Skip to main content

Written Answers

Volume 176: debated on Wednesday 11 July 1990

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

Written Answers To Questions

Wednesday 11 July 1990

Attorney-General

Leasehold Reform

To ask the Attorney-General what plans he has to introduce leasehold reform legislation to give tenants rights of commonhold.

I refer my hon. Friend to my reply to the hon. Member for Hammersmith (Mr. Soley) on 18 June 1990 at column 389.

Environment

Mundic Aggregates

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will obtain for his departmental library a copy of the 28 June edition of the "Construction Journal" article concerning Mundic aggregates; and if he will make a statement.

I understand that the hon. Member is referring to the journal "New Builder", which my Department receives regularly.The article suggests that unsatisfactory aggregates for concrete made from mine waste, are still in use in the west country. The effect of "Mundic" in aggregates impairs durability of concrete used in construction. As such the matter is of concern to the Government as well as to householders and others affected by the problem. The Government have overall responsibility for the health and safety aspects of new construction under building regulations as well as those interests arising out of their purchasing role.The mechanism of "Mundic" in aggregates is little understood and, as the article makes clear, there is confusion within the construction industry. The first priority is to obtain a better understanding of the factors that indicate a risk of the effect and work on this is being carried out by the Building Research Establishment within the Department's research programme on aggregates. We shall then examine the extent to which the existing British standard (BS 882(1983): Aggregates from natural sources for concrete) may need amendment to be able to function as an effective check on unsuitable aggregates.The results of this research are being made available to the responsible BSI technical committee. However, a European standard for aggregates that, in due course, will take the place of the British standard is currently under development within CEN—the European Standards Organisation. United Kingdom interests within CEN are represented by BSI. The Department will support action by BSI to ensure that the European standards and the accompanying methods of testing provide the United Kingdom construction industry with an effective means of ensuring that the Mundic problem does not recur.

Otters

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has made an assessment of the threat to the otter population posed by the practice of mink hunting; and if he will make a statement.

The Government have made no assessment of the threat to otter populations posed by mink hunting. However, the Nature Conservancy Council advises me that voluntary guidelines are already in place to discourage mink hunting in areas where otters may be found.

Air Conditioning

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he has any plans to improve the efficiency of the air conditioning in the Palace of Westminster.

Only a limited area of the Palace has air conditioning or mechanical ventilation. Although there is no immediate need to carry out any major work, the replacement and upgrading of some plant and controls is included in the forward maintenance programme.

Housebuilding

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment by what proportion the level of housebuilding completions in 1989 differs from the figure for 10 years earlier.

Figures for housebuilding completions in England for 1989 appear in table 2 of my Department's press release issued on 5 July 1990, and for 1979, in table 6.1(a) of "Housing and Construction Statistics 1978–1988". Copies are in the Library.

Aea Technology

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will take steps to assess the potential of AEA Technology, Dounreay to be included in the European Environment Agency's proposed monitoring network; and if he will make a statement.

The regulation establishing the European Environment Agency has not yet come into force, but some preparatory work has been set in hand in my Department on the compilation of a list of United Kingdom institutions which could contribute to the work of the agency. AEA Technology, Dounreay has provided details of its capabilities which have been noted in this respect.

Arts (Planning Policy)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he intends to issue planning policy guidance on the arts for consultation with local authorities.

My right hon. Friend has not yet decided whether or when to issue for public consultation draft guidance on planning policy in relation to the arts, but we have recently received from the Arts Council its proposals for such guidance. We will consider the council's draft carefully in the context of reviewing planning policy guidance note 1 (PPGI—general policy and principles).

Archaeological Areas

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he has now completed his consideration of English Heritage's advice on the effectiveness of part II of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 concerning archaeological areas; and if he will make a statement.

I have considered English Heritage's advice on the operation and effectiveness of areas of archaeological importance (AAIs) in the light of the likely impact of the Department's planning policy guidance note (PPG) on archaeology and planning. We are currently considering the 200 or so responses to the draft guidance note and expect to publish final guidance within the next few months. English Heritage has advised me that no further areas of archaeological importance should be designated at present but that it would be premature to take decisions on the future use of the existing statutory provisions until the impact of the Department's forthcoming planning policy guidance note on archaeology and planning has been assessed.The provisions of part II of the 1979 Act are broadly intended to help prevent important archaeological sites being damaged or destroyed without there first being an opportunity for archaeological investigation and recording. By contrast the draft planning policy guidance note places archaeology more firmly in the planning process with its message to developers and local planning authorities to consider the possible existence of archaeological remains on site before submitting planning applications and the desirability of preserving them. This guidance will apply across the country whereas areas of archaeological importance must be limited to specified areas.In the circumstances I have concluded, in agreement with English Heritage advice, that it would be sensible to allow time for the impact of the planning policy guidance note to be assessed before considering further the role of areas of archaeological importance. I therefore intend to review the position with regard to areas of archaeological importance 12 months after publication of the planning policy guidance note by which time we can begin to form a judgment on the effectiveness of the forthcoming planning policy guidance note.

Satellite Tv Antennas

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he will issue a consultation paper on planning controls over satellite television antennas; and if he will make a statement.

My right hon. Friends the Secretary of State and the Secretary of State for Wales have today issued a consultation paper on permitted development rights for satellite television antennas.The Government are fully committed both to protecting the environment and to facilitating the growth of telecommunications. There have been major changes since the present planning regime for satellite television dishes was introduced in the mid-1980s. We need to provide better safeguards for the visual environment, respond to the growth in satellite broadcasting, and take advantage of the development of smaller antennas. The consultation paper sets out a range of options. Any extension of permitted development rights—which remove the need to apply for specific planning permission—should in our view be balanced by additional controls over unnecessarily obtrusive installations, particularly in sensitive areas.

Local Government Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what would have been the total level of local government spending in the current year had local government spending plans not been subject to capping.

[holding answer 27 June 1990]: The caps which, if the House approves, my right hon. Friend intends to set for the designated authorities will result in the £35.8 billion total of all local authorities' budgets being reduced by £217 million.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received from those local authorities that have been community charge-capped over the reduction and disruption of services; and if he will make a statement.

[holding answer 9 July 1990]: My right hon. Friend received many representations about the effect of charge capping on services, including those from the designated authorities which put forward alternative maxima. My right hon. Friend carefully considered all the information which he considered relevant, before taking his decisions on final caps which are at present before the House in the draft Charge Limitation (England) (Maximum Amount) (No. 2) Order 1990 and the draft Charge Limitation (England) (Maximum Amount) (No. 3) Order 1990.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has considered increasing the upper spending limit for local authorities for each adult in their area when assessing their poll tax before applying the charge capping; and if he will make a statement.

[holding answer 9 July 1990]: My right hon. Friend considered carefully all the relevant information before him before taking his decisions on designation of authorities for community charge capping for 1990–91; he is satisfied that the principles he adopted for designation were appropriate.

Jet Project, Culham

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if his Department will conduct an inquiry into the recent release of CFC-113 at the Culham JET laboratory.

No: I understand that a representative of the Health and Safety Executive has already visited the plant and is satisfied that improvements have now been made to the system which failed. CFC-113 is not itself a toxic substance and this release has not imperilled achievement of our obligations under the Montreal protocol. Nevertheless avoidable releases of ozone-depleting chemicals are regrettable.

Rechar

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what account was taken of the funds to be made available under the European Community RECHAR initiative when standard spending assessments for local authorities for the current financial year were drawn up.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will take steps to ensure that the required contribution from Wakefield district council under the European Community RECHAR scheme does not count against its current approved capital programme;(2) what steps have been taken by his Department to ensure that money made available through the European Community RECHAR initiative is additional to local authorities, over and above their approved level of borrowing.

[holding answer 10 July 1990]: The Government take anticipated European Community receipts into account at the national level when setting the level of public expenditure programmes, so that these programmes are higher than they would otherwise be.Thereafter, capital allocations are made to individual authorities on the basis of overall assessments of their needs to spend. No explicit account is taken of whether expenditure may be financed in part through grant from the European Community. A limited exception has been made in the case of expenditure on the "other services" block. In the current financial year, the Government have held back credit approvals of £25 million to be distributed in respect of ERDF grant claims for expenditure on that block.

Pcbs

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what tonnage of polychlorinate bi-phenyls was imported into Newport by sea in the past three years.

[holding answer 6 July 1990]: I have been asked to reply.The information sought is available only since the introduction of the Transfrontier Shipment of Hazardous Waste Regulations 1988.Records of shipments under the regulations show that 479 tonnes of polychlorinate bi-phenyl contaminated materials were imported via Newport for disposal in the year 1 April 1989 to 31 March 1990.

Transport

A11

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects work on the A11 Red Lodge bypass to start; and what arrangements are being made about the timing of a new A45/A11 connector road.

Selected contractors are currently preparing bids for the construction of the A11 Red Lodge bypass. Work is expected to commence in early autumn this year. My Department has no proposals to construct a new link road between the A45 and A11.Draft proposals have also been published which would provide a second carriageway for the A11 between Red Lodge and the A45. Further progress on this scheme depends on the outcome of statutory procedures.

Fuel Tankers (Safety)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment the railway inspectorate has made of the safety of parked railway fuel tankers at Port Talbot station.

The primary responsibility for railway safety rests with the operator. British Rail has already taken a number of steps to reduce leakages from fuel tank wagons at Port Talbot station. There were eight such incidents in 1989 but only one so far in 1990.The railway inspectorate will be reviewing the situation to make sure that all reasonably practicable safety measures are being taken.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many incidents have occurred with parked railway fuel tankers in south Wales in the last two years; and on how many occasions passengers have had to be disembarked from main line trains because of concern with safety.

I understand from British Rail that there have been 14 incidents of seepage or leakage from railway fuel tank wagons in south Wales since January 1988. No passengers have been disembarked from trains as a direct result, but it is usual for the fire service to be called and the passage of other trains stopped whilst any leakage is investigated and rectified.

A1 (Upgrading)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of traffic flows on the A1 north of Newcastle following upgrading to motorway standard of the A1 between London and Newcastle.

Estimates of increased traffic flows resulting from a new motorway link from London to Newcastle have not been assessed specifically. However, the study commissioned by the Scottish Development Department, "Routes South of Edinburgh", indicated that the completion of a motorway link between London and Tyneside would not lead to any significant transfer of traffic to the route north of Newcastle.The joint A1 steering group will of course monitor the traffic flows on the route between Newcastle and Edinburgh.

Roads

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will give details of his road construction programme for 1990–91.

Following publication of the report "Trunk Roads, England" in February, the latest information for the current financial year is as follows:

  • 10 contracts have been let (value £101 million).
  • 11 contracts have been advertised in the Official Journal (value £114 million).
  • 18 further contracts are expected to be let, subject to satisfactory completion of statutory processes (estimated value £260 million).
  • 59 schemes are currently under construction (value £1,384 million).
A list of these schemes will be placed in the Library and sent to contractors.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the new roads which have been built in each of the last five years in (a) areas of outstanding natural beauty, (b) sites of special scientific interest and (c) national parks.

DateAreas of outstanding natural beautySites of special scientific interest
1985–86M25 Leatherhead—ReigateM3 Popham—Bar End
M3 Popham—Bar End
M25 Swanley—Sevenoaks
1986–87A34 East Ilsley—ChiltonA483 Oswestry BP
1987–88A39 Bideford BPA36 Heytesbury BP
A303 Furze Hedge
A2 Barham Crossroads
1988–89A35 BridportA650 Airedale 1
A35 DorchesterA65 Settle/Giggleswick BP
A303 Ilminster BPA361 North Devon Link Road
A417 Birdlip BP
A34 Whitway Diversion
1989–90A36 Steeple Langford BP
All Thetford BP
A46 Coventry Eastern BP1
1 Designated after work on site started.
The Okehampton bypass completed in 1988–89 is the only scheme to pass through national park land in recent years.

Home Department

Prisoners

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many prisoners were transferred from (a) England and Wales to Northern Ireland and (b) Northern Ireland to England and Wales in 1989; and under what section of the Criminal Justice Act 1961 such transfers were carried out;(2) how many prisoners in British gaols who give as their domicile Northern Ireland have been returned to Northern Ireland to serve the whole or part of their sentences in 1989; and how many of these prisoners were serving sentences for terrorist-type offences.

In 1989, 15 prisoners were transferred from England and Wales to Northern Ireland under section 26 of the Criminal Justice Act 1961, one of whom was convicted of terrorist-type offences. One other prisoner was transferred under section 27. All were either domiciled in, or had close family links with, Northern Ireland. In the same year, four prisoners were transferred fom Northern Ireland to England and Wales under section 26, two under section 27 and one under section 28 of the Act.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners in British gaols give as their place of domicile (i) the Republic of Ireland and (ii) Northern Ireland; and how many of these prisoners are serving sentences for terrorist-type offences as on 31 December 1989.

The information which is readily available centrally relates to prisoners' place of birth and to those terrorist-type prisoners who are held in category A. On 31 December 1989, 561 sentenced inmates of prison establishments in England and Wales were recorded as born in the Republic of Ireland and 378 in Northern

[holding answer 4 July 1990]: The information for trunk roads is as follows. Information about local authority roads is not available.Ireland. Of those, 13 born in the Republic of Ireland and 21 born in Northern Ireland had been convicted of terrorist-type offences and were held in category A.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners giving as their domicile either the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland have been permitted to return home to the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland on parole for humanitarian reasons in 1989.

Civil Unrest, Northern Ireland

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the number of deaths and injuries which have occurred in Great Britain and mainland western Europe in 1989 which are regarded as being connected with present civil unrest in Northern Ireland.

The information is given in the table.

Deaths and injuries in Great Britain and Western Europe in 1989 attributable to Northern Irish terrorism
Date of incident and locationDeathsInjuries
20 February 1989
Clive Barracks, Tern Hill, Shropshire1
19 June 1989
Quebec Barracks, Osnabruck, West Germany1
2 July 1989
Hanover, West Germany15
1 September 1989
York Barracks, Munster, West Germany02
7 September 1989
Dortmund, West Germany10
22 September 1989
Royal Marines School of Music, Deal, Kent1121
20 October 1989
Wildenrath, West Germany20

Date of incident and location

Deaths

Injuries

18 November 1989
Married quarters, nr. Goojerat Barracks, Colchester02
Total1532

Terrorism

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what was the average number of days spent on remand by those remanded in custody for terrorist-type offences in 1989, with regard to cases now completed in England and Wales and the number of bail applications refused;(2) how many persons were remanded in custody before trial for terrorist-type offences in 1989.

The only relevant information which is readily available relates to prisoners who are now in prison custody in category A and does not cover prisoners who have been released or downgraded.Three such prisoners were first received in custody in 1989. The case of one of them has now been completed. This prisoner spent a total of 479 days on remand, and, according to our records, no applications for bail were made.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons in England and Wales were charged with terrorist-type offences relating to Northern Ireland in 1989; how many of those charged were released on bail; and what was the average period between remand and trial for prisoners refused bail relating to such charges in Britain in 1989.

The criminal statistics do not distinguish between terrorist-related and other offences. However, information about the number of people charged with criminal offences following detention under the Prevention of Terrorism Act is published quarterly for Great Britain in statistical bulletins which are placed in the Library. The latest issue, 15/90, gives in table 1 the number charged in 1989 after detention in connection with Northern Ireland terrorism. Of the 12 people who were so charged in England and Wales in 1989, eight were charged with relatively minor offences; six of these were dealt with at court on the same day or the next day, and two were released on bail. Of the four who were remanded in custody, one person who had been charged in February 1989 was brought to trial in April 1990, and a second, who had been charged in October 1989, was released in January 1990 after the Director of Public Prosecutions decided to offer no evidence against him. The two others, who were charged in December 1989, are currently in custody awaiting trial.

Visa fees
(£)
1981–821982–831983–841984–851985–861986–871987–881988–891989–90
National Total186,925287,815388,378556,135
London737,639915,4071,121,0271,318,2451,437,983
Liverpool76,411105,099127,338112,44689,100
Peterborough44,23657,85678,71395,618123,220
Newport38,78449,46657,02256,68262,900

Remand Prisoners

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the average period of custodial remand for female custodial remand prisoners in England and Wales in 1989.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to a question from the hon. Member for Huddersfield (Mr. Sheerman) on 3 May, at column 658.

Marches

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish a table showing the number of marches that have been banned in England arid Wales in relation to Northern Ireland, since 1986, detailing what the marches were, who applied for permission to hold them and the grounds on which they were refused.

The only public processions relating to events in Northern Ireland which are known to have been prevented as a result of an order made under section 13 of the Public Order Act 1986 are a procession organised by the Manchester branch of the Apprentice Boys of Derry to take place on 21 November 1987 and a procession organised by Manchester Martyrs' Memorial Committee to take place the following day.Section 13 of the Public Order Act 1986 provides that if a chief officer of police has reason to believe that his powers to impose conditions on public processions are not sufficient to prevent the holding of a procession from resulting in serious public disorder, he may apply to the district council for an order prohibiting all processions, or specified classes of processions, for a period not exceeding three months.The district council may make such an order with the consent of the Home Secretary.

Firearms

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make it his policy to require a photograph of the bearer to appear on a certificate of registration as a firearms dealer.

No. It would not be possible to do so as many firearms dealers are companies.

Visa Fees

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the income from visa fees for each of the offices in the United Kingdom from 1980 to the present for each year inclusive.

The information is not available in the form requested. The table shows the total income received from fees for visas issued in the United Kingdom for the financial years 1981–82 to 1984–85 inclusive and by office for the financial years 1985–86 to 1989–90 inclusive.

1981–82

1982–83

1983–84

1984–85

1985–86

1986–87

1987–88

1988–89

1989–90

Glasgow29,60133,90539,588

139,000

165,400

Belfast9711,8562,4933,0802,816
Lunar Housen.a.27,00065,00077,00099,000

1 Estimated.

Remand System

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is yet in a position to announce the Government's decisions on private sector involvement in the remand system.

In his statement to the House on 1 March 1989, at columns 277–78, my right hon. Friend the then Home Secretary indicated that, in the light of the comments received on the Green Paper "Private Sector Involvement in the Remand System"—July 1988, Cm. 434—and of the report to the Home Office on the practicality of such involvement from the management consultants Deloitte, Haskins and Sells, the Government wished to take further their consideration of the possibility of contracting out to the private sector the design, construction and operation of new remand centres, the escorting of prisoners to and from court and their guarding whilst at court. Final decisions depended, however, on the outcome of further research into the likely cost-effectiveness of contracting out in these areas.In the light of the results of this further research, I have decided to go ahead with preparations to reorganise arrangements for court escorts, custody and security services and to invite competitive tenders for the provision of these services. I am confident that the resulting rationalisation of the existing complex and overlapping arrangements will lead to a substantial improvement in the cost-effectiveness with which these services are provided. An important objective of the new arrangements will be to enable the police and prison services to concentrate their efforts on work which makes more effective use of the skills and training of their officers.I am today issuing to interested parties a discussion document setting out the Government's proposals in greater detail, and describing the legislative framework which the Government propose should support the reorganisation of these services. A copy has been placed in the Library. Further copies can be obtained from Room 1103, Home Office, 50 Queen Anne's Gate, London, SW1H 9AT. Any comments should be submitted to the same address by 7 September 1990.The further evidence which has been obtained on the cost-effectiveness of privately operated remand centres indicates that the private sector could, if invited to operate remand centres, reasonably be expected to provide a good standard of service and value for money for the taxpayer. But the opportunities for involving the private sector in the running of remand centres will be considerably more limited than appeared likely at the time of the publication of the Green Paper and my right hon. Friend's statement on 1 March 1989.In the context of a general reduction in the prison population recently, the remand population in custody, including those held in police cells, has fallen from an average of 11,400 in 1988 to an average of 10,500 in 1989, and at the end of May this year stood at about 9,800. The proposals set out in the White Paper "Crime, Justice and Protecting the Public"—February 1990, Cm. 965—should lead to a further significant reduction in the numbers in custody. Taken with the success of the prison building programme, the result of these developments is that the likely need for additional remand places provided by the private sector is now very limited.The opportunity to mount a trial of competitive tendering for the operation of a remand centre still arises, however, in respect of the new remand centre currently under development at Everthorpe, Humberside. This establishment is due to be completed in 1992. Subject to the passage of the necessary enabling legislation, I have decided that a trial should be mounted in which competitive tenders would be invited from the private sector for the operation of this remand centre. If one or more satisfactory tenders were received from the private sector which offered better value for money than the prison service could offer, a contract would be awarded for private sector management of the establishment. The arrangements for letting and supervising any such contract would in the main follow the recommendations of the report from Deloitte, Haskins and Sells. The staff would be prisoner custody officers, with duties and protections similar to those which it is proposed staff engaged in court escorts and custody should have, and which are described in the discussion document.I believe that the introduction of this element of competition into the management of the prison system will make a valuable contribution to the prison service's continuing and successful efforts to raise standards and improve efficiency.

Maguire Family

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action he will take in the cases of the Maguire family and their co-defendants.

My right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney-General and I have now received Sir John May's interim report on these cases. In the light of the report, I have decided to refer the cases of Mr. and Mrs. Maguire, their sons, Vincent and Patrick, Mr. William Smyth and Mr. Patrick O'Neill to the Court of Appeal under the provisions of section 17(1)(a) of the Criminal Appeal Act 1968.I will seek the views of the Court of Appeal under section 17(1)(b) of the 1968 Act on the question of whether it is possible to refer to the court under section 17(1)(a) the case of a person who is now dead. If the court's view is that such action is legally possible, I will refer the case of Mr. Patrick "Guiseppe" Conlon also under the provisions of section 17(1)(a). If the court's view is that such action is not possible, I will consider what further steps to take in the light of its advice.My right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney-General and I are arranging for Sir John May's interim report to be published tomorrow at 3 pm in response to an order of the House for a return. Copies will be placed in the Library.

Prisoners' Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to publish the results of the review of prisoners' pay.

Consideration of the review of inmates' earnings by the prisons board has identified the need for some further work to be done. The outcome will be announced as soon as conclusions are reached.

Police Officers

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what is his policy on having an officer class in the police forces;(2) what consideration he is giving to the introduction of an officer class in the police forces.

We need to look actively for opportunities to recruit talented people from all sources while recognising that senior police officers need to start their careers by gaining experience as constables.

Immigration

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is his policy on a common immigration policy at European Community level.

EC Heads of Government agreed at the European Council in Strasbourg in December 1989 that an inventory of member states' immigration position should be prepared, with a view to further discussion at ministerial level. I would not wish to prejudge the outcome of this discussion, but we have made it clear that we regard immigration policy as a national matter.

Crime Statistics

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department by how much crime figures have increased since 1979.

Since 1979 and up to the end of March 1990, recorded crime has increased by 58 per cent. However, there is evidence from the British crime survey that the real increase in crime has been less than that recorded by the police: between 1981 and 1987, survey crimes increased by 30 per cent. compared with 41 per cent. for comparable crimes recorded by the police. Results of the 1988 British crime survey are published in Home Office research study 111. Recorded crime figures for 1979 are published in "Criminal Statistics, England and Wales 1988"—Cm. 847—and for the 12 months to March 1990 in Home Office statistical bulletin 19/90. Copies of these publications are available in the Library.

Territorial Seas

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the territorial sea round the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands is to be extended to 12 miles.

The Isle of Man has asked that such an extension be made. Agreement in principle has been reached on the terms and conditions for the transfer of rights relating to petroleum beneath the sea bed. Agreement has also been reached for compensation to be paid to the Crown Estate for its interests in the extended territorial sea. Rights for coal will not be transferred at this time, but may be subject to negotiation at a later date. In exercising jurisdiction over fisheries, the established rights of all fishermen will be safeguarded and any measures will be subject to approval by Fisheries Ministers. On the basis of these negotiations, it is proposed that the territorial sea wil be extended. Discussions are continuing with Jersey and Guernsey.

Health

Benefit Provision

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make it his policy to investigate ways in which the families of individuals who are seriously ill can be given better financial security.

I have been asked to reply.On 10 January we laid before Parliament "The Way Ahead: Benefits for Disabled People" which details our major proposals arising from our review of the balance and structure of social security benefits for long-term sick and disabled people and their carers. With effect from October 1990 we propose to remove the six-month qualifying period for attendance allowance for people who are terminally ill. Carers of people who are terminally ill will automatically be eligible to claim invalid care allowance. Also effective from October 1990 a carer's premium, initially at a rate of £10 a week, will be introduced into income support and housing benefit for those receiving invalid care allowance. This will help 30,000 carers.

Complementary Medicine

To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he last met representatives of complementary medicine; what aspects of impending EEC legislation were discussed; and if he will make a statement.

My hon. Friend the then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State met representatives of the complementary therapies on 29 November 1989. At the meeting they expressed fears that their professions might be adversely affected by EC legislation.There are three current EC directives in this area—two on higher education diplomas one of a general nature, containing nothing specific to individual professions; they will not affect alternative practitioners' right to practise in the United Kingdom. The purpose of the other directive, on homeopathic medicinal products, is to achieve a single market whilst safeguarding public health. Our considerations will take account of United Kingdom interests and traditions.

Aids

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what money Her Majesty's Government have allocated specifically for public health education for the avoidance of contracting HIV and AIDS in each year since such an allocation was first made; whether any major new campaign is proposed; and if he will make a statement.

The table sets out total allocations made to regional health authorities, local authorities and to the voluntary sector as a contribution towards the development of HIV and AIDS-related services, including educational and other initiatives to help further prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS. The table also shows spending by the Department of Health and the Health Education Authority (HEA) on AIDS public education work between 1985–86 and 1987–88, and allocations to the HEA for the development of the

(£ million)
YearRegional Health authoritiesLocal authoritiesVoluntary sectorDepartment of HealthHealth Education authority
1985–860·100·52
1986–870·167·60
1987–8825·11·306·744·47
1988–8961·71·0910·00
1989–90122·87·01·6012·00
1990–91127·59·81·8010·00
So far as general Government strategies for HIV prevention are concerned, I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave the hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. Carlile) on 15 June at columns

372–73.

Graham Gaskin

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will direct Liverpool city council to allow Graham Gaskin access to his file.

There is no power under which my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State can order a local authority to release confidential records of this kind.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health following the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights on the Graham Gaskin case, what steps the Government have taken to implement the ruling; whether an independent procedure has yet been established to consider the release of Graham Gaskin's file; and what legislation is being considered arising out of the case.

The implications of the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights for the arrangements governing access to personal records are being carefully reviewed. Decisions on the need to modify those arrangements will be taken on completion of the review, at which stage I will write to the hon. Member.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will take steps to ascertain whether the Graham Gaskin file is complete and request that a copy be deposited with his office for safe keeping.

The file relating to Mr. Graham Gaskin is, quite properly, held by Liverpool city council. We have no wish to assume its responsibility for its safe keeping, nor does my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State have power to require the council to supply a copy.

Child Migrants

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) further to his answer of 15 January, Official Report, column 81, how many further inquiries he has received on the Child Migrant Trust; and what steps he is taking to encourage such inquiries;

national AIDS public education campaign from October 1987 and in subsequent years. These amounts include the running costs of the national AIDS helpline and related telephone information and advice services. Not shown in the table are the amounts spent by other Government Departments on HIV prevention work within their own spheres of interest.

(2) how many child migrants has the Department helped since 1979.

Two further inquiries relating to the Child Migrant Trust's grant application have been received since 15 January.Responsibility for the welfare of former child migrants rests with the countries to which they have emigrated.

Neuroblastoma

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, further to the statement by the then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health in the Adjournment Debate on neuroblastoma on 30 March, Official Report, column 870, if he will now state the number of children diagnosed with the disease and the number of deaths from it in each of the years since 1980; if there is any progress he can report in regard to research on screening the disease; and if there is any further action he is taking arising from the debate.

I understand that the Medical Research Council is considering the need for research on screening for neuroblastoma. I wrote to the right hon. Member on 27 June offering to discuss this topic further with him and parents' representatives. The statistical information requested is as follows:

YearNeuroblastoma diagnosed at age 0–14 (England)Neuroblastoma deaths at age 0–14 (England)
19805642
19816937
19826333
19836026
19846738
198516330
198616742
198717934
198818856
198945
1 Provisional.

Hospital Watch Schemes

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his Department is doing to encourage the extension of hospital watch schemes.

It is the responsibility of health authorities to determine security arrangements but we welcome local initiatives such as hospital watch schemes.

Health Authorities

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what are his reasons for seeking to prohibit full-time trade union officials from sitting on health authorities.

[holding answer 6 July 1990]: The new Membership and Procedure Regulations disqualify from non-executive membership of a regional or district health authority a person who holds any paid employment or office with a trade union which represents the interests of members who are employed by a health service body. This is one of a number of grounds for disqualification from health authority membership which aim to avoid any conflict of interest on the part of health authority members. It is for the same reason that directors of NHS trusts; members of other regional and district health authorities; members of the family health services authorities (FHSAs) (except for the FHSA chairman member of RHAs) and GPs who are practice fund holders are disqualified from membership by the regulations.

Northern Ireland

Parliamentary Questions

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many written parliamentary questions he has answered; and how many of these were in reply to hon. Members representing Northern Ireland constituencies in each of the last two parliamentary Sessions and the current Session to the latest convenient date indicating in a table (a) how many were answered by each Northern Ireland Office Minister, (b) how many were answered on the date requested and (c) in how many cases a holding reply was first given.

In the 1988–89 and 1989–90 (to 9 July 1990) Sessions 1,162 and 1,079 written parliamentary questions were answered. Of those 766 and 781 respectively were in reply to hon. Members for Northern Ireland. Similar information for the 1987–88 Session is not available.

Answered byParliamentary Session
1988–8911989–90
Mr. Brooke753
Mr. King44
Mr. Cope99327
Mr. Stewart212
Mr. Bottomley37287
Mr. Needham450295
Dr. Mawhinney118117
Mr. Viggers195
Total1,1621,079
Answered on time (priority and ordinary)811628
Answered on time (priority only)218188
Holding replies351451
1 To 9 July

1991 Census

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether the information from the 1991 census in Northern Ireland will make it possible to aggregate population and employment statistics on a constituency basis.

As for past censuses, the 1991 census in Northern Ireland will have the capacity to aggregate population and employment statistics on the basis of local government districts and wards. Since the boundaries of these do not correspond to constituency boundaries it will not be possible to produce exact statistics for the latter. Instead, where required, they will be provided on an estimated basis, making appropriate adjustment for boundary differences.

Unemployment

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list the latest available figures which indicate unemployment in each parliamentary constituency and in each electoral ward in Northern Ireland.

The information available is as follows:

Numbers of unemployed claimants by parliamentary constituency in Northern Ireland at 10 May 1990
Parliamentary constituencyTotal number of unemployed claimants
Belfast East3,994
Belfast North6,588
Belfast South4,465
Belfast West9,222
East Antrim4,576
East Londonderry6,986
Fermanagh and South Tyrone6,363
Foyle9,835
Lagan Valley4,604
Mid-Ulster6,893
Newry and Armagh6,889
North Antrim5,027
North Down3,400
South Antrim3,927
South Down5,117
Strangford3,258
Upper Bann4,920
Total96,064

Note: Figures for parliamentary constituencies are estimated from ward data.

Since there are 566 electoral wards in Northern Ireland I will write to the hon. Member, giving unemployment figures for each electoral ward, and place copies of the information in the House of Commons Library.

Housing

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what was the total cost of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive's activities in the last financial year and what figures in respect of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive are available to indicate (a) the dwelling stocks, (b) the collectable rent which should have been received from tenants, (c) expenditure on repairs and maintenance of stock, (d) expenditure on new buildings, (e) expenditure on rehabilitation of stock, (f) expenditure on salaries and administration, (g) expenditure on grants to the private sector, (h) expenditure incurred on interest charges and (i) grant received from the Department of the Environment.

The total cost of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive's activities in the last financial year (1989–90) was £476,310,000.The detailed information sought is as follows:

  • (a) Total housing stock at 31 March 1990 was 169,971
  • (b) Rent collectable £169,414,000
  • (c) Expenditure on repairs and maintenance £70,139,000
  • (d) Expenditure on new building £51,280,000
  • (e) Expenditure on rehabilitation of stock £76,606,000
  • (f) Expenditure on salaries and administration £46,256,000
  • (g) Expenditure on grants to the private sector £36,185,000
  • (h) Expenditure incurred on interest charges £170,000,000
  • (i) Housing grant from DOE (NI) £157,373,000
  • Most of the information concerns the executive's revenue expenditure which is financed partly by rental income and partly by a grant (housing grant) from the Department of the Environment Northern Ireland to meet the difference between rental income and approved revenue expenditure.

    The executive's capital expenditure includes new build and rehabilitation of existing stock which is financed by borrowing mainly from the Government and by capital receipts from the sale of dwellings, land and mortgage redemptions.

    Firearms

    To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many members of the Ulster Defence Regiment, and its reserve, currently hold private firearms certificates.

    The Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary has informed me that the information is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

    Emergency Provisions

    To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he expects to publish the report on Lord Colville's review of the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Acts 1978 and 1987.

    It has been published today (Cm. 1115). I am most grateful to Lord Colville for his comprehensive and detailed report, which deserves to be widely read. The Government will consider carefully his recommendations and in due course bring forward proposals for new legislation. In the meantime, the Government would welcome the views both of hon. Members and of the public at large on the matters addressed in the review.

    Documents

    To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what system he employs to classify, log and otherwise record each document generated by his Department; and if he will make a statement.

    [holding answer 2 July 1990]: Staff are provided with clear instructions on the registering and classification of documents and on the transmission and storage of classified documents.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what criteria he uses when deciding which documents to pass on to the Public Record Office.

    [holding answer 2 July 1990]: No document falls due for selection and transfer to the Public Record Office until it is at least 30 years old. A document's suitability for permanent preservation under the terms of the Public Records Act 1958 will be reviewed during that period. The Act does not require statistics to be kept in the form requested and to do so would inevitably incur disproportionate cost. However, in order to comply with their duties under the Act, Departments are obliged to ensure that all documentary records are properly preserved with a view to possible transfer to the Public Record Office and eventual release to the public. The general criteria under which the Department may retain documents over 30 years old are set out in section 3(4) of the Public Records Act.

    National Finance

    European Monetary Union

    88.

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has discussed with his European Community counterparts the compatibility of European monetary union with the principle of subsidiarity.

    In discussions with his ECOFIN colleagues my right hon. Friend has stressed the need for all economic and monetary arrangements in the Community to respect the principle of subsidiarity.

    89.

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will make a statement on the current progress of discussions regarding the achievement of economic and monetary union in the European Community.

    Economic and monetary union was last discussed at the European Council in Dublin on 25–26 June. It was agreed that more convergence of member states' economic performance and wider use of the ecu were needed during stage 1; and that the intergovernmental conference to decide on further stages should open on 13 December. ECOFIN and the Foreign Affairs Council and their committees will now continue their preparatory work.

    Inflation

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his latest estimate of the rate of inflation for the period April 1990 to April 1991.

    It is not the practice to publish month-by-month forecasts for inflation. The FSBR forecast that all-items RPI inflation would be 5 per cent. in 1991Q2.

    Football Clubs

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what information he holds on arrears of three months or more on (a) pay as you earn and (b) value added tax payments by professional football clubs.

    Information held by the Inland Revenue and Her Majesty's Customs and Excise about individual football clubs is, of course, confidential and may not be disclosed. A global figure of arrears over three months old for all professional football clubs could not be obtained without incurring disproportionate cost.

    Independent Taxation

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will set out the benefits of independent taxation for married women.

    Independent taxation, which took effect on 6 April 1990, offers all married women the opportunity to enjoy independence and privacy in their own tax affairs.Every married woman is now entitled to a personal allowance and basic rate band in her own right, which she can set against her own income of any kind. This includes any income which she may have from savings or investments, and any state retirement pension which she may receive by virtue of her husband's national insurance contributions. The allowance is given at higher, age-related levels if she is aged 65 or over, subject to her own income limit.Almost 3 million wives (just under half of all wives on whose income tax is charged) will have less tax charged on their income, because they will have their own personal allowance and their income will no longer be taxed as if it belonged to their husband. These changes remove the tax penalty on marriage because the tax payable on a married woman's income will now never exceed—as it could previously—the tax payable by a single woman on the same income.

    Sterling-Deutschmark Link

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what dates the pound sterling has been linked by Her Majesty's Government informally to the deutschmark at given rates of exchange since June 1983; what were the exchange rates on each given date; how long each arrangement was maintained; and if he will list the changes in the United Kingdom interest rates during each period of each informal link.

    [holding answer 5 July 1990]: Tables 13.1 and 13.8 of the Central Statistical Office's monthly publication "Financial Statistics" give information on sterling's exchange rate against other major currencies and United Kingdom short-term interest rates, respectively.

    Government Shareholdings

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will update the answer of 11 December, Official Report, column 463, on (a) the golden shares and (b) other shares currently owned by Her Majesty's Government.

    [pursuant to his reply, 10 July 1990, c. 112–13]: I regret that Southern Water was accidentally omitted from the list of companies in which the Government hold a special share.

    Trade And Industry

    Hampshire

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what are the statutory duties of (a) Hampshire county council and (b) his Department and its regional offices in relation to the development of commercial and industrial links with the lower Normandy area of the EEC;(2) what are the statutory duties of

    (a) Hampshire county council and (b) his Department for the provision of services to assist the location of industry and commerce in Hampshire.

    The Hampshire county council has no statutory duties to develop commercial and industrial links with lower Normandy or to provide services to assist the location of industry and commerce in Hampshire.My Department has a number of powers (but no statutory duties) to achieve these ends, but is making limited use of them at present.

    Gatt

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what consideration has been given to the environmental implications of the European Community and the United States' proposals on trade-related investment measures and trade in intellectual property rights in the current general agreement on tariffs and trade round.

    The Government believe that agreements such as those sought by the European Community and the United States in the current GATT Uruguay round negotiations to liberalise trade in the fields of investment and intellectual property will helpfully complement wider international efforts to tackle global and regional environmental problems. For example, by providing greater incentives and security for innovators, a GATT agreement leading to improved international protection of intellectual property would help facilitate the investment and technology flows needed to meet environmental challenges.

    Chambers Of Commerce

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many chambers of commerce have received assistance from his Department in the last 12 months.

    Thirty-seven chambers have received funding in respect of their position as local host organisations under the enterprise and education initiative. Seventeen chambers have received funding to assist with the appointment of export development advisers. Six chambers have received funding for various activities from inner-city task forces. Three chambers have received funding as part of the Department's support for the South-West Export Federation initiative.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the matters which are under discussion between himself and chambers of commerce; when he next plans to meet their representatives; and if he will make a statement.

    My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is intending to meet Mr. Miles Middleton, president of the Association of British Chambers of Commerce (ABCC), later this month to discuss the ABCC's five-year development plan.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he last met representatives of chambers of commerce; and what was discussed.

    My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State met representatives of chambers of commerce at a dinner organised by the Association of British Chambers of Commerce on 19 December 1989. A general discussion of the role of chambers of commerce took place.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry in which Group of Seven countries it is compulsory for local businesses to be members of the chamber of commerce in order to trade; and if he will make a statement.

    It is compulsory for local businesses to be members of the chamber of commerce in order to trade in France, Italy and West Germany.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what functions are currently contracted out by his Department to chambers of commerce; and what proposals he has to extend this cover.

    The Association of British Chambers of Commerce (ABCC) has, since 1966, acted as the Department's agent in the administration of the certificates of origin scheme. Since January 1989 the export marketing research scheme has been operated by the ABCC on behalf of the Department on a three-year contract. In May 1990 the ABCC assumed responsibility for issuing international import certificates. Officials are currently holding discussions with the ABCC regarding the possibility of transferring the issue of certificates of experience to chambers of commerce.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the Government have done to protect the title and definitive status of chambers of commerce and industry.

    The titles "Chamber of Commerce", "Chamber of Industry" and "Chamber of Trade" are specified in the schedule to Statutory Instrument 1981 No. 1685 ("The Company and Business Names Regulations 1981").This schedule specifies words and expressions for whose registration as, or as part of, a company's corporate name or whose use as, or as part of, a business name the Secretary of State's approval is required.

    Insider Trading

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many cases of alleged insider trading were investigated by his Department in each of the last five years.

    The power to appoint inspectors to investigate possible insider trading is contained in section 177 of the Financial Services Act 1986 which came into force in November 1986. The Secretary of State has made the following number of appointments for each year since then:

    198619871988198911990
    31012161
    1 to date
    These statistics are published at page 152 of the Trade and Industry Committee third report on company investigations.

    British Telecom

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he has any proposals to relinquish his golden share in British Telecom.

    The articles of association of British Telecommunications plc require that the special share in the company may be held only by Her Majesty's Government. It could not therefore be sold.

    Share Transfers

    To ask the Scretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he is taking to facilitate the introduction of electronic recording and transfer of shares.

    Section 207 of the Companies Act 1989 gives me power to make regulations to enable title to securities to be evidenced and transferred without a written instrument. The international stock exchange (ISE) has published proposals for the introduction of TAURUS, its scheme for recording and transferring shares electronically in October 1991, and I am therefore considering the form of the regulations which I should make.I welcome developments that improve the international competitiveness of the United Kingdom as a financial centre. However, the introduction of electronic share transfers will also affect the way in which companies can meet their obligations, and change the manner in which investors hold shares. Striking the right balance between the interests of investors, companies and market participants may not be easy and I would like to hear the comments of a wide range of interested parties before reaching decisions on how to proceed.I am today publishing a consultative paper which describes the proposed legal framework for TAURUS, and seeks views on how different rights and obligations should be handled by statutory provisions or by the appropriate regulatory bodies. Comments are invited by 14 September. I am arranging for a copy of the paper to be placed in the Library of the House.

    Export Credits Guarantee Department

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he intends to take any steps to ensure that the privatised insurance group of the ECGD will not operate in direct competition with the ECGD.

    [holding answer 3 July 1990]: The core business of the Insurance Services Group of the ECGD is quite different from that of the project group. The question of their competing is therefore unlikely to arise.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he expects to announce the name of the successful bidder for the Insurance Services Group of the Export Credits Guarantee Department.

    [holding answer 3 July 1990]: Final decisions have not yet been taken about the proposed method of sale of the Insurance Services Group, which would be subject to the necessary legislation. It is not therefore possible at present to say when I will be in a position to announce the name of any successful bidder(s).

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he expects to announce the site of the new offices of the Insurance Services Group, Export Credits Guarantee Department.

    [holding answer 3 July 1990]: Decisions on the site of any new offices would be for the new management and owners.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether any proposition has been submitted to him and the ECGD concerning the possible conversion of the ECGD's projects group into a "next steps"-style agency.

    [holding answer 3 July 1990]: In his written answer of 18 December 1989, the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry announced that the precise form of the organisation of ECGD after the separation of its Insurance Services Group would be decided as soon as possible. Decisions would focus on whether ECGD should remain a Department or acquire agency status.A review has been conducted by the Office of the Minister of the Civil Service (OMCS) to inform that decision. This has taken account of the views expressed by a number of interested parties some of which were opposed to the idea of agency status. A final decision is expected to be announced very shortly.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is the accumulated net annual profit or loss in respect of the Export Credits Guarantee Department and the main export credit insurers in (a) the United States of America, (b) Japan, (c) West Germany, (d) France and (e) Italy at the end of the 1988–89 financial year.

    [holding answer 10 July 1990]: The accumulated net annual profit and loss of the Export Credits Guarantee Department as at the end of the 1988–89 financial year can be found in the trading accounts laid before the House in HC 153 in February 1990. Owing to different organisational structures and accounting practices, no comparable figures are available for the other countries from published sources.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what has been the annual profit or loss in respect of the Export Credits Guarantee Department and the main export credit insurers in (a) the United States of America, (b) Japan, (c) West Germany, (d) France and (e) Italy in 1988–89.

    [holding answer 9 July 1990]: The profit and loss account for the 1988–89 financial year of the Export Credits Guarantee Department can be found in the trading accounts laid before the House in HC 153 in February 1990. Owing to different organisational structures and accounting practices, no comparable figures are available for the other countries from published sources.

    Leather Industry

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what action he intends to take, in conjunction with the United States of America and European Community countries, to protect the leather industry when the current tariff quota agreement expires in March 1991.

    [holding answer 4 July 1990]: The hon. Member is right that the tariff quota agreement with Japan expires in March 1991.The agreement imposes high import duties on all but a small volume of EC imports of dressed leather and leather footwear whereas EC import duties on those products are low.Negotiations are handled by the EC. They are currently aiming to reduce Japan's import duties on dressed leather and leather footwear in the Uruguay round and bilaterally.The EC Commission will look at any allegations of unfair trade practices if damage is being done to the domestic EC industry.

    Takeovers

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he has any plans to alter his policy regarding hostile takeovers; and if he will make a statement.

    [holding answer 5 July 1990]: No. The 1988 blue paper policy made clear our belief that the possibility of takeover acts as an important discipline on incumbent managements to demonstrate to their shareholders that they are running their companies as efficiently as possible. I have no plans to amend our policy in respect of hostile takeover bids (which form only a small proportion of the total merger activity in the United Kingdom). It is in general up to the shareholders whether to accept or reject a bid. The main grounds for deciding whether to refer a bid to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission will continue to be its likely effect on competition.

    Amateur Radio

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much time the radio investigation service spends monitoring (a) the amateur bands, and (b) amateur radio licence enforcement.

    [holding answer 6 July 1990]: The radio investigation service (RIS) works to clearly defined priorities. These are firstly to deal with complaints of interference to radio used by emergency and other safety of life services; secondly with complaints of interference to those who depend on radio for the successful operation of their businesses; and thirdly with other categories of radio use. The amateur radio hobby falls within the third category. Figures of time spent monitoring the amateur bands and on amateur licence enforcement are not separately recorded.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he has any plans to introduce a novice amateur radio licence.

    [holding answer 6 July 1990]: The licensing of amateur radio is the responsibility of the Department of Trade and Industry. I announced on 19 April 1990 that a final draft of the amateur novice licence has been published and that the Radiocommunications Agency of the DTI hoped to be ready to issue the first novice licence in early 1991. A press notice was issued to that effect.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what action radio investigation service officers are taking to stop abuse on GB35L, GB3BM and GB3NA amateur radio repeaters; and if he will make a statement;

    (2) what representations he has received about the damage being done to amateur radio by continuous abuse of the VHF two-metre repeater network; and if he will make a statement.

    [holding answer 6 July 1990]: A number of complaints have been received about abuse on these repeater stations. When the radio investigation service (RIS) of my Department's Radiocommunications Agency is able to prove offences or to establish that improper use of radio facilities has occurred, appropriate action is taken. This may include licence variation or prosecution. In addition to action which the RIS can take it is currently discussing proposals with the Radio Society of Great Britain, the licensee for repeaters, to exercise closer control of repeater stations.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many radio investigation service officers were in post in 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989 and 1990 to date.

    [holding answer 6 July 1990]: Staff in post figures for radio investigation service district offices are published each year in the annual report of my Department's Radiocommunications Agency. The figures were (at 1 April each year):

    In post
    1986188
    1987184
    1988154
    1989140·5
    1990143·5
    The figures for 1985 are not available.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will close down radio voice repeaters in the United Kingdom until the Radio Society of Great Britain self-policing scheme is in operation.

    [holding answer 6 July 1990]: In general, no. The majority of amateur radio repeaters are used by responsible licensees. Closure in specific cases is an option if there is abuse.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the number of radio investigation service officers required to cope with the workload.

    [holding answer 6 July 1990]: The performance of the radio investigation service of my Department's Radiocommunications Agency is kept under review to ensure that the service is correctly resourced. I am satisfied that the number of officers is appropriate to the present workload.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many amateur radio operators licences have been revoked by him in 1988, 1989 and 1990.

    [holding answer 6 July 1990]: The number of amateur radio licences revoked was: in 1988, nil; in 1989, seven; in 1990 to date, two are being considered.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if the Radio Society of Great Britain amateur observation service is currently operational; and if he will list any occasions in the last year in which it has not been operational.

    [holding answer 6 July 1990]: This is a matter for the Radio Society of Great Britain.

    0898 Telephone Lines

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement about the voluntary codes for governing services available on 0898 number telephone lines; and if he has plans further to regulate such lines.

    [holding answer 9 July 1990]: This is a matter for the Director General of Telecommunications who has taken firm action to control 0898 and other premium-rate services. He announced on 29 June that from 10 July he is to withdraw recognition of the code of practice that governs "one-to-one" premium-rate services. They will not be able to operate from that date unless a new code of practice is recognised by the director general.

    Philately Counters

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what information he has on (a) the number of specialist philately counters currently operating at post offices in England and Wales, (b) the location of those currently proposed for closure and (c) the total value of annual sales through these counters.

    [holding answer 9 July 1990]: The Post Office tells me there are currently 33 philatelic counters in operation in England and Wales of which seven are new-style "collections" centres opened this financial year. There are, I understand, no plans to close any philatelic counters at present. The figure for the total value of annual sales through these counters is not available.

    Overseas Development

    United Nations Development Programme

    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the United Kingdom's contributions to the United Nations Development Programme for every year since 1979 in current prices, real prices (1990 prices) and as a percentage of United Nations Development Programme's total budget.

    The information is as follows:

    YearContribution £ millionContribution at constant 1990 pries £ millionProportion of UNDP total per cent.
    197928·5362·58·3
    198015·027·54·9
    198117·528·85·1
    198218·528·34·8
    198318·526·94·2
    198419·026·43·9
    198521·027·63·6
    198621·026·74·0
    198723·027·84·2
    198824·527·94·6
    198926·027·74·5
    199027·027·04·2

    Aid And Trade Provision

    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list all aid and trade provision projects from 1979 to date with the companies and the sums of money involved.

    CountryProjectCompanyExport value (£ million)ATP element (£ million)
    January 1979 to March 1979
    BelizeTelecommunicationsPlessey3·0000·688
    JordanPotash PlantWimpey35·00010·000
    VietnamHaiphon Power StationJBE9·6002·888
    VietnamSD 14 ShipsAustin Pickersgill18·0004·463
    April 1979 to March 1980
    EgyptElectrical SwitchgearGEC7·5002·000
    EgyptElectricity Generation ProjectRolls Royce28·00010·020
    Egypt(Draglines) Irrigation ProjectRansome Rapier7·5002·600
    KenyaSoda Ash WagonsBRE Metro3·0981·279
    MalaysiaLocum Submarine CableSTC23·0009·018
    SenegalHS 748 AircraftBritish Aerospace3·0001·000
    TanzaniaBus ChassisLeyland0·9600·481
    April 1980 to March 1981
    BangladeshCombined Cycle Gas Power StationGEC17·2974·680
    BrazilSeine Net WinchAnglo Dansk0·0190·019
    BurmaGas Turbines ProjectJBE15·6253·201
    BurmaJute Mill ExpansionMackies10·5922·154
    BurmaMarine Diesel EnginesKelvin Diesels7·3501·202
    BurmaJute Carpet Backing MachineryMackies5·8821·178
    CaribbeanHS 748 Aircraft (Liat)British Aerospace3·0001·000
    CyprusDhekelia B Power StationNEI Reyrolle2·5000·366
    MadagascarMaintenance for HS 748'sBritish Aerospace2·8000·600
    MalaysiaAirport StudyBAI0·4430·443
    PhilippinesWood Burning Power StationBalfour Beatty8·5921·967
    Sri LankaLocomotivesBritish Electrical7·9522·867
    ZimbabweRailway ElectrificationGEC/Westinghouse27·4658·068
    April 1981 to March 1982
    BurmaPharmaceutical Plant StudyCementation/APV0·1880·188
    ColombiaBridges ProjectBalfour Beatty1·0700·301
    KenyaTelecommunicationsPlessey2·8150·703
    MexicoSicartsa Steel WorksDavey McKee200·00034·943
    MoroccoNador Roll MillDavey Leowy51·50013·505
    MozambiqueBus MaintenanceLeyland4·2231·060
    MozambiqueMineral SurveyHunting Geology4·2301·030
    Pakistan3 SD 18 ShipsAustin and Pickersgill27·0009·572
    ParaguayPower Transmission SchemeBalfour Beatty11·3032·870
    April 1982 to March 1983
    BrazilJacui Power StationKlockner/NEI90·80024·138
    BurmaGas TurbinesJBE11·0442·213
    BurmaBridge ProjectBalfour Beatty0·3600·090
    EgyptW· Sebaeya Phosphate MineSeltrust Engineering20·0007·315
    IndiaRihand Super Thermal Power PlantNEI231·20017·034
    IndonesiaMrica Hydro ProjectBalfour Beatty44·64612·075
    KenyaRailway CoachesBRE Metro23·7005·030
    MexicoScientific Instrument TrainingDarwin Instruments0·0290·029
    ParaguayPower Transmission SchemeBalfour Beatty5·2901·350
    PeruMini HydrosBalfour Beatty25·6254·852
    ZimbabweHwange Power StationPED3·6001·000
    April 1983 to March 1984
    BotswanaMoruple Power Station TurbinesNEI/Parsons17·1264·418
    BurmaOutboard Propulsion UnitsSykes Marine5·0001·202
    ColombiaCoffee Rust Control ProgrammeWiles and Associates0·2010·201
    ColombiaMine Safety TrainingBMC0·0180·018
    HondurasAguan Valley StudyHalcrows0·5000·100
    IndiaAmlori Coal MineBMC80·03015·030
    IndonesiaJambu Aye Hydro-Electric Dam StudyRendel Williamson Hydro0·2000·200
    IndonesiaOmbilin Coal MineDowty Meco19·2004·445
    JordanHV Transmission LineBalfour Beatty13·5683·611
    MalawiTelecommunicationsGEC/BT1·0000·260
    MalaysiaView DataGEC2·3670·851
    PhilippinesDendro Power Station AdviserBalfour Beatty0·0800·040

    The aid and trade provision projects funded since 1979 are listed in the following schedule.

    Country

    Project

    Company

    Export value (£ million)

    ATP element (£ million)

    ZimbabweAbattoir Feasibility StudyOve Arup1·7601·760

    April 1984 to March 1985

    BotswanaMoruple Power Station Coal and Ash PlantButterfly Engineering4·7361·343
    BrazilCoal Mining TrainingBMC Limited0·0190·019
    Cameroon4 Towns Water ProjectSir A· Gibb and W· S· Atkins0·9100·910
    ColombiaBridge Project ExtensionBalfour Beatty0·5400·152
    ECOWAS1Telecommunications Feasibility StudyBritish Teleconsult0·0650·065
    EgyptElectricity Management StudyBritish Electricity Int0·1660·166
    EgyptDraglinesRansome and Rapier0·4630·463
    IndiaBalco Power StationGEC130·00033·066
    IndonesiaAIS Submarine CableSTC104·0003·093
    IndonesiaIsolated DieselsHSPE38·40012·515
    IndonesiaEducation Equipment StudyBritish Council0·0360·036
    IndonesiaJabotabek Railway StudyL· H· Manderstan1·0001·000
    MalaysiaSunghai Ahning DamBalfour Beatty9·0002·344
    MalaysiaUlu Jelai Hydro Feasibility StudyWLPU/Ewbank1·8501·850
    ParaguayAscuncion Sewerage ConsultancyHalcrow/Balfour1·0201·020
    Sri LankaColombo AirportUKAG20·9405·264
    ThailandMini Hydros Pilot PlantBalfour Beatty2·5002·500
    ThailandPost-Harvest Ground Nut Study: Phase IRural Investment Overseas0·0810·081
    ThailandRailbus Evaluation StudyTransmark0·0820·082

    April 1985 to March 1986

    BelizeElectricity Feasibility StudyMerz and McLellan0·0810·081
    BoliviaMineral ConcentratorGEC0·0270·027
    CaribbeanBAE 748 AircraftBritish Aerospace10·3363·838
    ColombiaCoffee Bean SorterGunsons Sortex0·0680·068
    ECOWAS1Telecommunications implementation StudyBritish Teleconsult0·2500·250
    EgyptMaghara Coal MineBabcock50·03512·578
    EgyptWelding Equipment and TrainingBritish Federal Limited0·0490·049
    IndiaGanga River ConsultancyThames Water Authority0·2000·200
    IndonesiaSouth Bengkulu Oil Palm StudyMassey Ferguson0·4000·400
    IndonesiaBukit Asam Rail BridgesBalfour Beatty0·7500·152
    IndonesiaOffshore Supply VesselsMarine Design Consultants2·1560·571
    IndonesiaOmbilin Coal Mining TrainingDowty Meco0·6550·655
    KenyaSugar Milling EquipmentFletcher and Stewart0·8910·235
    KenyaUpland Bacon Factory StudyMitchell Cotts0·1000·100
    MalaysiaCross Braced BogiesBritish Rail Engineering Limited7·0831·850
    MauritiusPlaisance AirportPlessey18·9606·311
    Papua New GuineaPort Moresby Airport StudyPlessey0·1000·100
    ThailandPost-Harvest Ground Nut Study: Phase IIRural Investment Overseas0·4990·499
    ZimbabweKariba South Power ConsultancyMerz and McLellan0·3000·300

    April 1986 to March 1987

    BurmaRangoon Electrical DistributionBCPE20·0006·400
    CameroonMinistry of Equipment/Agriculture Technical AssistanceBritish Standards Institute0·0750·075
    CameroonBamenda Ring Road SurveySWK0·1730·173
    CameroonLimbe Port Feasibility StudyNYK0·2500·250
    ChinaCoal Sector TrainingDosco0·1500·150
    EgyptN W Electrification StudyNumerous0·8250·825
    EgyptBrake Block FoundryDavy McKee2·7490·884
    EgyptN W Electrification ProjectNumerous4·3451·308
    EgyptEl Omoun DrainSulzer3·1950·804
    IndonesiaJabotabek Feasibility StudyManderstam/F· Wheeler0·0070·007
    KenyaKipevuJBE7·6181·959
    MalawiTelecommunications StudyGEC/BT0·0520·052
    MalaysiaRural Water StudyBiwater194·00059·460
    MaltaLuqa Airport StudyBAI0·1310·131
    Sri LankaSamanala Wewa HydroBalfour Beatty57·20016·570
    TurkeyAnkara Natural Gas StudyBritish Gas0·3500·350
    ChinaShengli Power PlantJBE14·9134·873

    April 1987 to March 1988

    BelizeLeyland TrucksBritish Leyland0·4630·117
    BurmaJute Carpet MillsMackies0·0400·040

    Country

    Project

    Company

    Export value (£ million)

    ATP element (£ million)

    CameroonN W Electrification ProjectBalfour Beatty5·4281·362
    CameroonDouala Port TelecomsPlacons Limited0·1000·100
    ChinaShandong Paper MillBlack Clawson International Limited1·6670·502
    ChinaCosco ShipsBritish Shipbuilders44·30013·578
    ChinaBeijing Traffic Management StudyMVA Consultants0·4500·450
    ChinaLiaodong Bay Oil TrainingGlobal Engineering1·0000·080
    ChinaShanxi Mining CollegeHSDE0·0610·061
    CyprusSouthern ConveyorSPP3·4670·870
    DjiboutiTranshipment StudyOcean Mackenzie0·1790·179
    IndiaIndia/UAE Submarine CableSTC24·4506·140
    IndiaHBJ Pipeline and GeneratorsToyo UK24·0806·060
    IndiaGeological AppraisalRobertson Research International0·3050·305
    IndonesiaSteel BridgingMabey and Johnson10·7026·846
    IndonesiaNavigational AidsPharos Marine9·9067·007
    IndonesiaBatam Island PowerKennedy and Donkin0·2520·252
    IndonesiaCoalfired Power Station TrainingBEI0·8000·800
    IndonesiaRadio/TV ConsultancyBBC0·2500·250
    IndonesiaBatam Island AirportTechcon0·0130·013
    JordanWalking DraglinesRansome and Rapier9·0004·654
    KenyaRural TelecommunicationsCommunication Supplies20·6257·300
    MalawiPower TransmissionBalfour/HSPE/Kennedy8·0802·590
    MalawiUXD5 Telecoms StudyGEC0·3000·300
    MalawiUXD5 Telecoms Stage IGEC5·5801·734
    MozambiqueTrucksLeyland2·4960·661
    MalaysiaLiwagu Hydroelectric StudyWatermeyer Ewbank0·8500·850
    MalaysiaRural Water SupervisionJohn Taylor3·0003·000
    PanamaGas Turbine Power StationJBE14·2226·727
    PakistanKarachi Water IISir M· McDonald/Balfour Beatty1·5001·500
    PeruWater Test UnitsPotopak0·0880·088
    SeychellesMahe Water ConsultancySir A· Gibb0·1220·122
    TunisiaPolypropylene Plant EquipmentExtrusion Systems0·1880·047
    TunisiaSakmo IIFroude Consine1·9330·584
    TurkeyCircuit BreakersGCE Switchgear3·7450·940
    TurkeyCerkezkoy Water ConsultancyThames Water0·4980·498
    ZimbabweHarare Airport Master PlanSir A· Gibb0·2570·257
    ZimbabweZisco Steel WorksOtto-Simon Carves14·1615·117

    April 1988—March 1989

    ChinaShanghai No· 3 Flour MillHenry Simon8·4502·121
    ChinaTraffic Control EquipmentPlessey Controls Limited3·9991·204
    ChinaInfant Rusks FactoriesBaker Perkins7·0702·128
    ChinaJinzhou Textile MillsPSL6·4081·929
    ChinaChongqing Tyre FactoryDunlop International21·2006·380
    ChinaFushun Textile PlantWilliam Tatham Limited2·3730·715
    ChinaChongqing Power StationJBE21·7106·500
    ChinaYue Yang TransmissionBalfour Beatty8·7763·072
    ChinaBohai Aluminium Phase IDavey McKee (Poole)27·7508·786
    ChinaYue Yang Coal Power StationGEC171·71851·417
    ChinaYue Yang MonitoringHattersley0·2730·273
    ChinaYue Yang Third Party InspectionKennedy Donkin0·3240·324
    ChinaYue Yang Power TrainingGEC3·8653·865
    EgyptPyramid Road HospitalHiggs and Hill3·2901·200
    EgyptLeak Detection EquipmentPalmer Environmental0·2510·251
    IndonesiaCigading PortTarmac Consortium17·28013·173
    IndonesiaBandung TV StudioQuantel-Link Systems11·7359·201
    IndonesiaScattered DiesalsGEC6·8875·421
    IndonesiaAirport Security SystemsHolmes Aviation0·0200·020
    IndonesiaForest Radio CommunicationsPhillips Radio Communications0·2280·138
    KenyaTelephone CablesBICC Cables Limited13·0885·242
    KenyaRural Telecoms (Systems X)Communications Supplies27·3007·525
    KenyaChemical Sugar Mill0·0030·003
    KenyaPower Distribution0·0070·007
    KenyaMombasa CausewaySir A· Gibb0·4120·315
    PakistanSwitching SystemsFerranti Computers1·5130·398
    PanamaGas TurbinesJBE14·2226·958
    MalaysiaSandakan Power StationNEI/APE2·9650·929
    MalaysiaPrivatisation ProgrammeJ· H· Schroder Wagg and Co·0·6420·194
    Sri LankaBus BodiesDuple Metsec8·8942·677
    ThailandLaem Chabang PortPort of Flexstowe International0·1510·151

    Country

    Project

    Company

    Export value (£ million)

    ATP element (£ million)

    ThailandSupply of DMUBREL12·7844·487
    YARMF TractorsMassey Ferguson Limited3·8401·924
    ZimbabweZisco MonitoringW· S· Atkins0·0480·048

    April 1989-March 1990

    ColombiaSystem X Digital TelecomsGEC/Plessey8·6014·939
    EgyptMaghara Coal MineBabcocks0·0800·080
    IndiaURI-HydroBovine and Co·51·20017·920
    IndonesiaRadio StudiosDavid Whittle Associates0·3900·390
    IndonesiaAircraft SimulatorCAA0·0500·050
    IndonesiaSatellite Remote SensingTechnology Applied Systems0·0620·025
    IndonesiaCigading/Serpong Railway RehabilitationDavy/British Rail International33·00020·995
    IndonesiaRadio Studio RehabilitationAudix Limited6·3305·040
    JordanReconstruction of TCCBT Telecoms1·5850·793
    KenyaMoi UniversityCambridgeshire University0·0500·050
    KenyaDigital Radio Link IGEC6·1092·434
    KenyaDigital Micro Wave LinkTelectron Systems12·0404·214
    MoroccoGas TurbinesJBE18·5647·276
    MoroccoDiesel Electric LocosBrush Electrical18·0006·300
    MoroccoNador Steel Works StudyW· S· Atkins0·2650·133
    PakistanKarachi Water IIPortals Water Treatment18·9406·629
    PhilippinesGas Turbines Power StationJBE37·5007·276
    Red SeaRegional Hydro Carbon StudyRobertson Research International0·3750·187
    SwazilandFire EquipmentCarmichael Fire and Bulk0·4100·123
    TunisiaRailway EquipmentBalfour Beatty1·5840·572
    TunisiaYarn and Fibre PlantExtrusion Systems Limited1·1180·337
    TurkeyNatural Gas ConversionAMEC International Construction68·01962·470

    April 1990 to June 1990

    ChinaBeijing MetroMetrotec Group20·0207·070

    1 Economic Commission for West African States·

    India

    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 26 June, Official Report, column 125, what proportion of United Kingdom bilateral aid was spent on the projects in housing, welfare, education and renewable natural resources sectors, which were regarded as being for direct poverty alleviation.

    The proportion of bilateral aid to India spent from 1980 to 1988 on projects in housing, welfare and education was 7 per cent., and in renewable natural resources sectors 11 per cent., giving a total for the poverty-focused sectors of 18 per cent.It is not possible to extend this analysis to the aid programme as a whole because the circumstances in India, which mean that spending there in these sectors can be directly attributed to poverty alleviation, are not necessarily applicable in other countries.

    Education And Science

    Secondary Schools

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what criteria he uses to define the physical capacity of secondary schools; and what assessment he has made of the adequacy of these criteria.

    The pupil capacity of a maintained school is defined in the light of the statutory minimum teaching area (MTA) requirements set out in the Education (School Premises) Regulations 1981. In connection with the more open enrolment provisions of the Education Reform Act 1988, an LEA or school governing body wishing to vary the standard number for admissions to a secondary school is invited to complete a questionnaire based on pupil work places. The information provided permits the calculation of an indicated admission limit for the school. The method, with minor amendments, has been in use since 1978. It takes account of the size, purpose and intensity of use of each space, and of the number and age of pupils on roll. These criteria appear adequate for the purpose. The procedures allow for the individual consideration of cases where necessary.

    Computers

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the level of integration of computers on to the school timetable.

    The information is not available. The level of integration of information technology across the curriculum will vary with such factors as the age of pupils, subjects timetabled, the availability of microcomputers and other information technology equipment, and the expertise of teachers in the effective use of information technology. This is not statistically quantifiable.

    City Technology Colleges

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will take steps to have all appointments to the Haberdashers' Aske's city technology college suspended until such time as the Haberdashers' city technology college trust company has been formed and that body has adopted a code of good employment practices.

    Appointments will be made in conformity with the requirements of employment legislation following the establishment of the Haberdashers' Aske's city technology college trust.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) if he will make a statement concerning the compensation of local education authorities for costs they may incur directly or indirectly, as a result of the closure of a voluntary school under section 14 of the Education Act 1944 for the purposes of converting the school to a city technology college;(2) if he will fully compensate Lewisham education authority for the redundancy payments it will be obliged to make as a result of the closure of the Haberdashers' Aske's schools in Deptford and their conversion to a city technology college.

    My right hon. Friend is not empowered to pay compensation to any local education authority for the costs, if any, it may incur as a result of the discontinuance of a voluntary school under section 14 of the Education Act 1944.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the deadline for receiving proposals relating to the catchment area, admissions policy and pupil numbers for the Haberdashers' Aske's city technology college.

    It is for the Haberdashers' Aske's city technology college trust, when established, to decide when it wishes to invite applications for first year places at the CTC for September 1991, subject to the Secretary of State having already agreed the trust's admissions policy.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if the £1 million sponsorship for the Haberdashers' Aske's city technology college, to be underwritten by the Haberdashers' Company, additional to the value of the existing schools' sites, will be contributed towards either capital or revenue costs of the college.

    The £1 million sponsorship which the Haberdashers' Company has undertaken to underwrite may be contributed towards capital costs.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what additional steps his Department will take to consult those local education authorities whose own educational planning may be affected before approving any proposals relating to catchment area, admissions policy and pupil numbers for the Haberdashers' Aske's city technology college.

    I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave her on 22 June 1990, Official Report, column 717.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether the Haberdashers' Aske's city technology college will be legally constituted. for the purposes of section 105 of the Education Reform Act 1988 and paragraph 21 of the model funding agreement, as a single school or two schools.

    The Haberdashers' Aske's city technology college will be a single CTC which has single-sex departments. The college will be managed by a single charitable company, and will be conducted by one governing body on the basis of a single instrument of government and one funding agreement with the Secretary of State.

    Higher Education (Research Equipment)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps he has taken to ensure that the most recent allocations of the Universities Funding Council and the Polytechnics and Colleges Funding Council for research equipment in universities and polytechnics match the investment recommended by the Advisory Board for the Research Councils; and if he will make a statement.

    The allocation of grant to individual higher education institutions is the responsibility of the funding councils. The Universities Funding Council's allocations for equipment take into account relative research strengths. The Government's latest expenditure plans allow for further increases in spending on equipment.

    Reading Standards

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) if he will place in the Library of the House a note summarising the main evidence and conclusions of the group of senior educational psychologists from nine local education authorities, concerning reading standards; and if he will make a statement;(2) what study, and with what conclusions, Her Majesty's inspectors have yet been able to make of the evidence and conclusions about reading standards of senior educational psychologists from nine local education authorities.

    I have called for the evidence underlying the reported conclusions of the nine senior educational psychologists. The information that has been made available to Her Majesty's inspectors to date provides an insufficient basis to support firm conclusions concerning the claim that reading standards have fallen significantly. I am continuing to try to accumulate evidence.

    Scotland

    Takare Plc

    To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will instruct Greater Glasgow health board to disclose the weekly cost per bed which it will pay to Takare plc under the recently signed contract for care of the ederly in Rutherglen.

    I have already asked Greater Glasgow health board to write to the hon. Member on this matter. I understand that it has now done so.

    City Of Culture

    To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has any current plans to commemorate Glasgow's year as the City of Culture by releasing further specific funding to the city for a permanent environmental testament to the year; and if he will make a statement.

    The Government are contributing £0.5 million directly to the European City of Culture 1990 and, in addition, Government-funded bodies are committing significant resources in support of particular events taking place in 1990. The City of Glasgow district council did not include in its latest financial plan any proposals to commemorate Glasgow's year as City of Culture and there has been no subsequent request for funding or capital consent for this purpose.

    Less-Favoured Areas

    To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many registered holdings in Scotland are eligible for less-favoured area projects.

    In Scotland, 19,047 holdings submitting agricultural census returns in 1989 contained land classified as less favoured, which confers eligibility for benefits such as hill livestock compensatory allowances and enhanced rates of capital grants.

    Drinking Water

    To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will introduce legislation to make mandatory the awarding of grant where the level of lead in drinking water of a privately owned house is above that set out in the European Community directive on the quality of water for human consumption.

    We have at present no plans to alter the grant arrangements for replacement of lead plumbing. I shall, however, give this matter further consideration when I have the findings of a survey which the Scottish Development Department is currently undertaking of local authorities, new towns and Scottish Homes to establish the incidence of domestic lead plumbing in Scotland.

    Mental Welfare Commission

    To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many members of the Mental Welfare Commission are members of health boards; and if he will give their names.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many members of the Mental Welfare Commission since its inception have simultaneously held health board appointments; and if he will give their names.

    Prisoners

    To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the average length of custodial sentence of female prisoners in Scotland in 1989.

    Lord James Douglas-Hamilton