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Written Answers

Volume 281: debated on Tuesday 16 July 1996

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Written Answers To Questions

Tuesday 16 July 1996

Northern Ireland

Taxi Fares

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much his Department spent in meeting the costs of taxi cab fares in the 1995–96 financial year. [36015]

In the departments of economic development, education, finance and personnel and the Northern Ireland Office a total of £81,959 was spent in meeting the costs of taxi cab fares in the 1995–96 financial year. To provide this information for the departments of the environment, health and social services and agriculture would incur disproportionate cost.

Mr Colin Duffy

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to his answer of 3 July, Official Report, columns 477–78, what payments have been made by the RUC to Mr. Colin Duffy; and on what dates. [36264]

Prime Minister

National Debt

10.

To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on trends in the level of national debt since 1990. [35821]

There are a number of different measures of public debt. On the measure used for the European Union excessive deficits procedure, the general Government gross debt—GGGD/GDP—ratio remains lower than any other EU member state apart from Luxembourg and France.Since 1991, the GGGD/GDP ratio has averaged 44 per cent. Under the last Labour Government, the GGGD/GDP ratio averaged 62 per cent.

European Court Of Justice

To ask the Prime Minister what assessments he has made of the (a) advantages and (b) disadvantages to the United Kingdom of the European Court of Justice. [37734]

The advantages and disadvantages to the United Kingdom of the European Court of Justice were set out in the White Paper, "A Partnership of Nations".

Engagements

To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Tuesday 16 July. [36062]

To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Tuesday 16 July. [36063]

This morning I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in the House I shall be having further meetings later today.

Berlin Bombing 1986

To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Southend, East (Sir T. Taylor) of 24 June, Official Report, column 14, what discussions Her Majesty's Government have had with (a) the German, (b) the Lebanese and (c) the United States authorities about the activities of Yassar al-Shuraidi alias Yousef-Salam; and if he will make a statement. [36926]

We have had occasional contact with the German and United States' authorities about the activities of Yassar al-Shuraidi alias Yousef Salam, but not with the Lebanese authorities, with whom there is no reason to do so.Bilateral discussions are conducted on the basis of confidence and trust between interlocutors. The substance of such discussions cannot be made public.

Environment

Sewage Treatment, Isle Of Wight

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the deadline for an application from Southern Water for the transfer of flows from Woodvale, Cowes, Ryde and Norton to Sandown; and what alterations to the treatment of sewage for these outfalls would be required to comply with the EC urban wastewater treatment directive if they are not so transferred. [36820]

The urban waste water treatment directive requires appropriate treatment to be provided by the end of 2000. If the discharges form Woodvale, Cowes, Ryde and Norton are transferred out of the Solent then an application will have to be submitted in order to meet this deadline. If the discharges remain in the Solent secondary treatment will be required for each of them and they will have to comply with the same timescale.

Sandown Bay

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what studies the Environment Agency is undertaking of the sub-surface current in Sandown bay. [36845]

All studies relevant to the assessment of continual high natural dispersion area status at Sandown bay are being undertaken by Southern Water Services. These are comprehensive in accordance with national guidelines and include modelling of water movement. The Environment Agency will assess these studies and will not certify that HNDA status can continue unless it is satisfied that the results justify this response.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the difference in the designation of the waters of the Solent and Sandown bay so far as future treatment requirements are concerned. [36821]

Sandown bay is designated as a high natural dispersion area. The directive allows for a minimum of primary treatment for discharges into high natural dispersion areas, subject to comprehensive studies, currently being conducted, demonstrating that primary treated discharges will not adversely affect the environment. If this is not demonstrated by the studies, secondary treatment will be required. The Solent is not designated as a high natural dispersion area. Sewage discharges into the Solent serving a population equivalent of greater than 2,000 would be subject to secondary treatment.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects the four-yearly review of the designation of Sandown bay as a high natural dispersion area to be completed. [36819]

In accordance with the deadline stipulated in the Urban Waste Water Treatment (England and Wales) Regulations 1994, the first four yearly review of the designation of Sandown bay as a high natural dispersion area is proposed to be completed by the end of 1997.

Eye Tests

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many representations the Health and Safety Executive has received in each of the last five years from employees concerned that their employer has not ensured that they have their eyes tested in accordance with regulations; how many of these inquiries have led to prosecutions; and if he will make a statement. [37079]

Information on representations from employees concerning eye tests is not readily available in the form requested. No prosecutions have been brought by the Health and Safety Executive concerning the provision of eye tests.

Isle Of Wight (Expenditure)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the total annual expenditure of his Department on the Isle of Wight, including the cost of administration. [36914]

The annual expenditure of my Department on the Isle of Wight during the year 1995–96 was over £69 million.The indicative or planned expenditure for 19961995–97 is over £71 million.

These figures include:

1995–96 £

1996–97 £

Housing investment programme allocation1,797,0001,616,000
Revenue support grant40,369,00039,880,000
Non-domestic rates26,855,00030,019,000
Regional innovation grant (approximately)80,00080,000
SRB challenge fundNil169,000

River Thames Working Party

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the members of the River Thames working party indicating who appointed them; and what salary and expenses they are paid. [37197]

The Thames advisory group provides advice to the Secretary of State for the Environment on a range of issues relating to the River Thames. It is chaired by the Secretary of State and its members are: the Minister for Transport in London, Alan Baxter, Michael Cassidy, Sir Philip Dowson, Paul Finch, Councillor Nicky Gavron, Christopher Howes, Simon Jenkins, Stuart Lipton, Richard MacCormac, Christopher Moran, Sir Richard Rogers, Eric Sorensen, Stewart Steven and Kim Wilkie. Members are appointed by invitation of the Secretary of State and receive no salary or expenses.The River Thames working group considers transport issues related to the Thames. It is chaired by the Minister for Transport in London and its members are: David Bayliss, Robin Clement, David Jeffery, Fred Manson, Eric Sorensen and Irving Yass. Members are appointed by invitation of the Minister and receive no salary or expenses.

Parliamentary Questions

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answer of 14 March, Official Report, column 694 about parliamentary questions, what method would be used by his Department in collating the information requested. [37540]

The examination of about 36,5421 files dating back to 1987–88.

1 Source: POLIS.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answer of 28 March, Official report, column 710, about parliamentary questions, what method would be used by his Department in collating the information requested. [37526]

The examination of about 30,7741 files dating back to 1988–89.

1 Source: POLIS.

Limestone Pavements

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his letter G/PSO/8040/96 to the hon. Member for Linlithgow, what assessment he has made of the success of the Limestone pavement action group's attempts to raise public awareness of the problem of vandalism against limestone pavements and the campaign to highlight the alternative rockery materials available; and if he will make a statement. [36646]

None. The Government are content that the provisions under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to protect limestone pavements are adequate. However, the limestone pavement action group's efforts to draw the public's attention to the need to conserve this important habitat are welcome.

Residential Apartments

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the companies who lease residential apartments at Birmingham Heartlands, Black Country, London Docklands, Merseyside development corporation, Trafford Park and Tyne and Wear; and if he will make a statement. [37544]

Lists of the companies which lease residential apartments in these areas are not held by the respective urban development corporations.

Ordnance Survey

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to publish the Ordnance Survey strategic plan for 1996–2001. [37408]

I have approved the Ordnance Survey strategic plan for 1996–2001 and have arranged for copies to be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Queen Elizabeth Ii Conference Centre

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what performance targets he has set the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre executive agency for 1996–97.

The agency's principal target for 1996–97 is to achieve a net operating surplus, excluding rent, of £493,000, after trading costs, and non-cash and notional costs, or of £1.03 million gross operating surplus.The agency's other main targets are:

  • a) to achieve total revenue of £6.297 million;
  • b) to increase the proportion of events with more than 200 delegates to 26 per cent.;
  • c) to increase the proportion of target revenue achieved six months in advance to 50 per cent.;
  • d) to achieve at least four out of the following five quality of service targets:
    • an overall score for quality of service in client questionnaires of at least 77 per cent.;
    • 99 per cent. of clients completing the client questionnaire to report that they would use the centre again;
    • the number of complaints received to be less than five per 100 events;
    • to achieve an average response time in dealing with complaints of less than 10 working days;
    • and to achieve at least one major industry award.

    These targets reflect the agency's successful bid in the recent market test of the management of the conference centre, whose outcome was announced on Thursday 13 February 1996, Official Report, column 483.

    Duchy Agricultural College

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to issue the written confirmation relating to the Duchy agricultural college, Stock Climsland application, SWP/2005/27/135, for European regional development funding; and if he will make a statement. [37250]

    [holding answer 15 July 1996]: I expect the Government office for the south west to be in a position to issue a decision very shortly.

    Duchy Of Lancaster

    Administrative Grade Personnel

    To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what was the number of administrative grade personnel in each Government Department employed (a) before and (b) after planned completion of the de-layering scheme. [36699]

    The number of staff in unified grades 1 to 7 fell from 17,500 on 1 April 1994 to 14,900 on 1 April 1996. Departmental senior management reviews are still being implemented.

    Her Majesty's Stationery Office

    To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will make a statement on progress of the sale of HMSO. [37872]

    Following the first phase of analysis of the bids for HMSO, I have invited three of the shortlisted bidders to continue in the competition. These are,

    an independent consortium backed by Mercury Asset Management, 3i and Capita;
    National Publishing Group, a consortium led by Electra Fleming; and
    Westminster Information Systems led by NatWest Ventures.
    It is the Government's intention, subject to meeting the safeguards required by Parliament, to identify one of these three as preferred bidder by early August and to complete the sale as planned during the summer when an order will be introduced under section 6 of the Government Trading Funds Act 1973, as amended, to wind up the HMSO trading fund.

    Security Classifications

    To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what are his Department's definitions of the security classifications "secret", "confidential", "restricted" and "unclassified". [37614]

    Following the review of protective security, the classification system for identifying sensitive official information or material was replaced on 4 April 1994 by the protective marking system, as announced by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 23 March 1994, Official Report, columns 259–60. The protective marking system contains four protective markings, the definitions of which are as follows:

    Top secret
    The compromise of this information or material would be likely: to threaten directly the internal stability of the UK or friendly countries; to lead directly to widespread loss of life; to cause exceptionally grave damage to the effectiveness or security of UK or allied forces or to the continuing effectiveness of extremely valuable security or intelligence operations; to cause exceptionally grave damage to relations with friendly Governments; to cause severe long-term damage to the UK economy.
    Secret
    The compromise of this information or material would be likely: to raise international tension; to damage seriously relations with friendly Governments; to threaten life directly, or seriously prejudice public order, or individual security or liberty; to cause serious damage to the operational effectiveness or security of UK or allied forces or the continuing effectiveness of highly valuable security or intelligence operations; to cause substantial material damage to national finances or economic and commercial interests.
    Confidential
    The compromise of this information or material would be likely: materially to damage diplomatic relations (i.e. cause formal protest or other sanction); to prejudice individual security or liberty; to cause damage to the operational effectiveness or security of UK or allied forces or the effectiveness of valuable security or intelligence operations; to work substantially against national finances or economic and commercial interests; substantially to undermine the financial viability of major organisations; to impede the investigation or facilitate the commission of serious crime; to impede seriously the development or operation of major government policies; to shut down or otherwise substantially disrupt significant national operations.
    Restricted
    The compromise of this information or material would be likely: to affect diplomatic relations adversely; to cause substantial distress to individuals; to make it more difficult to maintain the operational effectiveness or security of UK or allied forces; to cause financial loss or loss of earning potential to or facilitate improper gain or advantage for individuals or companies; to prejudice the investigation or facilitate the commission of crime; to breach proper undertakings to maintain the confidence of information provided by third parties; to impede the effective development or operation of government policies; to breach statutory restrictions on disclosure of information; to disadvantage Government in commercial or policy negotiations with others; to undermine the proper management of the public sector and its operations.
    The term "unclassified" was not formally a classification but could be used to indicate positively that information or material did not carry a classification. Under the current arrangements, the corresponding term is "No Protective Marking".

    Transport

    West Coast Main Line

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what upgrades are planned on the west coast main line. [36825]

    Railtrack is currently assessing the likely costs and feasibilities for a wide variety of options for upgrading the west coast main line. These include increasing the line speed over all or part of the route and the introduction of new rolling stock, possibly utilising tilt technology. Advanced signalling systems are also being considered.Once this assessment work has been completed a decision will be made on the specification for any upgrade project.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what will be the maximum speed for trains on the west coast main line by the year 2000. [36826]

    Any work undertaken to upgrade the west coast main line will not have been completed by the year 2000. The maximum line speed will therefore be 110mph, as it is now.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport by what year, on current projections, a rail journey will take (a) two hours between London and Manchester, (b) four hours between London and Glasgow and (c) one hour and forty-five minutes between London and Crewe. [36828]

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what instructions he has given to the Office of Passenger Rail Franchising to issue tender documents in respect of the upgrading of the west coast main line. [36824]

    The franchising director has invited and received, on 12 July, applications to pre-qualify for the InterCity west coast franchise. He will issue invitations to tender, including any relevant proposals for taking forward the upgrade of the west coast main line, in due course.

    Motorways (Interval Chevrons)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, in respect of the study commissioned by his Department into the use of interval chevrons on motorways and receipt in 1995 of project report 118 of the Transport Research Laboratory, when Ministers were informed of the results and recommendations of its authors, which recommendations he accepts, what further studies have been carried out, with what results, what steps have been taken to publicise the findings and what action he has taken to authorise their (i) adoption and (ii) additional extensive trials. [37076]

    TRL report PR118 described the results of trials at two particular sites, and indicated that in certain conditions chevrons could bring benefits. This was further reported in the October 1995 edition of "Traffic Engineering and Control". Opportunity for further trials will depend on the suitability of site conditions. Chevrons would normally have to be installed in tandem with other maintenance operations to avoid unnecessary disruption to traffic. The Highways Agency is in the process of identifying possible monitoring sites.

    Catalytic Converters

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what research has been carried out by the Transport Research Laboratory on the problem of cold-start emissions from catalytic converters; [37011](2) what assessment he has made of the results of research undertaken by the Transport Research Laboratory on the performance of catalytic converters in service in reducing harmful vehicle emissions. [37012]

    The research carried out by the Transport Research Laboratory has confirmed that three-way catalytic converters reduce harmful emissions by around 80 per cent. However, this research has also shown that the emissions occurring during the first three minutes after the car is started from cold, approach those of cars which are not equipped with catalysts.Tighter standards applicable from 1 January 1997 will significantly improve catalyst warm-up times to reduce cold start emissions. Even tighter standards, now being proposed by the European Commission for 2000, coupled with changes to the certification test cycle, will encourage further improvements.

    Transport And Works Act

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the target time scale for dealing with applications under the Transport and Works Act 1992 following receipt of the inspector's report; and what current delays there are in processing such applications. [37003]

    In cases where a public inquiry is held, the target time scale is to issue the decision letter not later than six months from the receipt of the inspector's report. This time scale may be exceeded because of pressure of other work, though the staffing of the processing unit is kept under review with the target in mind, or because of the difficulty or complexity of a particular case.

    Greater Manchester Light Rapid Transport System

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what factors underlie the delay in respect of his decision on the Greater Manchester (Light Rapid Transport System) (Eccles Extension) Order. [37001]

    I regret that, because of pressure of other work, the target time scale of six months from receipt of the inspector's report to the issue of the Secretary of State's decision letter has not been achieved in this case. We are dealing with the order application as quickly as practicable and hope to issue a decision letter within the next four or six weeks.

    Highways Agency

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many contractors and consultants to the Highways Agency have been kept waiting for over two months for their accounts to be settled; what interest penalties the agency is liable to pay; and what payments have been made to date. [36898]

    I have asked the chief executive of the Highways Agency to write to the hon. Member.

    Letter from Lawrie Haynes to Mr. Gerry Steinberg, dated 16 July 1996:

    The Secretary of State for Transport has asked me to reply to your recent question about payments to contractors and consultants.
    Interests payments of £28,000 were made to eleven contractors and consultants in relation to invoices for new construction work received during 1995–96 where the contractual payment date was exceeded. All interest payments claimed have been paid in full. Information relating specifically to delays of over two months would only be available at disproportionate cost.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many redundancies have taken place in the Highways Agency in the last two years; how many more he estimates will take place in the next 12 months; and what factors underlay the redundancies. [36895]

    I have asked the chief executive of the Highways Agency to write to the hon. Member.

    Letter from Lawrie Haynes to Mr. Gerry Steinberg, dated 16 July 1996:

    The Secretary of State for Transport has asked me to reply to your recent question asking how many redundancies have taken place in the Highways Agency in the last two years; how many more he estimates will take place in the next 12 months; and what factors underlay the redundancies.
    594 redundancies have taken place in the Highways Agency in the last two financial years. The bulk of these have come about as a consequence of the restructuring of the Highways Agency which was announced in March 1995, and a 20% efficiency gains exercise which was carried out concurrently. We anticipate further redundancies in this financial year mainly as a result of a further review, which commenced in November 1995, into the organisation and staffing needs of the Highways Agency in the light of reduced funding. The number will be determined when work on the implementation of the review's conclusions is completed.

    Cycling Policy

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the organisations he consulted prior to his speech of 10 July concerning his policy for cycling; and what role he envisages for the National Cycling Forum additional to that already performed by the former departmental steering group in its development of national cycling strategy. [37343]

    The steering group which developed the national cycling strategy comprised representative of the following:

    the Association of County Councils, the Association of District Councils, the Association of London Government, the Association of Metropolitan Authorities, the Confederation of British Industry, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, the Cyclists' Public Affairs Group, the Cyclists' Touring Club, the Department of the Environment, the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland, the Department of Health, the Department of Transport, the London Cycling Campaign, the Scottish Office, Transport 2000, and the Welsh Office.
    The steering group sought a wide input of views and contributions to the strategy. Annex 1 of the national cycling strategy lists 65 individuals and organisations who assisted in some way, in addition to the 78 people involved directly in formal steering groups and working groups. Copies of the strategy have been placed in the Library, and I am sending one to my hon. Friend.A statement explaining the purpose, tasks, and outputs of the National Cycling Forum is contained in section 2.5.4 of the strategy.

    Parliamentary Questions

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 26 March, Official Report, column 546, about parliamentary questions, what method would be used by his Department in collating the information requested. [37532]

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 14 March, Official Report, column 727, about parliamentary questions, what method would be used by his Department in collating the information requested. [37533]

    Bus Lane Enforcement

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish the report on the trials of camera-based bus lane enforcement in London. [37441]

    The traffic director for London, who is managing this project, is preparing a report to be published in September this year. I will arrange for a copy to be placed in the Library.

    Scottish Air Traffic Control Centre

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if the preferred bidder procedure as set out in the Treasury's guidelines will be adopted for the new Scottish air traffic control centre; when he expects to announce the name of the preferred bidder; and if he will make a statement. [37342]

    The invitation to participate issued by the Civil Aviation Authority for the Scottish air traffic control centre involves a procedure which is consistent with the Treasury's private finance initiative guidelines. National Air Traffic Services is concerned to ensure that the procedure will avoid unnecessary bidding costs and it will seek to declare a preferred bidder as soon as it is appropriate and prudent to do so. The validity of current offers for this requirement expire on 9 February 1997.

    Bristol-Plymouth-Penzance Rail Link

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a progress report on his Department's application to the European Commission for financial assistance with the funding of a feasibility study for the Bristol-Plymouth-Penzance rail link under the provisions of the trans-European network programme; and if he will make a statement. [37254]

    The TENS finance committee, which is composed of representatives of member states and determines the allocation of funds to projects, is to meet on 25 July. The committee will consider on the basis of member states' bids, which for the United Kingdom includes the feasibility study for the Bristol-Penzance-Plymouth rail link, how the funds available in 1996 should be allocated. We will be pressing the merits of the UK bid at the meeting. I refer my hon. Friend also to the reply given to the hon. Member for North Cornwall (Mr. Tyler) on 8 July, Official Report, column 78–79.

    Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

    Eu Referendums

    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what was (a) the date and (b) the outcome of the latest referendum held in each EU member state on matters relating to the EU. [35828]

    The dates and outcome of the latest referenda held in European Union member states on matters relating to the EU are as follows.

    Outcome
    DateSubjectFor PercentageAgainst Percentage
    AustriaJune 1994EU Accession66.633.4
    BelgiumNever
    DenmarkMay 1993Treaty on European Union56.743.3
    GermanyNever
    GreeceNever
    SpainNever
    FranceSeptember 1992Treaty on European Union51.0148.99
    IrelandJune 1992Treaty on European Union69.0530.95
    ItalyJune 1989European Parliament power to amend the Treaties8812
    LuxembourgNever
    NetherlandsNever
    PortugalNever
    FinlandOctober 1994EU Accession56.943.1
    SwedenNovember 1994EU Accession5248

    Prince Michael Of Kent

    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what visits involving costs to public funds were made abroad in 1995–96 by Prince Michael of Kent; on what dates; at what cost; and which visits were made by use of the Royal squadron. [35965]

    Prince Michael did not undertake any official visits during this period.

    Bosnia

    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what response he has made to the Amnesty International report on Bosnia Herzegovina, "Bury my Brother's Bones", a copy of which has been sent to him. [37435]

    We believe that all those who have committed war crimes should be brought to justice, that the missing should be traced, mass graves exhumed and the bodily remains identified and returned to the next of kin for decent burial. The Government fully support the work of the experts group on exhumations and missing persons and the international criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.Last year we donated £4 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross to help fund its tracing work in former Yugoslavia. We recently donated vehicles to help the international criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia's exhumations currently taking place around Srebrenica.

    Nuclear Weapons

    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 9 July, Official Report, column 107, when he expects to come to a conclusion on the International Court of Justice's opinion on nuclear weapons; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the opinion and the Government's response to it. [37434]

    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the implications of the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice of 8 July in respect of the use of nuclear weapons. [37353]

    The court's advisory opinion is long and complex and we are studying it. But we do not believe that it gives rise to any new factors affecting the fundamentals of United Kingdom and NATO defence policy, including the continuing importance of nuclear deterrence in maintaining peace and stability in Europe.A copy of the court's opinion has been placed in the Library of the House.

    Law Of The Sea Convention

    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the status of Rockall within the UN law of the sea convention 1982; and what plans Her Majesty's Government have to sign the convention. [36950]

    Rockall is an island within the meaning of article 121(1) of the United Nations convention on the law of the sea and has a territorial sea of 12 miles. Measuring British fishing limits from Rockall is believed to be inconsistent with the provision in article 121(3) of UNCLOS that rocks which cannot sustain human habitation or economic life of their own shall have no exclusive economic zone.The Government announced on 20 July 1994 that the United Kingdom would accede to the convention in due course. Timing of the UK's accession remains under review. Parliament will be informed as soon as the Government have taken a decision.

    Home Department

    Slave Trade

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to encourage co-operation between the police and social services to help the victims of the trafficking in human beings. [36564]

    None. This is an operational matter for chief officers of police and social services.

    Toughened Safety Glassware

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make it his policy to issue guidance to magistrates that the use of toughened safety glassware be made a condition of pub and club licences. [36700]

    We have no plans to do so. Licensing authorities already have wide powers under both the liquor and entertainment licensing laws to require the use of toughened glass or synthetic drinking vessels on particular occasions or in particular premises if they consider the circumstances justify them doing so.

    Road Vehicles (Construction And Use) Regulations

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) cautions and (b) prosecutions have been made under regulation 97 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986. [36849]

    Written warnings and prosecutions for offences under regulation 97 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 cannot be separately identified from other offences of causing noise by motor vehicles in the statistics collected centrally.In England and Wales during 1994, the latest year for which statistics are available, there were 560 written warnings issued for noise offences of all types connected with motor vehicles, and 7,823 court proceedings taken. In addition, 735 fixed penalty notices were issued for noise offences during 1994.

    Amusement Arcades

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of British amusement arcade operators are not members of the British Amusement Catering Trades Association; and what restrictions he proposes to apply to access in these venues. [37065]

    The British Amusements Catering Trades Association estimates that 20 per cent. of British amusement arcade operators are not members of the association.The same legal restrictions apply to all amusement arcades irrespective of BACTA membership. The Deregulation (Gaming Machines and Betting Office Facilities) Order 1996, which came into force on 20 June, imposed an age limit of 18 on access to arcades or designated areas within them which have all-cash amusement-with-prizes machines paying up to £10.We have no plans to restrict access to arcades which have no all-cash machines.

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what plans his Department has to introduce a statutory age restriction with regard to the playing of amusement—with—prizes machines; and how this will be enforced; [37063](2) what plans he has in respect of persons of any age having unlimited access to machines with cash prizes of less than £10. [37064]

    The Deregulation (Gaming Machines and Betting Office Facilities) Order 1996 came into force on 20 June. Under this, local authorities can permit amusement-with-prizes machines making all-cash payments up to £10 in arcades or designated parts of arcades which exclude people under age 18. Local authorities also enforce the provisions.Otherwise, these machines are allowed only in licensed betting offices and casinos, which have a statutory prohibition on access by people under 18, and in licensed bingo clubs and liquor licensed premises which are essentially adult environments. The police enforce the relevant age restrictions.We have no plans for a statutory age limit for premises with traditional AWP machines paying up to £4 in cash and £8 in tokens, but local authorities can ban AWP machines from premises such as cafes and leisure centres.

    Drugs (Prisons)

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) when those recommendations outlined in the recently published Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs report, "Drug Misusers and the Prison System-An Integrated Approach" which are to be implemented will come into effect; [37051](2) if he will list the reasons why those recommendations outlined in the recently published Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs report, "Drug Misusers and the Prison System-An Integrated Approach" which are not to be implemented, have been rejected; [37052](3) which of the recommendations outlined in the recently published Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs report, "Drug Misusers and the Prison System-An Integrated Approach" are to be implemented. [37050]

    This report, which we welcome, was published on 13 June. Its 51 recommendations are still being studied. We hope to be able to respond to them by the autumn.

    Gambling

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the draft deregulation orders concerning gambling will be laid before the House. [37060]

    I hope shortly to lay a draft deregulation order extending betting permits and licences from one to three years.We are considering the responses to the consultation paper on casinos and bingo clubs which we issued on 27 February. Subject to the outcome, we aim to bring forward a draft deregulation order to implement some of the proposals when the House returns.

    Buckley Hall Prison

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many serious assaults on staff have occurred in Her Majesty's prison Buckley Hall since 1 June; and what is the total number of assaults on staff that have occurred at the prison since 14 December 1994. [37000]

    Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

    Letter from Richard Tilt to Ms Liz Lynne, dated 16 July 1996:

    The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question on the level of assaults at Buckley Hall prison.
    Since the 1 June 1996 there have been two serious assaults on staff. There have been a total of 30 assaults on staff since 14 December 1994.

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if a copy of the board of visitors' annual report on Her Majesty's prison Buckley Hall for the year ending 31 December 1995 will be placed in the Library. [36780]

    Boards of visitors' annual reports to the Home Secretary are not public documents. However, boards are permitted, if they wish, to publish their annual reports one month after presenting the report to Ministers. The board of visitors at Her Majesty's prison Buckley Hall decided at its June monthly meeting to publish its 1995 report and a copy will therefore be placed in the Library.

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which trade union is recognised by Group 4 at Her Majesty's prison Buckley Hall; and what issues the company is prepared to consult and negotiate with the trade union. [37113]

    Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

    Letter from Richard Tilt to Ms Liz Lynne, dated 16 July 1996:

    The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question asking which trade union is recognised by Group 4 at Buckley Hall prison and what issues the company is prepared to consult and negotiate with the trade union.
    Group 4 has a single union agreement with Apex, a division of the GMB. To quote from the agreement between the union and the company, the general introduction, section D article 1 reads "The company and the union share a common commitment to work jointly together for the prosperity of both the company and its employees, and agree jointly to work towards the adoption of policies on all issues affecting the employment of works which are equitable, safe and fair". Negotiable issues generally encompass pay and conditions of service.

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is (a) the current number and (b) the percentage of the current prison population at HMP Buckley Hall who have been imprisoned for (i) rape, (ii) murder, (iii) armed robbery, (iv) manslaughter and (v) arson. [37057]

    Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

    Letter from Richard Tilt to Ms Liz Lynne, dated 16 July 1996:

    The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about prisoners serving sentences for rape, murder, armed robbery, manslaughter and arson at Buckley Hall Prison.
    On 10 July 1996 there were 340 prisoners at Buckley Hall, of these three have been convicted of rape, none were serving sentences for murder, 14 were serving sentences for robbery with possession of a firearm, five were sentenced on a charge of manslaughter and 11 for arson.
    Convictions for rape accounted for 0.8 per cent. Those for robbery with possession of a firearm were 4.1 per cent, sentences of manslaughter were 1.5 per cent and arson was 3.2 per cent.

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the full pay scales for staff employed at Her Majesty's prison Buckley Hall, showing the number of employees currently employed at each grade. [37112]

    Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

    Letter from Richard Tilt to Ms Liz Lynne, dated 16 July 1996:

    The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question asking for pay scales currently used at Buckley Hall prison.
    Since Buckley Hall is a privately managed prison this information is commercially confidential.

    Banned Drugs

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 2 April, Official Report, column 107, if he has received the result of the consideration by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs on whether gamma hydroxy butyrate should be added to the list of banned drugs. [37124]

    This matter is due to be considered by the advisory council at its next meeting, in November.

    Criminal Records (Computerisation)

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many criminal records have been transferred from the manual collection on to computer; what is the estimated cost of the transfer; and if he will make a statement. [37152]

    About 286,000 records have been entered on to the Phoenix database on the police national computer. Other records which have been keyed await final processing or quality assurance.The cost of the main keying contract is £8.6 million, excluding value added tax, which is reclaimable. This is in addition to the cost of work undertaken by the national identification service staff and the police service.

    Dr Bayo Omoyiole

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will make a statement on Dr. Bayo Omoyiole who is awaiting his appeal for asylum; and if he will make a statement; [37157](2) what is the date of the appeal of Dr. Bayo Omoyiole against the decision of the Home Secretary to refuse his claim for asylum; and if he will make a statement. [37156]

    Victims Of Terrorism

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assistance his Department provides to those who have been the victims of terrorist incidents; and if he will make a statement. [37056]

    [holding answer 15 July 1996]: The criminal injuries compensation scheme enables compensation to be paid to those injured or killed by terrorist incidents in England, Wales and Scotland. The scheme is funded by my Department with a contribution from the Scottish Office. In such incidents, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority takes steps to ensure through those directly involved with the victims—usually the police, but often Victim Support, which my Department also funds—that potential applicants for compensation are made aware of the scheme and how to apply.

    Small Firms (Compliance Costs)

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions his Department has had with and with how many (a) small firms and (b) small firms organisations about the compliance costs of the Asylum and Immigration Bill; if a small business litmus test was completed on the bill; and what conclusions his Department came to regarding the compliance costs to small firms of the Bill. [36658]

    [holding answer 15 July 1996]: We invited views on the estimates set out in the compliance cost assessment published last November from organisations representing small and large firms. Of the nine organisations representing small firms to which CCA was sent none raised concerns about the likely compliance costs or about the estimates provided in the CCA.A preliminary assessment of the effect of the provision on smaller firms was provided in the CCA. Discussions with a number of small firms are currently nearing completion. Provisional conclusions suggest that the compliance costs for the great majority of small firms will be minimal.

    £000
    1992–931993–941994–951995–961996–97
    CAFOD1,3001,5001,8101,8641,920
    Christian Aid2,2102,4102,8302,9153,003
    Oxfam4,1004,3005,0005,1505,304
    SCF3,5103,7104,3204,4504,583
    WWF1,5101,7102,0402,1002,164

    Lord Chancellor's Department

    Magistrates Courts (Lancashire)

    To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will make a statement on the future of magistrates courts in Lancashire. [37406]

    The Lancashire magistrates courts committee will continue to be responsible for the efficient and effective administration of the magistrates courts in Lancashire for the foreseeable future.

    Legal Aid

    To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what he estimates to be the cost in the most recent year for which figures are available of legal aid in juvenile cases which would not attract custodial sentences and (a) where the defendant pleads guilty or (b) where there is no dispute over the facts in the case. [37697]

    Legal aid is rarely granted in cases where there is no risk of a custodial sentence; any costs to the legal aid fund are, therefore, likely to be small. In 1995– 96, total payments from the legal aid fund in respect of juvenile cases in the youth courts where guilty pleas were entered amounted to £4.3 million gross. It is not possible to give equivalent figures for the Crown Court since the information is not readily available. Nor is it possible to estimate the cost to legal aid of those cases where there was no dispute over the facts of the case, as the information is not recorded centrally.

    Overseas Development Administration

    Non-Governmental Organisations

    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many and which national non-governmental organisations running development programmes overseas qualify for annual block grants; how much each NGO received for each financial year from 1992–93 to 1996–97; what are the criteria for qualifying for block grants; and if he will make a statement. [37347]

    Five United Kingdom non-governmental organisations currently receive annual block grants from the joint funding scheme of the Overseas Development Administration for their development work overseas. The five are CAFOD, Christian Aid, Oxfam, Save the Children Fund and the Worldwide Fund for Nature. Under the block grant arrangements, ODA provides up to 50 per cent. of the cost of individual development projects. The grants provided to each of these organisations in the financial years from 1992–93 to 1996–97 are set out in the table.

    The ODA's fundamental expenditure review, completed in 1995, recommended that the block grant arrangements should be extended to NGOs which had, in each of the preceding three financial years, received £750,000 or more through the joint funding scheme for its development projects. The award of any new block grant would be subject to the NGO in question satisfying an audit by ODA of its financial and technical management procedures.

    Human Reproduction (Research Funding)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the allocation of his Department's funding for (a) the International Planned Parenthood Federation, (b) the UN Population Fund and (c) the World Health Organisation special programmes of research, development and research training in human reproduction for the financial year 1996–97. [37349]

    The central allocations for the 1996–97 financial year are:

    Title of projectFinancial years where expenditure has taken place to dateCountryPlanned project duration in years (where known)
    Population concern
    Promotion of maternal child health1993–94 to 1995–96Bangladesh3
    Comprehensive family planning1994–95 to 1995–96Bangladesh3
    Family planning services1993–94 to 1994–95Dominica3
    Training of health assistants1993–94Ethiopia1
    Jimma project1993–94 to 1995–96Ethiopia3
    Yirgalem project1993–94 to 1995–96Ethiopia5
    Community based distribution through Rural Women Development agency1995–96Ethiopia3
    Youth to youth information1993–94 to 1994–95The Gambia3
    Post Partum family planning services1994–95 to 1995–96The Gambia3
    Women's development1993–94 to 1995–96India5
    Mobile education and service unit1993–94 to 1995–96India5
    Family planning through community institutions1993–94 to 1995–96Pakistan3
    Training for women development workers1993–94 to 1995–96Pakistan3
    Community leadership training1993–94 to 1994–95Pakistan3
    Kohat family planning and mother and child health project1995–96Pakistan3
    Volunteer community based family planning1993–94 to 1995–96Tanzania5
    Community based family planning1995–96Tanzania4
    Marie Stopes International
    Employment based family planning programme—Chittagong1993–94 to 1995–96Bangladesh4
    Marie Stopes Consultancy1994–95Egypt, Arab Republic
    Condom social marketing and family planning1993–94 to 1994–95Ethiopia3
    Brass Tacks family planning programme1993–94 to 1994–95India4
    Workplace family planning and preventative health care—employees and dependants1993–94India4
    Contraceptive social marketing1993–94 to 1994–95India3
    Reproductive health education1994–95 to 1995–96India5
    National youth service1993–94 to 1995–96Kenya9
    Reproductive health project1994–95 to 1996–97Malawi5
    Family planning consultancy1993–94 to 1994–95Malawi1
    Man-to-man male-orientated child spacing education1993–94 to 1994–95Malawi1
    Child spacing—women's preventive health for refugees1993–94 to 1994–95Malawi4
    Family planning1993–94 to 1994–95Mexico3
    Family planning and preventive health care1993–94 to 1996–97Nepal4
    Workplace preventive health and family planning1993–94Nicaragua4
    Accessible family planning and reproductive health services1994–95 to 1995–96Nicaragua3
    Organisational strengthening of women's health programmes1995–96Nicaragua2
    Reproductive health support1993–94 to 1995–96Nigeria

  • (a) International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF)—£6.0 million;
  • (b) United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)—£7.5 million and
  • (c) World Health Organisation special programme of research, development and research training in human reproduction (WHO/HRP)—£1.5 million. Additional funding may be allocated during the year for multilateral, bilateral or other specific projects.
  • Health And Family Planning

    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which reproductive health and family planning projects under the aegis of (a) Population Concern, (b) Marie Stopes International and (c) International Family Health have been funded for each financial year since 1993–94; in which countries these projects are based; and what is their funding and duration. [37348]

    The table lists ODA supported non-governmental organisation—Population Concern, Marie Stopes International and International Family Health—projects with a reproductive health component.

    Tied Aid

    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which countries have received the most tied aid as a proportion of bilateral official development assistance over the last three years. [56653]

    Statistics on the tying status of aid relate to commitments and not expenditure. The three countries with the highest commitments of financial tied aid in 1993 and 1994 are as follows:

    CountryAmount of tied financial aid commitment £ million
    1993
    India83
    Turkey23
    Uganda16
    1994
    Uganda21
    Tanzania18.5
    India16.5
    Data for 1992 and earlier are not available on a country basis, nor is information on technical co-operation expenditure.

    Treasury

    Financial Incentives (Environmental Practice)

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proposals he has to introduce financial incentives for sustainable environmental practice by businesses; and if he will make a statement. [34746]

    Economic instruments, including tax measures, are pursued where they are justified and administratively feasible. Proposals for financial incentives for sustainable environmental practice by businesses are examined on a case-by-case basis. The introduction of the landfill tax starting in October is a clear demonstration of that.

    "Europe's Finances"

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will ensure that, in future editions of "Europe's Finances", a statement of Europe's unfunded pension liabilities, is included together with a statement as to the possible future impact of such liabilities on the United Kingdom economy. [36355]

    No, since the annual White Paper deals solely with European Community finances and the Community budget has no liability for pension costs other than in respect of the employees of the Community institutions.

    Private Finance Initiative

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent assessment he has made of the success of the private finance initiative. [36836]

    I announced on 3 April that £4.8 billion of private finance deals had been agreed in the financial year 1995–96, with £300 million of deals at preferred bidder stage and £330 million due to be agreed. The current total of agreed private finance deals has now risen to £5.5 billion, including projects such as the development of the Department of Social Security's Newcastle estate at Longbenton, two prison projects at Bridgend and Fazakerley and benefits payments automation through the Post Office. These figures indicate that the Government are well on the way to reaching their target of agreeing £14 billion of deals by the end of 1998–99.

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much private capital was invested through the PFI in public projects in each financial year up to 1995–96; and what are his current forecasts for (a) 1996–97, (b) 1997–98 and (c) 1998–99. [36590]

    Estimated levels of private sector capital spending in public projects via the private finance initiative were, in 1993–94, 1994–95 and 1995–96, £0.3 billion, £0.3 billion and £0.6 billion respectively. The projections for 1996–97, 1997–98 and 1998–99 are £1.9 billion, £2.6 billion and £2.8 billion respectively. Further details about the private finance initiative and capital spending can be found in tables 6.4 and 6.5 of the "Financial Statement and Budget Report" 1996–97, published on 28 November 1995.

    Exchange And Interest Rates

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what have been the changes in (a) real exchange rates relative to those of other EU countries and (b) real interest rates in each quarter since the first quarter of 1993. [37489]

    Data on real effective exchange rates for EU countries can be found in Main Economic Indicators, which is published monthly by the OECD. In the June 1996 edition, the real exchange rate data are shown in table 30. Data on short-term nominal interest rates and inflation in the UK can be found in Economic Trends.

    Balance Of Trade

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the trends in the balance of trade in goods in (a) the last three months and (b) the equivalent period in 1995. [37485]

    The deficit on trade in goods was erratically low early last year. Despite fluctuations, there has been no obvious trend in the deficit over the past five years. In 1994 and 1995 the deficit on trade in goods was more than offset by surpluses on trade in services and overseas investment income.

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the change in the United Kingdom balance of trade in goods for each year since 1992; and what factors underline this trend. [37490]

    In 1993, the trade deficit on goods widened by £0.4 billion compared with 1992. It then narrowed by £2.6 billion in 1994 and widened by £0.8 billion in 1995. In 1995, the trade deficit on goods was £1.5 billion less than it was in 1992. Underpinning this improvement between 1992 and 1995, the volume of exported goods has increased by 24 per cent. while the volume of imported goods was increased by 15 per cent.

    Internet

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to ensure that major publications from his Department are accompanied by a simultaneous electronic release of the text on the Internet. [37229]

    The Treasury aims to release all its major publications on the Internet either at the same time as the hard copy publication or as soon as possible thereafter. Simultaneous release is not always possible for some material because of technical or logistical considerations.Publications which we aim to release at the same time as the hard copy include: the documentation for the Chancellor's Budget; the summer economic forecast; the minutes of the Chancellor's monthly monetary meetings with the Governor of the Bank of England; news releases, such as announcements of interest rate changes; certain consultation papers; and keynote speeches.

    Migration

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what were the total numbers of people (a) immigrating to the United Kingdom and (b) emigrating from the United Kingdom, in the last five years for which figures are available. [37429]

    The information is shown in the table.

    Migration estimates for the United Kingdom (Thousands of migrants)
    YearsInflow to UKOutflow from UK
    1990340.2252.0
    1991337.0263.7
    1992286.6251.5
    1993272.2236.8
    1994321.4213.0
    The estimates in the table are derived from data on migration intentions obtained from the international passenger survey, from information on migration to and from the Irish Republic obtained from the national health service central register and the Irish labour force survey, and from data on short-term visitors who were granted extension of stay obtained from the Home Office.

    Perinatal Mortality

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the current perinatal mortality rate broken down by mother's place of birth. [37134]

    [holding answer 12 July 1996]: The latest available information is shown in the table.

    Perinatal mortality rate by mother's country of birth, England and Wales 1994

    Country of birth

    Perinatal rate

    1

    All8.9
    United Kingdom8.6
    Irish Republic11.2
    Rest of European Union8.3
    Australia, Canada, New Zealand6.4

    New Commonwealth including:

    12.6
    Bangladesh10.8
    India9.3
    Pakistan15.0
    East Africa10.9
    Caribbean17.4
    Other29.4

    1 Perinatal deaths per 1,000 live and stillbirths.2 Includes case where no country of birth was stated.

    Mr F G Higgins

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he will refund the VAT owed, together with interest, to Mr. F. G. Higgins of Lyndhurst, 50 Borough road, Paignton; and what factors have led to the delay. [36955]

    [holding answer 15 July 1996]: Customs and Excise are not aware of VAT owed to Mr. Higgins. In fact, a long-outstanding debt to Customs and Excise, based on VAT returns completed by Mr. Higgins, is currently being recovered through the courts.

    Trade And Industry

    Hawk Aircraft

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many Hawk aircraft have been exported to Indonesia so far this year. [35426]

    Business Grants

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list the total value of grants awarded by his Department to businesses in (a) Crewe and Nantwich and (b) Cheshire, for each of the last five years. [36453]

    The following is the information:

    YearCrewe and NantwichCheshire
    1991–9290,1097,551,997
    1992–9347,3206,059,063
    1993–9490,0004,777,740
    1994–95105,00010,503,421
    1995–9657,6763,305,498

    Scottish Gas

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade when the hon. Member for Cunninghame, South may expect a reply to his letter of 24 April to the Director General of Gas Supply concerning complaints from constituents about the delays and difficulties they are encountering in contacting the telephone inquiry lines for Scottish Gas; and what factors have led to the delay so far in replying. [36569]

    The Director General of Gas Supply is independent of my Department. These issues should be addressed to her.

    Indonesia

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list the companies which participated in trade missions supported by his Department to Indonesia on 19 February, 15 April and 24 June indicating the nature of the products which they were promoting, the names of the company personnel who attended and the names and designation of staff from his and other Government Departments who attended the missions. [36764]

    The following is the information:

    Participants in mission of 19 February
    Personnel who attendedProduct
    Mitchell Cotts Chemicals Ltd.Mr. S. J. WilsonAgrochemical and pharmaceutical
    HNE Nesbit EvansMr. G. GladwinMedical equipment
    Brandon Medical Ltd.Mr. G. HallSurgical lighting
    Associated Architects and Engineers Ltd.Mr. I. ScottArchitects and engineers
    Radyne Ltd.Mr. A. HineProcess heating
    Waldon Precision Aparatus Ltd.Mr. P. WatsonAnalytical instruments
    Overseas Devpt. (Health) Education Training UnitMr. H. BrewerTraining and education
    Dental Manufacturing EngineeringMr. D. GrehamDental turbines and chemicals
    Leeds and Bradford Chamber of Commerce and IndustryMr. M. Sewell1
    1No government officials participated in the mission.
    Participants in mission of 15 April
    Personnel who attendedProduct
    Intek Training Ltd.Mr. J. WrightTraing materials and consultancy
    Millingford International Ltd.Mr. R. FarrowPumps
    Mott MacDonald Ltd.Mr. A. ShaukatEngineering consultancy
    Northern Electric plcMr. T. MairTechnical consultancy and software
    Reyrolle Ltd.—ProtectionMr. P. TownesElectrical protections and Reyrolle systems for use on power system networks
    Royston EngineeringMr. S. GoodchildMarine and industrial engines
    Teknek Electronics Ltd.Mr. K. MunroCleaning and static eliminating solutions for delicate and rigid high value substrates e.g. CDs, printed circuit boards, medical packages
    Vokes Ltd.Mr. G. MartinAir and liquid filtration technology
    Railway Industry AssociationMr. D. GillanTade Association
    TMB International Ltd.Mr. P. WoottonEngineering consultancy for rail industry
    Training Unit

    Participants in mission of 15 April

    Personnel who attended

    Product

    ABB Daimler Benz TransportationMr. I. McCulloughRailway Signals and (Signal) Ltd. Communications systems
    Adtranz UK Ltd.Mr. A. DareRailway rolling stock
    Balfour Beatty Railway EngineeringMr. M. NewmanRailway contractors
    Davy British Rail InternationalMr. P. GreenRailway infrastructure projects
    GEC Marconi S31 Ltd., Simulation Ltd.Mr. G BoonSimulation products for and Training the railway indsutry and computer based training
    Hygate Transmissions Ltd.Mr. N. CrossleyRailtraction gearboxes and gear couplings for mass transit systems
    Rotabroch Ltd.Mr. P. DorsettRail drilling and hle cutters
    Sir Alexander Gibb and Partners Ltd.Mr. T KingRailway consultancy
    Stone UK Ltd.Mr. M. FalshawAir conditioning for railway vehicles
    Tarmac ConstructionMr. T OgilvieRailway construciton
    Thorn Transit Systms Int. Ltd.Mr. S. WrightAutomatic fare colelcitons systems
    Westinghouse Brakes Ltd.Mr. C. LoaderRailway brake equipment
    Westinghouse Signals Ltd.Mr. D. HannahRailway signals
    Northern Development CompanyMr. J. MarksRegional develoment agency
    Department of Trade and Industry Projects Exports Promotions DirectorateMr. G. ThomasHigher Executive Officer

    Participants in mission of 24 June

    Personnel who attended

    Product

    BCB International Ltd.Mr. A. HowellMarine and personal safety equipment
    Comet Enterprises (UK) Ltd.Mr. R. MolaviTelecommunications technology
    Denlab International (UK) Ltd.Mr. Graham EllisCoffee plantation and food processing equipment
    F. Bode and Son Ltd.Mr. C. BodeWelding positioning equipment
    Joanne Lamey ConsultantMrs. J. LameyResearch consultant
    Landham ProduceMr. W. BryantFood produce
    Panache Lingerie Ltd.Mr. A. Power Mr. J. PowerLingerie
    Park Tonks Ltd.Mr. W. Park TonksAnimal feeds and proteins
    Prisma Market Analysts Ltd.Mr. D. BoothForeign exchange market technical analysis
    Staffordshire Tableware Ltd.Mr. D. Lawton Mr. R. QuippTableware
    Strachan Henshaw Machinery Ltd.Mr. R. HardersPrinting equipment
    London Chamber of Commerce and IndustryMs L. Bishop-Clark

    No officials accompanied this mission.

    Missile Exports

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade (1) which Ministers approved the renewal in 1990 of export licences, using the form F680 process, to Ferranti/ISC in respect of precision guided missiles; [36607]

    (2) which Ministers approved the issue in 1986 of export licences, using the form F680 process, to Ferranti/ISC in respect of precision guided missiles; [36609]

    (3) if Defence ministers were informed when approving an export licence for ISC/Ferranti to supply precision guided missiles to the United Arab Emirates that the missiles were capable of conversion to nuclear use; [36851]

    (4) which Ministers approved the renewal in 1988 of export licences, using the form F680 process, to Ferranti/ISC in respect of precision guided missiles; [36608]

    (5) if restrictions were placed on the licence to ISC/Ferranti to export precision guided missiles to the United Arab Emirates following consultation between his Department and the Government of the United States of America. [36817]

    To supply the information requested requires more detailed historical research. I shall write to the hon. Member when investigations are completed.

    Foreign Companies (Investment)

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade what estimate he has made of the levels of investment made by British companies in purchasing foreign companies in each of the last four years. [37080]

    Information on direct investment overseas by United Kingdom companies and public corporations is published by the Office for National Statistics in "The Pink Book, United Kingdom Balance of Payments", which is available in the Library of the House.

    Inward Investment

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade what is the total amount of inward investment into (a) the United Kingdom and (b) Yorkshire for each of the last three years; if he will list the figures by country of origin; and if he will make a statement. [36885]

    Data on the value of inward direct investment into the United Kingdom as a whole, broken down by the country of origin, are regularly published by the Office for National Statistics in "Business Monitor MA4, Overseas Direct Investment" (table 2.4), a copy of which is available in the Library of the House. These figures are not collected on a county basis.

    Wages Councils

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade what recent assessment he has made of the trend in wages in those industries previously covered by the wages councils. [36891]

    I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to him on 24 April 1996, Official Report, column 180.

    Samsung

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade what public funds were made available to Samsung for its investment in the north-east; and if he will make a statement. [37224]

    My Department offered regional selective assistance grant and loans totalling £58 million against a proposed investment of £450 million by the company. The assistance will be paid over the next 10 years as the various elements of the Samsung investment proceed and jobs are created. In addition a number of other agencies are providing support for infrastructure development, job creation and training. Some of this support will not be in the form of grant aid to Samsung but will fall within the current and future work programmes of the agencies concerned.

    Insolvency (Reviewers Of Complaints)

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list by location each of the reviewers of complaints appointed by each of the insolvency regulators, indicating who is responsible for (a) appointing, (b) dismissing and (c) retiring them and on what basis; and what remuneration each reviewer receives. [37334]

    The information requested by the hon. Member is as follows:

    Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales— the current reviewer of complaints for the institute is Mr. A. C. Surtees, P.O. Box 51, Farnham, Surrey, GU10 5TA. The reviewer of complaints is appointed by the Council of the institute for a period of not less than three years and his appointment is renewable. The terms of his appointment are a matter for the institute.
    Chartered Association of Certified Accountants—the Association appoint a lay observer who is presently Mr. Simon Loveless of Potter Owtram and Peck, 42 West street, Haslemere, Surrey GU27 2AN. The lay observer is responsible for co-ordinating the reviewing of complaints. He is appointed by the council of the association. The terms of his appointment are a matter for the association.
    The Law Society—complaints against solicitor insolvency practitioners are dealt with in the first instance by the Solicitors Complaints Bureau, an independent arm of the Law Society. A dissatisfied complainant may refer the matter to the legal services ombudsman who is presently Mr. Michael Barnes, 22 Oxford court, Oxford street, Manchester M2 3QW. The legal services ombudsman is appointed by the Lord Chancellor, normally for a period of three years. The remuneration for the office is a matter between the Lord Chancellor and the appointee.
    The Law Society of Scotland—a dissatisfied complainant may ask for the matter to be referred to the Scottish legal services ombudsman who is presently Mr. Garry S. Watson, 2 Greenside lane, Edinburgh, EH1 3AH. The Scottish legal services ombudsman is appointed by the Secretary of State for Scotland after consultation with the Lord President of the Supreme Courts of Scotland. The appointment is for a period of three years. The remuneration for the office is a matter between the Secretary of State for Scotland and the appointee.
    The three remaining professional bodies are the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ireland and the Insolvency Practitioners Association. These bodies do not have an independent reviewer of complaints although in the case of the Scottish institute, a complaint about the institute itself may fall to be considered by a committee appointed from a panel of lay members of institute committees. This committee may report to the institute's council on its findings.

    Each of the professional bodies have recognised the importance of independent input in regulatory matters and all have lay representation on their various regulatory and disciplinary committees.

    Auditing Requirements

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade what plans he has for exempting small accountancy firms from the audit monitoring requirements introduced by the Companies Act 1989. [37382]

    I have no such plans. I would, however, refer the hon. Gentleman to the conclusions of the review of the monitoring arrangements of the recognised supervisory bodies for auditors, conducted by Professor Peter Moizer in 1994. The recommendations of the review, a copy of which is available in the Library of the House, are being implemented by the bodies.

    Limited Liability Partnerships Legislation

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade what representations he has made to the Government of Jersey in connection with the enactment of limited liability partnerships legislation. [37378]

    Accountancy Firms

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade what plans he has to investigate the competition practices of major accountancy firms. [37379]

    Caparo Judgment

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade what plans he has to introduce legislation to reverse the Caparo judgment. [37380]

    I have no such plans, but continue to keep the situation under review.

    Electrical Equipment (Plugs)

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade if all new electrical equipment designed to be connected to the mains sold in the United Kingdom is required to be fitted with plugs. [37191]

    The Plugs and Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994, which came into force on 1 February 1996, introduced a legal requirement that most new and second hand domestic electrical appliances can be sold only if they have been pre-fitted with an approval standard United Kingdom plug.

    Industrial Development (Greater London)

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade what discussions he has had, and with which bodies, on industrial development within the Greater London area; and if he will make a statement. [37196]

    DTI Ministers are frequently in contact with London-based organisations about a wide range of industrial issues.

    Eu Working Tune Directive

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many representations he has received about the European Union working time directive; how many of these came from British companies; and which have expressed concern about the effect of the directive on their profitability. [37432]

    My Department has received a wide range of representations about the working time directive. Many of these have been from employers or employer organisations concerned about the potential cost implications of the directive.

    Hubble Space Telescope

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his answer of 18 April, Official Report, column 570, to the hon. Member for Linlithgow, if he will make a statement on the progress of the formal discussions about Europe's role in the refurbishment of the Hubble space telescope, planned for 1999. [36645]

    Representatives of the European Space Agency and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration met on Thursday 27 June 1996 to discuss the ESA contribution to the Hubble space telescope refurbishment mission due in 1999. It was agreed that ESA will provide the solar array drive mechanism in return for 15 per cent. of observing time being allocated to European groups.

    Scott Report

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade when he expects the appendices to Sir Richard Scott's report to be published. [37885]

    Ice Cream (Inquiry)

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on the evidence submitted by Birds Eye Wall's to a Monopolies and Mergers Commission inquiry following the undertaking given to the hon. Member for Dagenham (Ms Church) on 17 April, Official Report, column 527. [37966]

    The Director General of Fair Trading, at the request of my predecessor, the hon. Member for Tatton (Mr. Hamilton) carried out an investigation into whether, during an inquiry conducted by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission in 1993–94 into the supply of ice cream for immediate consumption in the United Kingdom, Birds Eye Wall's had supplied false or misleading information to the commission. The supply of such false or misleading information is an offence contrary to section 93B of the Fair Trading Act 1973.Having considered the director general's report, and departmental and other independent legal advice, against the criteria set out in the code for crown prosecutors, I have concluded that my Department should not take any further action in this matter.

    Advanced Gas-Cooled Reactors

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade what implications the shutdown of the reactors at Hinckley Point B and Hunterston have for electricity supply; and what is the estimated impact on the income stream of British Energy. [37603]

    The total generating capacity for the electricity markets in Great Britain was 67,620MW at 31 March 1996. Hinkley Point B has a generating capacity of l,270MW, 1.9 per cent. of the total and Hunterston B has a generating capacity of 1,195MW, 1.8 per cent. of the total. The impact on the income stream of British Energy is a commercial matter for the company.

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade (1) what factors underlay the timing of the disclosure to the public of news of the shutdown of the AGR reactors at Hinckley Point B and Hunterston; [37601](2) what implications the technical faults at Hinckley Point B and Hunterston have for the other five advanced gas-cooled reactors; [37602](3) when he was first informed that there was a serious technical fault with the advanced gas-cooled reactors at Hinckley Point B and Hunterston; and if he will make a statement; [37599](4) what recent advice he has received from the nuclear installations inspectorate about the advanced gas-cooled reactors at Hinckley Point B and Hunterston; and when he received its report. [37600]

    AGR technical issues are covered in the British Energy prospectus published on 26 June.A continuing programme of steam pipe inspections revealed a crack in a weld at Hinkley Point B which was made public by British Energy on 4 July. Following examination of the cracked weld Nuclear Electric and Scottish Nuclear decided to shut down one reactor at each of Hinkley Point B and Hunterston B power stations, as a precautionary measure, on the evening of Tuesday 9 July. I was informed of the decision to shut down the reactors at about 9 am on Wednesday 10 July. My officials were in close touch with British Energy while the company established with their advisers that their financial position was not significantly affected. A press release was issued at 5.30 pm on 10 July after a high level group at the company had reviewed the evidence from the metallurgical examination and considered the possible financial implications.DTI has been kept fully informed of these developments by British Energy. The Health and Safety Executive's nuclear installations inspectorate has confirmed that it is content with he licensees' actions.

    Falfab

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade what representations he has received from hon. Members on behalf of FalFab LLC since 1994; and on what dates these were received. [35220]

    [holding answer 1 July 1996]: We have been unable to trace any record of representations from hon. Members on behalf of this company.

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade (1) what consultations were made by his Department to ensure that the estimated value of FalFab at the time of its application for regional selective assistance was correct; and if he will make a statement; [35248](2) what verification was undertaken by his Department to ensure that sufficient capital was available to FalFab LLC to qualify for regional selective assistance from his Department; what assessment he has made of the adequacy of this verification; and if he proposes to recover any of the granted financial assistance. [35247]

    [holding answer 1 July 1996]: FalFab was a newly-created company set up as a joint venture between two other US-based companies. The Department's offer of grant contained preconditions in order to ensure that capital of at least £1 million had been injected into the company before grant was paid. Appropriate audited confirmation that these preconditions had been met was submitted at the time of FalFab's claim for the first instalment of grant.Although the company has laid off its workforce, discussions aimed at securing a viable future for the business are taking place and it would be premature for the Department to seek recovery.

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade what safeguards are in operation to protect his Department's position in relation to regional selective assistance grant and aid given to FalFab LLC if (a) the company ceases to trade and (b) the terms and conditions of the grant are not met; and if he will make a statement. [35246]

    [holding answer 1 July 1996]: If the company ceases to trade, or the terms and conditions of the offer are not met and there is no prospect of future viability, my Department will seek to recover grant from the company. The Department also has parent company guarantees to repay the grant if FalFab is not in a position to do so.

    Companies (Financial Assistance)

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his answer of 18 June, Official Report, columns 457–58, if he will list (a) the number and (b) the date of applications to his Department's south-west regional office for regional selective assistance that can be readily identified as being prepared by company W since 1990; and how many applications have been received by his Department's south-west office since this date. [35266]

    [holding answer 1 July 1996]: The Department has examined all the cases which have been considered by the South West industrial development board since 1990 and subsequently been the subject of a grant offer. Company W appears to have prepared 23 out of the 99 cases falling into this category. The application dates of these cases were:

    • 6 June and 29 October 1991;
    • 1 September 1992;
    • 5 January, 14 June, 8, 22 and 28 October and 2 December 1993;
    • 6, and 24 January, 18 April, 6 May, 15 June, 5 and 12 July and 24 November 1994;
    • 6 February, 1 March and 1 and 2 November 1995;
    • 23 February and 15 March 1996.
    I can say with confidence that Mr. Harris was not present for any of the subsequent discussion on the applications submitted by this company.

    South West Industrial Development Board

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his answer of 18 June, Official Report, column 464, if he will state (a) the name of the relevant company, (b) the reason it was deemed sufficient for Mr. X to remain in the meeting, (c) the amount of financial assistance applied for, (d) the amount finally offered and (e) the amount granted. [35263]

    [holding answer 1 July 1996]: The applicant concerned was Pall Europe Ltd. Mr. Roger Harris declared that his firm was the worldwide auditor for Pall Corporation, but that he had no personal involvement in the work. It was deemed sufficient for him to remain in the meeting on condition that he abstained from any vote on the application. The offer was for the amount applied for—£950,000. No payments have yet been made.

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his answer of 18 June, Official Report, columns 461–64, if he will list the relevant conflict of interests by (a) member of the South West industrial development board and (b) the relevant company. [35267]

    [holding answer 1 July 1996]: The board members declared their personal interests to the Department and acted correctly in not involving themselves in discussions of cases where a conflict with those interests arose.It is a matter of public record that Mr. Roger Harris's abstentions stemmed from the fact that KPMG, of which he is a senior partner, acted for the applicants as grant advisers or in other capacities.

    Electro-Shock Equipment

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade what market research reports which referred to the trade in electro-shock weapons have been partially funded by his Department's export market research scheme since June 1994. [36363]

    [holding answer 10 July 1996]: The Department is not aware of any reports which refer to electro-shock batons having received support from the export marketing research scheme since June 1994.

    Research Councils

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his answer of 19 June; Official Report, column 513, when he expects to place in the Library, the memoranda and supporting documentation relating to the prior options review. [37457]

    [holding answer 15 July 1996]: I have today placed in the Library of the House memoranda setting out the rationale underlying the decisions announced on the following establishments:

    Establishment for which DTI Ministers are responsible:

    • Central Laboratory of the Research Councils
    • Institute of Arable Crops Research (BBSRC-funded institute)
    • Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research (BBSRC-funded institute)
    • John Innes Centre (BBSRC-funded institute)
    • Silsoe Research Institute (BBSRC-funded institute)
    • National Weights and Measures Laboratory

    Establishments for which Scottish Office Ministers are responsible:

    • Fisheries Research Services
    • Forestry Commission Research Division
    • Macaulay Land Use Research Institute
    • Scottish Crop Research Institute
    • Scottish Agricultural Science Agency

    Establishment for which MAFF Ministers are responsible:

    • Directorate of Fisheries Research.

    To ask the President of the Board of Trade what assessment was made of the pension and redundancy costs of the privatisation option under the prior options review of the individual research institutes of the Biotechnical and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Medical Research Council, Natural Environment Research Council and the Partical Physics and Astronomy Research Council. [37398]

    [holding answer 15 July 1996]: Prior options reviews of MRC, NERC and BBSRC institutes remain to be completed. The review of the BBSRC's Institute of Arable Crops Research, Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research, Jon Innes Centre and Silsoe Research Institute estimated pension transfer costs at up to £72.5 million and contingent staff liabilities at up to £64 million. The review of the Royal Observatories did not make any assessment for redundancy costs of privatisation. Pension transfers costs are still being assessed.

    Education And Employment

    Contracts

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if she will publish a list showing the number, nature and value of contracts awarded by her Department to Coopers and Lybrand, KPMG, Price Waterhouse, Ernst and Young, Deloitte and Touche, Arthur Andersen, Grant Thornton, BDO Stoy Hayward, Pannel Kerr Forster, and Robson Rhodes and their subsidiaries and associates, during 1995 and 1996. [37328]

    The information requested is not available without incurring disproportionate cost.

    Public Bodies

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if she will list the total number of full-time equivalent staff within her Department engaged in the administration, oversight, audit and other regulation of each of the non-departmental public bodies, agencies and similar bodies, sponsored by her Department, indicating the division within her Department responsible for each. [37504]

    The information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

    Departmental Costs

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what are the total costs to her Department of the administration, oversight, audit and other regulation of all local authority activities within its responsibility, excluding work undertaken by Ofsted. [37502]

    No discrete record is maintained of the cost incurred by the Department in dealing with issues relating to local authority responsibilities for education and employment. Many different elements of the Department's work relate to local authorities, and they could be disaggregated only at disproportionate cost.

    Departmental Staff

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if she will list the total number of full-time equivalent staff in her Department engaged in the administration, oversight, audit and other regulation of local authority activities within the responsibility of her Department, excluding that undertaken by Ofsted, indicating the division within her Department which has responsibility for each activity. [37501]

    No discrete record is maintained of the numbers of staff in the Department involved with issues relating to local authority responsibilities for education and employment. Many different elements of the Department's work relate to local authorities, and they could be disaggregated only at disproportionate cost.

    Pupils, Devon

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what was the total number of children educated in Devon by the local education authority in (a) 1994–95, (b) 1995–96 and (c) 1996–97. [37425]

    A total of 145,093 pupils, including 3,018 part-time pupils, were being taught in schools maintained in Devon local education authority in January 1995. Information for January 1996 will be available in the autumn.

    Internet

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what plans he has to ensure that major publications from his Department are accompanied by a simultaneous electronic release of the text on the Internet. [37231]

    In line with the Government's open government policy, the Department always considers if it is appropriate to use the Internet to augment other publishing routes. An example is the recent publication of "The Skills Audit", which was published simultaneously on the Internet. The responsibility for considering the Internet as an additional publishing medium for our Command Papers and priced documents rests primarily with HMSO.

    Nursery Vouchers

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment (1) how many parents of four-year-olds there are in each of the pilot local education authorities; how many vouchers have been issued in each local education authority; and what research she plans to identify which parents are still not receiving vouchers; [37110](2) how many vouchers have been issued to parents of four-year-olds in the pilot areas; how many of these have been redeemed; what is the total c