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Mr. Freeman [holding answer 16 December] : We do not collect centrally diagnostic out-patient information.
Mr. Amos : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many amputations are carried out each year as a result of peripheral vascular disease caused by smoking ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Freeman [holding answer 16 December 1988] : The publication, "Amputation Statistics for England, Wales and Northern Ireland 1987", a copy of which is in the Library, contains figures on the number of amputations of
Column 245various limbs as a result of several forms of vascular insufficiency, but we do not collect centrally information on whether or not the amputee smoked.
Mr. Amos : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the cost to the National Health Service of smoking-related diseases for the last year for which figures were available.
Mr. Freeman [holding answer 16 December 1988] : I refer my hon. Friend to the reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Chislehurst (Mr. Sims) on 10 March at columns 339-340.
Mr. Latham : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he will direct the Leicestershire health authority to provide specific and detailed answers forthwith to the Leicestershire community health council and to the "Maternity Unit Must Stay" campaign to the 14 questions of fact set out in the letter to the chairman of the Leicestershire health authority from Mrs. Jane Daw of Wing, Rutland, to which the chairman replied briefly on 10 November declining to provide the information ; and whether he will make a statement.
Mr. Mellor [holding answer 19 December 1988] : Health authorities are required to provide information to community health councils to enable them to carry out their statutory duties. I understand that Leicestershire community health council has not formally sought the information referred to. It would therefore not be right for me to intervene in the way proposed.
Mr. Latham : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance he has given to regional health authorities regarding the need for district health authorities to provide community health councils with full information to enable them to fulfil their statutory duties of keeping under review the operation of the National Health Service ; how he monitors the performance of district health authorities in that regard ; and whether he will make a statement.
Mr. Mellor [holding answer 19 December 1988] : We have placed a legal requirement on district health authorities (currently regulation 20 of the Community Health Council Regulations 1985 ; S.I. 1985, No. 304) to provide CHCs with such information about the planning and operation of health services in their district as they may reasonably require in order to carry out their duties. The regulation also provides for a right of appeal to the relevant regional health authority in case of difficulty. Although we have not instituted any specific monitoring arrangements for this regulation we have not received representations suggesting there is any general problem with its operation.
Ms. Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many prescriptions for benzodiazepines were dispensed by community pharmacists in each of the years 1983 to 1986.
Mr. Mellor [holding answer 19 December 1988] : This is the information :
millions |Number of prescriptions ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1983 |28.7 1984 |28.0 1985 |25.7 1986 |25.4
Sir Hal Miller : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information he has as to whether any producers involved in outbreaks of salmonella attributed by him to eggs test their eggs for salmonella and have found them free from infection.
Mr. Clarke [holding answer 19 December] : Because of the probably very low number of eggs infected out of the total production of even an infected flock, a manageable sampling and testing regime in eggs from flocks is unlikely to detect the presence of infection. For example, if only one in 10,000 eggs were infected that would constitute a health risk but no sampling method would be likely to detect that level of infection. Safety cannot be assured by sampling therefore and no flock could be declared salmonella-free unless a large proportion of its output was tested.
Mr. Speller : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make funds available to pay compensation to patients damaged by excess radiation at the Royal Devon and Exeter hospital.
Mr. Mellor [holding answer 19 December 1988] : Health authorities are expected to meet such expenditure from within their own resources.
Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Lord President of the Council how many eggs have been consumed in the House of Commons Refreshment Department and in what form in (a) the last year for which statistics are available and (b) the last two weeks ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Irving : I have been asked to reply.
During the last 12-month period for which figures are available at least 280,000 eggs were used by the Refreshment Department either in the preparation of recipes, or for direct consumption. The Refreshment Department has also recently acquired a supply of liquid pasteurised eggs. In the last two weeks some 14,000 eggs and 4 gallons of liquid eggs have been consumed.
Mr. Wallace : To ask the Lord President of the Council if he will list in the Official Report the reports of departmental Select Committees in respect of which (a) evidence has been received from the Scottish Office and (b) recommendations have been made regarding matters within the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Scotland, in each Session since 1982-83.
Mr. Wakeham [holding answer 19 December 1988] : The following is the information requested :
Departmentally-related Select Committee (a) Evidence received |(b) Recommendations made from Scottish Office |regarding matters with |the responsibility of |the Secretary of State |for Scotland --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Agriculture First Report of Session 1982-83, | Second Report of Session 1983-84, Organisation and Financing of |The Effect of Feedstuff Prices on the Agricultural Research and |United Kingdom Pig and Poultry Development, HC 38. |Industries, HC 539. Second Report of Session 1983-84, |Sixth Report of the Session 1984-85, The The Effect of Feedstuff Prices on the |United Kingdom Government United Kingdom Pig and Poultry |Agricultural Development and Industries, HC 539. |Advisory Services including lower |input farming, HC 502 Sixth Report of Session 1984-85, The United Kingdom Government |Second Report of Session 1987-88, Agricultural Development and |Chernobyyl: The Government's Advisory Services including lower | Reaction, HC 456 input farming, HC 502 Second report of the Session 1987-88 Chernobyyl: The Government's Reaction, HC 456 Session 1988-89, Land-Use and Forestry (inquiry in progress). Education, Science and Arts First Report of Session 1986-87, Students Awards, HC 28. Fourth Report of Session 1986-87, DES Expenditure Plans 1987-88 to 1989-90, HC 240. Energy Third Report of Session 1986-87, The |Third Report of Session 1986-87, The Effect of Oil and Gas Prices on |Effect of Oil and Gas Prices on Activity in the North Sea, HC 175. |Activity in the North Sea, HC 175. Third Report of Session 1987-88, The | Third Report of Session 1987-88, The Structure, Regulation, and Economic | Structure, Regulation, and Economic Consequences of Electricity Supply | Consequences of Electricity Supply in the Private Sector, HC 307. |in the Private Sector, HC 307. Environment Fourth Report of Session 1983-84, cid Rain, HC 446. Fifth Report of Session 1985-86, Planning: Appeals, Call-in, and Major Public Inquiries, HC 181. Home Affairs First Report of Session 1984-85, | Second Report of Session 1984-85, Compensation and Support for | Chinese Community in Britain, HC Victims of Crime, HC 43. |102. Second Report of Session 1984-85, Chinese Community in Britain, HC 102. First Report, Session 1987-88, Bangladeshis in Britain, HC 96. Social Services Fourth Report of Session 1984-85, |Third Report of Session 1985-86, Misuse of Drugs, HC 208 |Problems Associated with AIDS, |HC 182. Third Report of Session 1986-87, Prison Medical Service, HC 72. Third Report of Session 1986-87, Problems Associated with AIDS, HC 182. Trade and Industry First Report of Session 1985-86, Tourism in the United Kingdom, HC 106. Transport Committee Second Report of Session 1983-84, The Organisation, Financing and Control of Airports in the United Kingdom, HC 319. First Report of Session 1984-85, Road Safety, HC 103. Second Report of Session 1985-86, Tolled Crossings, HC 250. Third Report of Session 1986-87, Financing of Rail Services, HC 383. Session 1988-89, Roads for the Future, (inquiry in progress). Treasury and Civil Service Eighth Report of Session 1987-88, Civil Service Management Reform: the Next Steps, HC 494. Welsh Affairs First Report of Session 1982-83, Water in Wales, HC 229. First Report of Session 1983-84, The Impact of Regional Industrial Policy on Wales, HC 427. In addition, the Scottish Affairs Committee made nine reports in Sessions 1982-83 to 1986-87, inclusive, all of which related to the expenditure, administration or policy of the Scottish Office.
Mr. Rooker : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the balance of conventional forces.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : The most recent assessment of the balance of conventional forces in Europe is given in the NATO document "Conventional Forces in Europe : the Facts", a copy of which has been placed in the Library of the House. This confirms that the Warsaw pact currently enjoys numerical superiorities over the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation of about 3 : 1 in tanks and artillery and 2 : 1 in combat aircraft.
Mr. Illsley : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with the United States Secretary of Defence on the future development of the strategic defence initiative.
Mr. Sainsbury : None recently, but there have been a number of ministerial and senior official contacts with the United States Department of Defence in recent months on various aspects of the SDI programme.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he has considered using members of the armed forces stationed in Britain to assist charities in distributing the free Common Market food to the needy ; and whether he has assessed whether this could be a useful training exercise should a similar procedure need to be undertaken during a wartime or national crisis.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : No. This form of assistance would not meet the criteria laid down in the well-established military aid to the civil community scheme, under which in certain circumstances military aid may be provided to civil agencies. This is primarily because there would be no training benefit, since we would not
Column 249envisage using service men in this way during wartime, and it is not our practice to train service men specifically for disaster relief.
Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the names and dates of bilateral US Navy-Royal Navy submarine and anti -submarine exercises held since 1981.
Mr. Hamilton : Aside from NATO exercises, the Royal Navy and United States Navy take part in a number of exercises held under national auspices each year, to which other allies are frequently also invited. Details of these exercises in the form requested are classified. In addition, ships and submarines of both navies take part in passage exercises whenever the opportunity arises. These are arranged locally by the vessels involved and information on them is not held centrally.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement about the cost and purpose of the satellite launched on an Ariane rocket on 11 December.
Mr. Sainsbury : The satellite was Skynet 4B, the first in a planned series of three military communications satellites. The estimated cost of the programme is £360 million at average 1987-88 outturn prices, including launch and ground support costs.
Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he has any plans for discussions with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and Warsaw pact on asymmetrical force and arms reductions ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : It is likely that new negotiations on conventional forces in Europe involving the 23 NATO and Warsaw pact countries will begin soon ; there will be a need for heavily asymmetrical reductions in key weapons systems by the countries of the Warsaw pact to redress current imbalances. The global ban on chemical weapons already under negotiation in the conference on disarmament will also require far greater reductions by the Warsaw pact countries than the countries of NATO.
Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what trends have been observed in the numbers of Warsaw pact shorter-range INF aircraft in Europe over the last two years ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : I refer the hon. Member to figure 1 on page 3 of Volume 1 of the Statement on the Defence Estimates 1988, Cm. 344-I. We have not noted any significant changes in the number of SRINF aircraft over the last two years, although the process of replacing the more elderly SRINF aircraft with the modern Fencer and Fulcrum has continued.
Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is his policy on the inclusion of discussions about offensive air power in the conventional stability talks.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : The United Kingdom is not opposed in principle to the inclusion in the conventional stability talks of any of the conventional capabilities of forces in the Atlantic to Urals area. However, NATO's proposals will concentrate on those land forces, such as armour and artillery, with the capacity to seize and hold territory, which represents the core of an offensive capability.
Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will now make it his practice to answer questions on deployment of the Royal Air Force Nimrod fleet.
Mrs. Margaret Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate has been made of the cost of transferring the military emergency diversion airfield facility for RAF Lossiemouth to RAF Kinloss.
Mr. Neubert : It is estimated that the transfer of military emergency diversion airfield (MEDA) responsibility from RAF Lossiemouth to RAF Kinloss will result in a net saving of some £3 million over 10 years.
Mrs. Margaret Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the current cost of fitting rotary hydraulic arrester gear at an emergency diversion airfield.
Mr. Neubert : The cost of installing rotary hydraulic arrester gear (RHAG) varies from site to site dependent upon the works services required. It is estimated that the cost of installing rotary hydraulic arrester gear (RHAG) at RAF Kinloss will be some £400,000.
Mrs. Margaret Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate has been made of likely civilian job losses at RAF Lossiemouth when its military emergency diversion airfield facility is transferred to RAF Kinloss ; and what will be the total cost of paying voluntary redundancy payments.
Mr. Sainsbury : Eleven civilian firemen posts will be lost ; of the 11 posts lost, eight will be made redundant all on voluntary terms. The total cost of voluntary redundancy payments is estimated at £168, 000.
Mrs. Margaret Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many occasions in the past five years RAF Lossiemouth has been used as a military emergency diversion airfield, showing these figures for (a) civilian and (b) military aircraft.
Mr. Neubert : In the last five years RAF Lossiemouth has been used as an emergency diversion airfield on 311 occasions. Fifty-one of these diversions were by civil aircraft and 260 by military aircraft.
Mrs. Margaret Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate has been made of jobs likely to be created for civilians following upon the establishment of RAF Kinloss as a military emergency diversion airfield ; and if these can be shown according to support tasks.
Mr. Sainsbury : No additional posts, military or civilian, will be created at RAF Kinloss following the transfer of the military emergency diversion airfield task from RAF Lossiemouth.
Mrs. Margaret Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions have been held between his Department and representatives of local authority fire services to ensure that the brigade can meet required response times, including during silent hours, for the proposed military emergency diversion airfield facility at RAF Kinloss.
Mr. Neubert : The proposed military emergency diversion airfield facility at RAF Kinloss will not alter required response times for the local authority fire services. The need for discussions does not therefore arise.
The Royal Air Force has a standing requirement for liaison between RAF and local authority fire services and joint exercises are carried out at regular intervals.
Mrs. Margaret Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what training facilities will be offered to civilians recruited to RAF Kinloss prior to, and following upon, its establishment as a military emergency diversion airfield.
Mr. Neubert : There will be no civilians recruited to RAF Kinloss specifically as a result of its designation as a military emergency diversion airfield. The question of training does not therefore arise.
Mrs. Margaret Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what will be the official category of RAF Lossiemouth following upon the transfer of its military emergency diversion airfield facility to RAF Kinloss in June 1989.
Mr. Neubert : When RAF Lossiemouth ceases to be designated a military emergency diversion airfield in June 1989, it will continue as an operational flying station within 18 Group of Strike Command.
Mr. Cartwright (Woolwich) : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on proposals to transfer the Museum of Artillery and the Royal Artillery archives from Woolwich to Larkhill.
Mr. Neubert : At present, the various buildings occupied by the three Royal Artillery Museums at Woolwich do not permit the complete collection of artifacts to be properly displayed. Furthermore, the potential for expansion of the museums both in terms of exhibits and the number of visitors who may be attracted to them is extremely limited. As a consequence, the museum authorities are examining various proposals for a new museum where all the present collection and archives can be relocated and where it will be possible to attract larger number of visitors. Discussions have taken place with the Ministry of Defence on the possibility of siting the new museum at Larkhill. However, these are at an early stage and no decisions have been taken either by the Ministry of Defence or the museum authorities.
Mr. Sean Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether all the fresh produce that is shipped to the Falkland Islands is entirely consumed by service personnel ; and what is the wastage rate of fresh produce shipped to the Falkland Islands.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : Fresh produce shipped to the Falkland Islands is almost entirely consumed by service
Column 252personnel, the only exceptions being supplies issued to the King Edward Memorial hospital and families occupying married quarters in Mount Pleasant. Issues to the hospital ensure that the dietary needs of all civilian and service patients are met. In both cases issues are made at full repayment rates. Stringent quality control ensures that the wastage rate of fresh produce shipped to the Falklands is very small.
Mr. Sean Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the number of specialist catering staff involved in the distribution of foodstuffs on the Falkland Islands.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : Distribution of foodstuffs on the Falklands is carried out by the RAOC Ration Platoon. The platoon are not caterers, but include in their establishment a petty officer and a leading cook who liaise with the Royal Navy afloat. RAF Mount Pleasant is responsible for catering support throughout Mount Pleasant complex and employs one NCO and four aircrew to distribute food commodities to the various catering outlets.
Mr. Sean Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many occasions mess funds on the Falkland Islands have had to be compensated from central funds due to errors in the distribution system of foodstuffs.
Mr. O'Neill : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many occasions in the last 12 months discussions have been held with Royal Ordnance in which the subject of the wartime needs of his Department have been mentioned.
Mr. Sainsbury : Procurement to meet peacetime and wartime needs is kept under continuing review and, where appropriate, includes discussions with Royal Ordnance. The needs are one of the aspects which is considered in many discussions.
Mr. O'Neill : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list (a) the number and (b) the different types of manufacturing capabilities whose retention has been considered with Royal Ordnance since its sale to British Aerospace.
Mr. Sainsbury : I refer the hon. Member to the answer that I gave to him on 30 November 1988, at column 296 .
Mr. O'Neill : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether any consideration was given to applying for outline planning permission for any of the Royal Ordnance sites prior to their sale to British Aerospace.
Mr. Sainsbury : Before the sale of Royal Ordnance plc, the company had submitted outline planning applications in respect of land which it had identified as surplus to requirements at its Waltham Abbey and Enfield, North sites. Bidders for the company were aware of this.
Mr. O'Neill : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many of his staff are engaged in monitoring howchanges in the defence industrial base influence its ability to meet the requirements of British armed forces in the event of war.
Mr. Sainsbury : All staff involved in procuring equipment for the armed forces are aware of the importance of safeguarding vital sources of supply and of the military need for specific industrial capabilities. The potential effects of industrial procurement decisions on the defence industrial base are examined on a case-by-case basis.
Mr. O'Neill : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what criteria exist for determining the ability of the United Kingdom defence industrial base to meet the wartime needs of his Department.
Mr. Sainsbury : Our procurement policy supports deterrence by providing our armed forces at all times with effective and reliable equipment. Value for money considerations include the ability of the United Kingdom defence industrial base to meet both or present and potential future requirements, as described in defence Open Government Document 83/01.
Mr. Gorst : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he has taken to ensure that all the best qualified groups have been given an opportunity to tender for the redevelopment of his Department's site at Graham park ; and if he will ensure that no decision is made about any tender until the fullest consultations have taken place between his Department, the local authority and the trustees of the Royal Air Force museum.
Mr. Neubert : Hendon East camp is being sold following public tender. A national firm of agents has conducted a programme of advertising in the property press and circulated potential purchasers to ensure that all those who might wish to tender were given the opportunity to do so.
Column 254The Ministry of Defence has consulted with the local authority on the production of a planning brief for the site, but it will be for the eventual purchaser to obtain planning permission in the normal way before undertaking development. Negotiations with a preferred tenderer are proceeding. I am aware of the concerns of the trustees of the RAF museum.
Mr. Conway : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the procurement of a new main battle tank for the Army.
Mr. Younger : I refer my hon. Friend to the statement I made in the House today on the replacement of the Chieftain tank.
In my statement, I pointed out that precise criteria for performance and technical achievement have been established against which the success of the demonstration phase will be measured. The requirements of the demonstration phase are in summary as follows : (a) to demonstrate overall vehicle performance in prototype tanks ;
(b) to demonstrate successful integration at bench level ; (c) to demonstrate weapon system performance ;
(d) to demonstrate armour performance ;
(e) to achieve successful proof firing of the CHARM gun ; (f) to demonstrate fightability ;
(g) to demonstrate system accuracy ;
(h) to produce an acceptable risk assessment ;
(i) to produce an acceptable reliability analysis ;
(j) to specify equipment, stores and facilities which the Ministry of Defence would be called upon to supply ;
(k) to demonstrate that the improved ammunition round can be successfully developed.
The requirements will be specified in detail in the contract with the company.