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Mr. Butcher : Estimates of the number of teachers of science subjects, with and without a science qualification, available from the 1984 secondary school staffing survey of maintained schools in England are as follows :
Subject Number teachingNumber of these with a Proportion of total subject post A-level tuition in the subject qualification in the provided by teachers subject with a post A-level qualification in it ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Biology |14,300 |11,800 |(82 per cent.)|91 per cent. Chemistry |11,800 |9,400 |(80 per cent.)|91 per cent. Physics |12,600 |8,800 |(70 per cent.)|83 per cent. General or combined science<1> |28,400 |6,800 |(24 per cent.)|28 per cent. Other sciences<1> |7,500 |3,000 |(40 per cent.)|56 per cent. <1>Teachers with a post A-level qualification in "general or combined science" and in "other sciences" exclude those with qualifications specifically in biology, chemistry or physics.
A further secondary school staffing survey was conducted in 1988. The results of this are expected to be available shortly.
Leavers with no graded results<1> England Academic years |Percentages --------------------------------------------- 1970-71 |44.1 1971-72 |43.0 <2>1972-73 |7.3 1973-74 |20.4 1974-75 |18.6 1975-76 |16.5 1976-77 |14.8 1977-78 |14.3 1978-79 |12.8 1979-80 |12.2 1980-81 |11.4 1981-82 |10.6 1982-83 |9.6 1983-84 |9.5 1984-85 |9.4 1985-86 |9.6 1986-87 |9.4 <1>Subject to sampling error. <2>The numbers of school leavers fell in 1973 following the raising of the minimum school leaving age from 15 to 16 in September 1972.
Mr. Fatchett To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what plans he has to ensure that school subjects not specified as foundation subjects of the national curriculum will be safeguarded in courses of initial and in-service teacher training.
Mrs. Rumbold : My right hon. Friend is confident that the full range of what is taught in schools will continue to be included both in courses of initial teacher training and in-service teacher training activities.
Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if the Natural Environment Research Council has any plans to fund interdisciplinary research into the interactions between sea birds, fish stocks and commercial fisheries in Shetland and neighbouring waters.
Mr. Jackson : I understand from the Natural Environment Research Council that it is considering a proposal from a university group on the interaction between sea birds and sand eels. A decision will be taken in the spring, following a full peer review of the proposal.
Mr. Kenneth Baker : The annual report of the Medical Research Council for 1987-88 has been submitted to me under the requirements of the Science and Technology Act 1965. A copy has been laid before the House, and the report is being published today.
I was most interested to study the report, and in an eventful year for the council, I was particularly encouraged to note :
i. the wide-ranging studies being undertaken on AIDS, including research on the development of vaccines and drugs, epidemiological studies on heterosexual transmission and on infection in infants, research on the social and biological factors influencing transmission in Africa, and the introduction of collaborative international research agreements.
ii. exciting progress on the influence of specific strutural features of the human B-globin gene on its expression, with important implications for the development of new therapeutic agents and new therapies such as for human inherited diseases.
iii. research of direct relevance to the health services, particularly a controlled study of outpatient cataract surgery, monitoring of the performance of intensive care units, and a controlled trial of community based care after hospital discharge. iv. research on rehabilitation for those with head and spinal injuries, including the treatment of incontinence and the restoration of limb movement in paraplegic and tetraplegic patients.
v. the successful establishment of a centre for collaborative research, dedicated to work jointly with industry on strategic research problems which have the potential to lead to exploitable new products and processes.
Mr. Favell : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps he is taking to protect the rights of local authority employees who are re-employed by (a) grant-maintained schools and (b) city technology colleges or city colleges for technology of the arts.
Mr. Kenneth Baker : It has always been my intention to protect the employment rights of staff moving from the local authority sector to either grant-maintained schools, city technology colleges or city colleges for the technology of the arts. Subject to the outcome of the necessary consultations, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Employment proposes to bring grant-maintained schools, city technology colleges and city colleges for the technology of the arts within the scope of the Redundancy Payments (Local Government) (Modification) Order 1983, with effect from 1 April 1989.
Mr. Jim Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the precise nature and terms of the negotiations presently under way with Bulk Transport Shipping, Mr. Ugur Mengercioglu
Column 575and Sealink British Ferries on the proposed sell-off of Harland and Wolff and on the state of his discussions with the management and employees of Harland and Wolff on their proposed buy-out.
Mr. Viggers : No. The companies interested in acquiring Harland and Wolff have asked that negotiations should be confidential. I have met recently Sealink which is considering its future requirement for ferries ; and I have also held discussions with senior managers of the company about a proposed management/employee buy-out. No firm proposal has yet been tabled.
Mr. Jim Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will review his policy of preventing Harland and Wolff competing for new contracts while the company remains in public ownership ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Viggers : The Government believe that the best prospects for Harland and Wolff lie in its return to the private sector and they are not willing to permit the company to enter into new contracts until future arrangements for the yard are resolved.
Mr. Jim Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what safeguards on future employment levels the Government are seeking in their negotiations with potential purchasers of (a) Harland and Wolff and (b) Shorts.
Mr. Viggers : Prospective purchasers of both Harland and Wolff and Shorts are being asked to address a number of specific matters in their proposals, including the future levels of employment in the companies. In the long run, however, employment levels will be determined by commercial success.
Mr. Jim Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the proposed timetable for the sale of Shorts and the Government's contingency plans to safeguard the future of the company if no suitable offers are received.
Mr. Viggers : Interested parties have already been asked to register their interest with the Government's merchant bank advisers and an information memorandum is being prepared which will be issued to a selected short list. The Government are committed to the privatisation of Shorts and their preference is that the company should be sold as a single unit. Beyond this, I have nothing to add to my statement of 21 July.
Mr. Jim Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on his plans to produce a series of mini-prospectuses for potential purchasers of Shorts indicating the availability of sections of the company for separate purchase.
Mr. William Ross : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what tests have been carried out on game birds in the areas of Northern Ireland affected by the Chernobyl disaster ; and what has been the result of the tests.
Mr. Needham : During the winters of 1986-87 and 1987-88 the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland arranged for tests to assess the levels of caesium 134 and 137 in game birds which migrate to the Province from areas in northern Europe which were particularly affected by radioactive pollution from Chernobyl. The results of the surveys, which were published, showed that there was no danger to health from eating game birds. I am arranging for copies of the press statements issued in March 1987 and June 1988, including schedules of the test results, to be placed in the Library.
Rev. Martin Smyth : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement about the machinery to be used by health boards in Northern Ireland to hear appeals about the new grading system ; and about the advice he has given to health boards about the methods and time scale for resolving any problems.
Mr. Needham [holding answer 13 December 1988] : Health and social services boards are reviewing informally the grades of nurses who are unhappy with their new grades. Staff who remain dissatisfied may make a formal appeal using the normal appeals procedure agreed by the general council. As there is yet no indication of the likely number of nurses who will make use of the formal procedures I have not given advice to boards about the methods and timetable for resolving problems which may arise. I shall keep the matter under review.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what response he has sent to letters sent to him dated 8 July, 16 September and 29 November from the Reverend Michael Davies, moderator of the Thames North province of the United Reform Church ; and if he will make a statement concerning the delay in responding.
Mr. John Patten : Smoke alarms have been discussed with representatives of chief fire officers, in the context of publicity within the forum of the Central Fire Brigades Advisory Council at its meeting on 22 September and also at recent meetings of some of the council's subsidiary committees. We shall be writing to chief fire officers in the Thames and Granada television regions this week seeking their support for a further public education campaign based on television advertising in the new year.
Mr. Burt : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is yet able to report progress on pilot schemes being conducted to place smoke detectors in local authority domestic accommodation ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 577Manchester county fire service, under which smoke alarms are to be installed in 10,000 homes in the Tameside area of Greater Manchester, was formally launched on 6 December. The neighbourhoods and dwellings are being selected on as random a basis as possible to reflect a wide cross-section of the community and local authority dwellings are included in the scheme.
The results will be monitored over the next three years to find out the overall effectiveness of smoke alarms in alerting occupants to the outbreak of fire and reducing fire casualties.
Mr. John Patten : Smoke alarms have been discussed with local authorities' representatives in the context of publicity within the forum of the Central Fire Brigades Advisory Council at its meeting on 22 September and also at recent meetings of some of the council's subsidiary committees.
Mr. John Patten : The latest available information relates to accidental fires in dwellings and other occupied buildings in 1986 analysed by source of ignition, and is published in tables 3 and 34 of "Fire Statistics United Kingdom 1986". Figures for 1987 will be published on 20 December in table 3 of Home Office Statistical Bulletin 39/88, "Summary Fire Statistics United Kingdom 1987".
Mr. Burt : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give the figures for fatal and non-fatal casualties from accidental fires in dwellings by source of ignition in 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1987.
Mr. John Patten : The information requested for 1984, 1985 and 1986 is published in table 11 of "Fire Statistics United Kingdom 1986". Figures for 1987 will be published on 20 December in table 11 of Home Office Statistical Bulletin 39/88, "Summary Fire Statistics United Kingdom 1987".
Mr. Butler : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make it his policy to seek to ensure that all films shown on cable television meet the same standards of classification as those applied under the Video Recordings Act 1984.
Column 578Broadcasting Act 1984. I understand that the Authority has approved a self-classification process for films not classified by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), using a comparable classification scheme. The authority has taken further steps to safeguard viewers, by developing guidelines for the scheduling and identification of films shown on cable according to these classifications. A film or uncut version of a film refused certification by the BBFC would be similarly rejected under the authority's cable classification system.
Mr. David Martin : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the revised guidelines on the handling of representations by hon. Members in immigration cases will come into effect ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Hurd : I have made certain amendments to the provisions of the draft revised guidelines first circulated on 18 July in the light of points made to my hon. Friend the Minister of State in the debate on 10 November. My hon. Friend is writing to all Members today enclosing the final text of the revised guidelines and a copy has also been placed in the Library. The revised guidelines will be implemented on 3 January 1989 in respect of all representations received on or after that date.
The guidelines issued on 18 July by my right hon. and learned Friend the Foreign Secretary in connection with Members' representations about the operation of the immigration control overseas will also come into effect as from 3 January 1989.
Mr. Colvin : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will make a statement about the outcome of the meeting of European Community immigration Ministers in Athens on 9 December.
Mr. Hurd : This was the fifth such meeting following an initiative taken during the United Kingdom Presidency in 1986 to help prepare the EC's approach to the creation of the single market by the end of 1992 so far as the movement of persons is concerned.
On this occasion the meeting took place after the meeting of the European Council, upon which my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister reported to the House on 6 December at columns 173 to 186. Meeting in Rhodes, the European Council, in its final communique on 3 December, noting that the achievement of objectives in relation to frontiers was linked to progress in intergovernmental co-operation to combat terrorism and other serious crime, indicated that member states would each appoint a co-ordinator to help the Community achieve results. Although there are already established arrangements within the United Kingdom, I signified, at the Athens meeting, the United Kingdom Government's support for this proposal whose implementation is now being given urgent study amongst EC partners.
Otherwise the Athens meeting's main work was to review the progress of the ad hoc working group on immigration and its sub-groups on asylum and fraudulent travel papers. Ministers noted the linkages between aligning visa policy, frontier controls and asylum practice in the drive to simplify controls at EC internal frontiers, and took account of various practical measures identified for action or further study. It appears that, if a basis for agreement can be found on which state should be
Column 579responsible for considering individual applications for asylum, most EC states will need to legislate to give it effect.
In the context of the meeting, I took the opportunity to mention the Government's intention to introduce next spring a single immigration channel for all nationals of the EC (including British nationals) entering the country. The aim of this change is to reduce, as far as possible, the levels of checks on EC nationals entering the United Kingdom without disturbing our ability to maintain adequate controls on nationals of third countries.
At the same time, I reminded the meeting that there could be no question of abandoning checks on third country nationals at internal frontiers in the foreseeable future. This was a point emphasised by my right hon. Friend on 6 December and in which the United Kingdom is supported by a number of EC partners. This means that checks will have to be maintained on all travellers to ensure that the authenticity of their claims may be verified.
Further, although it arose as part of separate consideration it is relevant to add that the Trevi group's meeting which immediately followed that of immigration Ministers--and upon which I shall be reporting separately-- considered the implication of 1992 for the maintenance of successful defence in depth against terrorism and serious crime. It decided to authorise further study of how to strike the right balance between greater freedom of movement for the development of the Community on the one hand and, on the other, creating an open market for terrorists and major criminals.
Mr. Janner : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what percentage of overseas applicants for entry to the United Kingdom are awaiting reconsideration of their cases on the basis of DNA tests ; and if he will make a statement.
The information requested is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. John Patten : Seven local authorities, including Coventry, are trying out the experimental byelaw which makes it an offence to drink alcohol in a public place and we have no plans to extend the experiment. I believe that it is sensible to wait and see how this measure works out in practice in these areas before deciding whether to offer the byelaw for general adoption by local authorities.
Column 580has any particular report in mind may I suggest that, in the first instance, he brings it to the attention of the appropriate sub-committee.
Mr. Andrew Welsh : To ask the Lord President of the Council how many hon. and right hon. Members (a) have been allocated a single room, (b) share a room with one other hon. or right hon. Member, (c) share a room with two other hon. or right hon. Members and (d) share a room with three or more hon. or right hon. Members.
Mr. Wakeham : A total of 283 right hon. and hon. Members occupy single rooms, 230 share a room with one other right hon. or hon. Member, 36 share a room with two other hon. Members and 95 share a room with three or more right hon. or hon. Members.
Mr. Andrew Welsh : To ask the Lord President of the Council how many parliamentary assistants or secretaries have been allocated a room ; and how many share a room with (a) one other person, (b) two other persons and (c) more than three persons.
Mr. Wakeham : None. However there are 422 right hon. and hon. Members who have been allocated a desk for use by either their private secretary or research assistant. A total of 26 share a room with one other, 66 share a room with two others and 321 share a room with three or more others.
Mr. Alan W. Williams : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many inspections have been carried out (a) in 1987 and (b) in 1988 of protein processing plants making chicken feed ; how many of these showed plants to be contaminated with salmonella ; and how many prosecutions were brought under the Protein Processing Order 1981 against the infected plants.
Mr. Ryder : In 1987, 83 statutory inspections were carried out and 21 cases of salmonella contamination recorded. So far in 1988, 135 inspections have taken place, with 17 cases of salmonella contamination. In each of these cases advice was given on how to eliminate the contamination and prevent recurrence. On re-inspection all samples of products from these contaminated plants were found to be clear of salmonella contamination and so no prosecutions were brought.
Column 581In 1988 the policy has been to inspect each plant at approximately six-monthly intervals, with additional visits to those plants where problems have been found. We are currently considering introducing measures requiring plants to test each day's production for salmonella, and to make the results available to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the estimated level of contamination of imported animal feedstuffs by salmonella ; what powers his Department has to monitor and control such contamination ; and whether he plans to seek to increase his powers in this respect.
Statutory controls apply to the importation of all animal protein requiring all imports to be licensed. Importations made in contravention of these controls may be required to be re-exported, destroyed or treated. Importations of animal protein are also monitored and samples are taken for testing for salmonella contamination. The overall contamination rate found in imported animal protein in 1987 was 28 per cent.
Discussions between representatives of the animal feeding stuffs industry and my officials are already under way to consider the application of the present controls and the need for any further measures to reduce salmonella contamination in feedingstuffs and their components.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the names and locations of the 21 protein processing plants that were inspected in 1987 and found to be contaminated with salmonella ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Ryder [holding answer 12 December 1988] : Protein processing plants are subject to inspections under the Diseases of Animals (Protein Processing) Order 1986 to ensure that their product conforms with the required bacteriological standard and contains no salmonella. The 21 plants which were inspected in 1987 and failed these tests were given advice on overcoming their problems and when subsequently re-inspected were found to be meeting the required bacteriological standard.
In these circumstances prosecutions were not taken. Information on the identity of the plants concerned is a matter of commercial confidence.
Column 582which is in the Library of the House. Table 3.5 (p. 75) provides annual estimates of aggregate farming income for each country and table 2.3 (p. 18) provides estimates of net farm income by farm type, size group and country. This publication also provides further information on farm incomes and definitions of the above terms.
Mr. Geraint Howells : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many tonnes of butter there are in store within the EEC ; what were the corresponding figures for each of the last 10 years ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Donald Thompson : At the end of October 1988, there were 374, 922 tonnes of butter in store within the EEC, 162,928 tonnes in intervention, and 211,994 tonnes in aided private storage. Corresponding stock figures for the end of the previous 10 years are given in the table.
EC Butter Stocks at 31 December (to nearest 100 tonnes) |Intervention tonnes |Aided private storage|Total tonnes |tonnes -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1978 |231,500 |186,500 |418,000 1979 |270,800 |100,600 |371,400 1980 |128,800 |110,600 |239,400 1981 |11,100 |136,100 |147,200 1982 |111,900 |193,800 |305,700 1983 |692,100 |161,300 |853,400 1984 |841,500 |107,400 |948,900 1985 |995,800 |127,700 |1,123,500 1986 |1,283,300 |83,200 |1,366,500 1987 |859,900 |98,200 |958,100
Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if his Department or any relevant agencies have given any guidance to local authorities, landowners and farmers in respect of the environmental and public health implications of using sprays to control the spread of brackens in national parks or other areas of countryside.