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Written Answers

Volume 476: debated on Wednesday 11 June 1986

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Written Answers

Sdi: Uk Technological Capabilities Study

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether a United States Department of Defense study is being conducted into all British technological capabilities that might be of relevance to the Strategic Defense Initiative, and if so for what purpose; and whether the study is being conducted with the co-operation of the British Government.

Part of the activity preceding signature of the US/UK Memorandum of Understanding on UK participation in the US SDI research programme was an examination by officials of both governments of the technological capabilities of each other's industry and research organisations, with the joint purpose of identifying broad areas of research where the UK could participate in SDI research; and, additionally on the UK side, the objective of developing a fuller knowledge and understanding of the content and direction of the UK programme. This examination gave way to a series of joint technical workshops, led by officials, in which personnel from UK industry and research organisations were involved, and with the object of defining early opportunities for UK participation in SDI research. Beyond this, there is a regular two-way traffic of officials and personnel from industry and research organisations with the purpose of defining or following up specific business opportunities.All these activities have taken place under the auspices of the government concerned, or with their co-operation and subject to any necessary controls, as appropriate.

"European Architecture" Study: Contract

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether the contract to study "European Architecture" that they have entered into is with the United States Army Strategic Defense Command instead of the United States Strategic Defense Initiative Office, and if so why.

Contractual negotiations for this study are at a very advanced stage between the Ministry of Defence and the United States Strategic Defense Initiative Organisation.

"Anti-Tactical Missile" And "European Architecture" Studies

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether it is their intention that studies and discussions relating to "Anti-Tactical Missile" (ATM) defences and the "European Architecture" should be conducted (

a) under United States SDI auspices and direction and ( b) at United States expense; whether British and/or other European financial participation is being proposed or asked for by the United States authorities; whether these matters are covered by the Memoranda of Understanding the United States has signed with the United Kingdom, the Federal Republic of Germany, Portugal and Israel; and what discussions and consultation within IEPG and other European/NATO groups are being held.

It is the Government's intention that studies and discussions relating to "Anti-Tactical Missile" (ATM) defences should be conducted under NATO auspices. This issue is currently being studied in a number of NATO fora, including the IEPG and AGARD, and we consider that the most appropriate body to co-ordinate and take forward Alliance consideration of the whole question of developing European Air Defence is likely to be the NATO Air Defence Committee (NADC).On "European Architecture" there is nothing to add to the Answer given to the noble Lord on 7th May (col. 812) together with that given by my noble friend, Lord Glenarthur, on 16th May (cols. 1390–1392).

Gulls' Egg Collection

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether it is necessary to hold a licence in order to collect gulls' eggs; and if so, why.

All naturally occurring species of wild birds must be protected under the terms of Directive 79/409/EEC on the conservation of wild birds. Accordingly, Section 1(1)(c) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 makes it an offence to take or destroy the egg of any wild bird.To comply with the directive, a licence is generally necessary to collect the eggs of wild birds. However for certain pest species, listed on Schedule 2, Part II, to the 1981 Act and including the Great Black-backed, Lesser Black-backed and Herring Gulls, eggs may be collected without a licence by any authorised person as defined in Section 27 of the Act.

Peterborough Development Corporation: Winding-Up

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will now set a more precise target date for the winding up of the Peterborough Development Corporation.

On 4th February 1981 my right honourable friend the then Secretary of State for the Environment indicated that the target date for winding up Peterborough Development Corporation, together with certain other English new town development corporations, should be the late 1980s.The physical programme of infrastructure and related works required to achieve the expansion of Peterborough as a new town has now largely been completed and the development corporation can take pride in the high quality of the environment it has created in co-operation with private investors and the other public authorities concerned. Nevertheless, important tasks remain to be completed and there are two particular fields in which we consider it would be desirable for the development corporation, with its special powers and expertise, to concentrate its efforts for a further period.First, it should oversee the completion of the remaining major road projects needed to complete the Parkway system, and take forward proposals for redevelopment of the Rivergate inner area. Secondly, it should take advantage of the opportunities for further growth that exist by continuing to seek to attract employment investment and the continuation of private housing growth. In these ways the development corporation will be able to provide a solid basis for further growth based on private investment.I consider that in order to undertake these tasks the development corporation should continue in existence for about another two years and I have therefore decided to set 30th September 1988 as the target date for winding up Peterborough Development Corporation. The final decision and formal order will be made in the usual way after further consultations nearer that date.

Organotin Compounds In Anti-Fouling Paints

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they are satisfied with the enforcement of the legislation relating to the use of organotin compounds in the anti-fouling paints applied to yachts and other small craft.

The Control of Pollution (Anti-fouling Paint) Regulations 1985 apply to anti-fouling paints sold by retail, which represent the bulk of those used on yachts and other small craft. These regulations set maximum levels for the content of organotin compounds in such paints. The effectiveness of the regulations is monitored by trading standards officers of the local authorities and, to aid them in their duties, a list of complying formulations was attached to the circular on the regulations issued to the local authorities. This list has been revised and amended to include additional formulations and to correct some inaccuracies in the paint names given in the original list. The revised list has been sent to the trading standards officers and is also set out below.On the basis of the evidence available to me I am satisfied that both trading standards officers and retailers are fully aware of the provisions of the regulations and that the level of compliance is high. There is no evidence that the errors in the original list of complying paints caused problems in enforcing the regulations.

List of complying paints


Brand Name

International Paint PLCMicron 25, Micron 25 Plus Cruiser Copolymer
Extra Strong Hard Racing Antifouling
Hard Racing Copper Coat Antifouling
Hard Racing Antifouling
Middle Sea Antifouling
Trawler Antifouling
Waterways Antifouling
Blakes Paints LtdTitan II Antifouling
Tiger Copolymer Antifouling
Tiger Tin Free Antifouling
Algicide Antifouling
Pilot Antifouling
Trawler Antifouling
Broads Antifouling
Hempels Marine Paints LtdAntifouling Forte 7620 New Mille Ea
Sigma Coatings LtdSigmaplane
Geedon Marine LtdVC17m Tropicana (Yellow hat)
VC17m EP (Blue hat)
Devoe Coatings BVABC-AF No. 3 Devran 223
Sikkens BVRuwa Antifouling
—Special White;—Special Blue
Ruwa Self-polishing Antifouling
—White;—Signal Red;—727;
Vinyl Antifouling TL
Ruwa Antifouling Extra Strong
Ruwa Bronze Bottom Paint

St Thomas's Hospital: South Wing Conversion

asked Her Majesty's Government:When and for what purpose the old building of St. Thomas's Hospital, London, will be developed.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health and Social Security
(Baroness Trumpington)

Building work is due to start towards the end of this year to convert the South Wing of St. Thomas's Hospital, part of the original fabric dating from the 1820s-30s, to accommodate services at present being provided by St. John's Hospital for Diseases of the Skin, the Phipps Respinaut Unit and the Dreadnought Seamen's Hospital. The new accommodation will also house a lithotripter, improved catering facilities and engineering services. Work is due to be completed in 1988.