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Written Answers

Volume 416: debated on Tuesday 13 January 1981

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Written Answers

Continuing Education: Discussion Paper

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether it is to be inferred from the DES discussion paper

Continuing Education published in October 1980 that the further education of young people such as apprentices and laboratory technicians may soon cease to be subsidised, and that the fees of university students who have earlier held substantive jobs in order to gain work experience are to be charged at the full economic rate, equivalent to that for overseas students, rather than at the home student rate.

The full economic cost basis is proposed in the DES discussion paper ContinuingEducation: post-experience vocational provision for those in employment in relation only to the development of provision additional to existing opportunities for those in employment seeking in mid-career to update, increase or broaden the skills and knowledge relevant to their work. The paper is not concerned with the initial education and training of young people for their first substantive jobs, nor with the educational provision for those with experience of work but who are no longer employed. The fees charged would not be standardised nationally but negotiated between provider and client with regard to the type of provision.

Overseas Students: Board And Lodging Fees

asked Her Majesty's Government:What steps they have taken to ascertain whether their policy of levying fees for board and lodging from students of other member states of the EEC is compatible with the Treaty of Rome.

The Government have been in close touch with our Community partners about liberalising conditions for students entering institutions of higher education in other member states. An Education Ministers' meeting in Brussels in June 1980 agreed a set of principles designed to guide the development of policy in this area. The question of board and lodging fees is however outside the scope of those principles.

asked Her Majesty's Government:How much income has been derived this year from charging students from other member states of the EEC for board and lodging; and how much will be raised next year.

British Students: Residential Courses Fees In Eec

asked Her Majesty's Government:Which member states of the EEC charge British students attending residential courses for tuition or board and lodging.

Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, the Republic of Ireland the the Federal Republic of Germany in general charge tuition fees to all students. Charges are generally made for board and lodging, for all students, in all the member states where it is provided. The level of charge is a matter for each institution.These arrangements are in accordance with the principles of the "common approach" to the admission of students to institutions of higher education in other Community countries, which were agreed by the Education Ministers of the member states of the Community at a meeting in Brussels in June. The principles provide for incoming students to be charged tuition fees at the same rate as home students; and for the sending country to be responsible for providing maintenance grants for students studying in another member state.Fuller information about fees, and about board and lodging costs, is given in

A Handbook for Students published by the European Commission; and I will send a copy to my noble friend.

Pinner Sixth Form College

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will expedite their decision on the proposal before them regarding Pinner Sixth Form College, bearing in mind that recruitment for sixth form education in Harrow for 1981 has already begun and many potential candidates are becoming anxious that the provision of places will fail to meet the demand.

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science is carefully considering the proposal by the London Borough of Harrow Council to cease to maintain Pinner Sixth Form College, together with the objections which have been received. He is aware of the need for an early decision and there will be no unnecessary delay.

Energy Conservation In School Kitchens

asked Her Majesty's Government:In view of the spectacular potential for energy conservation in hospital kitchens using standard equipment as shown by the DHSS inquiry, what savings would be possible if the same methods were applied to school kitchens within the United Kingdom; what is the current approximate cost of energy consumed by these establishments and whether the potential savings in costs in school kitchens would be similar to those in hospital kitchens.

The DHSS study is concerned with the potential for energy economy in a future low energy nucleus hospital. My department is at present monitoring energy consumption in kitchens in a number of schools and will, in the light of the results and of the DHSS and other relevant work, be offering advice to local education authorities. Of the total expenditure on the school meals service in 1979–80, fuel accounted for £19 million.

Leeds Teachers: Post-Entry Closed Shop Agreement

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will list the people or groups that have made representations to them about the post-entry closed shop agreement for college and polytechnic teachers in Leeds; and whether they will publish their replies to them, in particular to the Association of Polytechnic Teachers.

The Government have received letters originating from four sources: the Association of Polytechnic Teachers, the Managerial, Professional and Staff Liaison Group and two individual correspondents. The substance of the reply from my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science to the Association of Polytechnic Teachers is as follows:Closed-shop agreements are for negotiation, subject to the relevant legal constraints, between employers and local branches of the trades unions recognised by those employers.I have no power to intervene in such agreements, although I deplore the incursion of any closed shop arrangement into the education service. However, I understand that the Leeds Branch of the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education now intends to terminate its agreement with the Leeds City Council.

Soviet Underground Nuclear Test

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether in their view the underground nuclear test carried out by the Soviet Government on or about 14th September 1980 did or did not exceed the limit of 150 kilotons established in the 1974 Agreement between the Soviet Union and the United States and, if so, by how much.

The data available on this test do not permit a precise conclusion as to whether or not it exceeded 150 kilotons. Our assessment is that the yield was probably about 150 kilotons.

Sulphur Emissions: Research Findings

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they are satisfied that the findings resulting from the research into sulphur emissions by CEGB and the Californian Electric Power Research Institute using a Meteorological Office aeroplane will be accepted as authoritative by the nations and conservation interests concerned; and if not whether they will take steps to ensure this and whether they will ensure that the report is published.

Her Majesty's Government are not sponsoring the work on sulphur emissions being undertaken by the CEGB and the US Electric Power Research Institute but we are aware of it. We are satisfied that the work is being conducted to the highest scientific standards and that the results will, therefore, command respect.It is the normal practice of the CEGB and the Meteorological Office to publish the results of work of this nature.

Political Honours: Scrutiny Committee Information

to ask Her Majesty's Government:What further steps they intend to take to ensure that the Political Honours Scrutiny Committee is furnished with the fullest information; and when was this matter last reviewed.

None. Under their terms of reference, the Committee are free to make such inquiries as they see fit about the past history and general character of those whose names are submitted to it; and the sort of information which they require in pursuing their inquiries is kept under review.

Nationalised Industries



Profit (Loss)

Interest Payable

Net Profit

Dividend on PDC

Profit (Loss)

Interest Payable

Net Profit

Dividend on PDC





National Coal Board128·6(4)(144.5)(15·9)35·2(4)(5)(191·8)(156·6)
Electricity Council and Boards694·3(4)(442·9)251·4539·5(4)(502·3)37·2
North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board49·1(47·0)2·153·8(52·1)1·7
South of Scotland Electricity Board70·8(61·3)9·568·5(68·4)01—.
British Gas Corporation458·8(98·1)360·7491·8(65·9)425·9
British Steel Corporation(93·0)(208·0)(301·0)—.(347·0)(188·0)(535·0)
Post Office874·6(510·2)364·40·9798·8(557·1)241·71·2
British Airways Board115·4(25·0)90·431·2(6)57·638·119·57·0
British Airports Authority33·4(4·0)29·439·4(3·9)35·5
British Shipbuilders(43·0)(4)(9·0)(52·0)(105·1)(4)(15·4)(120·5)

British Railways Board55·8(4)(49·1)6·763·3(4)(61·8)1·5
British Transport Docks Board20·1(6·5)13·616·3(6·6)9·7
British Waterways Board(15·2)(7)(1·1)(16·3)(20·5)(7)(1·0)(21·5)
National Freight Corporation15·3(15·0)0·316·2(14·2)2·0
National Bus Company30·7(130)17·720·6(14·2)6·4
Scottish Transport Group2·0(0·9)1·11·4(1·2)0·2
British National Oil Corporation12·2(14·3)(2·1)142·0(66·6)75·4
British Aerospace68·2(7·8)60·42·052·1(7·7)44·42·2
(1) Before interest payable, taxation, minority interests, extraordinary items and dividend on public dividend capital.
(2) Amounts charged on all borrowings. Interest charged on loan capital alone is not readily identifiable in all the Annual Reports and Accounts.
(3) Net of advance corporation tax.
(4) After crediting government grants for specific purposes on revenue account.
(5) Before special revenue deficit grant of £159·3 million.
(6) Includes special dividend payment of £16·2 million related to Concorde assets and financing arrangements.
(7) Before revenue deficit grants of £16·8 million in 1978 and £21·4 million in 1979.

Torness—Dalkeith: Overhead Power Lines

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will make a statement on the routeing of the proposed overhead section of the power lines between Torness and Dalkeith.

My right honourable friend has not yet received proposals from the South of Scotland Electricity Board relating to the routes to be followed by overhead transmission lines from Torness. The board will be obliged to advertise the proposals in due course and, if

Nationalised Industries: Trading Profits Or Deficits

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will state for each of the nationalised industries the trading profit or deficit for each of the last two available years, together with interest paid on loan capital and dividend paid on public dividend capital.

The following information is based on the industries' published annual reports and accounts. There are differences in accounting policies and presentation between the industries and reference should be made to the annual report and accounts for further details.objections are raised, my right honourable friend may cause them to be the subject of a public local inquiry.

Smoking And Cost-Benefit Study

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will now publish the cost-benefit study they have done on smoking.

No such study has been carried out for the present Government.House adjourned at six minutes before five o'clock.