a full driving licence. There will be no change in the requirements for supervisors of HGV and PSV learner drivers.I have today issued draft regulations for comment by 18 May, with a view to implementing the changes by the summer.

    Vehicle Inspectorate

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the vehicle inspectorate executive agency business plan for 1990–91 will be published.

    The business plan has been published today. Copies are available in the House Libraries.

    London Regional Transport

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will set financial objectives for London Regional Transport.

    I have today written to the Chairman of London Regional Transport in the following terms:

    "On 20 December 1989, I wrote to you setting quality of service objectives for London Underground Limited, for bus services operated by or on behalf of London Regional Transport, and for the Docklands Light Railway. In the same letter, I formally endorsed the safety objectives which you had set for London Regional Transport and all its subsidiaries. I am now writing to you, in exercise of my powers under section 16 of the London Regional Transport Act 1984, to set financial objectives to be achieved by London Regional Transport, by London Underground Limited and by London Buses Limited.
    I must reiterate that safety is your top priority. We have also agreed on the need to improve the quality of the services LRT provide and hence to meet the quality of service objective I set you on 20 December. These financial objectives are concerned with ensuring that you meet your other objectives as efficiently as possible, thereby ensuring that passengers and taxpayers receive value for money.
    I am setting three main financial objectives. In each case I have specified a level of performance which I wish to see achieved in respect of the financial year ending 31 March 1993, set at 1989–90 prices. For the purpose of measuring the achievement against the objectives, the figures actually achieved will be deflated to 1989–90 prices using the Retail Price Index.
    The objectives relate to the operating surplus of London Regional Transport and to the operating costs of your principal subsidiaries. Achievement of these objectives will not in any way impact on the pursuit of your ambitious capital expenditure programme. In the Chancellor's Autumn Statement, we announced our intention of contributing £1·75 billion of grant over the three years up to 1992–93, towards your investment programme of £2·2 billion. That arrangement is unaffected by these objectives.

    London Regional Transport

    London Regional Transport has forecast that it will make an operating loss, before making deductions in respect of depreciation and renewals, of £76 million in the financial year ending 31 March 1990. I propose that you should transform this loss into an operating surplus of £70 million in the financial year ending 31 March 1993, so that the day to day operations of LRT can at least make some contribution towards its investment programme. This objective assumes that London Underground Limited and London Buses Limited achieve the unit cost reduction objectives set out below and that London Regional Transport secures additional improvements in the financial performance of its other subsidiaries. The objective is based on London Regional Transport's own forecasts of future revenue, which include the conventional assumption that fare increases in future years will be in line with the increase introduced in February this year. If for any reason this assumption proves to be ill-founded, the objective will need to be modified accordingly.
    In order to meet the objective, it will be necessary for all London Regional Transport businesses to exercise their best endeavours to optimise revenue whilst running their operations efficiently and cost-effectively. Certain activities of London Regional Transport are categorised as being essentially commercial in nature. These include certain commercial bus and coach operations undertaken by subsidiaries of London Buses Limited, and all the activities undertaken by the Victoria Coach Station Ltd., London Transport International Services Ltd., London Transport Catering and London Transport Advertising. It has previously been agreed between the Government and London Regional Transport that each of these commercial activities should, as a minimum, earn a 5 per cent. return on turnover, taking one financial year with another. I confirm that I wish these activities to continue to meet this requirement.
    The Docklands Light Railway is not covered by this requirement. Nor have I sought to set a loss reduction objective for it. This reflects the fact that there are very many uncertainties about the future financial performance of the railway, whose services are still evolving: the extensions to Beckton and the City, for instance, should both open within the period covered by these financial objectives. I will wish to set a financial objective for the Docklands Light Railway, as soon as possible. Although the Docklands Light Railway is not a major contributor to the costs or revenue of London Regional Transport at this stage, it accounts for a significant part of your capital expenditure. We need to ensure that the benefits of this investment are realised in Docklands. I have asked officials to hold urgent discussions with the Docklands Light Railway to consider what form of objective it would be appropriate to set the railway at this stage. In the interim, I look to the Board of London Regional Transport to ensure that the Docklands Light Railway makes its proper contribution to achievement of the profit target.

    London Underground Limited

    Expenditure in the day-to-day running of the London Underground system has risen significantly over the last two years. It is now some 23 per cent. above the level of 1987–88. The reasons are well known. The actions which London Regional Transport and London Underground Limited set in hand in the wake of the fire at Kings Cross, and the further actions called for in the report by Sir Desmond Fennell QC and other reports, have involved incurring additional capital and current expenditure. The complement of the British Transport Police 'L' Division has likewise increased in response to the urgent need to tackle crime on the Underground. You have introduced a new management structure within London Underground Limited, which is designed to ensure that the individual lines and stations are brought within better day-to-day management control. Last, but not least, you are now embarked on an ambitious capital expenditure and maintenance programme, which makes additional demands on your staff resources. All these developments are very welcome, and I recognise that there are further areas of the business where you see a legitimate case for increased operating expenditure.
    Nevertheless, I consider it essential that London Underground Limited should be set a financial objective, which ensures that this enormous expansion in activity with its associated costs is achieved with due regard to efficiency. This is a necessary safeguard for the fare-payers and taxpayers who must, between them, bear the cost of running the London Underground system. I propose a target to be calculated on the basis of operating costs, excluding depreciation and renewals, per operated train mile. The figure I propose is £14·02. This compares with a forecast outturn figure for 1989–90 of £14·97. We are both satisfied that this can be achieved without prejudicing the achievement by London Underground of a steady improvement in both safety and quality of service.

    London Buses Limited

    As noted above, certain bus and coaching operations of subsidiaries of London Buses Limited are categorised as commercial. They are subject to the requirement that each service earns not less than a 5 per cent. return on turnover. The remainder of London Buses' operations consists of network routes and routes operated under contract to London Regional Transport. I propose that these routes should be set a unit cost reduction target expressed in terms of operating costs (including depreciation and renewals, but excluding severance payments) per operated bus mile.
    The Government remains firmly committed to the deregulation of the London bus market, and the subsequent privatisation of the subsidiaries of London Buses Limited, but has yet to determine a timetable. I recognise that the absence of a firm date for deregulation makes it difficult for LBL to plan unit cost reductions too far ahead. However, the prospect of deregulation and privatisation makes it vital that the subsidiaries of London Buses Limited should move as quickly as possible to a position where they can compete successfully in a deregulated bus market. Their efforts to achieve this can only be strengthened by having a firm financial objective to work to. I am therefore setting a unit cost target for the financial year ending 31 March 1993. We will review the position for future years in the light of the decisions we take on the timing of deregulation. The target figure is £2·57. This compares with a forecast outturn figure for 1989–90 of £2·77.

    Public Accountability

    I would like the Board to report performance and progress in achieving all its different objectives in its annual Report and Accounts. This should include:
  • (a) progress in implementing the safety objectives you have set for London Regional Transport and its subsidiaries;
  • (b) the quality of service achieved against the objectives set for London Underground Ltd, London Regional Transport bus services and the Docklands Light Railway;
  • (c) progress towards the achievement of the financial objectives set in this letter."
  • President Of India (State Visit)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if his Department was consulted about the traffic arrangements in the city of Westminster on 3 April prior to the arrival of the State President of India; whether the procedures adopted were assessed by his officials; what prior warning was given to the road user in London on traffic effects within his Department's responsibilities; and if he will make a statement about the effect upon traffic in London when Victoria station is used as the arrival point for a state visit.

    TitleContractor
    1. FUNDAMENTAL STUDIES
    Cellulolysis in landfillAFRC Institute of Food Research, Norwich
    Methanogenesis in landfillQueen Mary College, London University
    Interactions between species in landfillStrathclyde University
    Assessment of Fungi in landfillInstitute for Grassland and Animal Protection (Hurley). [Recently completed]
    Protozoa in landfillNERC Institute of Freshwater Ecology
    Anaerobic methane oxidationWarwick University
    General consultingD. Archer, IFRN
    Microbiology of landfill gas enhancement test cellsBiotechnology Group, Harwell
    Review of microbiological techniques for assaying landfillBiostrategy Associates [Proposed—due to start shortly]
    2. LANDFILL GAS FIELD STUDIES
    Research and development on landfill gas abstraction and utilisationShanks and McEwan Ltd. and Yorkshire Brick Company
    Monitoring and technical assessment of above projectEnvironmental Safety Centre, Harwell
    National assessment of landfill gas resourceEnvironmental Resources Ltd. [Complete, but 2nd phase proposed]
    Landfill gas enhancement techniquesEnvironmental Safety Centre, Harwell
    Assessment of leachate recirculation to enhance landfill gas production1Water Research Centre
    Monitoring of trace components in condensate from landfill gasEnvironmental Safety Centre, Harwell
    Landfill gas Guidelines2Environmental Resources Ltd.
    3. ENERGY EFFICIENCY DEMONSTRATION SCHEMES3
    Landfill Gas from shallow landfill siteCory Waste Management Ltd., Stanford-Le-Hope
    Monitoring of Bilham Grange Farm landfill gasLemace Ltd., Doncaster [Completed November 1989]
    Spark ignition engines fuelled by landfill gasShanks and McEwan Ltd. Bedford
    Gas turbine to convert landfill gas to electricityPackington Estates Enterprises Ltd., Meriden
    Landfill gas to electricity using dual fuel engineSummerleaze Gravel Co. Ltd., Maidenhead
    1Part funded by Landfill Gas Ltd.
    2 Funded by D. Energy, DoE and Ofgas.
    3 Schemes also supported by the Department of Energy using landfill gas.

    Gas Industry

    To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what information his Department collects on the gas industry.

    [holding answer 18 April 1990]: The Department was not consulted. Traffic control arrangements for state visits are the responsibility of the Metropolitan police. I understand that they provided advance warning signs and informed the media of diversions well in advance.

    Energy

    Landfill Gas

    To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will list the research and development projects being undertaken by his Department or related agencies on landfill gas.

    The list of research and development projects currently being supported by the Department of Energy on landfill gas is as follows:

    The Department collects a variety of information on the United Kingdom gas industry. Key figures are published in the "Development of the Oil and Gas Resources of the UK" (the Brown Book), and in the Department's statistical publications "Energy Trends" and the "Digest of United Kingdom Energy Statistics".

    Offshore Oil Production

    To ask the Secretary of State for Energy whether he has any plans to award offshore petroleum production licences in the frontier exploration areas to the north and west of Scotland.

    I am today making available a list of the licence areas for which applications will be invited in a round of licensing in the frontier exploration areas to the north and west of Scotland.Eleven licences will be on offer in the frontier round. I shall place in the Libraries of both Houses a full list of the grouped blocks which will be on offer in the round.The purpose of a separate round for frontier areas is to encourage a fresh start to exploration in areas which have been little explored in the past and where existing geological information is sparse or low in quality. A fresh start needs to be made to exploration in these areas if the contribution which the United Kingdom continental shelf makes to the economy is to be extended further in the next century.To offset the high financial risks attached to exploration in the deep water areas concerned, the areas for licensing will be substantially larger than usual. Together, the 11 licences will cover 117 blocks. Licensees will be expected to carry out a programme of seismic exploration in the first part of the initial phase of the licence. It is expected that any drilling will normally take place in the second part of

    OffencesShort title of Principal Statutes
    OFFENCES AGAINST THE PERSON:Common Law, and Offences against the Person Act, 1861, Secs. 1, 9 and 10.
    Attempted murderIbid, also Criminal Attempts Act 1981
    Threats, conspiracy or incitement to murder:— Conspiring or soliciting, etc, to commit murder.Criminal Law Act 1977 Sec. 1 Offences against the Person Act, 1861, Sec. 4
    Assisting offender by impeding his apprehension or prosecution in a case of murder.Criminal Law Act, 1967, Sec. 4(1).
    Manslaughter, etc:— ManslaughterCommon Law and Offences against the Person Act, 1861, Secs. 5, 9 and 10
    InfanticideInfanticide Act, 1938 Sec. 1(1)
    Child destructionInfant Life (preservation) Act, 1929 Sec. 1
    Causing death by reckless drivingRoad Traffic Act 1988 Sec. 1
    Diminished responsibilityHomicide Act 1957, Sec. 2
    Wounding and other acts endangering life:— Wounding, etc, with intent to do grievous bodily harm, etc, or to resist apprehension.Offences against the Person Act, 1861, Sec. 18.
    Shooting at naval or revenue vessels.Customs and Excise Management Act, 1979, sec. 85(2).
    Attempting to choke, suffocate etc, with intent to commit an indictable offence (garroting)Offences against the Person Act, 1861, Sec. 21.
    Using chloroform, etc, to commit or assist in committing an indictable offence.Offences against the Person Act, 1861, Sec. 22.
    Burning, maining, etc, by explosion.Offences against the Person Act, 1861, Sec. 28.
    Causing, explosions or casting corrosive fluids with intent to do grievous bodily harm.Offences against the Person Act, 1861, Sec. 29.
    Impeding the saving of life from shipwreck.Offences against the Person Act, 1861, Sec. 17
    Placing, etc., explosives in or near ships or buildings with intent to do bodily harm, etc.Offences against the Person Act, 1861, Sec. 30.
    Endangering life or causing harm by administering poison.Offences against the Person Act, 1861, Sec. 23.
    Possession etc. of explosives with intent to endanger life.Explosives Substances Act, 1883, Sec. 3 (in part).

    this phase. A feature of the licences granted in these areas will be extended terms to allow licensees longer periods in which to plan and carry out activity on the licences.

    As soon as possible, I will publish in the London, Edinburgh and Belfast Gazettes a formal announcement giving the detailed licence terms for frontier licences (including financial terms) and the basis on which awards will be made. Any additional licence conditions, the format of licence applications, and the information required will be available from my Department as soon as the Gazette notices have been published.

    Applications will be returnable by a date in January or February 1991 which has yet to be determined.

    I will shortly make available a list of the licence areas for which applications will be invited in a separate 12th round of licensing for the established petroleum areas of the UKCS.

    Home Department

    Offences

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the offences currently triable only on indictment.

    The list of offences currently triable only on indictment in England and Wales is given in the table.There may in addition be a few common law mischiefs which would be triable only on indictment, where it is not definite how far the common law remains effective.

    Offences

    Short title of Principal Statutes

    Possession of firearms etc. with intent to endanger life or injure property etc. (Group I)Firearms Act, 1968. Sec. 16. as amended by the Criminal Justice Act 1972, Sec. 28(2).
    Possession of firearms etc. with intent to endanger life or injure property etc. (Group II).Firearms Act, 1968, Sec. 16 as amended by the Criminal Justice Act 1972, Sec. 28(2).
    Possession of firearms etc. with intent to endanger life or injure property etc. (Group III).Firearms Act, 1968, Sec. 16 as amended by the Criminal Justice Act 1972 Sec. 28(2).
    Using etc. firearms or imitation firearms with intent to resist arrest etc. (Group I).Firearms Act, 1968, Sec. 17(1) as amended by the Criminal Justice Act 1972, Sec. 28(2).
    Using etc. firearms or imitation firearms with intent to resist arrest etc. (Group II).Firearms Act, 1968, Sec. 17(1) amended by the Criminal Justice Act 1972, Sec. 28(2).
    Using etc. firearms or imitation firearms with intent to resist arrest etc. (Group III). (for definition of Group I, II and III See Appendix 1 Pt. 3—Classification 115)Firearms Act, 1968. Sec. 17(1) as amended by the Criminal Justice Act 1972, Sec. 28(2).
    ENDANGERING RAILWAY PASSENGERS:
    By placing, etc., anything on railway, taking us rails, changing points and signals etc.Offences against the Person Act, 1861 sec. 32.
    By throwing anything at railway carriages, etc.Offences against the Person Act, 1861 Sec. 33.
    Possessing firearms or imitation firearm at time of committing or being arrested for an offence specified in Schedule 1 of the Act. (Group I).Firearms Act, 1968, Sec. 17(2) as amended by the Criminal Justice Act 1972, Sec. 28(3).
    Possessing firearms or imitation firearm at time of committing or being arrested for an offence specified in Schedule 1 of the Act. (Group II).Firearms Act, 1968, Sec. 17(2) as amended by the Criminal Justice Act 1972, Sec. 28(3).
    Possessing firearms or imitation firearm at time of committing or being arrested for an offence specified in Schedule 1 of the Act. (Group III).Firearms Act, 1968, Sec. 17(2) as amended by the Criminal Justice Act 1972, Sec. 28(3).
    Possessing firearms or imitation firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence, or resist arrest etc. (Group I).Firearms Act, 1968, Sec. 18(1) as amended by the Criminal Justice Act 1972, Sec. 28(3).
    Possessing firearms or imitation firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence, or resist arrest etc. (Group II).Firearms Act, 1968, Sec. 18(1)) as amended by the Criminal Justice Act 1972, Sec. 28(3).
    Administering poison with intent to injure or annoy.Offences against the Person Act, 1861 Sec. 24.
    Setting spring guns, etc., to injure trespassers.Offences against the Person Act, 1861 Sec. 31.
    Causing bodily harm by furious driving.Offences against the Person Act, 1861 Sec. 35.
    Assaults on person preserving wreck.Offences against the Person Act, 1861 Sec. 37.
    Possessing firearms or imitation firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence, or resist arrest etc. (Group III) (For definition of Groups I, II and III see Appendix 1 part 3 Classification 115).Firearms Act, 1968, Sec. 18(1) as amended by the Criminal Justice Act 1972. Sec. 28(3).
    PROCURING ILLEGAL ABORTION:
    Administering or using drugs or using instruments to procure abortion.Offences against the Person Act 1861, Sec. 58 as amended by the Abortion Act 1967
    Procuring drugs, etc., to cause abortion.Offences against the Person Act 1861, Sec. 59 as amended by the Abortion Act 1967.
    BUGGERY:
    With a boy under the age of sixteen or with a woman or an animal.Sexual Offences Act 1956, Sec. 12 as amended by the Sexual Offences Act 1967 Sec. 3(1).
    By a man with a male person of the age of sixteen or over without consent.ibid.
    By a man of the age of 21 or over with another male person under the age of 21 with consent.ibid.
    By a man with another male person other than as in 1, 2 or 3 above.ibid.

    Offences

    Short title of Principal Statutes

    Male member of staff of hospital or mental nursing home committing buggery or an act of gross indecency with male patient.Mental Health Act 1959 Sec. 128(1)(a) as amended by Sexual Offences Act 1967 Sec. 1(4).
    Man committing buggery or an act of gross indecency with mentally disordered male pa:tient who is subject to his care.Mental Health Act 1959 Sec. 128(1)(b) as amended by Sexual Offences Act 1967 Sec. 1(4).
    Attempt to commit buggery with a boy under the age of 16 or with a woman or an animal.Sexual Offences Act 1956 Sec. 12 as amended by the Sexual Offences Act 1967 Sec. 3(1).
    Attempt by a man to commit buggery with a male person of the age of 16 or over without consent.ibid.
    Attempt by a man of the age of 21 or over to commit buggery with another male person under the age of 21 with consent.ibid.
    Attempt by a man to commit buggery with another male person other than as in 7, 8 or 9 above.ibid.
    Assault with intent to commit buggery.Sexual Offences Act 1956 Sec. 16.
    RAPE:
    Man having unlawful sexual intercourse with a woman who is a defective.Sexual Offences Act 1956 Sec. 7 as amended by Mental Health Act 1959 Sec. 127.
    Male member of staff of hospital or mental nursing home having unlawful sexual intercourse with female patient.Mental Health Act 1959 Sec. 128(1)(a).
    Man having unlawful sexual intercourse with mentally disordered female patient who is subject to his care.Mental Health Act 1959 Sec. 128(1)(b).
    Rape.Sexual Offences Act 1956 Sec. 1.
    Attempted Rape.ibid.
    Unlawful sexual intercourse with girl under 13.Sexual Offences Act 1956 Sec. 5.
    INCEST:
    Incest with a girl under 13.Sexual Offences Act 1956 Secs. 10 and 11.
    Other incestibid.
    PROCURATION OF MALES AND FEMALES:
    Procuring female for immoral purposes, or using drugs to obtain or facilitate sexual intercourse.Sexual Offences Act 1956 Secs. 2, 3, 4, 22 and 23.
    Detention of female in brothel or other premises.Sexual Offences Act 1956 Sec. 24.
    Person responsible for girl under 16 causing or encouraging her prostitution etc.Sexual Offences Act 1956 Sec. 28.
    Procuring, permitting or causing the prostitution etc. of female defective.Sexual Offences Act 1956 Secs. 9, 27 and 29.
    ABDUCTION:
    Abduction of female having interest in property.Sexual Offences Act 1956 Secs. 17 (in part) and 18.
    Abduction of female by force.Sexual Offences Act 1956 Sec. 17 (in part).
    Abduction of unmarried girl under 16.Sexual Offences Act 1956 Sec. 20.
    Abduction of unmarried girl under 18.Sexual Offences Act 1956 Sec. 19.
    Abduction of female defective.Sexual Offences Act 1956 Sec. 21.
    OFFENCES AGAINST PROPERTY WITH VIOLENCE:
    Burglary in a dwelling
    Burglary, with the intent to commit, or the commission of an offence triable only on indictment.Theft Act, 1968 Sec. 9.
    Burglary with violence or the threat of violence.Theft Act, 1968 Sec. 9.
    Aggravated burglary in a dwelling (including attempts).Theft Act, 1968 Sec. 10.
    Burglary, other than a dwelling
    Burglary, with the intent to commit, or the commission of an offence triable only on indictment.Theft Act, 1968 Sec. 9.
    Aggravated burglary in a building other than a dwelling (including attempts).Theft Act, 1968 Sec. 10
    Robbery and assaults with intent to rob:—
    RobberyTheft Act, 1968 Sec. 8.
    Assault with intent to robTheft Act, 1968 Sec. 8.
    BlackmailTheft Act. 1968 Sec. 21
    KidnappingCommon Law
    HijackingAviation Security Act 1982 Secs. 1-3, 6(2)

    Offences

    Short title of Principal Statutes

    False imprisonmentCommon Law
    OFFENCES AGAINST PROPERTY WITHOUT VIOLENCE:
    Frauds by company directors etc:-
    Fraudulently inducing persons to invest money.Prevention of Fraud (Investments) Act 1958 Sec. 13
    Other Frauds
    Conspiracy to defraud.Common Law and Criminal Justice Act 1987 Sec. 12.
    Fraudulent issue of money orders by Post Office servant.Post Office Act, 1953 Sec. 22.
    Frauds in connection with sale of land etc.Law of Property Act 1925 Sec. 183.
    MALICIOUS INJURIES TO PROPERTY:
    Arson
    Arson endangering life
    Threat and possession with intent to commit criminal damage:-
    Possession with intent.Offences Against the Person Act 1861, Sec. 64
    Explosive Substances Act 1883 Sec. 3 (part)
    OTHER OFFENCES NOT INCLUDED IN THE ABOVE CLASSES:
    Offences against the State and Public Order High treason and other offences against Treason Acts.Treason Acts 1351-1842
    Treason FelonyTreason Felony Act 1848
    Rioting:—
    1. RiotPublic Order Act 1986. Section 1
    Perjury:—
    Perjury and false statements (also false declarations and representations made punishable by any statute)Perjury Act 1911, Section 1 Criminal Justice Act 1967, S 89
    LibelCommon Law and Libel Acts 1792 and 1843
    Suicide (aiding, abetting etc)Suicide Act 1961, Sec. 2(1)
    Attempting to Pervert the Course of Public Justice (Fabrication of false evidence, cause person to be wrongly convicted, interference with witness, etc.)Common Law
    Absconding from lawful custodyCommon Law

    Breath Tests

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in what circumstances a breath test may be administered by the police other than those listed in his answer of 21 March, Official Report, column 635; and what was the total number of such breath tests administered in 1988 and 1989.

    In addition to the circumstances set out in the reply given on 21 March by my right hon. and learned Friend to my hon. Friend the Member for Uxbridge (Mr. Shersby) at column 635, a constable in uniform may require a person to provide a breath test where he has reasonable cause to suspect that that person has committed a moving traffic offence, or reasonable cause to believe that that person has been involved in an accident.Breath tests are recorded under two headings according to the reason for the test:

  • (i) where there is suspicion of consumption of alcohol or suspicion of a moving traffic offence; and,
  • (ii) where an accident has occurred.
  • In 1988, 443,000 breath tests were recorded. Of these, 365,000 were in the first category and 78,000 in the second category. In the most recent 12 months for which statistics are available (to September 1989), 502,000 tests were recorded. Of these, 403,000 were in the first category and 99,000 in the second category. Statistics for the fourth quarter of 1989 are not yet available.

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether there are plans to conduct a publicity campaign to explain to the motoring public the full powers available to the police to stop and breath-test drivers.

    The Government will continue to support the full use by the police of the powers available to them, including during our regular campaigns against drinking and driving. These powers have been explained on many occasions, most recently in the reply given by my right hon. and learned Friend to my hon. Friend on 21 March at column 635. We do not consider that a further specific publicity campaign is necessary.

    Immigration Officials

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the staffing levels of immigration service officials at (a) Heathrow airport (all terminals) and (b) Gatwick airport, in terms of total numbers of staff and by grade, at 1 June for each year from 1986 up to 1 June 1989.

    The tables below set out the allocation of staff, by grade, at Heathrow and Gatwick airports on the dates requested. The figures relate primarily to permanent staff but also include seasonally employed officers who operate the embarkation control during the summer, thereby releasing permanent staff for the arrivals control.

    Immigration service staff in post on 1 June

    Year

    Assistant chief Inspector

    Inspector

    Chief immigration officer

    Immigration officer

    3

    Seasonal immigration officer

    1

    General service grades

    Heathrow (all terminals)—by grade

    1 June 1986314775187062·5
    1 June 198731785

    2571·5

    6661·5
    1 June 1988319855255454·5
    1 June 198931688552·55359

    Gatwick—by grade

    1 June 19861422152·52111
    1 June 19871419149810
    1 June 19881629193513
    1 June 198916352141813

    Notes:

    1 The general service grades shown in the final column are given as one figure for ALL grades. This includes the following grades; higher executive officer, executive officer, administrative officer, administrative assistant, personal secretary, typist, messenger and interpreter.
    2 The 1987 staff in post figures for immigration officers is unusually high because of the need to deal with the large backlog of casework which arose from the introduction of the various visa requirements in 1986 and 1987. It also reflects the fact that a number of staff were based at Heathrow prior to transfer to Gatwick when the new terminal opened there on 22 March 1988.
    3 The number of seasonal immigration officers increases further in July and August.

    Police Housing Allowances

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what meetings with (a) the Police Federation and (b) senior representatives of the police forces in England and Wales he and his ministerial colleagues have had since 1 September 1989 to discuss police housing allowances.

    My right hon. Friend the then Home Secretary met representatives of the staff side of the Police Negotiating Board to discuss this subject on 24 October 1989. My right hon. and learned Friend and my right hon. and noble Friend also met the chairman and secretary of the staff side, and my hon. Friend the Member for Uxbridge (Mr. Shersby), for the same purpose on 17 January this year. The staff side includes members of all police representative organisations including the Police Federation. My right hon. and learned Friend also discussed the matter with the chief constable of Surrey when he accompanied my right hon. Friend the member for Woking (Mr. Onslow) and other hon. and right hon. Friends to a meeting with him on 21 February.

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when representatives of the police forces of England and Wales were first informed of his general proposals with regard to the police housing allowance.

    Draft regulations giving effect to my right hon. and learned Friend's initial decisions on the Police Negotiating Board's recommendations on police housing allowance were sent to the board for comment on 4 January. All three police staff organisations for England and Wales are represented on the staff side of the board.

    Homosexuality

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consultation has taken place with the United Kingdom Government over the wording of chapter 38 of the Sex Offences Bill currently before the House of Keys in the Isle of Man; and what response the Government have made.

    The Sexual Offences Bill has recently been sent to the Home Office by the Isle of Man Government as part of the usual consultative procedures. Section 38 of the Manx Sexual Offences Bill, which is on the same lines as section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988, takes account of earlier discussions between Her Majesty's Government and the Isle of Man authorities.

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what indication he has given to the authorities in (a) Jersey and (b) the Isle of Man about the steps which he would take in relation to the criminal law on homosexuality, in the event that the parliaments of these islands fail to amend their current legislation to the satisfaction of the United Kingdom.

    Both Jersey and the Isle of Man have been made aware of the need to amend their current legislation in order to enable the United Kingdom to conform with its international obligations under the European convention on human rights. The Island authorities are also aware that the United Kingdom would need to legislate on their behalf, if necessary.

    Police Officers (Resignations)

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many resignations of officers under the age of 45 years there have been from the police forces of England and Wales in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and how many were occassioned by (a) serious injury in the course of duty and (b) all other factors.

    State Visits

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will list the number of occasions in the past year when parts of central London have been closed to traffic due to the arrival of visiting dignitaries; and if he will make a statement on the traffic disruption caused by these closures;(2) why parts of central London were closed to traffic on 3 April; and if he will make a statement on the traffic disruption caused by this closure.

    I understand from the Commissioner that parts of central London have been closed to traffic during the past year due to the arrival of visiting dignitaries on the following dates:

    • 6 April 1989—Official visit, President of USSR
    • 8 May 1989—State visit, President of Nigeria
    • 30 May 1989—Official visit, President of USA
    • 5 July 1989—Official visit, Prime Minister of Pakistan
    • 3 April 1990—State visit, President of India
    On these occasions parts of central London were closed to traffic for a short time and traffic held up at junctions to facilitate progress of the visitors. In every case, advance warning was given by road signs and via the media. It is inevitable that the closure of major thoroughfares will result in some increased congestion, but every effort is made to plan diversionary routes and to enable traffic to flow freely on these routes.

    United Kingdom Warning And Monitoring Organisation (Exercises)

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give details for each of the United Kingdom warning and monitoring organisation exercises at Royal Observer Corps bunkers by (a) name, (b) location, (c) starting and finishing dates and (d) starting and finishing times.

    The 1990 exercise dates for the United Kingdom warning and monitoring organisation (UKWMO) are:

    • INTEX 1990:—17-18 March—0800-0700 hours
    • POSTHORN 1/90:—20 May—0700-1800 hours
    • POSTHORN 2/90:—14 October—Times to be decided
    These exercises, which are designed to practice operational procedures, will involve all UKWMO operational controls and monitoring posts throughout the United Kingdom. The field force of UKWMO is the Royal Observer Corps.

    London Demonstration

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if, when the organisers of the 31 March poll tax demonstration asked for the location to be transferred from Trafalgar square to Hyde park, he consulted the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis about the desirability of meeting their request.

    [holding answer 5 April 1990]: I understand that the organisers applied on 18 January to the Department of the Environment for permission to hold the rally in Trafalgar square. After discussions with the Metropolitan police permission was granted on 7 March. The details of the route of the proposed march from the assembly point in Kennington park to Trafalgar square were discussed and agreed with the police. On Monday 26 March the organisers asked the Department of the Environment for permission to hold the rally in Hyde park. The Metropolitan police were contacted about this very late request but no formal decision was taken. At a meeting later that day between the police and the organisers the request was not pursued and plans for holding the rally in Trafalgar square were finalised. On Tuesday 27 March the organisers withdrew their request to hold the rally in Hyde park.

    Trade And Industry

    Bogus Invoices

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether there has been any progress in trying to secure action to be taken against those who send out bogus fax invoices from addresses both within the United Kingdom and from abroad; and if he will make a statement.

    The Unsolicited Goods and Services Acts 1971 and 1975 provide that any demand for payment in respect of a directory entry which has not been ordered by the person concerned is an offence, and the recipient of the demand is not liable to pay for it. The Acts seem to have proved effective in controlling such practices by firms within the United Kingdom.For invoices originating from overseas we liaise with the authorities in the countries involved. They share our concern but attempts at legal action in their courts have not to date proved effective. Many of the invoices originate from Switzerland and the Swiss have taken legal action under a new law on unfair competition which came into force in 1988. The outcome of this action is not expected until later this year.

    Amateur Radio Licences

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will report progress on the introduction of an amateur radio novice licence.

    I am pleased to announce that following discussions on novice licence conditions with the Radio Society of Great Britain, the Radiocommunications Agency has today published a final draft of the proposed novice licence. A copy has been placed in the Library. Work is also in hand on setting up arrangements for the training and examination of potential licensees. Those arrangements will necessarily take some time to put in hand but the agency would hope to the be ready to issue the first novice licences in early 1991.

    Origin Marking

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress he has made on the establishment of a European origin marking regime.

    In accordance with an undertaking I gave to the House on 10 November 1988, Official Report, column 588-89, I wrote to ministerial colleagues in other member states and to the Commissioner then responsible for origin marking matters.I sought their views on a possible European Communitywide origin marking regime which would require the corrective marking of third-country imports bearing European brand-names. Such a regime would appear to be the most that could be required within the relevant provisions of the treaty of Rome, the interpretation of which has been established in a number of European Court rulings.Responses to my letter ranged from varying degrees of support to outright opposition. In several cases I received no reply even after several reminders. I have therefore reluctantly concluded that such a proposal would not command sufficient support to secure its implementation, and I do not propose to pursue the matter further.

    Estate Agency Report

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will implement the recommendations in the Director General of Fair Trading's report on estate agency.

    Since receiving the Director General of Fair Trading's report last month, I have given it careful consideration and generally agree with his analysis of the problems and with his recommendations.I believe that the package of legislation which he has proposed would deal effectively with the malpractices identified in the report while not imposing significant burdens on reputable estate agents. It is therefore the Government's intention that, as soon as legislative time is available, the Trade Descriptions Act 1968 should be extended to cover misdescription of property. It is also my intention, as soon as the consultation required under the Estate Agents Act 1979 can be carried out and the results considered, to make and lay before Parliament orders under section 3 and regulations under section 18 to deal with misdescription of property, forced sales, misleading terms and other abuses identified in the report and to add to the list of offences which can trigger banning action against estate agents.I have read with interest the analysis in the report of the arguments for and against licensing and use of the power under section 22 to prescribe minimum qualifications for estate agents. I agree with the Director General's view that the case for these measures has not been made out. This finding on section 22 is in line with the conclusion I reached in the review of estate agency which I completed last year and also with the conclusion reached by the Consumers Association in its recent report on estate agency.I have noted with regret the Director General's conclusion that there is little prospect of agreement in the immediate future on an industrywide voluntary code of practice. However, I consider that the package of legislation I propose deals with the main problems. I welcome the Director General's undertaking that his

    Directives in the White Paper programme which are not yet required to have entered into force
    SubjectRequired date of entry into forceRemarks
    Part one: The removal of physical barriers
    1 Control of Goods
    2 Veterinary and phytosanitary controls
    1 Microbiological controls (meats, poultry, red meat)Dir 85/323Time for implementation not yet fixed
    Dir 85/324
    2 Mince meat and similar products imported from third countriesDir 88/6571 January 1992
    3 Zoo technical standards applicable to breeding animals of the porcine speciesDir 88/6611 January 1991
    4 Modification of Directive 77/99/EEC on meat productsDir 88/6581 July 1990
    — Amendment to Directive 74/63 on undesirable substances and products in animal nutrition (maximum pesticide residues in animal feedingstuffs)Dir 87/5193 December 1990Implementing regulations have been made and will come in to operation on 3 December 1990
    5 Imports of meat products from third countries (animal and public health rules)Dir 89/22730 June 1990
    6 Pedigree animals (sheep and goats)Dir 89/3611 January 1991
    7 Hygiene and health problems affecting the production and the placing on the market of egg productsDir 89/43731 December 1991
    8 Embryos of farm animalsDir 89/5561 January 1991

    Office will maintain contact with the industry with a view to resuming discussions on a voluntary code of practice if the climate of opinion becomes more favourable.

    Telephone Charges

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will publish a table showing the comparable costs in sterling of a local telephone call in each European Community country, making clear where the minimum duration per unit cost of such calls varies.

    There is no standard measure which enables comparisons to be made between the cost of local calls in different European Community countries. For example, the average local call area is particularly large in the United Kingdom, which means that many calls at local rates here would be charged at long distance rates in other countries.However, OFTEL has produced figures (which include exchanges line rentals and long distance calls) comparing both the cost of an average resident's telephone bill and the cost of an average business bill in the four European countries which are most readily comparable in terms of population and size. Taking the United Kingdom (British Telecom only) as index 100 (and excluding VAT) the figures are as follows:

    Residential basketBusiness basket
    United Kingdom100100
    France7683
    Italy97120
    Federal Republic of Germany9896

    (OFTEL: "International Comparisons of Telecommunications Prices" January 1990)

    European Single Market

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry which of the measures contained in the single market White Paper remain to be implemented.

    The table lists the single market White Paper measures which have been adopted, and which are not yet required to have entered into force.

    Subject

    Required date of entry into force

    Remarks

    9 Mutual assistance between the administrative authorities of the member states and cooperation between the latter and the Commission to ensure the correct application of legislation on veterinary and zoo technical mattersDir 89/6081 July 1991
    10 Veterinary checks in intra-Community tradeDir 89/66231 December 1991
    11 Marketing of compound feedingstuffsDir 90/4422 January 1992

    Gatt

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what action the Government have taken to ensure that the outcome of the Uruguay round of multilateral trade negotiations under the GATT will (a) promote environmentally sustainable development, (b) promote food security for the poorest groups in developing countries and (c) decrease the dependence of developing countries on primary commodities.

    [holding answer 18 April 1990]: The Government attach a high priority to the successful conclusion of the GATT Uruguay round, and we are working with our European Community partners to bring this about. Matters under discussion include several of particular interest to developing countries; a successful agreement will therefore help promote trade in the products concerned, and hence the economic development of such countries.

    Cotton Goods

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what proposals to control the dumping of Indian poplin he will put to the EC as part of the negotiations on the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade rules in relation to textiles.

    [holding answer 18 April 1990]: Our aim in the GATT Uruguay round negotiations is to secure improvements in the general rules governing anti-dumping action. The European Community has put forward proposals for the amendment of the GATT anti-dumping code, some of which are of particular relevance to the textiles sector. Complaints about the dumping of particular products are best followed up with the European Commission in the normal way by the industry concerned.

    European Single Market

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what funds have been made available to Her Majesty's Government and public bodies by the European Economic Community and its institutions for the purpose of circulating information about the 1992 programme and policies.

    [holding answer 18 April 1990]: No funds have been made available to Her Majesty's Government for the purpose of circulating information about the 1992 programme and policies. Some pump-priming funds have been made available to some local authority organisations to help in the administration of information on European Community matters more generally.

    Social Security

    Disability

    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what response he has received to "The Way Ahead: Benefits for Disabled People" from the British Council of Organisations of Disabled People; and if he will make a statement.

    The council was represented at a meeting that I held on 5 April with the Disability Benefits Consortium to discuss "The Way Ahead". We shall give careful consideration to all the council's comments in carrying forward the detailed work on our proposals.

    Benefits, Manchester

    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will publish tables using the assumptions in his answer to the hon. Member for Bradford, West (Mr. Madden) of 22 June 1988, Official Report, columns 571-6, but using expenditure and benefit figures appropriate for families in Manchester, together with a column showing the extent of the differences resulting from the April 1988 social security changes.

    The tables are no longer published, for the reasons given in my reply to the hon. Member for Greenock and Port Glasgow (Dr. Godman) on 23 February at c. 937-38.

    Mobility Allowance

    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether he will publish in the Official Report the guidance to be issued on the interpretation of regulation 3(1A) of the Mobility Allowance Regulations 1975.

    [holding answer 18 April 1990]: The guidance which is issued, with report forms, to examining doctors is in the table.DEAF/BLIND CLAIMANTS—NOTES FOR EXAMINING DOCTORS

    1. The requirement of the legislation is that there should be a measurable test of BOTH blindness and deafness. The Regulations stipulate that the degree of disablement resulting from the loss of vision amounts to 100 per cent. and that the degree of handicap resulting from loss of hearing amounts to not less than 80 per cent.
    2. An assessment of 100 per cent. blindness is appropriate not only where there is a total lack of vision, but also where there is residual vision. Experience with other benefits indicates that an assessment of 100 per cent. will be appropriate where the vision is found to be less than 6/60, using both eyes whilst glasses are used; or where finger counting is not possible beyond one foot. Depending on the location and circumstances of the examination, possible methods of testing including Snellen's Chart finger-counting or E-test. Please note your findings overleaf.
    3. Hearing should be tested on the basis of simple clinical examination. The test should be a simple instruction or question, shouted from just beyond one metre behind the claimant. As it must test the claimant's need to understand, rather than just the ability to react to the shout by turning the head, it should be in a form such as "Please lift your right arm" or "How old are you?" If possible the test should be conducted outdoors so that the effect of loss of hearing on the claimant's outdoor mobility problems can be properly assessed. Where an outdoor test is not possible the results should be related to the outdoors. Experience with other benefits indicates that an assessment of 80 per cent. will be appropriate where the claimant is unable to hear a shout beyond 1 metre using both ears (with aids). Please record your assessment overleaf.
    4. Also, the examining doctor needs to assess the ability of the deaf/blind person to walk to any intended or required destination whilst out of doors without the assistance of another person. If a walking test is appropriate it should be carried out on the kind of surface which the claimant would normally have to cope with outdoors. Where this in not possible, the examining doctor should use medical judgement to assess walking ability in such outdoor circumstances, bearing in mind the effects of both blindness and deafness.
    5. Unless it is clear beyond doubt that the specific criteria for deaf/blind people are satisfied a full test of walking ability should be undertaken (this should include balance tests, if it seems that a person needs physical support to walk). This will make it possible for a decision to be made as to whether a person qualifies under any of the criteria which apply to disabled people generally if the criteria for deaf/blind people are not fulfilled.

    Child Benefit

    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what has been the increase in child benefit since 1987.

    [pursuant to her reply of 2 April, Official Report, c. 486]: My reply was found to be incomplete; the full reply is as follows.

    Child benefit has remained payable at £7·25 per week for each child since April 1987.

    We have however since then devoted considerable extra resources totalling some £350 million in real terms to the least well-off families—those on income support and family credit—who do not gain from an increase in child benefit of itself and who are now therefore better off than they would have been if child benefit had been uprated.

    Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

    Iraq (Nuclear Weapons)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make it his policy to instruct (a) Her Majesty's Government's representative on the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency and (b) the United Kingdom ambassador to the United Nations, to initiate investigations at the International Atomic Energy Agency and United Nations, respectively, into the Iraqi nuclear weapons programme.

    Iraq is a party to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, and as such has undertaken not to develop nuclear weapons. We expect Iraq to abide by her international legal obligations. We are currently considering, in consultation with interested parties, how to strengthen barriers against proliferation. We do not, however, envisage taking the specific action outlined by the hon. Member.

    Hong Kong

    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the annual report on Hong Kong will be laid before Parliament.

    The report was laid before Parliament and published on 18 April. Copies will be placed in the Library of the House.

    Czechoslovakia

    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has about the cessation of exports of Semtex from Czechoslovakia.

    As I informed the House on 10 April 1989, Official Report, column 360, we had been told that Czechoslovakia ceased exporting Semtex in 1982. We have now received further clarification from the Czechoslovak authorities, who have explained that the last foreign trade exports had indeed been in 1982, but that in addition "special deliveries" to the GDR and Hungary had continued in the context of Warsaw pact commitments. These deliveries were distinct from normal foreign trade operations and had been covered by a guarantee of non re-export to third countries. They have informed us that all exports of Semtex, including the "special deliveries", ended in 1989. We are in discussion with the Czechoslovak authorities about past exports of Semtex, and have noted President Havel's statement that about 1,000 tonnes had been exported to Libya.

    National Finance

    Uniform Business Rate

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will place in the Library a copy of the guidance issued to district rating valuation officers as to the criteria to be used by them to determine the rateable values on which the uniform business rate is calculated.

    No. The material contains information confidential to indvidual ratepayers.

    Civil Service Relocation

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if there are any plans to relocate any part of the civil service to north Devon.