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Written Answers

Volume 201: debated on Friday 20 December 1991

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Written Answers To Questions

Friday 20 December 1991

Attorney-General

Asylum Seekers

To ask the Attorney-General if he will list the organisations to which the consultative draft of the Asylum Appeals (Procedure) Rules was sent and the dates on which it was sent.

Copies of the consultation draft of the Asylum Appeals (Procedure) Rules were lodged on 1 November 1991 with the appropriate authorities in both Houses of Parliament and have since then been available to the public generally, upon request, from the Lord Chancellor's Department. I shall write to the hon. Member listing the organisations to which the consultation draft has been sent.

Murder (Provocation Defence)

To ask the Attorney-General what recent representations he has received about the use of provocation as a defence in murder cases involving women.

Any representations received by me about this subject would be referred to the Home Secretary since he has policy responsibility for the substantive criminal law.A full list of representations received and treated in this manner could be produced only at disproportionate cost, by searching all correspondence.

Immigration Appeals

To ask the Attorney-General what is the average time between (a) a request for a hearing date and (b) a hearing date being set for immigration appeals in (i) Leeds and (ii) other immigration appeals centres in the United Kingdom.

The average time between a request for a hearing date and a hearing date being set at the individual centres of the immigration appellate authorities (IAA) is currently as follows:

PlaceTime
Leeds7 months
Thanet House, London3–4 weeks
Harmondsworth1–2 weeks
Manchester1–2 weeks
Birmingham3 months
Glasgow3 months

To ask the Attorney-General what action is being taken to reduce delays in hearing immigration appeals in (a) Leeds and (b) other immigration centres in the United Kingdom.

The Lord Chancellor's Department plans to make an additional hearing room available early in 1992 at the Leeds centre of the immigration appellate authorities (IAA) for the hearing of immigration appeals. This will enable the adjudicators at Leeds to sit more frequently and so reduce the current waiting times for cases to come before them. The Lord Chancellor's Department will also be exploring the feasibility of immigration appeals being heard at other locations in Leeds to help reduce the current backlog of cases.The Lord Chancellor's Department has plans to increase the number of sittings by adjudicators in 1992 at all of the hearing centres of the IAA and the number of staff will be increased. These measures will help the IAA to tackle more effectively their rising workload. Furthermore, a multi-terminal case-tracking computer system will be operational by January 1992. This will enable the IAA to monitor more accurately and frequently the progress of appeals.

To ask the Attorney-General what is the average delay between the receipt of immigration appeal papers, received in London from British overseas posts, being forwarded to the representatives of the parties.

Upon receipt of immigration appeal papers from a British overseas post, the IAA is usually able to dispatch copies of the case papers to the parties' representatives in this country within two weeks.

To ask the Attorney-General how many (a) staff and (b) adjudicators are retained in Leeds and other immigration appeal centres in the United Kingdom; and what proposals there are to increase staff and adjudicators, both part time and full time.

The staff and adjudicators currently in post at the individual hearing centres of the immigration appellate authorities are as follows:

Adjudicators
Hearing centresStaffFull-timePart-time
Leeds8113
Thanet House64719
Harmondsworth110310
Manchester5111
Birmingham210
Glasgow5
1 Includes Belfast and Cardiff.
The Lord Chancellor's Department plans to recruit additional staff during 1992 and to deploy part-time adjudicators more frequently.

Treaty Of Rome

To ask the Attorney-General if he will list all items of United Kingdom legislation which have been or are being subjected to legal challenge in the European Court(a) on the grounds of an alleged conflict with article 30 of the treaty of Rome, (b) on the grounds of an alleged conflict with another article of the treaty or (c) on some other grounds, together with the date on which each challenge was instituted and the date of the court decision.

The information is not readily available. I will reply to the hon. Member as soon as possible.

Sunday Trading

To ask the Attorney-General if he will list the occasions, since 1 November 1991, on which he has made official statements or appeals covering the attitude which retailers should adopt towards the laws on Sunday trading.

It is not my responsibility to advise retailers on the attitude that they should adopt towards the laws on Sunday trading, so I have not made any official statements or appeals about this.

Education And Science

Special Needs

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will specify the performance indicators to be used to measure the quality of education for pupils with special educational needs in England and Wales; and if he will make a statement.

This is a matter for local education authorities, which have duties under the Education Act 1981 to ensure that provision is made to meet pupils' special educational needs.

Gcse

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will give the total number of pupils in the United Kingdom who sat GCSE examinations in the years for which figures are available.

The number of pupils who had attempted GCSE in England by the age of 16 in at least one subject in the academic year 1988–89 and 1989–90 were as follows:

Total 16-year-oldsThose attempting GCSE at age of 16 or earlier
1988–89619,800581,300
1989–90582,100544,400
The figures for Scotland and Wales are the responsibility of my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Scotland and for Wales.

Special Educational Needs

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) what action he proposes to take to ensure that publication of examination results will not deter schools from accepting pupils with special educational needs on to their rolls;(2) how he proposes to publicise the achievements of pupils with special educational needs in non-examined courses and public examinations; and if he will make a statement.

It is my right hon. and learned Friend's intention that the statutory requirements governing the publication of schools' examination results should apply equally to all pupils, including those with special educational needs. This accords with the Government's policy that pupils with special educational needs should be integrated as far as possible into ordinary educational provision, subject to the conditions set out in section 2 of the Education Act 1981 in respect of those pupils with statements of special educational needs.The achievements of pupils with special educational needs will not always be poorer than their peers; some of these pupils are academically very able. It is right that their results should be published in the same way as those of all other children.There is no reason to expect that the publication of examination results will deter schools from accepting pupils with special educational needs; indeed, under the law only selective grammar schools are allowed to discriminate on grounds of ability between applicants for places.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will give the total number of pupils with special educational needs in the United Kingdom who sat GCSE examinations in the years for which figures are available.

The information requested is not available centrally for pupils with statements of educational need in England. The figures for Scotland and Wales are the responsibility of my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Scotland and for Wales.

Inspectors' Reports

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many Her Majesty's Inspectorate reports on average, per annum, are intended solely for internal readership by his Department.

Linc Project

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he has now received the Her Majesty's Inspectorate report on the progress of the language in the national curriculum programme; and if he proposes to publish it.

The Her Majesty's Inspectorate report is an interim document intended for internal use. It has not yet been seen by my right hon. and learned Friend.

Primary Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what assessment he has made of the change in standards of reading and literacy in primary schools since 1979; and to what causes he attributes such change.

There is at present insufficient evidence on which to base reliable conclusions about changes in the reading standards of younger primary pupils over the past decade. However, the introduction of the national curriculum and its associated testing arrangements at ages seven and 11 will provide reliable information for the future. My right hon. and learned Friend yesterday announced the results from the first round of these tests for seven-year-olds in 1991.

School Assessments

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what qualifications he expects to be possessed by any team of inspectors engaged in the assessment of a school in his proposed arrangements.

Under the arrangements proposed in the Education (Schools) Bill, it will be for Her Majesty's chief inspector of schools to determine whether applicants are fit to lead inspection teams as registered inspectors. It will be for registered inspectors to assemble teams with the appropriate qaulifications and experience, taking account of any conditions imposed or guidance offered by the chief inspector.

Nursery Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science, further to the reply to the right hon. Member for Chesham and Amersham of 29 November, Official Report, column 700, if he will publish figures showing the numbers of free or subsidised places for children under statutory school age in nursery schools or similar in each country of the European Community; and if he will also show the numbers of places as precentages of the numbers of children in the relevant age group in each country.

Information is not available centrally, in the form requested. The latest available participation rates in pre-compulsory schooling are given in the table.

Participation in pre-primary education by age group, 1988
Percentage of age group
CountryAge at which compulsory schooling startsEducation 3 to 51Day care 3 to 5
Belgium696
France699
Germany (Fed. Rep.)664
Ireland651214
Italy676
Luxembourg3665
Netherlands566217
Spain671
United Kingdom564427

Sources:

Table AA: Education Statistics for the United Kingdom.

1 Possible overlap with the education data. It is not advisable, therefore, to combine the two rates.

2 1984.

3 1987.

4 1987. DES estimate avoiding double counting.

Environment

Business Rates

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what account will be taken in determining property values for the purposes of the uniform business rate and the council tax of the recent fall in the market price of property.

New non-domestic rateable values will come into force on 1 April 1995. It is proposed that these rateable values be based on market rents as at 1 April 1993.

The valuation of domestic properties for the council tax is now under way. Properties will be valued on the basis of open market capital values as at 1 April 1991.

Rates (Newcastle)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what was, in 1991–92 prices, (a) the value of rate support grant paid to Newcastle city council in every year since 1979–80, and revenue support grant since 1990 and (b) the value of non-domestic rate revenue received by the city council in each year since 1979–80.

The available information is as follows:

Rate Support Grant £ million at 1991–92 pricesNon-domestic rate revenue £ million at 1991–92 prices
1979–80122·1n/a
1980–811122·6n/a
1981–82288·5n/a
1982–8364·6n/a
1983–8467·5n/a
1984–8562·6n/a
1985–86358·0n/a
1986–8727·0107·7
1987–8854·793·0
1988–8968·482·3
1989–9064·784·7
Revenue Support Grant5Receipts from NDR pool
1990–91485·562·7
1991–9275·271·9

Note:

The information given is not available on a comparable basis for all years.

1 In 1979–80 and 1980–81, no Rate Support Grant (RSG) payments were made to Metropolitan County Council and Newcastle's RSG was correspondingly higher in those years.

2 In 1981–82 to 1985–86 inclusive, RSG payments were made to Metropolitan Counties (and other upper tier authorities) and Newcastle's RSG was correspondingly lower.

3 In April 1986, the Metropolitan County Councils were abolished and arrangements for paying grant changed accordingly.

4 In April 1990, the new local authority finance system was introduced and Revenue Support Grant replaced Rate Support Grant as the main Central Government grant to local authorities. The 1990–91 figure is for Revenue Support Grant after the Safety Net Payment.

5 Under the local government finance system introduced in 1990, the level of Revenue Support Grant is affected, inter alia, by the amount of non-domestic rates distributed from the national pool. The decrease in non-domestic rate receipts between 1989–90 and 1990–91 was largely compensated for by the increase in Rate/Revenue Support Grant.

Emissions

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what were the emissions in the years 1970 to 1979, 1980 to 1989 and 1990; and what are the projected figures for 1991 to 2005 for (a) the United Kingdom, (b) Wales, (c) Scotland and (d) Northern Ireland for (i) industrial carbon dioxide, (ii) land use change carbon dioxide, (iii) non-agricultural methane and (iv) agricultural methane.

Emission estimates for carbon dioxide and methane, covering the preceding 10 years, are published annually in the "Digest of Environmental Protection and Water Statistics", copies of which are placed in the Library of the House. Estimates for earlier years are available from Warren Spring laboratory which maintain the national emissions inventory on behalf of the Department. Data for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland separately and for carbon dioxide emissions due to land-use change are not available. Total emission estimates for the years 1970 to 1979 and 1980 to 1989 and for 1990 are as follows:

1970–791980–891990
Industrial CO21 (electricity supply, refineries and other industry)1,179967296
Non agricultural methane328·333·54
Agricultural methane311·911·74
1 Expressed as millions of tonnes of carbon emitted.
2 Provisional.
3 Expressed as millions of tonnes of methane emitted.
4 Not yet available.
Projections for carbon dioxide and methane emissions were set out in energy paper No. 58 "UK Country Study for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Response Strategies Working Group Energy and Industry Sub-Group", October 1989, copies of which are in the Library of the House. I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Secrtary of State for Energy to my hon. Friend the Member for Chelmsford (Mr. Burns) on 6 December 1991,

Official Report, column 258, for the latest projections for CO2 emissions.

The Government have set a target, if other countries take similar action, of returning emissions of CO2 to 1990 levels by 2005 and is taking steps to reduce emissions of methane.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many discharges of chemicals into the Merseyside environment have been notified to his Department in the past 12 months; if he will list these and the toxic chemicals involved; if he will specify whether the discharges were into the air, water, or land; whether he will extend the provisions of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to ensure that annual levels of emissions are monitored and declared; and whether he will require disclosure of information about emissions to his Department.

Dangerous occurances involving uncontrolled or accidental releases of chemicals must be notified to the Health and Safety Executive. Individual authorised releases of chemicals are not notified to my Department. However, the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Water Resources Act 1991 provide for monitoring information about releases to the environment which are reported to or obtained by the relevant enforcing authority or the National Rivers Authority to be placed in public registers.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans his Department has to include information on historical emissions of the following greenhouse gases (a) industrial carbon dioxide, (b) land-use change carbon dioxide, (c) non-agricultural methane and (d) agricultural methane in his negotiations on the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development; and if he will make a statement.

Questions relating to past, present and future emissions of all greenhouse gases are included among the issues covered by the preparatory committee for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what methodology he uses when assessing net greenhouse gas emissions in the United Kingdom in relation to gross emissions.

Net greenhouse gas emissions are not currently estimated for the United Kingdom on a routine basis. To do so will require the development of methods for quantitatively assessing activities, such as afforestation, which remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. Work to develop such methods is proceeding within the Department's own research programme and internationally through the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Poll Tax

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what are his Department's estimates on how much local authorities have spent on publicity and advertising in connection with the poll tax.

Global Warming

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what amount has been spent to date on the global warming campaign in the press.

The campaign, "Helping the Earth Begins at Home", which is being conducted jointly by my Department and the Department of Energy, placed advertisements in national newspapers between 5 November and 1 December 1991. The net cost of the advertisements was £393,045. This figure includes media buying and agency fees.

Incinerators

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many incinerators there are in the United Kingdom which are capable of dealing with (a) hazardous and (b) toxic wastes; what is the total annual capacity of these plants; and what is the annual production of these wastes in the United Kingdom.

Waste containing substances hazardous to life are classed as special wastes in the United Kingdom and local authority records showed 2·315 million tonnes arising for disposal in 1989–90. However, high temperature incineration of special wastes can take place within a wide range of factory premises, where so authorised, and special wastes dealt with in-house are not recorded. United Kingdom merchant incinerators available for disposal contract have a total annual capacity of about 200,000 tonnes and are:—

  • ReChem at Fawley, Hampshire and Pontypool, Gwent
  • Cleanaway at Ellesmere Port, Cheshire
  • Leigh Industrial Services at Killamarsh, Sheffield

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has as to the number and capacity of incinerators capable of dealing with hazardous and toxic wastes which are (a) under construction and (b) to be constructed over the next five years; what he expects the total annual capacity of those plants and the existing plants to be at the end of that time; and what are his projections as to the annual production of these wastes in the United Kingdom in (i) five years and (ii) 2000.

Industry could have a variety of incinerator proposals at various stages of consideration. There is no central record of these and it would not be possible to say what the annual capacity of proposed plant might be until such proposals become definitely operative. Planning proposals for merchant incinerators in England and Wales of which the Secretary of State is aware are those currently before him for decisions:—

Ocean Environment, Seal Sands, Cleveland Northumbrian Water/ITE, Portrack, Cleveland Northumbrian Water/ITE, East Howdon, Tyne and Wear. It is not possible to provide forward projections of any waste arisings which might he dealt with at existing or new plant.

Skin Cancer

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will obtain from the United Nations Environment Programme for his departmental library a copy of the panel study, chaired by Dr. Jan van der Leun of Utrecht university, on the risks of skin cancer increases resulting from ozone depletion.

The departmental library holds a copy of the 1989 report of the United Nations Environment Programme's environmental effects panel, chaired by Dr. J. van der Leun. The most recent environmental effects assessment is in preparation and is expected to be published in the next few months. Copies will be obtained for my Department.

Radiological Emergencies

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make it his policy to communicate to the public and all relevant emergency service personnel information, the nature of any radiological emergency, its possible effects and emergency counter-measures.

My Department has lead responsibility for the response to radiological emergencies resulting from overseas nuclear accidents. The arrangements for communicating details of the accident, its possible effects and counter-measures are set out in the HMSO booklet, "The National Response Plan and Radioactive Incident Monitoring Network (RIMNET). Phase 1", copies of which have been placed in the Library of the House.

Energy Tax

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what consultations he has had with his opposite numbers in the other European Community member states regarding the Commission's proposals for a carbon tax or energy tax; and if he will make a statement.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment to my hon. Friend the Member for Harrow, West (Mr. Hughes) on 17 December 1991, Official Report, column 105.

Building Maintenance (Date Of Return)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, what further action he proposes to take against the failure of Copeland borough council to make the statutory rate of return on building maintenance work undertaken in 1989–90.

My right hon. Friend has given careful consideration to the response of Copeland borough council to the notice served on it on 9 July 1991, and has today given a direction under section 19B of the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980 in respect of building maintenance work. The effect of the direction is to preclude the council from undertaking works of maintenance other than emergency work and works to the properties in the council's ownership.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what further action he has decided to take against the failure of Rochdale metropolitan borough council to make the statutory rate of return on its building maintenance work in 1989–90.

My right hon. Friend has given careful consideration to the response of Rochdale metropolitan borough council to the notice served on the authority on 7 February 1991, and has today given a direction under section 19B of the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980 in respect of building maintenance work. The effect of this direction is to preclude the council from undertaking works of building maintenance other than emergency work and works to properties in the council's ownership. It also permits the authority to undertake a range of small building maintenance works with an individual value of less than £25,000.

Ordnance Survey (Corporate Plan)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to publish the Ordnance Survey corporate plan for 1992 to 1995.

The Ordnance Survey corporate plan has been published today and I shall arrange for copies to be placed in the Library of the House.

Ec Environmental Legislation

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list details of each of the cases in which the EC is taking action against the United Kingdom Government over alleged non-implementation of EC environmental legislation.

[holding answer 12 December 1991]: The European Commission has made applications to the European Court of Justice against the United Kingdom for alleged non-compliance with EC environmental legislation in the following cases:

  • Case 337/89 concerning various aspects of the implementation of directive 80/778/EEC on the quality of water for human consumption.
  • Case 56/90 concerning implementation of directive 76/169/EEC on the quality of bathing water at Blackpool, Southport and Formby.

The court has not yet issued a judgment in either case.

In addition, the Commission has delivered reasoned options under article 169 of the treaty of Rome to the United Kingdom in the following cases:

  • Case 211/89 concerning implementation of directive 80/779/EEC on air quality limit values and guide values for sulphur dioxide and suspended particulates.
  • Case 212/86 concerning implementation of directive 82/884/EEC on a limit value for lead in air.
  • Case 187/87 concerning compliance with directive 79/409/EEC on the conservation of wild birds in connection with the construction of a ski tow in part of a Site of Special Scientific Interest at Glas Maol, Glenshec, Scotland.
  • Case 354/88 concerning compliance with directive 80/68/EEC on the protection of groundwater against pollution caused by certain dangerous substances in connection with discharges from a waste depot in Pakefield, Suffolk.
  • Case 26/88 concerning compliance with directive 79/409/ EEC on the conservation of wild birds and Commission directive 85/411 /EEC replacing Annex I of directive 79/409/EEC in connection with the designation of habitats and other protection measures.
  • Case 387/87 concerning the application of directive 80/779/EEC on air quality limit values and guide values for sulphur dioxide and suspended particulates in Sunderland.
  • Case 147/90 concerning compliance with directive 85/337/EEC on assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment in connection with the disposal of waste material at Outlands Head Quarry, Derbyshire.

Chlorofluorocarbons

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the chlorine loading potential of all CFCs and HCFCs for the time intervals of 10, 20 and 50 years.

(pursuant to his answer, 10 December 1991, c. 363]: Chlorine loading potentials, calculated on a steady state emission basis, have been published in report No. 20 of the World Meteorological Organisation Global Ozone Research and Monitoring Project, "Scientific Assessment of Stratospheric Ozone: 1989," as follows:

SpeciesChlorine loading potentials
CFC-111·0
CFC-121·5
CFC-1131·11
CFC-1141·8
CFC-1152·0
HFC-220·14
HCFC-1230·016
HCFC-1240·04
HFC-1250·0
HFC-134a0·0
HCFC-141b0·10
HCFC-142b0·14
HFC-143a0·0
HFC-152a0·0
CCl41·0
CH31CCl30·11
The Montreal protocol scientific assessment, due to be published early next year may provide some time-dependent values for either chlorine loading potential or the related ozone depletion potential.

Civil Service

Civil Service College

To ask the Minister for the Civil Service (1) what is the annual cost of running the Civil Service college at Sunningdale Park, Ascot; and if he will make a statement;(2) if he will consider relocating the Civil Service college to the north of England; and if he will make a statement.

These are operational matters for the Civil Service college and I have asked the chief executive to reply directly to my hon. Friend.

To ask the Minister for the Civil Service what plans he has to make places available at the Civil Service college for the induction of new Members after the general election; and if he will make a statement.

In 1988 the college arranged two briefing seminars on the civil service for hon. Members new to the House. I shall be delighted to ask the chief executive to make similar arrangements for new Members after the next general election, if there is sufficient demand. This will provide a welcome opportunity for the college to extend its already excellent reputation.

Overseas Development

Free Markets

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department takes to promote free markets in the countries to which United Kingdom aid is sent.

We promote free markets through focusing our aid on support for economic reforms and sound policies, agreed with the IMF and the World bank, designed to create the environment in which private enterprise and initiative can flourish. We are ready to provide help with privatisation. The Commonwealth Development Corporation invests directly in commercially viable projects in the private sector.

Kenya

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Government of Kenya on freedom of access and movement of Somalis in Kenya; and if he will make a statement.

The Government have made no such representations. In our exchanges with the Government of Kenya. we have focused on the broader issue of respect for the human rights of all Kenyan citizens. We recognise that Kenya has faced a serious problem dealing with an influx of non-Kenyan Somali refugees and Somali bandits operating from outside her borders.

Somalia

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the recent fighting in Somalia.

On Wednesday 18 December I issued the following statement:

"The British Government is deeply concerned at the continued fighting in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. Apart from the senseless destruction of the city, there arc distressing reports of heavy civilian casualties caused by indiscriminate shelling. The British Government particularly deplores the recent shooting of aid workers and the failure of those in charge of the warring factions to ensure that medical and relief supplies can safely enter the port and be distributed to innocent civilians.
Along with its European Community partners, the United Kingdom has already called on all parties to reach a peaceful negotiated settlement. It reiterates that call and strongly urges all concerned, including the elders of the clans in Mogadishu, to implement an immediate ceasefire which will permit aid agencies to attend to the desperate needs of the Somali people. It appeals to all protagonists in this conflict to put an end to the iolence."

Development Co-Operation (Treaty Of Rome)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the inclusion of a text on development co-operation in the treaty of Rome, as agreed at the European Council in Maastricht.

I am pleased that for the first time the objectives of Community policy in development cooperation will be set out in the treaty. We welcome the aims of fostering sustainable economic and social development, especially in the most disadvantaged developing countries; integrating them into the world economy; alleviating poverty; and consolidating democracy, human rights and the rule of law.The text recognises the complementary nature of EC and bilateral aid programmes with emphasis on co-ordination and consultation. The United Kingdom has consistently supported such moves in order to enhance the efficient use of EC aid resources.

Aid Budget

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in how many and in which cases arms deals have been linked to the overseas aid budget.

United Kingdom aid is provided in support of sustainable development and to alleviate poverty in developing countries. There is no question of linking aid and arms "deals".

Northern Ireland

Emigration

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what has been the net emigration of people from Northern Ireland over the past 10 years, giving a breakdown by age group.

The information is as follows:

YearTotalUnder 115–4445–6465 and over
1980–816,1001,0494,489269293
1981–829,9001,3277,650710213
1982–835,3001,3603,616191133
1983–844,0008092,893180188
1984–854,5003284,5121+ 1931+ 147
1985–863,6001383,5781+ 521+ 64
1986–875,9009954,893601+ 46

Year

Total

Under 1

15–44

45–64

65 and over

1987–887,9008577,237

1+ 42

1+ 152

1988–896,4008775,726

1+ 57

1+ 146

1989–904,600

1+ 104

5,362

1+ 323

1+ 335

1 Net inflow.

Figures are derived from the mid-year estimates of population which cover the period 1 July in each year to 30 June in the following year.

Capital Expenditure

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what capital projects in the areas for which he has responsibility, either directly or through the Eastern health hoard, have been postponed by the recently announced capital expenditure moratorium.

No capital works projects in the Eastern board's area have been postponed as a result of the moratorium.Replacement of the ambulance service radio communications network in the four boards has been postponed and the installation of equipment costing about £0·5 million in the Eastern board's ambulance control centre will therefore be delayed.Replacement of aging medical equipment at a number of the board's hospitals, for which £2·1 million had been earmarked, may have to be postponed. Purchase of special high-cost medical equipment, for which £1·75 million had been earmarked, may also have to be deferred.

Heart Bypass Operations

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people in Northern Ireland are on the national health service waiting lists for heart bypass operations; and what steps he is taking to reduce the period of waiting.

I am advised by the Eastern health and social services hoard that at 30 November 1991 there were 758 people in Northern Ireland waiting for heart bypass operations.The recent completion of the.£1·5 million extension to the cardiac recovery area at the Royal Victoria hospital will permit an increase in the number of operations and I understand that the RVH has advertised for additional staff to support the extra workload. In addition health and social services boards are actively considering purchasing further operations from outside Northern Ireland. The Western board has already taken an initiative this year in arranging to buy additional cardiac operations for its resident population from hospitals in London.

Benefits

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what would be (a) the first year and (b) the full-year cost of raising one-parent benefit and widowed mother's allowance by (i) £0·34 and (ii) £0·36 for (1) 1991–92 and (2) 1992–93, (x) including increases in means-tested benefits, and (y) without increases in means-tested benefits, in Northern Ireland.

The gross costs of increasing one-parent benefit, widowed mother's allowance and income-related benefit by these amounts for each week in 1991–92 and 1992–93 are given in the table. It is not possible to estimate what the costs would be without increases in income-related benefits.

BenefitIncrease per week1991–92 £1992–93 £
One Parent Benefit34p468,000488,000
Widowed Mothers Allowance34p58,00055,000
One Parent Benefit36p496,000517,000
Widowed Mothers Allowance36p61,00058,000

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what would be (a) the first year and (b) the full year cost of raising one-parent benefit and widowed mother's allowance by 32p (i) for 1991–92 and (ii) 1992–93, (1) including increases in means-tested benefits and (2) without increases in means-tested benefits, in Northern Ireland.

[holding answer 16 December 1991]: The gross costs of increasing one-parent benefit, widowed mother's allowance and income-related benefits by this amount for each week in 1991–92 and 1992–93 are given in the table. It is not possible to estimate what the costs would be without increases in income-related benefits.

BenefitIncrease1991–921992–93
per week££
One Parent Benefit32p441,000459,000
Widowed Mothers Allowance32p54,00052,000

State Earnings-Related Pension

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will estimate the total cost to the national insurance fund in a full year in (a) 1991–92 and (b) 1992–93 of the 2 per cent. banded earnings offered as an incentive to opt out of SERPs, in Northern Ireland.

The information is as follows:

2 per cent. Incentives in respect of personal pensions and 2 per cent. incentives for contracted-out schemes
Northern Ireland (£ million)
Paid in yearIn respect of yearPersonal pensionsNew schemesTotal
1991–921990–9111·92·414·3
11989–900·20·20·4
Total12·12·614·7
1992–931991–9213·63·116·7
11990–910·30·10·4
Total13·93·217·1
1 And earlier.

Criminal Injuries Compensation

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans he has for changes in the thresholds for criminal injuries compensation claims under the Criminal Injuries (Compensation) (Northern Ireland) Order 1988.

My right hon. Friend intends in the near future to bring forward an order under article 23 of the 1988 order to raise the general lower limit for criminal injuries compensation claims from £400 to £1,000 and to raise the lower limit for nervous shock claims in the same proportion from £1,000 to £2,500

Public Expenditure, Strangford

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland which projects by the Eastern health and social services area board in the constituency of Strangford are now delayed by the moratorium on public expenditure.

Prime Minister

Sunday Trading

To ask the Prime Minister what response he has made to the letter of 6 November from the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, the Chief Rabbi and the Moderator of the Free Church Federal Council asking him to make a public appeal to retail companies to obey the existing law on Sunday trading.

It is not my practice to release such information. I refer my hon. Friend to the reply that I gave to the hon. Member for Preston (Mrs. Wise) on 28 November at column 1066.

New Zealand (Royal Navy Visits)

To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on his policy regarding Royal Navy visits to New Zealand.

Following the Defence Secretary's announcement in September that our ships would not carry tactical nuclear weapons in normal circumstances, the New Zealand Prime Minister has agreed that there is now no reason for British warships not to visit New Zealand. The timing of any possible future visit by a British ship to New Zealand remains to be decided in the light of operational needs.

National Finance

Racehorse Breeding

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the conclusions of the ECOFIN meeting on 12 June 1991 are applicable to the British racehorse breeding industry.

Yes. The conclusions apply to all industries of EC member states.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will introduce value added tax rates on bloodstock sales similar to those charged in France on the basis of item 6 (Agricultural Inputs) in ECOFIN's list of services on which reduced value added tax rates may be charged.

Discussions on which goods and services will attract a reduced rate of VAT after 1992 are presently taking place in Brussels and no conclusions have been reached. Until these discussions are complete, it will not be known whether any EC member states will be able to introduce or keep a reduced rate for bloodstock. The Commission's current view is that racehorses do not fall within the list of goods and services which will qualify for a reduced rate of VAT.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the stated policy of the European Commission as regards whether the breeding of racehorses is an agricultural activity for the purposes of levying value added tax.

The European Commission views the breeding, rearing and care of all animals, including racehorses, as an agricultural activity falling within the activities which can be included in an agricultural flat rate scheme. The Commission's current view is that racehorses do not fall within the list of goods and services which will quality after 1992 for a reduced rate of VAT.

Vat

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the effect of the Maastricht treaties on the rates of value added tax which may be levied in the United Kingdom.

Tax Allowances And Reliefs

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be (a) the first year and (b) the full-year revenue effect if all tax allowances and reliefs except the single person's allowance were restricted to the basic rate (i) in 1991–92 and (ii) in 1992–93, in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, giving the revenue from each separately and the total.

It is estimated that at 1991–92 levels of income the yield, in a full year, from restricting all tax allowances and reliefs—except the personal allowance—to the basic rate of tax would be about £900 million. The corresponding provisional figure for 1992–93 is £950 million under the illustrative assumption of 4 per cent. increases in allowances and the basic rate limit from table 4·2 of the autumn statement 1991.The combined effect of restricting these allowances and reliefs to the basic rate is greater than the sum of the effects of restricting each component separately. This is due to the cumulative effect of bringing more people into higher rate tax. For 1991–92 the estimated yields from the main components individually are:

£ million
All allowances except the personal allowance300
Occupational pension contributions250
Personal pension contributions150
The effect on receipts in the first year would depend on the administrative arrangements for the restrictions.It is not possible to provide a detailed breakdown for the components in respect of 1992–93 with acceptable accuracy.

Bus Companies

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he is considering to encourage bus companies to be able to purchase new vehicles.

[holding answer on 19 December 1991]: No steps are being considered at present to encourage bus companies to be able to purchase new vehicles.

Football Pools

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish the rates of levy for football pools and the amount received by the Consolidated Fund, in 1991 prices, for each year since 1961.

[holding answer on 19 December 1991]: The table gives the rate of pool betting duty and the amount paid to the Exchequer between 1961 and 1991. All figures are approximately indexed to 1991 prices.

Amount paidDuty rates
(£'000s)per cent
1961–62371,25530
1962–63295,34733
1963–64309,41833
1964–65292,940331
252
1965–66289,59225
1966–67293,49425
1967–68276,34625
1968–69314,464253
33⅓4
1969–70349,89833⅓
1970–71320,06833⅓
1971–72400,97733⅓
1972–73417,41033⅓
1973–74393,71433⅓
1974–75407,39840
1975–76353,82340
1976–77332,82740
1977–78317,32040
1978–79309,20740
1979–80307,00140
1980–81304,56240
1981–82306,24040
1982–83323,81142½
1983–84318,09242½
1984–85322,08542½
1985–86328,17842½
1986–87343,69842½
1987–88360,04542½
1988–89342,06142½
1989–90345,57742½
1990–91315,25640
1991–92(n.a.)37½
1 To 2 August 1964.
2 From 3 August 1964.
3 To 24 March 1968.
4 From 25 March 1968.

Employment

Gas Heating Appliances

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what action the Health and Safety Executive is taking regarding the monitoring, safety and regulation of home gas space heating appliances in Wales.

The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1984 set out detailed requirements for the safe installation and use of applicances where the gas is supplied through pipes. The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) (Amendment) Regulations 1990 require all gas installation businesses working with piped gas to register with the Council for Registered Gas Installers (CORGI), which aims to ensure that all such businesses work in a competent manner. The Health and Safety Executive is reviewing both of these regulations with the aim of bringing into scope the installation and use of appliances which use liquefied petroleum gas supplied from a tank or cylinder located on the consumer's premises.HSE inspectors have powers under the Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974 to investigate any reported incident involving gas and to take any enforcement action which may be necessary.

International Biosynthetics

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what assessment he has made of the operation of the emergency plans required under the Control of Industrial Major. Accident Hazards Regulations 1984 in dealing with the recent chemical emission at the International Biosynthetics plant on Merseyside; and if he will make a statement about the co-ordination of information and emergency services on Merseyside in the event of a chemical or radiation incident.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is investigating the accident at the International Biosynethetics plant. The investigation includes discussions with the Merseyside fire and civil defence authority to establish whether any changes are required to the off-site emergency plan for the site as required by regulation 11(1) of the Control of Industrial Major Accident Hazards Regulations (CIMAH) 1984.Emergency plans are usually drawn up locally; this is normally done by the local authorities at county level or the fire and civil defence authorities in the metropolitan areas. HSE is also involved as the enforcing authority for regulations requiring the preparation of off-site emergency plans for the limited number of sites subject to CIMAH regulation 11. Comprehensive emergency plans for civil nuclear installations are currently prepared by the licensee as a condition of the site licence. In October, the Health and Safety Commission published proposals to put off site planning at these installations on the same basis as the CIMAH regulations.HSE publishes advice to assist emergency planners in these areas in the form of two booklets "Arrangements for responding to nuclear emergencies" and "The Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 1984 (CIMAH): further guidance on emergency plans".

Br Escalators

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many British Rail escalators, to which the public have access, have been examined by the Health and Safety Executive in the last five years; and what plans they have to examine the remainder.

The examination of escalators is primarily the responsibility of each railway undertaking. Her Majesty's inspecting officers of the Health and Safety Executive's railway inspectorate check the general condition of escalators in the course of routine inspections of stations, and if they find a fault that might be considered hazardous to public safety, it would he brought to the notice of the operator. The major stations where most British Rail escalators are situated arc inspected at least once every two years. Her Majesty's railway inspectorate does not keep records of individual escalators.

Employment Training

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what policy considerations govern the choice of 24 years as the upper age limit for the payment of child care costs for women seeking to re-enter the labour market under the aegis of employment training.

No such upper age limit exists. Training and enterprise councils (TECs) must meet or reimburse the support costs, including those of child care, to a level which is reasonable and necessary for training to take place, for all those entering employment training aged 18 to 24 who have been unemployed between six and 12 months—that is, those from the adult guarantee group. But others eligible to join employment training may also be helped with support costs at the discretion of the TEC.

National Dock Labour Board

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement about the progress in winding up the affairs of the National Dock Labour Board.

Yes. The wind-up has been concluded successfully and all the board's properties have been sold. I have placed in the Library copies of the board's final accounts covering the period from 4 July 1989 to the board's dissolution on 30 June 1990.

Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

Royal Commonwealth Society

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what approaches he has received concerning the future of the library of the Royal Commonwealth Society.

In recent months a number of approaches have been made to FCO Ministers on the future of the library of the Royal Commonwealth Society. Ministers are well aware of the problems and of the measures being taken by the Royal Commonwealth Society to tackle them.

Lt Col Partap Singh

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when Lt. Col. Partap Singh (Retd), president of the Khalsa Raj party, applied to the British embassy in Washington for a visa to visit the United Kingdom; and when a decision is to be taken on his application.

Lt. Col. Singh applied to the embassy in Washington for a visit visa on 4 September. Subsequently. he withdrew his application at the embassy in Oslo on 24 September.

Kenya

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proposals he has to assist with the travelling arrangements of Somali refugees from camps to the British embassy in Nairobi to attend visa interviews; and if he will make a statement.

None. We do not propose to assist with the travelling arrangements of Somali refugees in Kenya. The British high commissioner in Nairobi is not aware of any Somali refugees in Kenya who encounter difficulty in travelling to Nairobi to attend entry clearance interviews.

Foreign Affairs Council

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the outcome of the Foreign Affairs Council on 16 December.

My hon. Friend the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and I represented the United Kingdom at the Foreign Affairs Council on 16 December.The Council agreed in principle that a further 200 million ecu (£140 million) of food aid should be sent urgently to the Soviet Union and that a first tranche of 500 million ecu (£350 million) of the 1·25 billion ecu (£875 million) food and medical aid standby credit should be disbursed as soon as possible. The Foreign Affairs Council also decided to establish a task force, based in Moscow or St. Petersburg, to help with food distribution.The Council discussed the timetable for further technical work on the draft treaty on European union in order to ensure consistency between the provisions on political union and economic and monetary union and to prepare the text for signature. It considered reports on immigration and asylum presented by the Commission and invited Immigration Ministers to continue their work in this area on the lines agreed by the Maastricht European Council.The Council asked the Commission to draw up proposals for the denunciation of the Lome convention with respect to Haiti and to report to the Committee of Permanent Representatives on what steps might be taken to provide new humanitarian aid to Albania and to the Baltic states. It also agreed that the Commission should start exploratory talks with Romania on a possible association agreement. The Council adopted measures extending to countries of central America the generalised system of preferences concessions which it granted to the Andean pact countries last year.The Council considered the way forward on the European Economic Area (EEA) agreement in the light of the European Court of Justices's opinion that the proposed judicial mechanism to be established under the EEA was incompatible with the treaty of Rome. The Council asked the Commission to identify possible solutions with a view to signature early next year.Ministers discussed human rights in China, and agreed that the Political Committee should carry out a study. In the meantime, no new Community aid projects for China would be agreed.

In the margins of the Council, Ministers and the Commission signed EC association agreements with Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia and a co-operation agreement with San Marino.

Ministers issued a declaration on guidelines on the recognition of new states in eastern Europe and in the Soviet Union. They discussed the situation in Yugoslavia in the light of these guidelines. They agreed to recognise on 15 January 1992 the independence of those Yugoslav republics satisfying certain conditions. The Arbitration Commission of the EC conference on Yugoslavia will advise on whether conditions have been met.

Tunisia

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about relations with Tunisia.

They remain good. I made a successful visit to Tunisia on 2–3 December. On 17 December British Gas signed a $600 million contract to develop an offshore gas field. This is the largest ever British investment in Tunisia. It marks a breakthrough for the British private sector and will, I hope, generate further export opportunities.

Arms Transfers

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made towards establishing an international register of conventional arms transfers.

On 9 December the United Nations General Assembly voted by an overwhelming majority to establish at the United Nations a universal and non-discriminatory register of conventional arms transfers, covering the transfer of specific major weapons systems. This follows directly from the initiative which my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister took at the Luxembourg European Council on 8 April. We played a leading part in drafting and lobbying for the United Nations resolution, whch we tabled with our European Partners and Japan. The register will introduce greater openness and make it easier for the international community to monitor excessive arms build-up in any one country. We expect all responsible governments to recognise the value and importance of the decision taken by the General Assembly, and provide the necessary information for the register.The register comes into effect from January 1992. It requests all participant states to record their imports and exports of certain major weapon systems and provide this information to the United Nations Secretary-General on an annual basis. The categories of weapon system affected are tanks, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, armoured combat vehicles, large-calibre artillery and missiles and missile systems. In Britain's case, the disclosure of such information will require additional powers. The Government intend to bring the necessary legislation before the House early in the next Parliament. The legislation will require disclosure of all exports and imports within the categories named above with effect from 1 January 1992.

Home Department

Police National Computer

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many names, other than the criminal names category, are entered on the police national computer.

The names database on the PNC holds 5,634,424 records. These include 138,893 wanted or missing persons and 273,296 disqualified drivers, some of whom may also have been convicted of criminal offences. In addition, the PNC holds records of some 40 million vehicles. These records include the name of the registered keeper.

Prisons (Mother And Baby Units)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the staffing complement of each of the mother and baby units in Her Majesty's prisons; and how many of these staff have appropriate qualifications in child care.

The staffing complement in each of the units is as follows:

ampmEveningNights
HMP Holloway
1 senior officer + 2 officers1 Senior officer + 2 officers2 officers2 officers
HMP and YOI Styal
1 officer1 officer1 officer1 night patrol
HMP Askham Grange
1 officer1 officer1 officer1 night patrol
At present, the prison officers who work on the units do not have qualifications in child care. However, nursing cover is provided on a 24-hour basis and the local health visitor attends each unit regularly. Each unit is being encouraged to make use of the facilities available in the local community, so that where appropriate mothers can attend social service run family centres.Officers from each unit have attended week long courses at HM prison Holloway devised specifically for staff working on the units. A full staff training needs analysis is being undertaken by the Prison Service College. In addition, HM prison Styal is planning to recruit nursery nurses to work in its unit in the new year.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many women prisoners have applied in the last year to have their babies with them in prison mother and baby units; and how many have been successful.

The numbers of women prisoners who applied for admission to the units in 1991 were as follows:

Askham Grange:

Out of 25 applications received, only three were refused; in each case the mother had a history of child abuse.

Styal:

There have been 36 applications; one was rejected in view of her unsuitability for the mother and baby unit. Due to lack of space, two women have been put on a waiting list.

Holloway:

There have been 65 applications. There have been no rejections but due to lack of space two women have been put on a waiting list.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many places have been available in prison mother and baby units in each of the past five years; and if there are plans to increase the number of such places in the future.

The total number of places available in the three prison mother and baby units in each of the past five years has been 39. With the arrival of older babies at Styal, it has been necessary to reduce the number of mother and baby places from 12 to 10. The current number of places available is therefore 37. Consultations are taking place at Styal to determine both the medium and long-term requirements of mothers with older babies.A new purpose-built unit, which will provide an additional closed facility for nine mothers and their babies, is planned at Her Majesty's prison New Hall. This unit should be ready for occupation by the spring of 1994.

Poll Tax

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are his Department's estimates of the cost to the prison service and the police force in connection with the imprisonment of poll tax defaulters.

There is no central record of the number of people proceeded against and imprisoned for failure to pay poll tax. It is not therefore possible to estimate the associated costs to the prison service or to the police.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are his Department's estimates of the costs of debt collection by local authorities, including court costs and legal aid fees, in conection with poll tax defaulters.

Lotteries

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if the Government have any plans to increase local authorities' powers to vet applications to hold lotteries.

We keep the law governing the conduct and regulation of lotteries under review, but have no current proposals to increase local authorities' powers.

Styal Prison Steering Group

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department further to the reply given by the Minister of State on 7 November at column 219, what is the membership of the Styal prison steering group; and how many times it has met.

The membership of the Styal prison steering group is as follows:

  • Area manager, Trans-Pennine (Chairman)
  • Governor, HM prison Styal
  • Head of residence, HM prison Styal
  • Principal nursing sister, HM prison Styal
  • Group manager, HM prison Styal
  • Senior psychologist, HM prison Styal
  • Probation officer, HM prison Styal
  • A representative from DIP 1 division, prison service HQ
  • Principal officer from Cheshire social services
The steering group met for the first time on 12 December. Future meetings will be held on a quarterly basis.
ComplainantDate of complaintProgrammeDate of broadcastNature of complaintCommission s adjudicationDate
Mr. Marc Ellington11 March 1991"Scottish Eye: Making History Pay" Hyndland Television Channel 410 March 1991Unjust or unfair treatmentUpheld in part23 October 1991
Mr. Richard Emerson21 June 1991"Scottish Eye: Making History Pay" Hyndland Television Channel 410 March 1991Unjust or unfair treatmentUpheld23 October 1991
However, I understand from the Commission that the two complaints considered did not arise from the payment of grants by historic buildings councils. No other complaints have been received.

Closed-Circuit Television

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consideration he has given to extending the use of closed-circuit television used for traffic management to such uses as crime prevention and detection; and what guidance he has issued on these matters.

The use of surveillance systems is an operational matter for chief officers. The Home Office has, however, issued guidance that closed circuit television should he used by the police only when necessary for the proper and efficient conduct of police operations.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assistance he has given to pilot projects on the use of closed-circuit television as an instrument for tackling crime in city centres.

The steering committees of a number of local safer cities projects have recommended giving financial support to a total of nine crime prevention schemes involving the use of closed-circuit television in city centre locations, including schemes confined to car parks. Home Office grant totalling £280,000 has been approved for these schemes. In the case of each scheme, the grant is a partial contribution only to the total cost.

Somalia

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has reviewed the working of the concession made in September 1988 to Somali refugees; if he has plans to extend it; and if he will make a statement.

The concession is kept under constant review in the light of circumstances both in Somalia itself and neighbouring countries. The original scheme was criticised on the grounds that those who could not reach

Historic Buildings (Broadcasting Complaints)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list those cases considered by the Broadcasting Complaints Commission in 1991 concerning programmes which raised issues related to the payment of grants by historic buildings councils.

I understand that the Commission have considered two complaints arising from a single programme which looked at the work of the Historic Buildings Council for Scotland. The details are as follows:the relevant British diplomatic post to apply for entry clearance in person were denied the right of appeal (under section 13(2) of the Immigration Act 1971) which normally applies to applications made abroad. Earlier this year new arrangements were introduced to allow sponsors here to make written application direct to the post concerned in the event of an adverse decision by the Home Office, thus qualifying the applicant for appeal rights. We have no plans to extend the concession any further at present although I will look into the points the hon. Member raised with me when we discussed this matter on 18 December.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the number of requests from Somalis in the United Kingdom for the issue of visas to relatives abroad seeking asylum at the latest date; and if he will make a statement.

On 29 November 1991 there were 1,371 outstanding visa applications from Somalis seeking to join relatives in the United Kingdom.

Animal Experiments

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received over increases in the number of tests on live animals carried out in respect of food additives.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures he will take to reduce the use of animals in experiments for food additive tests.

My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary is not one of the Ministers responsible for the national and international regulations under which the safety testing of food additives are required. His responsibility is for controlling the conduct of scientific procedures on living animals. We have no plans to refuse licences where my right hon. Friend is satisfied that the work is justified under section 5 of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many inspectors he employs to monitor tests on live animals; whether he has received representations to increase this number; and if he will make a statement.

There were 20 members of the Home Office animals (scientific procedures) inspectorate on 19 December. The Home Office receives representations from time to time to increase the number of inspectors, but I am satisfied that the present strength of the inspectorate is adequate.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received urging the amendment of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986; and whether he proposes any amendment or administrative action to end or reduce tests on live animals (a) for cosmetics and (b) for drugs similar to those already on the market.

The Home Office receives a large volume of correspondence on a wide range of animal procedures matters, part of which will contain particular or general suggestions for changes to the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 or the way in which it is administered.Provided that the requirements of the 1986 Act are fulfilled, my right hon. Friend will continue to grant under section 5 project licences authorising particular programmes of work involving living animals. The modification of drugs to improve their efficacy or reduce their unwanted side effects is an important route of scientific and therapeutic advance. Any application for a project licence which clearly sought to develop a drug already on the market would not, however, be granted. The use of animals in the safety testing of cosmetics accounted for less than one quarter of a per cent. of all animal tests carried out in this country in 1990. Reductions in the number of tests on animals for whatever purpose depend heavily on scientific advances in the development of acceptable alternatives, their validation, and their acceptance by regulatory bodies.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what change there has been, since 1 January 1991, in his policy of counting the number of LD50 force feeding tasks on live animals; and what were the numbers of such tests in each of the last five years;(2) what representations he has received over

(a) recent increases in the LD50 force feeding test on live animals and (b) the utility and possibility of replacement of this test; and if he will make a statement.

Substances administered in acute toxicity tests are not always given by means of a tube inserted into the stomach. The statistics do not differentiate between routes of administration.There has been encouraging progress in further reducing the need for formal LD50 tests. As a result of a British initiative led by the Department of Health and supported and part funded by the Home Office, a testing method which does not rely on lethality as an end point has been developed, validated and accepted by international regulatory bodies as a replacement of the LD50 test in many areas of toxicity testing. We understand that the new test will be incorporated into OECD guidelines next year.There has been no change since 1 January 1991 in the counting of LD50 tests. However, it is not possible to identify these tests separately in the statistics because they are included in the wider group of acute and subacute quantitative whole body lethal toxicity tests. The 1990 figures for this group are given in columns (8) and (9) of table 14 of "Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals, Great Britain 1990" (Cm 1574), a copy of which is in the Library of the House. The descriptions of the classifications of toxicity tests were amended slightly for clarification in the 1990 statistics which means that this group now includes tests previously recorded in other columns of the tables. Taking all acute and subacute whole body toxicity tests together gives comparable figures for Great Britain as follows:

Thousands of procedures
Acute and subacute whole body toxicity tests1987198819891990
Lethal234233176206
Non-Lethal166148143139
All400381319345

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what figures he has for each of the last three years of the number bred of (a) animals with a harmful genetic defect or (b) transgenic animals; and whether he will make a statement on trends indicated by these figures.

The number of scientific procedures started in 1990 using animals bred with harmful genetic defects (including transgenic animals as a separate category) is given in table 15 of "Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals, Great Britain 1990" (Cm 1574), a copy of which is in the Library. As explained in paragraph 19 of the introductory notes and paragraph 24(m) of the Commentary in the Command Paper, there are no comparable figures for earlier years.

Juvenile Offenders

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what was the number of juvenile offenders (a) cautioned and (b) found guilty by a court in each year since 1980;(2) what

(a) percentage and (b) number of incidents reported to police in each year since 1980 he estimates were committed by juveniles;

(3) what was the source of figures on juvenile offending referred to in his oral statement on 12 December at column 1068.

Information referred to in my oral statement at column 1097 on 12 December is published in the annual Command Paper (Cm. 1322) criminal statistics, England and Wales 1989, chapter 5, copies of which can be found in the Library.Information on the number of incidents committed by juveniles reported to the police is not collected centrally. the data from "Criminal Statistics 1989" given in the table below relate to the number of juveniles (persons aged 10 to under 17 years) cautioned and found guilty of indictable offences and as a percentage of all persons cautioned and found guilty."Criminal Statistics 1990" will not be published until the spring of 1992.

Number of juveniles (persons aged 10 to under 17) cautioned and found guilty of indictable offences and as a percentage of all persons cautioned and found guilty 1980–1989
England and WalesThousands
All persons cautioned and found guiltyCautioned and found guiltyJuveniles (10 to under 17)
( = 100 per cent.)No.Per cent.No.No.
1980555·3175·83285·590·2
1981567·3174·33187·686·7
1982585·1174·53093·081·8
1983574·5167·92994·673·4
1984571·3169·23099·070·1
1985587·0175·730112·563·1
1986518·6141·52793·548·0
1987533·8137·62695·742·0
1988524·3119·32382·936·5
1989472·799·32172·826·4

Sir Basil Feldman

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many times in the last 12 months he has met Sir Basil Feldman;(2) when was the last time he met Sir Basil Feldman; and what subjects were discussed;(3) when he last discussed Sunday trading with Sir Basil Feldman.

To discuss Sunday trading, Sir Basil Feldman called on my right hon. Friend on 13 March 1991 and on me on 5 June.

Sunday Trading

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to ensure that those shops that have been trading on Sundays in contravention of current English law do not retain the resulting profits, in the event of a European Court of Justice decision upholding that law.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information he has from police authorities and chief constables on the financial and manpower consequences for policing as a result of the opening of shopping facilities on the four Sundays before Christmas.

None. Deployment of police officers is a matter for the chief constables concerned.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will bring before Parliament a statutory instrument to amend schedule 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 to include offences under section 47 of the Shops Act 1950.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave on 16 December to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Congleton (Mrs. Winterton) at columns 10–11.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) when he received the Durham university business school report "Women and Work" on women's attitudes to working unsocial hours in the retail trade;(2) what conclusions he has drawn from the Durham university business school report "Women and Work" for any changes to the law on Sunday trading.

My right hon. Friend and I received copies of the report on 27 and 26 November respectively. The report is currently being evaluated.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information he has on changes to the Sunday trading laws in France.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the extent to which food superstores opening on Sundays are complying with the licensing laws in every respect.

Because the enforcement of the liquor licensing law in England and Wales is a local matter for the police, no such assessment is called for.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what account he has taken of the Robert George industrial tribunal decision on Sunday working in considering his policy on the reform of the law on Sunday trading.

Policy implications, if any, of decisions of industrial tribunals are primarily for the Department of Employment. In developing policy on reform of the law on Sunday trading, we work closely with them on the interests of those who do and do not wish to work in retailing on Sundays.

Operation Container

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his reply of 13 December, Official Report, column 580, what representations he has received from people and organisations in Lancashire outside Greater Manchester about Operation Container.

Representations have been received from Lancashire county council and from other sources in respect of the use of police cells in Lancashire. On 18 December the Lancashire constabulary held 100 adult prisoners who should be in prison. As my earlier reply explained, this use of police cells is unacceptable and my right hon. Friend and I are determined that it should be brought to an end in the shortest possible time.

Foundation For Business Responsibility

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if the organisation Foundation for Business Responsibility is recognised as a legitimate charity by the Charity Commission.

The Foundation for Business Responsibilities was registered by the Charity Commission on 17 April 1967. Its objects are the promotion of education in industrial and commercial affairs.

Bbc Wales

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what will be the pay for the new chairman-elect of the board of governors of BBC Wales, including the pay for being on the BBC main board of governors; and what is the basis of days worked per week or month on which the appointment has been made of Dr. Gwyn Jones.

The BBC board of governors comprises 12 governors, of whom one is chairman, another vice-chairman and three more are respectively national governors for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. As part of their duties, the national governors also serve as chairmen of their respective national broadcasting councils. The BBC national governor for Wales is therefore chairman of the Broadcasting Council for Wales.The remuneration of the BBC national governor for Wales (and that of the national governors for Scotland and Northern Ireland) is £14,150 per annum on the basis of one and a half days per week. Dr. Gwyn Jones' appointment as the new national governor for Wales is therefore on the basis of one and half days per week.

Immigration

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many visas were granted at United Kingdom posts abroad for the purpose of entering the United Kingdom to seek asylum in (a) 1988, (b) 1989, (c) 1990 and (d) 1991 to the nearest available date.

The available information, which may understate, is of grants of asylum to principal applications which were made overseas. The recorded figures are shown in the table.

Grants1 2 of asylum to principal applications received by British posts abroad and referred to the Home Office for decision
YearNumber
198815
198915
319905
3 4199110
1 Excluding dependants.
2 Figures rounded to the nearest 5.

3 Provisional figures, which may understate because of delays in recording.

4 (January to June).

Miscarriages Of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many applications for compensation for miscarriages of justice he received in the last year for which figures are available;(2) how many applications for ex-gratia payments for compensation for miscarriages of justice he received in the last year for which figures are available; how many were successful, and what were the highest and lowest payments made.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications he has received for ex-gratia payments from women who were wrongly convicted under byelaws at RAF Greenham Common; how many have been successful; and what has been the average level of award.

We have received eight applications for compensation from women who were convicted under the RAF Greenham Common byelaws 1985. None of these applications has been granted.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications he has turned down for ex-gratia payments from women who were wrongly convicted under byelaws at RAF Greenham Common; and for what reasons he has refused these payments.

We have refused five ex-gratia payment applications from women who were convicted under the RAF Greenham Common byelaws 1985. The applications were refused because they did not meet the criteria of the ex-gratia scheme for compensation.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to pay the first instalment of compensation to John McGranagan following his wrongful conviction.

Mr. McGranaghan's application for compensation was received last month. My right hon. Friend hopes to be in a position to reach a decision soon.

Sexual Offences

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many cases of male homosexual rape have been recorded in Her Majesty's prisons in each of the years for which numbers have been recorded; and if he will make a statement.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to amend the law so as to make sexual offences under United Kingdom law but committed outside the United Kingdom actionable in the British courts, particularly in respect of minors.

We have no plans to extend the jurisdiction of our courts in this way.

Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the number of drug-related projects which have received financial support from his Department during 1991; and how much support they have been given.

Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to increase the lower limit for eligibility for compensation under the criminal injuries compensation scheme; and if he will make a statement.

A guiding principle in considering the allocation of available resources for the compensation for victims of crimes of violence is that compensation should go to the more serious cases. The Government are committed to upholding that principle.My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland and I have decided that to ensure the maintenance of this principle, applications for compensation received by the board on or after 6 January 1992 will be met only where the injury sustained would attract an award of at least £1,000.The 27th annual report of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board recently announced a record annual payment to the victims of crimes of violence of £109·3 million in 1990–91, 50 per cent. more than the previous year.Total spending on the CICB scheme in England, Wales and Scotland is set to rise to £144 million in 1992–93, £157 million in 1993–94 and £161 million in 1994–95.The increase in funding from £48 million in 1987–88 to £144 million in 1992–93, £96 million amounts to a rise of 300 per cent.

Trevi And Immigration Ministers

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement about the meetings of Trevi and European Community Immigration Ministers in The Hague on 2 and 3 December.

The meeting of Ministers concerned with immigration was the 11 th in the series of meetings held towards the end of each presidency since 1986. The Minister of State, my right hon. Friend the Member for Oxford, West and Abingdon (Mr. Patten), attended on my behalf.Immigration Ministers approved a report for submission to the European Council on the harmonisation of immigration and asylum policies, as requested at the Luxembourg European Council. The report contained a detailed work programme for implementation over the next few years. The report made by Immigration Ministers has subsequently been endorsed by the European Council meeting at Maastricht.In the asylum field, Ministers agreed that every effort should be made to ensure ratification of the Dublin convention by the end of 1992 at the latest.Ministers also agreed that everything possible should be done to resolve the outstanding problem (concerning Gibraltar) which has prevented signature of the draft external frontiers convention.

The meeting of Trevi Ministers endorsed measures to strengthen practical police co-operation. These include: the establishment of national contact points for public order matters; guidelines having the aim of strengthening the mutual assistance in criminal cases; recommendations on the controlled delivery of drugs; and police co-operation in common frontier zones. The Ministers agreed to submit a report to the European Council, prepared by the ad hoc working group chaired by the United Kingdom, recommending the establishment of a central European criminal investigation office, "Europol", with a drugs unit as its first stage. Ministers also agreed, at the United Kingdom's suggestion, that car crime be placed on Trevi's agenda and that the United Kingdom should convene an ad hoc seminar of experts on this subject during the Portuguese presidency.

Visas

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will lift visa restrictions for Polish citizens.

Health

Children's Homes

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures he has in hand to ensure the proper protection of children in residential homes.

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer that my right hon. Friend gave to a private notice question from my hon. Friend the Member for Leicestershire, North-West (Mr. Ashby) on 2 December at columns 23–29.Leicestershire county council is today announcing the appointment of Mr. Andrew Kirkwood QC to chair the inquiry to be conducted by the council into matters arising from the recent criminal trial of child care officers formerly employed in the council's children's homes. He will be assisted by two assessors who have yet to be appointed.

Skin Cancers And Cataracts

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimates he has made of the number of cases of (a) skin cancer broken down into melanoma and non-melanoma and (b) cataracts as a result of ozone depletion in the United Kingdom in (i) 1995, (ii) 2000, (iii) 2005 and (iv) 2010.

Any assessment of long-term health effects resulting from depletion of the ozone layer, with a concomitant increase in ground levels of ultraviolet radiation, would be influenced strongly by assumptions made about global future releases of various pollutants, particularly chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). The United Kingdom strongly supports the Montreal protocol on the phasing out or reduction in emissions of the most harmful of these pollutants. In addition, increased awareness of the dangers of excessive exposure to sunlight will influence public behaviour in relation to sunbathing habits. It is therefore not possible to predict with any confidence the incidence of skin cancer or cataracts in the future. However, trends in the incidence rates of these diseases will continue to be monitored.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers, squamous cell and basal cell, have been reported in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland for each of the years 1980 to 1990.

Registrations of cases of malignant melanoma of skin (ICD 1 172), and other malignant neoplasm of skin (ICD1173) for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland for each of the years 1980 to 1990, the latest year for which figures are available, are as follows.

Malignant melanoma of skin
YearEnglandWalesScotlandNorthern Ireland
19801,8279328537
19811,9529626147
19821,99011628536
19832,08016833335
19842,08314825146
19852,49416242939
19862,63516744450
1987n.a.n.a.40451
1988n.a.n.a.50044
1989n.a.n.a.47835
1990n.a.n.a.n.a.58
Other malignant neoplasm of skin2
198018,9651,2502,531536
198120,0351,2342,653530
198219,7421,1082,650529
198320,9817552,816512
198420,8921,3622,880486
198521,9941,3493,127484
198625,2651,5023,221483
1987n.a.n.a.3,223549
1988n.a.n.a.3,718551
1989n.a.n.a.3,956510
1990n.a.n.a.n.a.538
1 International Classification of Diseases code (ninth revision)
2 Registration of cancers from these sites are well known to be particularly difficult and liable to incompleteness.
It would not be possible to distinguish between squamous cell and basal cell carcinomas without disproportionate cost.It was recognised by the working party chaired by Professor Eva Alberman which reported last year on the national cancer registration scheme (Series MB1 No. 17) that better and more timely figures were required. Many of the working party's 17 recommendations are currently being taken forward by the cancer registries in the regional health authorities and by the NHS information management group in the Department. At OPCS, the large and complex computer system is being completely redeveloped. This will not be ready until 1994, but results for England and Wales for 1987 should be published by spring next year and those for 1988 by the end of the year.

Ozone Depletion

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many staff are working in his Department full-time on the human health effect of ozone depletion in the United Kingdom.