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Written Answers

Volume 227: debated on Friday 2 July 1993

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Written Answers To Questions

Friday 2 July 1993

Lord Chancellor's Department

Mr Asil Nadir

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary. Lord Chancellor's Department what discussions he has had with the Government of Cyprus regarding the Asil Nadir case; and if he will make a statement.

Legal Aid

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what action his Department intends to take in the light of the judgment of Lord. Justice Neill and Mr. Justice Mantell in relation to legal aid.

The judgment sustained, on all points at issue, the measures taken by the Lord Chancellor earlier this year to restrain the rate of growth in legal aid expenditure. No further action is therefore necessary in respect of the regulations which were the subject of the judgment.

Northern Ireland

Drugs (Use-By Dates)

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what guidance he has issued to hospitals as to the use of drugs after their use-by date.

Extant guidance on the use and control of medicines issued by the Department of Health and Social Services requires hospital staff administering a drug or medicine to check that it is not out of date. Guidance has

SchoolProposals publishedReason not yet determined
Bilston High School, Wolverhampton21 September 1992The proposal is being considered alongside a proposal from the LEA to close the school.
St. Thomas CE Primary School, Hackney11 December 1992The proposal is being considered alongside a proposal from the LEA to close the school.
The Leventhorpe School, Hertfordshire11 December 1992Elections have only recently been held to fill vacancies on the proposed initial Governing Body of the school.

Home Department

Radio Scanners

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what proposals he intends to bring forward to amend section 5 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949 to take account of changes in sale, supply, possession and use of radio scanners;

also been issued by the directors of pharmaceutical services of the health and social services boards requiring hospital pharmacists to operate stock control arrangements which ensure detection and recorded disposal of outdated medicinal products.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what evidence he has of hospitals using drugs which are past their use-by date; and if he will make a statement.

Education

A-Levels

To ask the Secretary of State for Education what proportion of A-level candidates in 1970, 1980, 1990 and in the latest statistics passed in mathematics and physics.

In England, the proportion of A-level candidates who achieved a pass in mathematics and physics in 1992 was 16 and 10·4 per cent. respectively. Information on a similar basis for earlier years is not available centrally.

Grant-Maintained Status

To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many proposals from schools for grant-maintained status were published before 1 January 1993 but remain undetermined; when he expects such proposals to be determined; and if he will make a statement listing the schools concerned and the reasons for the delays.

Three proposals for grant-maintained status published before 1 January 1993 remain undetermined. My right hon. Friend will decide each proposal as soon as possible, consistent with a full consideration of the issues involved and of any objections to the proposals. The schools concerned and the reasons the proposals have not yet been determined are given in the table.(2) what proposals he has to amend the Wireless Telegraphy Apparatus (Receivers) (Exemption) Regulations 1989 to regulate radio scanners by licence.

The Government are currently reviewing the relevant legislation covering the use of radio equipment which might be used to intercept telecommunications. There are, however, no plans to place further restrictions on the manufacture, sale or ownership of scanning receivers under section 5 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949.

Market Testing

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much the market-testing programme has cost his Department since November 1992.

The direct costs of the Home Office market-testing programme, including consultancies, since November 1992 has been £361,885.

Channel Islands And Isle Of Man

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what contribution was received in the latest available year from the Governments of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man towards the cost of his Department, and British embassies and consular services.

The Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are not part of the United Kingdom but are internally self-governing dependencies of the Crown. The United Kingdom Government are responsible for the islands' defence and their international relations, and the Crown is ultimately responsible for the islands' good government. These responsibilities are constitutional, not a matter of financial contract. None the less, in recognition of the fact that expenditure on defence and international representation is incurred by the United Kingdom, Jersey maintains a local Territorial Army unit, at a cost in 1992 of £1·7 million, and Guernsey makes payments to, or in lieu of, the United Kingdom Exchequer, which in 1992 totalled £541,000. And, as a contribution to defence and other common services, the Isle of Man annually forgoes a proportion of the revenue due to it under Customs and Excise agreement; the value of this contribution to the United Kingdom in 1991–92 was £1·9 million.

Sam Kulasingham And Prem Sivalingham

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to complete the review of the cases of Sam Kulasingham and Prem Sivalingham; and if he will make a statement.

The review of these cases is almost complete, and I expect to make a decision very soon.

Birmingham Pub Bombings

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will call for a report from the chief constable of the West Midlands police as to the cost, including salaries, of the inquiry into the Birmingham pub bombings since March 1990;(2) if he will call for a report from the West Midlands chief constable as to whether the inquiry into the Birmingham pub bombings is continuing; how many officers are involved; and if he will make a statement.

All that I can add to the answer which was given to the hon. Member on 16 January 1992, at columns 634–35, is that an analysis of the cost of the inquiry, which started in April 1991, will be prepared at its conclusion.

Animal Imports

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what has been the average fine per offence for those found guilty of illegal importation of animals into the United Kingdom in each year since 1978;(2) how many convictions there have been for the illegal importation of animals into the United Kingdom in each year since 1978.

I have been asked to reply.The information readily available for the United Kingdom, excluding Northern Ireland, is given in the table. The figures reflect all prosecutions taken under the Rabies (Importation of Dogs, Cats and Other Mammals) Order 1974, the Importation of Equine Animals Order 1979, and the Importation of Animals Order 1977 which have been notified to this Department.

YearNumber of prosecutionsMaximum fine (£)
1978801,000
1979741,000
1980631,000
198174700
1982501,000
1983711,000
1984271,000
1985771,500
1986751,200
1987431,000
1988571,500
1989311,600
1990451,000
1991662,000
1992471,250
More detailed information could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Transport

Br Privilege Ticket Facilities

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many people are currently in receipt of British Railways privilege ticket facilities.

I refer the hon. Lady to the answer I gave her on 12 March 1993, Official Report, column 769.

Br Staff (Timetables)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the number of British Railways Board and subsidiary personnel currently employed on time-tabling duties and the publication of the Great Britain timetable.

This is a matter for the BR board. From next year, responsibility for planning and producing the working timetable for the railway will pass to Railtrack. We expect that the private sector will see opportunities to publish a national passenger timetable commercially, but Railtrack will be placed under an obligation to secure its publication if others do not.

Br Pensioners

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what actuarial basis funds will be allocated to existing British Rail pensioners on the establishment of the proposed joint industry fund.

The allocation of assets will take full account of the future liabilities to pensioners and will be subject to independent actuarial advice in the light of the results of the latest actuarial valuation of the schemes.

West Coast Main Line

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what percentage of passenger trains using the core west coast main line are arriving within five minutes of their scheduled times for the latest available period.

British Rail measures the punctuality of InterCity services by the number of trains arriving at their destinations within 10 minutes of the advertised time. On this basis, 88 per cent. of trains on the west coast main line arrived punctually in the four-week period ending 19 June 1993.

Railways Directorate

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many staff are currently employed in the railways directorate (railways 1 and railways 2), and in the offices of the shadow regulator and shadow franchising director including seconded and part-time staff; and how many will be employed in these areas, including the offices of the regulator and the franchising director, in each of the next two years, identifying the number of staff in grades 1 to 7 as well as the total number of staff.

At present there are 124 staff in these areas, including special advisers on regulation and franchising and supporting staff. Of these, 45 staff are in grade 7 or above; five are seconded; and five are part time. Budgets and staff for the next two years have not been decided. Estimates of the running costs and manpower of the franchising director and the regulator, and their staff, were contained in the explanatory and financial memorandum to the Railways Bill.

Southend Transport Ltd

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement about the ownership of Southend Transport Ltd.

Approval under the Transport Act 1985 has been given to the sale of Southend Transport Ltd, the bus company owned by Southend-on-Sea borough council. The company has been sold by competitive tender to Branksome 169 Ltd. A company formed by the four main shareholders of British Bus plc.Change of ownership takes place under the terms of the Transport Act 1985, which allows authorities to sell their public transport companies with the consent of the Secretary of State.I believe that this sale will help continue the successful and efficient operation of bus services in Southend-on-Sea. I am also pleased that the sale was successfully conducted by competitive tender, thus ensuring a good price for the local taxpayers of Southend-on-Sea. I wish everyone in the company all success in the private sector.

This sale also sets a good example for other local authorities which own their bus companies. Proceeds from sales of bus companies realized before the end of 1993 will all be usable for local capital projects. Thereafter, 50 per cent. will have to be set aside for debt reduction in the traditional way. Although time is now short, I hope that the remaining local authorities in this position will make the most of this opportunity and sell their bus companies.

Employment

Women (Full-Time Employment)

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what plans he has to encourage the participation of women in full-time employment.

We are determined that women should be allowed every opportunity to participate as fully as possible in the labour market. The number of women working full-time has risen by 9 per cent. since 1983 and women are projected to account for just over 80 per cent. of labour force growth by 2006. The Government welcome this trend and will continue to encourage women to make the most of the opportunities available.Our "New Horizons for Women" initiative promotes the whole range of opportunities open to women, including those in employment and training. The flexibility built in to many employment service and training and enterprise council programmes are ideally suited to the needs of many women and our out-of-school child care grant will benefit women who wish to return to work after their children start school.The ministerial sub-committee on women's issues accords a high priority to action throughout government, which will extend choice and opportunity for women in general. including in employment.

Defence

Flight Recorders

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what consideration has been given to the fitting of flight recorders to aircraft operated by his Department.

It is my Department's policy that all new aircraft shall be fitted with accident data recorders—ADRs. However, in most circumstances, the technical difficulties and costs involved in retro-fitting ADRs to older aircraft types would not be justified.

Nuclear Tests

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what information his Department is required to give United States authorities, and on what timescale, to enable the United States to carry out its obligations to inform Russia under the threshold test ban verification protocol provisions for notification of forthcoming nuclear tests.

All our nuclear tests at the Nevada test site are jointly planned with the United States authorities. Section IV of the protocol to the treaty between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the limitation of underground weapon tests specifies the information which the United States must pass to the Russian Government 200 days prior to the planned date of any relevant test.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library copies of data sent in the last 12 months to United States authorities for transmission to Russian authorities under the threshold test ban treaty verification protocol provisions for notification of forthcoming nuclear tests.

For security reasons, this information is confidential to the Governments concerned.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 16 June, Official Report, column 650, when the tests of depleted uranium armour-piercing shells at the White Sands and Aberdeen proving grounds in the United States and La Gramat in France were conducted; and what post test-firing of depleted uranium shells health checks were conducted on (i) local populations and (ii) service men involved in the tests at the West Freugh, Eskmeals and Kirkcudbright ranges.

Some early trials were carried out at White Sands missile range and Aberdeen proving ground in the laste 1970s. More recently trials have taken place at La Gramat in 1990 and at Aberdeen in 1990, 1991 and 1992. The health checks on those involved in the depleted uranium firing trials and the environmental monitoring carried out at or near the three United Kingdom ranges are set out in my hon. Friend the Minister of State for the Armed Forces' replies to the hon. Member for Pembroke (Mr. Ainger) on 14 June, Official Report, columns 473–74. On the basis of these checks, we have concluded that there is no danger to the health of the local population and no requirement to monitor it.

Tactical Air-To-Surface Missile

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will make a statement on the current status of the future theatre nuclear weapon project;(2) what is his latest estimate of the cost of TASM.

I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer given to the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, North (Ms Walley) on 20 May 1993, Official Report, column 263.

Royal Navy (Nuclear Weapons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what consideration his Department has given to equipping Royal Navy vessels with a conventional stand-off weapon system.

Many Royal Navy ships are already equipped with anti-ship stand off missiles systems such as Harpoon and Exocet. We are currently studying the United Kingdom requirement for land attack cruise missiles. Studies are at a very early stage and a decision is not expected for some time.

Nato (Peacekeeping)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many allied tactical papers and standard NATO agreements on peacekeeping have been adopted by NATO.

The development of NATO support to United Nations and CSCE peacekeeping has been fully documented in:

  • NATO Defence Planning Committee and Nuclear Planning Group Final Communiqué (27 May 1992)
  • Ministerial Meeting of the North Atlantic Council Final Communiqué (4 June 1992)
  • NATO Nuclear Planning Group Final Communiqué (21 October 1992)
  • NATO Defence Planning Committee Final Communiqué (11 December 1992)
  • Ministerial Meeting of the North Atlantic Council Press Communiqué (17 December 1992)
  • NATO Defence Planning Committee and Nuclear Planning Group Final Communiqué (26 May 1993)
  • Ministerial Meeting of the North Atlantic Council Final Communiqué (10 June 1993)
In addition, the North Atlantic Co-operation Council adopted a report by its ad hoc group on co-operation in peacekeeping at its meeting in Athens on 11 June. All of these are available in the Library of the House.

Rapid Reaction Corps

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the training in the military requirements of peacekeeping undertaken by the allied Rapid Reaction Corps.

I have nothing to add to the answer I gave the hon. Member on 10 June, Official Report column 369.

Aldermaston

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley (Mr. Foulkes) of 18 June, Official Report. column 763, what factors led him to believe that the Panorama programme on Aldermaston to which he refers would not be even-handed or objective.

The judgment was largely based on experience of co-operation with Panorama and some other investigative programmes. It was fully justified.

Indonesia

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he last visited Indonesia; what matters were discussed and with whom; and if he will make a statement.

My right hon. and learned Friend visited on 18 May 1993. He met the Indonesian Defence Minister and other Ministers and officials. A range of security and defence matters of mutual interest were discussed in what was a short but very valuable visit.

Goose Bay

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many low-level sorties were flown by each type of aircraft at Canadian forces base Goose Bay (a) in 1992 and (b) up to the latest available date in 1993.

During their period of deployment to Goose Bay in 1992, Royal Air Force Tornado GR1 and F3 aircraft flew 936 and 92 low-level sorties respectively. No sorties have yet been flown this year, although Tornado GR1s are expected to fly approximately 700 sorties at low level during the period of their deployment in 1993.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will list the accomplished and scheduled Royal Air Force training deployments to Canadian forces base Goose Bay during 1993; and if he will specify the number and type of aircraft involved in each deployment;(2) if he will list the dates of deployment for each type of aircraft undertaking training at Canadian forces base Goose Bay in

(a) 1992 and (b) 1993; and how many aircraft were involved in each such deployment.

Nine Tornado GR1 aircraft were based at Goose Bay between 29 May and 25 September 1992, during which time there were seven deployments of crews to conduct low flying training. The precise dates of each such deployment were:

  • 29 May—12 June
  • 12 June—3 July
  • 3 July—24 July
  • 24 July—7 August
  • 7 August—21 August
  • 21 August—4 September
  • 4 September—25 September
Eight Tornado F3 aircraft were also deployed between 26 May and 1 July 1992, during which time there were three deployments of crews:

  • 26 May—9 June
  • 9 June—23 June
  • 25 June—1 July

For 1993, nine Tornado GR1s will be based at Goose Bay between 1 July and 23 September, during which time there are planned to be five separate crew deployments, each for a period of two to three weeks.

Service Men (Gulf)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many British service men serving in the Gulf were (a) hospitalised and (b) received prolonged medical treatment and for what reason in each case; and if he will make a statement.

My noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence will write to the hon. Member.

Depleted Uranium Ammunition

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether depleted uranium ammunition continues to be test fired at Eskmeals and Kirkcudbright ranges.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 14 June, Official Report, column 474, for what reason air samples are not taken at Kirkcudbright range to check for depleted uranium radioactivity; if he will consider the taking of such samples; and if he will make a statement.

Air samples are not necessary at Kirkcudbright because the depleted uranium penetrators are not fired against a hard target. There is, therefore, no significant dispersion of radioactive material into the air.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what tests were carried out for radioactivity in areas where depleted uranium shells were used during the Gulf war; and if he will make a statement.

Depleted uranium has a low level of radioactivity; furthermore in the circumstances of the Gulf conflict such tests were not practicable. Those United Kingdom service personnel who assisted with ordnance clearance in Kuwait after the conflict were issued with instructions and personal equipment to minimise any health hazard.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 14 June, Official Report, column 474, what are the highest levels of radioactivity from depleted uranium ammunition detected at Eskmeals and Kirkcudbright ranges; and what is the exact level determined to be a health hazard.

Swan Hunter

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the current state of the negotiations between his Department and the receivers of Swan Hunter as to the completion of the three frigates being built at the yard.

I am pleased to announce that we have concluded an agreement with the receiver which, subject to the maintenance of satisfactory levels of productivity, will allow the three type 23 frigates to be completed on Tyneside. This agreement gives the receiver time to continue his efforts to find a buyer for Swan Hunter. I hope that the management and work force at Swan Hunter will deliver the three ships to the Royal Navy within cost and to time and to the standards of quality which we have come to expect from Swan Hunter.

Social Security

Benefits Caller Office, Darwen

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) when he expects a benefits caller office to be established in Darwen, Lancashire;(2) what representations he has received about the establishment of a benefits caller office in Darwen, Lancashire.

The administration of the benefits system is a matter for Mr. Michael Bichard, the chief executive of the Benefits Agency. He will write to the hon. Member and a copy will be placed in the Library.

Letter from Michael Bichard to Ms Janet Anderson, dated 1 July 1993:

As Chief Executive of the Benefits Agency, it is my responsibility to answer questions about relevant operational matters. I am therefore replying to your recent Parliamentary Questions to the Secretary of State for Social Security, asking when he expects a benefits caller office to be established in Darwen, Lancashire, and what representations he has received on this matter.

In line with the Benefits Agency's core value of customer service great importance is placed on the Agency being accessible to all its customers. The manager of the Agency's Blackburn and Accrington District, which covers the area of Darwen, has decided, following a number of representations from customers and welfare organisations, that a caller office in Darwen would improve the service to his customers.

You will be aware from my earlier correspondence to you about this matter ( Official Report, Vol. 214, columns 253–54, dated 18 November 1992) that there was a favourable indication earlier this year that space for a caller outlet could be made available by the Employment Service Agency (ESA) in their premises in Darwen. Unfortunately this provisional offer has been withdrawn because the ESA are considering

using the space for their own needs. The District are now experiencing considerable difficulty in identifying other suitable premises in the area.

Although it is far from an ideal solution, the District Manager has put in place three benefit advice surgeries in the Darwen area, to ensure benefits information is available in the area while the search for suitable accommodation continues.

I hope you find this answer helpful. A copy will appear in the Official Report and a copy will also be placed in the Library.

Child Support Agency, Bradford

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security on what basis the acting area manager of the Child Support Agency in Bradford warned Bradford resource centre that the use of the name Child Support Agency in training programme information material could constitute a breach of the copyright laws; and if he will make a statement.

The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for Mrs. Ros Hepplewhite, the chief executive. She will write to the hon. Member and a copy will be placed in the Library.

Letter from Mrs. Ros Hepplewhite to Mr. Max Madden, dated 30 June 1993:

As Chief Executive of the Child Support Agency it is my responsibility to answer questions about relevant operational matters. I am therefore replying to your recent Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Social Security asking on what basis the acting area manager of the Child Support Agency in Bradford warned Bradford Resource Centre that the use of the name Child Support Agency in training programme information material could constitute a breach of the copyright laws.

I have now investigated the circumstances surrounding the exchange of correspondence between the Agency's acting Area Manager in Bradford and the Bradford Resource Centre and it is clear that the member of staff concerned acted under a misapprehension and in error. The Agency's Divisional Manager responsible for the Yorkshire and Humberside region contacted Bradford Resource Centre on 14 June to apologise for the misunderstanding and I understand that matters have now been resolved to the Resource Centre's satisfaction.

The Agency in fact welcomes the interest of groups such as the Bradford Resource Centre in its work and its policy is to foster close working relationships at all levels. As part of that process Agency staff recently met staff from Bradford Resource Centre and other local groups to discuss the operation of the new child maintenance scheme; and a further meeting with Resource Centre staff is due to take place.

I am grateful for the opportunity to explain the position. A copy of this reply will appear in the Official Report and a copy will also be placed in the Library.

Market Testing

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how much the market-testing programme has cost his Department since November 1992.

The costs since November 1992 are broadly estimated at £.3·2 million.These costs when set against the Department's programme of market testing £127 million of business this year and the scale of savings which have previously been derived from market testing—some 25 per cent.—do not seem disproportionately high.

Benefits, Ayr

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what was the number of sickness benefit claims at Ayr benefit office for each month from April 1992 to date;(2) how many claimants there were at the Ayr benefit office for

(a) unemployment benefit and (b) sickness benefit on 1 April 1991, 1992 and 1993.

The administration of benefits is a matter for Mr. Michael Bichard, the chief executive of the Benefits Agency. He will write to the hon. Member with such information as is available and a copy will be placed in the Library.

Letter from Michael Bichard to Mr. George Foulkes, dated 1 July 1993:

As Chief Executive of the Benefits Agency it is my responsibility to answer questions about relevant operational matters. I am therefore replying to your recent Parliamentary questions to the Secretary of State for Social Security asking about the number of sickness benefit and unemployment benefit claims at the Ayr Benefit Office.

I have provided information which represents the Ayr District Office (DO) as a whole. The District includes branch offices at Ayr, Cumnock, Dumfries and Stranraer but it is not possible to break the figures down into the separate branches within the district.

Table A. shows the monthly live load for sickness benefit for the Ayr District Office as at May 1991, the first date for which figures are available, and the first of each month from April 1992.

I am unable to provide you with figures for unemployment benefit and would refer you to the Secretary of State for Employment whose responsibility these are. I can however, supply you with the number of customers registered as unemployed and claiming income support at the Ayr DO. These figures are collated on a quarterly basis and I have therefore supplied you with figures for the relevant quarters. These are shown at Table B. I would like to explain that the figures quoted for sickness benefit are obtained from a 100 per cent. clerical count in the office. The income support figures are a 100 per cent. count combined from those actioned through the computer system and any remaining clerical casework.

I hope you find this reply helpful. A copy will appear in the Official Report and a copy will also be placed in the Library.

Table A.

Sickness Benefit Claims1

Number

May 1991961
April 19921,099
May 19921,245
June 19921,194
July 19921,220
August 19921,206
September 19921,268
October 19921,259
November 19921,314
December 19921,289
January 19931,291
February 19931,312
March 19931,356
April 19931,378
May 19931,380
1 Figures refer to the last working day of the previous month

Table B.

Income Support claims from unemployed persons1

Number

May 19915,456
May 19925,645
May 19936,121

1Figures are as at the quarter ending 31 May.

Invalidity Benefit

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what guidance has been issued during the past three months to general practitioners and benefits offices on the subject of eligibility for and renewal of invalidity benefit.

Mortgage Interest Payments

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will change the procedures of his Department in respect of mortgage interest payments so that mortgage lenders inform his Department as soon as interest rates have dropped or increased to prevent mortgagors overpaying or falling behind with their payments.

The amount allowed in income support for mortgage interest is calculated according to the interest rate being charged to the individual claimants' mortgage account. It is therefore necessary for the appropriate rate to be notified individually. We believe that the person best placed to do this is the claimant, who is responsible for informing the Department of any changes in circumstances that may affect entitlement to benefit.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will change the procedures of his Department in respect of mortgage interest payments so that mortgage lenders receive payments by the due date, instead of one month in arrears, to prevent mortgagors being threatened with repossession.

Health

Health Centres

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to her answer of 12 May, Official Report, column 483, if she will now announce the results of the working group on the financing of health centres, and her proposals based on those results.

The working group of National Health Service Management Executive/national health service officials recommended that the main proposals of the Hambros bank review on the financing of accommodation for general practitioners in health centres should be accepted. These proposals were:

  • (i) The relationship between the GP tenant and the trust/district health authority owner should be put onto a more commercial footing, in which the GP would pay a full commercial rent in return for a formal lease;
  • (ii) GPs in health centres should be eligible for General Medical Services improvement grants;
  • (iii) Guidance should be issued on the costs and benefits of various alternative patterns of funding and ownership of GP accommodation;
  • We have accepted the recommendations of the working group and work will be taken forward with a view to implementing the Hambros bank proposals with effect from 1 April 1994. Representatives of general medical practitioners will be consulted about the implementation.

    Pregnancy (Dietary Supplements)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the estimated cost of making dietary supplements of 4 mg of folic acid per day available free of cost through fertility and ante-natal clinics to women anticipating a pregnancy and during the first 12 weeks of the pregnancy.

    A dietary supplement of 4 mg folic acid per day is recommended to prevent recurrence of neural tube defects in the offspring of women or men with spina bifida or with a history of a previous child with neural tube defect. It is not possible to estimate the cost of making these supplements available through clinics to women in this group. However, they are available on prescription, free of charge to exempt groups prior to pregnancy and to all women during pregnancy.

    Specialties

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health what has been the cost to date of the specialty reviews.

    The cost is estimated at £450,000. This includes the staff and related costs incurred by the six independent review groups and the London implementation group as well as the cost of printing the reports.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what estimate she has made of the capital and revenue costs of implementing the specialty reviews;

  • (2) if she will make a statement of the impact of the specialty reviews at hospitals where a specialty is removed on the remaining services in those hospitals;
  • (3) what steps she is taking to test purchaser support and the feasibility and affordability of appropriate specialist service configurations resulting from the London specialty reviews.
  • The recommendations of the specialty reviews are independent advice to Ministers and the national health service. They are not policy and no decision to change services will be taken on the basis of their conclusions alone. The London implemenation group, the Thames regional health authorities, purchasers and the hospitals themselves will now make full assessments of the implications of the reviews' recommendations, prior to bringing forward proposals for change in the autumn. The London implementation group will ensure that any proposals to relocate or close a specialist service are informed by, amongst other factors, the views of purchasers, analysis of the cost implications and feasibility in terms of sites. There will, of course, be full public consultation on any major proposals to relocate services or to close sites.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health what effect she expects the specialty reviews of the London hospitals to have on the South-East Thames region outside London.

    The specialty reviews make a number of recommendations about specialist services provided in South East Thames regional health authority that are outside London. These recommendations are independent advice to Ministers and the national health service, not policy, and they alone will not determine the future configuration of services in London or elsewhere. It will be the responsibility of the regional health authority, local purchasers and the hospitals themselves to make a full assessment of the reviews' advice and, if appropriate, to develop proposals for change.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the impact of the review of London specialist services on maintaining morale and retention of the staff needed for teaching if the hospitals provide a smaller range of technical specialities.

    The independent advice contained within the speciality review reports forms one ingredient in the local process of developing proposals for improving health services in London. As part of this process, the London implementation group is working closely with the university of London and the Higher Education Funding Council for England, to ensure that the implications of the reviews' recommendation for teaching and research are fully assessed.

    Drinking Water

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information and advice his Department has received concerning the effect upon

    Presecribed items with a net ingredient cost of less than (a) 40 pence, (b) 60 pence, (c) 80 pence and (d) £1.00 dispensed by community pharmacists and appliance contractors in England in 1992.
    Pence
    Net Ingredient Cost less than (pence)406080100
    Number of items dispensed32,69049,75361,44973,937
    Percentage of all prescribed items8·512·915·919·1

    Quarry House

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the insurance value of her Department's art works in Quarry house.

    I refer the hon. Member to the reply my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Social Security gave her on 30 June at column 515.

    Children's Health Records

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she is taking to ensure that all purchasing authorities contract for parent-held records.

    We plan to write to health authorities shortly, commending the use of personal child health records and informing them of the publication of the second edition of a model record produced by a working party led by the British Paediatric Association.

    human health of low level cryptosporidium oocyst contamination in drinking water; and if he will make a statement.

    I have been asked to reply.The Department of Health and the Department of the Environment received, in July 1990, the report of the group of experts convened to examine cryptosporidium in water supplies chaired by Sir John Badenoch. Following its recommendations, research is under way which may establish the infective dose of cryptosporidium.

    Azt

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the use of AZT with HIV-positive patients of different age groups in the national health service.

    Zidovudine—AZT—is currently licensed in the United Kingdom and the European Community for use in the following circumstances:

    • —asymptomatic disease in adult patients showing signs of immune suppression ie. CD4 count repeatedly below 200 per cubic millimetre (cumm) or between 500 and 200 and falling rapidly;
    • —early symptomatic HIV disease in adults with CD4 counts below 500 per cubic millimetre:
    • —advanced disease ie. AIDS and AIDS related complex, in adults and children;
    • —HIV related symptoms or asymptomatic disease with markers indicating significant HIV-related immune suppression in children over the age of three months.

    Prescriptions

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the estimated percentage of prescribed items dispensed by community pharmacists and appliance contractors which cost less than (a) 40p, (b) 60p, (c) 80p and d) £1.

    Container Allowance

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what container allowance is paid by the NHS for calendar packs of drugs per container and in total; and how many drugs with two or three formulations or more come in one calendar package;(2) how much is paid by the NHS as a container allowance for drugs per prescription and in total; what percentage of drugs are not dispensed prepacked; and what percentage of packaged products are repackaged by pharmacists.

    The container allowance is an average figure calculated on the basis of an annual inquiry. The inquiry takes account of the fact that not every prescription item needs a container. The resulting allowance—currently 6·5p—is then paid out for every prescription item, including where more than one formulation is contained in a calendar pack. The British National Formulary for March 1993 lists 19 calendar packs containing more than one formulation. In 1992–93, the cost of the container allowance in England was £18·8 million. Information about the percentage of drugs not dispensed in nre-packaged form or about packaged products that are then re-packaged by pharmacists is not available.

    Market Testing

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much the market-testing programme has cost her Department since November 1992.

    The 'Department's market testing programme cost just over £870,000 up to the end of March 1993, the latest date for which figures are available. This includes consultancy costs, staff costs and associated overheads. Separate costs for the period from November 1992 are not available.

    Eye Tests

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health what are the estimated savings made in 1992–93as a result of the introduction of a charge for sight tests.

    We estimate that the savings made in 1992–93 a result of restricting the categories of people eligible for a national health service sight test were £100 million.

    Hospital Waiting Times

    To ask the Secretary of State for health what guidelines exist for calculating the waiting times for patients who have been given an opportunity to transfer to an other hospital for treatment.

    Guidance on the calculation of the waiting times is given in "The Data Manual—Module 1 Hospital Services"—a copy of which is available in the Library.

    Yorkshire Regional Health Authority

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will set out, in 1992 prices, the total amount spent by the Yorkshire regional health authority on press and public relations in (a) 1989–90, (b) 1990–91, (c) 1991–92 and (d) 1992–93.

    [holding answer 16 June 1993]: The information available for health authorities within the Yorkshire region is shown in the table. The figures for 1991–92 are not fully comparable with those for earlier years. The 1991–92 figure for district health authorities includes substantial publicity expenses on health promotion. Equivalent figures For 1992–93 will be available late this year.

    Expenditure on public relations (at 1992–93 prices)
    YearYorkshire regional health authority£Yorkshire district health authorities£Yorkshire region total£
    1989–90113,90773,794187,701
    1990–91112,14775,692187,839
    1991–92187,985297,808485,793

    Source: Annual accounts (1989–90/1990–91) and annual financial returns (1991–92) of the Yorkshire Regional Health Authority

    (RHA) and District Health Authorities (DHAs) comprising the Yorkshire Region.

    Notes:

    1. The figures represent the pay and other costs of public relations departments and have been expressed at 1992–93 prices by the use of gross domestic product deflators.

    2. The increased expenditure by the RHA is in part due to a change in accounting policy. The aggregate expenditure by DHAs excludes costs incurred by first wave NHS trusts from which equivalent information was not collected.

    Wales

    Sheltered Housing

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many units of sheltered housing have been provided for the elderly in Wales for each year since 1979; and if he will make a statement.

    The number of new sheltered dwellings completed in each year for which information is available is given in the table.

    Sheltered housing for the elderly
    Total dwellings completed
    1984193
    1985136
    1986417
    1987577
    1988266
    1989226
    1990467
    1991439
    1992260

    Source: Local authority returns.

    In addition, local authority conversions to sheltered dwellings were as follows:

    Local authority sheltered housing for the elderly

    Dwellings resulting from conversion or improvement

    198419
    19850
    198623
    198744
    198831
    198916
    19904
    199155
    199237

    Source: Local authority returns.

    Information on conversions for the private sector and for housing associations are not available centrally.

    Nhs Trusts

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will ensure in considering the application for the setting up of the Derwen NHS trust that there will be a facility for the treatment of the in-patient adolescent mentally ill in a unit other than that occupied by adults.

    Patient care services provided by NHS trusts must respond directly to the priorities set by commissioners of health care who remain responsible for identifying local health needs and then arranging for those needs to be met.The sponsors of the trust application have initiated discussions on how best to deliver in-patient services for the adolescent mentally ill separate from that for adults.The decision whether to establish the Derwen NHS trust will take account of the representations received during the public consultation period, alongside the individual merits of the application.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the rationale underlying the decisions in respect of whether to guarantee Whitley Council terms and conditions to (a) the Derwen NHS Trust staff or (b) the west Wales ambulance service NHS Trust staff.

    The NHS and Community Care Act 1990 provides that staff transferring from health authority to trust employment retain all their contractual and related rights on transfer. Such staff will continue to be subject to nationally negotiated agreements unless they negotiate contracts which exclude them.

    Storm Damage

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what representations he has received on the operation of the Bellwin formula in Wales; and if he will make a statement.

    Adders

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what steps he is taking to warn tourists visiting beaches and sand dunes in West Wales to be aware of the possibility of adders.

    Integrated Administration And Control System

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he made available the integrated administration control system forms to Welsh farmers.

    The forms were issued to all farmers in Wales by first-class post on 2 April 1993

    Household Waste

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Clywd, North-West (Mr. Richards), of 15 June, Official Report, column 523, if he wil make it his policy to establish arrangements to allow his Department to gather data on the collection of household waste that is recycled in Wales.

    The Government have been working with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy to devise arrangements for the collection of recycling data. Local authorities in England and Wales have been asked to provide information about recycling rates as part of the institute's 1991–92 waste collection and disposal surveys. I understand that the results of these surveys will be published shortly.

    Local Government Reforms

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what action he will take against those local authorities in Wales that boycott the local government reforms to take place in 1995; and if he will make a statement.

    I regret that some authorities have apparently decided not to participate in discussions about the reorganisation. I hope that they will come to see that the best interests of their staff and the public they serve lie in some co-operation.

    Health Screening

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what measures are being taken in Wales to encourage men to take advantage of health screening facilities; and if he will make a statement.

    Arrangements for health-screening measures for men are incorporated in the GP contract. This provides for both opportunistic and systematic screening with the arrangements focusing particularly on coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes and asthma.Each participating general practice is required to submit an annual programme of health promotion activities to its family health services authority. These activities must be designed to meet the individual needs of the practice population. The level of payment for the programmes varies according to the extent of activity provided.There are separate fixed payments per GP for organising a programme of chronic disease management for diabetes or for asthma.All patients also have a right to a health check by their GP in circumstances where they have not had a consultation with their doctor within the last three years.In addition, many employers offer regular health screening through their private occupational health schemes.

    Scotland

    Ferries

    To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what amount originally allocated in the 1992–93 expenditure plans for the tariff rebate subsidy for ferries to the Scottish islands was subsequently reallocated to support other public services; and if he will make a statement.

    [ holding answer 30 June 1993] : Provision was made, through the tariff rebate subsidy scheme, for a total of £7·607 million in 1992–93 to support shipping services to the Scottish islands. The total amount actually paid to meet claims was £6·578 million. The remaining £1·029 million was redistributed to meet other priority needs within Scottish Office programmes. The Scottish Office fulfilled its contractual obligations to meet claims up to the level of each shipping operator's capping level in 1992–93.

    Mussels

    To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the weight in tonnes and the value of mussel landings annually at Scottish ports from 1968; and if he will provide information on the mussel fishing effort by port over the same period.

    [holding answer 1 July 1993]: The weight and value of mussel landings into Scottish ports for the years 1968 to 1992 are set out in the table. Effort data are not available.

    Mussels
    YearWeightValue £
    19684158,100
    19692926,400
    19702113,600
    19712938,600
    197251510,800
    197356713,400
    197456917,300
    197570419,800
    197675023,600
    197788926,400
    197892236,200
    197981933,700
    198052631,600
    198114618,000
    1982507,900
    1983336,500
    1984234,700
    198531225,300
    19861,333147,500
    198738454,100
    19881,224119,000
    19891,063138,300
    19901,468193,400
    19912,794417,900
    19923,067640,400
    Weight = Standard landed weight tonnes (metric).

    Attorney-General

    Guildford And Woolwich Bombings

    To ask the Attorney-General what was the cost of the prosecution of the three Surrey police officers recently tried for their role in the Guildford and Woolwich case.

    The total cost of the prosecution of the three Surrey police officers cannot yet be ascertained. Payments made by the Crown prosecution service so far in relation to this case amount to £263,440·80 including VAT. 'This covers counsel fees, copying costs and obtaining transcripts. The full cost to the prosecution is still being assessed.The above figure does not include related costs incurred by other agencies, such as the police and the Lord Chancellor's Department.

    Agriculture, Fisheries And Food

    Days At Sea

    To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many fishing vessels have been given provisional days at sea allocations in (a) England, (b) Cornwall and (c) Devon; and how many owners in each category have lodged claims.

    Provisional days at sea allocations were issued in respect of 1,582 fishing vessels administered by Fisheries Offices in England. Of these, 305—including 64 Channel Islands vessels—are administered by the South Western fisheries district (Devon, Somerset and Avon), and 224 by the Western fisheries district (Cornwall).By 25 June 1993, applications for additional days at sea had been received in respect of 1,323 fishing vessels administered in England. Of these 255—including 44 Channel Islands vessels—are administered by the South Western fisheries district and 209 by the Western district.

    Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

    Yugoslavia

    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what confirmed information UNMO or AWACS has provided of the origin, route, destinations, manoeuvring, speed or height of three aircraft alleged to have dropped bombs on the village of Gladovici on 13 March; and whether the aircraft were tracked.

    On 13 March at 1615 hours, GMT United Nations personnel observed one biplane and two monoplanes flying over the two villages of Gladovici and Osatica, 8 km south-east of Srebrenica. The biplanes and one monoplane circled Gladovici, dropped three bombs each, then flew over the Drina river towards Serbia. The other monoplane circled Osatica and dropped three bombs before flying towards Serbia. The aircraft were not tracked by AWACS.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the serial numbers of three aircraft alleged to have bombed Gladovici in Bosnia-Herzegovina on 13 March.

    We have no information on the serial numbers of the aircraft observed bombing Gladovici on 13 March.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether United Kingdom personnel in the village of Gladovici in Bosnia-Herzegovina on 13 March were able to indicate the colours of three propeller-driven aircraft flying overhead at 1615 hours.

    There were no United Kingdom personnel in Gladovici on 13 March. United Nations reports give no information on the origins of the aircraft observed bombing Gladovici.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether AWACS aircraft were operational and monitoring the no-fly zone over Bosnia-Herzegovina between 1600 hours and 1630 hours on 13 March.

    East Timor

    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to urge the Indonesian Government to allow international observers access to Xanana Gusmao and all East Timorese political prisoners.

    We take every opportunity, with our Community partners, to urge the Indonesian authorities to allow regular access to Gusmao and other prisoners by representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

    El Salvador

    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has on the incident on 20 May involving El Salvadorean police during a demonstration calling for implementation of aspects of the peace accord; and what steps Her Majesty's Government have taken.

    We understand that investigations are continuing into the circumstances that led to the tragic death of a demonstrator in San Salvador on 20 May. We and the other EC member states have repeatedly urged the Salvadorean Government to complete implementation of the peace agreements, including the full deployment of the new national civilian police, as soon as possible.

    Value added per head in manufacturing industry
    Current Prices
    Year£ United kingdomPer cent.FF FrancePer cent.DM GermanyPer cent.Y Thous. JapanPer cent.$ USAPer cent.
    19799,6896,383
    198010,80011·57,19612·740,077
    198112,47115·5142,50578,8707,4723·844,29610·5
    198214,16713·6161,77413·583,5125·97,8505·146,3204·6
    198316,15714·0181,05611·989,1206·77,694-2·050,5499·1
    198316,157181,05689,1207,69450,549
    198417,5708·7198,1679·594,8416·48,68012·855,1349·1
    198519,2289·4220,49211·399,3414·79,0364·157,1913·7
    198620,8538·5243,76010·6101,1531·88,944-1·060,7156·2
    198723,14811·0255,3324·7104,5473·49,4285·465,8888·5
    198825,48310·1280,5489·9111,2906·410,2168·470,0066·2
    198927,7699·0296,6565·7116,4474·610,9717·473,5915·1
    It has not been possible in the time available to obtain figures for all of the time series back to 1979. The published statistics do not include an average for all OECD countries.

    Import Penetration

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 27 May, Official Report, column 663, what information he has as to the level of import penetration for manufacturers in (a) the United Kingdom, (b) Germany and (c) France, in (i) 1973, (ii) 1979 and (iii) June 1989.

    Figures for United Kingdom manufactured import penetration in 1979 and 1989 have been published in table 15.10 of the "Monthly Digest of Statistics". Figures for 1973 were published in an article in the August 1977 edition of "Economic Trends", which also described the basis of the estimates. Corresponding figures for other countries can be approximated using data published in "OECD Statistics of Foreign Trade" and "OECD National Accounts Volume 2". These publications are all available from the Library of the House.

    National Finance

    Manufacturing

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish figures showing the level of real value added in manufacturing per person employed, according to annual percentage growth for the periods (a) 1979 to 1983 and (b) 1983 to 1989 for (i) the United Kingdom, (ii) France, (iii) West Germany, (iv) Japan, (v) the United States of America and (vi) the average of all OECD countries.

    The information requested for OECD countries is contained in "Industrial Structure Statistics" published by OECD, Paris, copies of which are available from the Library of the House for the period up to 1990. Except for France, the published figures are available at current prices only. For other countries they could be provided at constant prices only at disproportionate cost. The published statistics on value added and employment can be used to produce value added figures per person employed, expressed at current prices only. These are set out in the table.

    Mr Michael Allcock

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when Mr. Allcock, head of Inland Revenue special office 2 was suspended; what were the reasons for this action; when he expects a conclusion to inquiries regarding Mr. Allcock to be reached; and what is the role of Inland Revenue special office 2.

    I refer the hon. Member to the answers I gave on these matters to the hon. Member for Newcastle upon Tyne, Central (Mr. Cousins) on 30 June, at column 505. Mr. Allcock was suspended from duty pending the inquiries being carried out by the Metropolitan police. I am not able to say when a conclusion to these inquiries is expected to be reached.

    Public Bodies

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the names, occupations and current employers of those who currently hold positions in each public body to which he makes appointments; if he will make a statement on the considerations taken into account when making such appointments; and if he will list details of the posts and salaries or allowances payable which have changed since the publication of "Public Bodies 1992".

    [ holding answer 25 June 1993 ] : Candidates for appointments to bodies for which the Chancellor is responsible are nominated from a number of sources including the public appointments unit, professional institutes and other Government Departments.

    AppointmentRemuneration
    £
    Building Societies CommissionMr. N. Fox Bassett17,000
    Central Statistical Office Management BoardMrs. M. Berg3,000*
    Mr. P. Thornton3,000*
    Retail Price Advisory CommitteeMr. L. D. PriceNil
    Royal Mint Advisory CommitteeDr. C. SwanNil
    Royal Mint Management BoardMr. J. Burnett-Stuart3,120
    Mr. S. Cameron3,120
    Securities and Investment BoardMr. J. YoungSalary is a matter for the SIB
    Treasury Academic PanelProfessor H. Peseran110 per diem
    VAT TribunalsMr. M. M. Hossain138 per diem
    Mr. R. S. Suri138 per diem

    Overseas Development Administration

    Croatia

    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions have taken place between Her Majesty's Government and EC Governments to increase and guarantee funds from which the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Croatia pay monthly sums to Croatian families who agree to accommodate refugees and displaced persons; what is the total of such monthly payments; what guarantees have been given to UNHCR about how long such funds will be available; and if he will make a statement.

    [holding answer 1 July 1993]: The UNHCR has provided grants to Croatian families who accommodate refugees and displaced people to match those paid by the Croatian Government. The UNHCR has allocated some 18 million for this year of which some £3·3 million has been spent. The continuing needs of this programme, together with other needs in the former Yugoslavia, will be considered in detail at an UNHCR meeting of all donors, including EC Governments, in Geneva on 16 July.

    Trade And Industry

    Nuclear Safety

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade what is his estimate of the amounts of low and intermediate level nuclear wastes that would be stored in the United Kingdom if the British Nuclear Fuels plc proposal for nuclear waste substitution is accepted.

    Appointments are made on the basis of relevant experience and qualifications. No details are kept of board members' current occupations and employers.

    The posts and salaries/allowances which have changed since the publication of "Public Bodies 1992" are listed in the table. Those marked with an asterisk denote salary/allowance changes only.

    The amounts of such wastes that would be retained in the United Kingdom depend on the extent to which customers accept any substitution proposals BN FL may be authorised to make.

    Internal Market Council

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement about the outcome of the meeting of the Internal Market Council on 14 June in Luxembourg.

    I attended the final Internal Market Council of the Danish presidency in Luxembourg on 14 June.I succeeded in securing a five-year derogation from the 74 kW power limit for motor cycles sold within the European Community. The derogation will allow the continued sale and registration in the United Kingdom of machines up to 92 kW until the beginning of the next century. Owners of these motor cycles will be able to ride them beyond the year 2000 for the lifetime of the machines, and will be able to do so when visiting other member states. Separately, three and a half years after the directive's adoption, the Commission will report to the Council on the latest accident data, and, if appropriate, propose amendments to the directive to reflect motor cycle safety records.The United Kingdom secured its objectives in a common position which was reached on copyright duration. This will remove market distortions arising from disparities between the periods for which copyright and related rights are protected in member states. A common position was also reached on the second amendment to the machinery directive. Construction site hoists will be excluded from its scope, but should be included in proposals for the separate lifts directive.Measures on setting up future systems for the free movement of medicinal products were finally adopted, subject only to a temporary German scrutiny reserve.

    Other measures agreed included adoption of a programme for small and medium sized enterprises; adoption of an amendment to measures covering medical devices and cosmetic products; and a common position on CE marking. Political agreement was obtained on the regulation for Community co-ordination in drawing up business registers for statistical purposes.

    The presidency reported progress on a regulation on mutual assistance for customs and agriculture which aims to prevent fraud in the operation of legislation covering these two areas. There was also discussion on a Commission communication on the operation of the internal market; trans-European networks; a proposed pension fund directive; amendments to directive 83/189 on notification on new technical regulations by member states; footwear labelling; dual use goods; and EC accession to the European Pharmacopoeia. The Commission also noted that it intended to produce a proposal on hallmarking in the Community before August.

    The next formal meeting of the Internal Market Council is scheduled for Monday 27 September, and will be the first under the Belgian presidency.

    United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade whether the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority has produced a second response to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission's report on the service provided by the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority; and if he will make a statement.

    I have today placed in the Library of the House the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority's—AEA—second response to the report by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission—MMC—which was published in May 1992.I am pleased that the AEA has now implemented the great majority of the MMC's recommendations. This should lead to sustained improvements in efficiency.Of the recommendations the M MC made to the Government, recommendation 3—board bonus scheme—was taken into account when the scheme for 1993–94 was drawn up; recommendation 9—return on capital employed—and 33—restructuring—will be taken into account at the appropriate time. I also announced on 1 April,

    Official Report, column 407, in line with the MMC's recommendation (1) that there should be a further review of strategic options for the AEA, that independent consultants were being appointed to consider the practicality of privatisation and the main options. We will continue to monitor the AEA's progress in implementing the recommendations and I will report further progress to the House in due course.

    Market Testing

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade how much the market-testing programme has cost his Department since November 1992.

    Since November 1992, the cost of market testing in my Department is some £1,133,000. This covers direct staff costs and consultants brought in to add private sector skills.

    Collieries

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he intends to appoint an independent assessor, who is not employed by British Coal, to license British Coal collieries.

    Pakistan

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade what recent representations he has received from companies in the textile machinery sector about Export Credits Guarantee Department provisions for trade with Pakistan.

    [holding answer 1 July 1993]: My right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade has received no such representations recently.

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement outlining the steps which he is currently taking to assist British companies to win contracts for exports to Pakistan.

    [holding awswer 1 July 1993]: Exporters to Pakistan have access to the full range of Government trade promotion services. My Department, in recognition of the importance of the Pakistan market, has designated it as a particular target for our trade promotion efforts. We are arranging a series of seminars and workshops to advise companies on areas of opportunity, on how to win business and on available sources of finance. Recruitment for three DTI-sponsored missions to Pakistan later this year is currently taking place. Finally, we are aiming to appoint in the near future an export promoter specifically to cover Pakistan.

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he has any plans to increase the availability of ECGD cover for trade with Pakistan.

    [holding answer 1 July 1993]: A review of ECGD policy towards cover for Pakistan is scheduled for the autumn.

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade what information he has concerning comparisons between the United Kingdom's provisions of ECGD cover for trade with Pakistan, and the provisions made by other countries within the European Economic Community.

    [holding answer 1 July 1993]: Recent exchanges with European export credit agencies suggest that, in common with ECGD, they generally adopt a relatively cautious attitude to support for medium and long-term business.

    Rechar

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade what estimate his Department has made of the effect of the depreciation of sterling against the ecu since September 1992 on the level of sterling receipts for the RECHAR programme in 1993–94; and if he will make a statement.

    [holding answer 30 June 1993]: RECHAR is part of European regional development fund and European social fund expenditure under the European structural funds. Any estimate of the level of sterling receipts in 1993–94 would be subject to the uncertainties referred to in the replies given by my right hon. Friend the Paymaster General on 16 June, Official Report, column 613 and 21 June, Official Report, column 15.

    Consultancy Contracts

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his answer of 16 June, Official Report, columns 605–6, what is the total cost of all the consultancy contracts listed.

    [holding answer 30 June 1993]: The total cost of all consultancy contracts listed is £3,300,635. This figure includes extensions and amendments to the contracts where applicable.

    British Nuclear Fuels Plc

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade what was the total cost of considering, assessing and approving corporate plans put forward by BNFL.

    [holding answer 22 June 1993]: The information is not available in the form requested.