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Written Answers

Volume 414: debated on Tuesday 11 November 1980

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

Written Answers

Remembrance Day Parade: Participation

asked Her Majesty's Government:Why a body calling itself the European Remembrance and Reconciliation Association has been given permission to take part in the Remembrance Day parade to the Cenotaph.

No permission has been given; none is required to march to or lay a wreath at the Cenotaph. I understand that the proposed march by the association, which would not have formed part of the official ceremony, has been called off.

Medical Care: Reciprocal Arrangements In Europe

asked Her Majesty's Government:What conclusions were reached at the meeting in Geneva of representatives of 31 Governments under the aegis of the International Labour Organisation on the subject of reciprocal medical care in Europe; and what was the British attitude to the proposals.

The meeting of representatives of the 31 Governments was the last in a series over the past five years to conclude a European agreement on reciprocal arrangements for medical care for persons during temporary residence in another country. The United Kingdom has been represented throughout and, in common with the other member states present at the meeting, agreed to the adoption of the text of an agreement which is now open for signature. After ratification of the agreement introduction of a reciprocal arrangement between any two countries will be dependent upon their agreeing bilaterally on administrative arrangements.The United Kingdom already has reciprocal arrangements with all but six of the 31 countries concerned, either through European Community regulations or through specific reciprocal agreements. Of the remaining six countries, two may shortly be covered by their entry to the European Community and negotiations have already started with a third towards a reciprocal agreement.The United Kingdom is examining the final text of the agreement in the hope that we may be able to sign.

Nuclear Weapons: Decision To Release

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether the President of the United States of America must personally make the decision to launch the single-key United States nuclear weapons to be deployed in the United Kingdom, or whether he may delegate the decision to others, and if so, to whom; and whether he is hound to consult or to obtain the approval of Her Majesty's Government of any such delegation, whether proposed or verbal.

The decision to release any United States nuclear weapon must be taken by the President of the United States or his constitutionally designated successor within the Administration. The arrangements relating to the US nuclear forces using facilities in the territory of the United Kingdom which I described to the House on 1st August (Hansard, Vol. 412, col. 1242) refer to a joint decision between the two Governments in the light of the circumstances at the time.

Offshore Exploration: Royalty Repayment Applications

asked Her Majesty's Government:How many offshore oil and gas producers, in how many fields, have respectively applied for, and been awarded, royalty rebates as incentives for marginal field development.

Three licensee groups, comprising a total of 16 companies, have applied for repayments of royalty under Section 41(3) of the Petroleum and Submarine Pipe-lines Act 1975 in respect of three fields. No repayment of royalty has been agreed.

Capital Transfer Tax: Residents In Jersey

asked Her Majesty's Government:What is their procedure for collecting capital transfer tax from people whose home is in Jersey.

The normal collection procedure for unpaid capital transfer tax, in the absence of payment on demand of tax that has been agreed or has been determined, is recovery by legal process from those liable for it. The latter can, according to the nature of the transfer, include the transferor, the transferee, the personal representatives of a deceased person, the trustees of a settlement, any person in whom the transferred property is vested, and any person for whose benefit the settled property or the income from it is applied. It is possible to take legal proceedings to recover tax from a person outside the United Kingdom. Interest accrues on overdue capital transfer tax at the rate of 9 per cent. per annum (12 per cent. in the case of lifetime gifts).The legislation also provides that where tax (or interest on it) remains unpaid a charge can be imposed on any property included in the value on which the tax has been charged, including settled property, but excluding in general personal or movable property in the United Kingdom and heritable property in Scotland.

Heathrow: Police Costs And Aviation Security Fund

asked Her Majesty's Government:What proportion of Metropolitan Police costs at Heathrow was borne by the Aviation Security Fund in 1978–79 and 1979–80, and what proportion is estimated for 1980–81.

The British Airports Authority are charged by the Metropolitan Police the additional costs falling to them as a result of the designation of Heathrow under the Policing of Airports Act 1974. Fifty per cent. of uniformed branch costs and 12½ per cent. of CID costs were reimbursed from the Aviation Security Fund in 1978–79 and 1979–80, and it is expected that the same percentages will apply in 1980–81.

Airports: Powers Of Security Staff

asked Her Majesty's Government:What are the powers to search and stop of British Airports Authority searching staff assigned to terminal corridor patrolling duties.

British Airports Authority security personnel do not as such possess any power which the ordinary citizen does not have, although they have the normal powers of employees to enforce the general rights of the owners or occupiers of private property. The ordinary citizen has no powers of search, although he may, under common law and under Section 2 of the Criminal Law Act 1967, as amended by the Criminal Law Act 1977, arrest without warrant anyone who is, or whom he with reasonable cause suspects to be, in the act of committing an arrestable offence. In addition the Heathrow Airport—London Byelaws 1972 state that

"no person shall loiter, frequent, or remain on the aerodrome or any part thereof without reasonable cause",
and that
"no person shall remain on the aerodrome, or any part thereof, after having been requested by a constable to leave".
BAA security staff assigned to patrolling duties are able to make contact by radio with constables.

Heathrow: Centralised Searching

asked Her Majesty's Government:What maximum estimate has been made of the potential saving in manpower to the British Airports Authority, and in costs to the Aviation Security Fund, of the introduction of centralised searching on Terminal 3 of Heathrow Airport; and when this will be implemented and with what actual savings in manpower and costs.

The report of the review group which examined the security arrangements at Heathrow Terminal 3 estimated that the introduction of centralised searching and associated supplementary measures would lead to a reduction in the current Terminal 3 manpower establishment of about 110, and to a reduction in Terminal 3 staff costs of about £1 million per annum. The Department of Trade has informed the British Airports Authority that it accepts the proposals for centralisation, the implementation of which is now a matter for the authority.

Airport Security: Apportionment Of Costs

Why no contribution is made by the customs and immigration services to the costs of providing "airside" security at British Airports Authority airports, and whether the benefits of such security measures to each service should not be reflected by such a contribution.

Security arrangements at airports are required for operational and commercial reasons and for discharge of the airline and airport operators' responsibilities for anti-terrorist measures under the Protection of Aircraft Act 1973.Customs and immigration controls are integrated with these arrangements to the greatest extent possible and the costs involved in applying these controls are borne by the department concerned. Any contribution to what are essentially airport operational costs would be an unjustifiable charge on the taxpayer at large.

Eec Co-Responsibility Levy

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether the system for raising and paying the EEC's co-responsibility levy is equally applied in all member states; and what action (10 they propose to take to ensure that the interest of British dairy farmers are not prejudiced.

I have no evidence that any member state is not raising the co-responsibility levy from producers in the proper manner and taking appropriate action to ensure that these sums are paid over without delay. I do not believe, therefore, that the interests of British dairy farmers are being prejudiced. The criticism of the French Government by the European Community Court of Auditors was with respect to a period of three months in 1977. Since that time, I understand from the Commission that the levy has been charged on French producers.House adjourned at twenty-five minutes before eight o'clock.