Rev. Martin Smyth : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Soviet Government about the possibility of a human rights conference in Moscow ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Waldegrave : We have made it clear to the Russians at various levels and on several occasions that we view their proposal with scepticism and that they would need to make considerale improvements in their human rights record before we could contemplate a CSCE human rights meeting in Moscow.
Mr. Amess : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will raise with Mr. Gorbachev and Mr. Shevardnadze the case of Mr. Raoul Wallenberg ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Mullin : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairsif he will order an investigation as to how the photograph from the MI6 file on the former Labour Minister, Lord Diamond, came to be published on the front page of the Sunday Express on 14 February.
Mr. Higgins : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether there is any restriction on members of the British armed services who served in Crete during the second world war receiving any commemorative medal issued by the Greek Government ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Waldegrave : The acceptance and wearing of foreign orders, decorations and medals by British subjects is governed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Orders Regulations 1969. A copy of these regulations was placed in the Library of the House in reply to my right hon. Friend's question which was answered on 27 May 1988. These regulations would apply to any commemorative medal issued by the Greek Government if it is intended to be worn.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Attorney-General what references have been made from courts of the United Kingdom to the courts of the European Community, Luxembourg, in respect of intra-community trade in material judged pornographic by courts in the United Kingdom but also subject to articles relating to trade in the treaty of Rome.
The Attorney-General : Questions concerning the interpretation of articles 30 and 36 of the treaty of Rome in the context of proceedings relating to the importation of indecent or obscene articles have been referred by United Kingdom courts to the European Court in two cases : in 1979, by the House of Lords in the case of R. v . Henn and Darby, and in 1984, by the High Court in the case of Conegate Limited v . Her Majesty's Customs and Excise.
I understand that questions relating to article 30 have recently been referred to the European Court in criminal proceedings concerning the licensing of sex shops. The United Kingdom has not formally been notified of such a case by the European Court.
Mr. Fraser : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what approach he has received from the London borough of Croydon about the conversion of Sylvan high school into a city technology college ; and what steps he is taking to consult the parents.
Mrs. Rumbold : I understand that the London borough of Croydon is currently consulting interested parties, including parents, about the possible closure of the Sylvan high school and the establishment of a city technology college in its premises. Responsibility for carrying out appropriate consultations rests with Croydon.
Mr. Cartwright : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many schools are to be taken over by each of the inner London borough councils as a result of the abolition of the Inner London education authority.
Mrs. Rumbold : At this stage it is not possible to say precisely how many schools each inner London council will inherit on 1 April 1990. Councils are required to list in their development plans the schools that they propose to maintain. In general, schools will be transferred to the council in whose area they are situated, although it is in principle possible for them to be transferred to a different council if, exceptionally, local circumstances warrant this. Future arrangements for the maintenance of the residential special schools located outside inner London are currently under discussion with the inner London councils and ILEA.
Mr. Cartwright : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) if he will set out the allowances made to each inner-London borough council in respct of education costs to be incurred in 1988-89, indicating how the total figure and the individual allocations have been arrived at ;
(2) what representations he has received from inner-London boroughs about the adequacy of the allowance made to them for education costs in 1988-89 ; and what has been his response.
Mrs. Rumbold : The Government is making available grant of £3 million in 1988-89 in respect of expenditure by the inner London councils on their preparation for the transfer of education responsibilities. Each borough may claim up to £240,000, and the City of London £120,000, reflecting the fact that the major items of preparatory expenditure this year will be common to all councils. A small number of boroughs have made representations about the amount of grant available in 1988-89, but we have informed them that we believe the sums available will be adequate to meet reasonable preparatory costs.
Ms. Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will make available a sum of not less than £4 million in capital funding to the Haberdashers Aske's Hatcham school, in Deptford, in the event of city technology colleges being established on the sites of these schools.
Mrs. Rumbold : An occasional professional assistant working for the Department visited the schools in July at the invitation of the governors to advise on possible modifications to the buildings. As a result of this, the governors have concluded that adaptation of the premises to meet the objectives of the CTC programme might cost £4 million. This is in line with capital grants to CTCs already announced. Any approach by the governors to my right hon. Friend to establish a CTC in place of these schools will be treated strictly on its merits.
Ms. Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if the guidance issued by his Department in circular 11/88 on the use of interviews in admissions procedures for non-selective county and voluntary schools is intended to apply to the Haberdashers Aske's Hatcham schools in Deptford ; and if he will make a statement on the implications of changing the terms of articles of government for the schools to take account of this guidance.
Column 404view, non-selective schools may not have, as criteria for admission, arrangements which involve selection by reference to ability or aptitude, including any arrangements which, by implication, carry an element of selection, such as headteacher interview to assess the qualities a child might bring to the school.
The making of the articles of government of individual voluntary schools is a matter for the maintaining local education authority, which is required to secure the agreement of the school governing body to the terms of the document. In the event of disagreement, the matter can be referred to my right hon. Friend for determination.
Ms. Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received seeking approval of, or advice on, any draft curriculum for the proposed city technology colleges to be established on the site of the Haberdashers Aske's Hatcham schools in Deptford ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Rumbold : I understand that a governors' working party which is currently considering various options for the schools' future, including seeking to become a city technology college, has had a paper prepared on a possible CTC curriculum. When this paper was in preparation my officials were asked to give technical advice on how far its contents were in line with the requirements and objectives of the CTC programme.
Ms. Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he has assessed whether the details of the membership bodies and funding arrangements set out under the three options in the consultation document entitled, "Securing the Future of the Schools," issued in July by the governors of the Haberdasher Aske's Hatcham schools in Deptford are in line with the guidance of his Department ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Rumbold : In preparing this document, the Governors sought advice from my officials on the statutory provisions relating to the three options outlined for the schools' future. They also sought advice on whether the plans outlined under the CTC option would meet the requirements and objectives of the CTC programme.
Implementation of possible plans for grant maintained status set out under option 2 of the document would be subject to the publication by the governors of proposals under section 62 of the Education Reform Act 1988, and their approval by my right hon. Friend. Implementation of the CTC plans would require the governors to give notice of their intention to discontinue the schools under the provision of section 14 of the Education Act 1944. They are likely to need my right hon. Friend's leave to give such notice. Any decisions which fall to him will be taken strictly on their merits and in the light of the individual circumstances, including the consultations undertaken by the governors.
Mr. Straw : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will list the meetings which have taken place and the meetings scheduled to take place between his Department and the banking and financial services sector in respect of proposals for student loans ; and if he will give an interim report of the progress made in these talks.
Mr. McCrindle : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will estimate the numbers of young people leaving universities and polytechnics and being available for work in each of the next five years ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Jackson [pursuant to his reply, 1 December 1988, c. 354-5] : I regret that, due to a typing error, my answer gave a figure for 1992 of 150,000. This should be 105,000. The corrected answer is therefore as follows :
Future recruitment and, certainly, students' intentions after qualifying, are obviously difficult to predict. A key factor over the next five years is the continuing fall in the traditional student entry age group. However, due to increasing participation rates and greater recruitment of part-time and mature students, numbers generally are projected to hold up against that trend. Indeed, the number of home students at higher education institutions in Great Britain who were under 21 on entry and, on qualifying, would enter the labour market is estimated to grow from nearly 100,000 in 1987 to about 105,000 in 1992.
chlorofluorocarbons from non-signature countries to the Montreal protocol.
Mr. Atkins : The Montreal protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer which the United Kingdom signed on 16 September 1987 and expects to ratify this month, has provision for such controls to be applied by parties within four years of its entry into force to goods containing chlorofluorocarbons and halons. The protocol also has provision for the feasibility of such controls to be considered by parties, in respect of goods made with but not containing these substances, within five years of its entry into force.
The Government will, with the European Community and other parties, consider the implications and acceptability of such controls at the appropriate time.
Mr. Malcolm Bruce : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will impose a mandatory labelling scheme on producers of aerosol cans to distinguish which products contain substances which damage the ozone layer.
Mr. Atkins : The Government continue to believe that this is a matter best left to the operation of the market, rather than rigid legislative control. We welcome the decision earlier this year by the British Aerosol Manufacturers Association to label products not containing CFCs. We also await with interest the outcome of discussions, in the context of the resolution agreed by the Council of Ministers on 16 June, between the European Commission and the European aerosol and other industries on the conclusion of a voluntary agreement for a common Community label for
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether the assessment referred to in his written answer of 12 February 1986, Official Report. column 483, to the hon. Member for Dulwich (Mr. Bowden), of the essential requirements which industry could be called on to supply for civil defence purposes, and industry's capability to meet them has been completed ; and if he proposes to place a copy of the completed assessment in the Library.
(2) what is the estimate of the number of road accidents over the past five years attributable to wheel loss on heavy goods vehicles because of inadequate fastening ;
(3) what plans he has to require that coned nuts used in the fitting of lorry wheels be replaced by flat nuts.
Wheel security on commercial vehicles has been the subject of recent research by the Motor Industry Research Association, sponsored by the Institute of Road Transport Engineers and the Department of Trade and Industry.
The Department and the British Standards Institution expect to receive the full research reports shortly. These will be carefully considered to see if any changes are needed in the current British Standard and regulations.
Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information he has as to which districts in England do not have any system of concessionary bus fares for any category of pensioners and which districts confine their concessionary fare system to those pensioners on income support.
Mr. Portillo : According to information supplied on a voluntary basis to the Department in 1986-87, 27 of the 332 English districts outside London have no system of concessionary bus fares for those of state pensionable age and 22 of those districts which do have such schemes specify an income restriction for eligibility.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : A survey of vehicle speeds on motorways, under conditions where traffic was able to flow freely, found that 22 per cent. of heavy goods vehicles travelling on motorways were exceeding their speed limit of 60 miles per hour in 1987. During a similar survey in 1983, the corresponding figure was 39 per cent.
Mr. Squire : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is his estimate of the number of accidents involving fatalities or serious injury which occurred through lorries breaking speed limits on Britain's motorways for each year between 1983 and 1987.
The road traffic law review which was published in April recommended the use of cameras to detect speeding and traffic light offences. The Government have endorsed in principle the review's conclusion that the use of cameras for these purposes is acceptable and that satisfactory procedures can be developed for using the evidence from such devices. We shall be announcing our conclusions on the review as a whole early in the new year.
Mr. Merlyn Rees : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will meet the chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority to discuss the monitoring, the timing and the regulation of scheduled flights to and from Leeds-Bradford airport.
Mr. McCrindle : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he has any plans, in the interest of safety, to require a review of the designs for Channel tunnel rail shuttle vehicles ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) if the railway inspectorate and the marine directorate have been asked to investigate the safety procedures for the operation of the Channel tunnel ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 408look to the railway inspectorate and the marine directorate if necessary for advice on relevant proposals from Eurotunnel. More generally, Eurotunnel is required under the Channel fixed link concession agreement to submit to the United Kingdom-French intergovernmental commission the general characteristics of the design of the tunnel and the associated transport system including rolling stock, with particular emphasis on safety aspects, and also proposed safety arrangements including operating rules and emergency procedures. Eurotunnel has already submitted a number of design proposals, though so far for the rail shuttle vehicles only conceptual proposals, and it has yet to submit its operating rules and emergency procedures. The intergovernmental commission has the assistance of the United Kingdom-French safety authority, and the commission and the authority can look for assistance to bodies such as the railway inspectorate and the marine directorate. (The deputy chief inspecting officer of railways is in fact a member of the authority).
Mr. Peter Bottomley : The campaign is continuing. We have issued more than 37,000 leaflets and posters this year with the message "Pavements are for People". The pavement parking problem has also been publicised frequently on television.
Mr. Meacher : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish the report of the manning by the London fire brigade, carried out in the current year, into the whole of London Underground.
Mr. Portillo : Publication is a matter for London Underground. I understand that LUL will be publishing reports on such inspections in future, through the London Regional Passenger Committee, in line with the recommendation in Mr. Fennell's report on the King's Cross fire.
Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussion he has had with London Regional Transport on improving Underground platform safety and increasing the number of platform staff at Underground stations ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Portillo : The statutory responsibility for Underground safety rests with London Regional Transport. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has asked LRT to make regular reports to him on its implementation of the recommendations of the Fennell report which include a number relevant to platform safety.
Accidents on motorways involving heavy goods vehicles Great Britain: 1983 to 1987 Severity |1983 |1984 |1985 |1986 |1987 --------------------------------------------------------------- Fatal |49 |70 |68 |56 |78 Serious |260 |246 |237 |269 |318
Fatal accidents involving heavy goods vehicles: Great Britain 1979-1987 |Number --------------------- 1979 |940 1980 |782 1981 |761 1982 |786 1983 |722 1984 |777 1985 |728 1986 |794 1987 |776
Mr. Watts : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make it his policy to widen the scope of his discussions on the 28th levy scheme and the feasibility study into the privatisation of the Horserace Totalisator Board to encompass an inquiry into the finances of both horse and greyhound racing.
Mr. Hurd : No. I do not believe that it would be practicable or necessary to hold such an inquiry in deciding what the 28th horserace betting levy scheme should be. The feasibility study on privatising the Horserace Totalisator Board takes account of the implications of privatisation for the regulation of gambling and the health of horseracing. I understand that Lloyds Merchant Bank, which is conducting the study, has already had the benefit of views on the circumstances of horse and greyhound racing from the British Greyhound
Column 410Racing Board. I am considering separately a request from that board for an inquiry into the off-course betting industry and its relationship to the finances of both forms of racing.
(2) if he has any plans to increase staffing levels at the passport office in Newport, Gwent ;
(3) what proposals he has to reduce the backlog and delays at the passport office in Newport.
Mr. Renton : Passport applications to the Newport passport office are being processed within six working days. There is no backlog of work. No representations have been received specifically about the passport office in Newport. However, a number of hon. Members, including the hon. Member for Newport, East, have written recently about staffing levels in the passport department, following an approach to them by the Civil and Public Services Association and the National Union of Civil and Public Servants. Replies will be sent shortly.