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Inner City Task Forces

Mr. Riddick : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when he last met the leaders of the inner city task forces ; and what matters were discussed.

Mr. Newton : I last met the leaders of the inner city task forces at their conference in Liverpool on 9 December. I discussed with them a wide range of matters relating to their operations and made clear the Government's continuing commitment to the task force initiative.

Advisory Panel on Deregulation

Mr. Sumberg : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what is the current membership of the advisory panel on deregulation ; and when he will be appointing new members.

Mr. Maude : Three new members have been appointed and will join the panel on 1 January 1989. They are :

Mr. Mike Fisher

Managing Director, Whale Tankers Ltd., Solihull, West Midlands Mrs. Jenifer Rosenberg

Managing Director, J & J Fashions Ltd., London

Mrs. Celia Urquhart

Managing Director, CU Data Ltd., Glasgow

The existing membership of the Advisory Panel on Deregulation is as follows :

Sir Nigel Mobbs DL (Chairman)

Chairman & Chief Executive, Slough Estates plc, Slough

Mr. Colin Dauris

Chairman & Managing Director, James Dauris & Co. Ltd., London Mr. George Gray

Chairman & Managing Director, Valley Capital Ltd., Carnforth, Lancashire, and Deputy Chairman, Development Commission

Mrs. Teresa Graham

Senior Manager, Price Waterhouse, Newcastle

Mr. Damon de Laszlo

Chairman, Harwin Ltd., Portsmouth

Mr. Stephen Moss

Director, Grosvenor Securities Ltd. and Drakes Restaurant, London Mr. Tom O'Connor

Chairman & Managing Director, Elta Plastics, Stockton-on-Tees Mr. Phillip White

Chairman & Chief Executive, WYKO Group plc, Dudley, West Midlands The advisory panel has made a useful contribution to the enterprises and deregulation unit's work by advising it on the impact of regulatory requirements on business and enterprise development. I should like to express my

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gratitude to it and particularly to the four retiring members, Mr. Brian Adgey, Mr. Brian Crack, Mr. Robert Fleeman and Mr. Clive Parritt.

The new appointments will help to ensure the panel's continuing effectiveness as a source of valuable advice.


British Steel (Privatisation)

Mr. Gordon Brown : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if, pursuant to his reply on 8 December, Official Report, column 263, he will list those major companies whose existing shareholders received direct mail shots for the British Steel offer.

Mr. Atkins [holding answer 15 December 1988] : No. The mailing list used for the British Steel direct mail shot was obtained through the Department's public relations advisers and the Department does not have a complete list of the companies concerned.

Mr. Hind : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he has approved and made an offer of regional selective assistance to Quinton Snack Foods of Skelmersdale ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Atkins : I am not normally able to discuss offers of financial assistance for reasons of commercial confidentiality. Under the circumstances, however, Quintins Snack Foods has agreed that I may inform my hon. Friend that an offer of regional selective assistance has been made to the company, which it has accepted. I hope to make a further announcement in due course.


Identity Cards

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Attorney-General whether the Law Officers' or the Lord Chancellor's Departments have investigated, or are currently studying, the usefulness of a national identity card to their departmental responsibilities ; and whether he will make a statement.

The Attorney-General : I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by the Home Secretary to a similar question from the hon. Member for Edinburgh, Central (Mr. Darling) on 15 December 1988 at column 1080.



Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has information, which he can publish in a form that does not jeopardise national security, which indicates the volume of weapons allegedly supplied by Libya to the Irish Republican Army before and after the bombing of Libya by the United States of America ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Waldegrave : It would not be in the national interest to disclose detailed information of this nature. However, we have good reason to believe that substantial volumes of weaponry were supplied by Libya to the Provisional Irish Republican Army both before and after the United States bombing of Libya.

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South Africa (Military Service)

Mr. Steel : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the South African Government about the imprisonment of young South African Christians for refusing to do military service on grounds of conscience, with particular reference to the recent case of Charles Bester.

Mrs. Chalker : None. We understand why some young South Africans choose to refuse to do military service and respect the sincerity of their views. But such decisions are a matter for the individual concerned.

Human Rights

Mr. Dykes : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Soviet authorities expressing reluctance in the United Kingdom to support the proposal of a human rights conference in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1989 without a full solution of the problem of Refuseniks still unable to leave the Soviet Union.

Mr. Waldegrave : The Soviet authorities are already well aware of our long-standing view that agreement to a Moscow conference on human rights in 1991 is possible only in circumstances of a major improvement in the Soviet human rights performance. There have been encouraging signs recently, including over long-standing refusenik cases. We are currently pressing for more progress.


Mr. David Shaw : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the Government plan to contribute to the United Nations group which will monitor Namibia's transition to independence, UNTAG.

Mrs. Chalker : We shall of course be paying in full our assessed contribution to the costs of the United Nations Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG). In addition, we have offered to provide a unit of signallers with their equipment for up to a year to carry out the signals function for UNTAG.

Foreign Affairs Council

Mr. Quentin Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the outcome of the Foreign Affairs Council held on 19 December.

Mrs. Chalker : The Foreign Affairs Council met in Brussels on 19 December. My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State and I represented the United Kingdom.

The Council discussed the outcome of the mid-term meeting of the GATT Uruguay round in Montreal on 4-9 December. The Council noted that the meeting had made progress in a large number of areas, that agriculture remained the most difficult area, and that all sides would need to show flexibility before the senior officials' meeting in April.

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The Council discussed the dispute with the United States over the directive banning imports of hormone-treated meat ; agreed on a derogation for pet food, and asked the Commission to explore the possibilities for a negotiated settlement.

The Council adopted guidelines for the 1989 programme of aid to Asia and Latin America, and agreed to early implementation of a new EC-China agreement on textiles. There was further discussion of the Community's external steel regime, and of new financial protocols for Cyprus and Malta. There was a short discussion of follow-up to the Rhodes European Council.

In the margins of the Council, an EC-Yugoslavia Co-operation Council was held, and the EC-Czechoslovakia trade agreement was signed.

In discussion of political co-operation subjects, we agreed that it would now be useful for Troika Foreign Ministers to undertake direct contacts with all parties in the Arab-Israel dispute, including of course Israel and the United States. The aim will be to encourage movement towards direct negotiations in the framework of an international peace conference.

We also endorsed the decision of TREVI Ministers that the EPC working group on judicial co-operation should give early attention to improved cooperation among the member states over matters of extradition procedure.


Civil Service Pensions

Mr. Jack : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether there have been any recent changes to the Civil Service occupational pension arrangements.

Mr. Brooke : I am pleased to say that a new Civil Service additional voluntary contribution (AVC) scheme is being introduced with effect from 1 January 1989. The new arrangements will give members of the principal Civil Service pension scheme (PCSPS) who want to make additional voluntary contributions a significantly improved choice about the way in which they can buy increased pension cover, within Inland Revenue limits.

The PCSPS facility for buying added years of reckonable service will continue. But, in addition, members of the PCSPS will have a money purchase option with a choice--between the Equitable Life Assurance Society and the Scottish Widows' Fund and Life Assurance Society, about the financial institution that their contributions are invested with in order to produce additional benefits. Members will have a further choice about the method of investment. Each society will offer with profits and unit-linked investments and each society will provide an option for investment in a building society

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account (the Woolwich Equitable Building Society in the case of the Equitable ; Bristol and West Building Society in the case of Scottish Widows').

The new scheme represents a very positive response, by the Government as employer, to the AVC requirements of the Social Security Act 1986 and to the thrust of that Act and other recent legislation towards improving the choice that individuals have about their pension arrangements and about how their pension contributions are invested. The Civil Service AVC scheme, a copy of which I am placing in the Library, will put the Civil Service pension arrangements in the forefront of AVC provision by occupational pension schemes.

Civil Service Manpower

Mr. Hind : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the number of staff in post in central Government Departments at 1 October.

Mr. Major : On 1 October 1988 there were 573,891 staff in post in central Government Departments. Of these, 502,407 were

non-industrials and 71,484 were industrials.

Business Expansion Scheme

Mr. Wigley : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish (a) the number of companies providing property to rent which have assistance from the business expansion scheme established by the provision of the Finance Act 1988 and (b) the number of such companies which are currently operating in Wales.

Mr. Norman Lamont : The information requested is not yet available centrally from official sources.

Electricity, Water and Steel

Mr. Nigel Griffiths : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list advisers and underwriters appointed for foreign purchases of (a) electricity, (b) water and (c) steel ; if he will state the cost of the appointments ; and which countries are covered by the appointments.

Mr. Norman Lamont : Overseas banks have been appointed as set out below to advise on the desirability and feasibility of overseas offers in connection with the privatisations of British Steel, the water authorities of England and Wales and the electricity supply industry of England and Wales. Overseas advisers for the British Steel privatisation were appointed as lead managers in their territories when it it was decided to proceed with overseas offers or placings in the United States, Canada, Japan and continental Europe, and the underwriters for each of the overseas offers are also listed below. It is not the practice to publish details of individual contracts, but the costs of the British Steel flotation will be reported in due course in the usual way.

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                                                    |Country                                            |Overseas Financial                                 |Overseas Underwriters                                                                                  
Water                                               |United States                                      |Salomon Brothers                                   |Not applicable                                                                                         
                                                                                                        |Shearson Lehman Hutton                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                        |   (retained to advise on                                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                        |   specific aspects of sale to                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                        |   retail investors in a potential                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                        |   United States offer)                                                                                                                                    
                                                    |Canada                                             |Wood Gundy                                                                                                                                                 
                                                    |Japan                                              |Daiwa Europe                                                                                                                                               
                                                    |Europe                                             |Credit Suisse First Boston                                                                                                                                 
Electricity Supply                                  |United States                                      |Goldman Sachs                                      |Not applicable                                                                                         
British Steel                                       |United States                                      |Goldman Sachs                                      |Goldman Sachs and Co.                                                                                  
(financial advisers                                                                                                                                         |The First Boston Corporation                                                                           
   subsequently app-                                                                                                                                        |Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Smith Inc.                                                           
   ointed as lead                                                                                                                                           |Morgan Stanley and Co. Inc.                                                                            
   managers for offers                                                                                                                                      |Salomon Brothers Inc.                                                                                  
   for sale of British                                                                                                                                      |Bear, Stearns and Co. Inc.                                                                             
   Steel, in United                                                                                                                                         |Alex. Brown and Sons Inc.                                                                              
   States, Canada,                                                                                                                                          |Dillon, Read and Co. Inc.                                                                              
   Japan and for a                                                                                                                                          |Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette Securities                                                              
   placing in con-                                                                                                                                          |Corporation                                                                                            
   tinental Europe)                                                                                                                                         |Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                                            |Kidder, Peabody and Co. Inc.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                            |Lazard Freres and Co.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                                            |PaineWebber Inc.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                            |Prudential-Bache Securities Inc.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                            |Shearson Lehman Hutton Inc.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                                            |Smith Barney, Harris Upham and Co. In.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                            |S. G. Warburg and Co. Inc.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                            |Wertheim Schroder and Co. Inc.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                            |Dean Witter Reynolds Inc.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                            |Advest Inc.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                                            |Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder Inc.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                            |William Blair and Company                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                            |J. C. Bradford and Co.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                            |Dain Bosworth Inc.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                            |A. G. Edwards and Sons Inc.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                                            |McDonald and Company Securities Inc.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                            |Oppenheimer and Co. Inc.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                            |Piper, Jaffray and Hopwood Inc.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                                            |Prescott Ball and Turben Inc.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                                            |The Robinson-Humphrey Company Inc.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                            |Thomson McKinnon Securities Inc.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                            |Bateman Eichler, Hill Richards Inc.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                                            |Blunt Ellis and Loewi Inc.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                            |Butcher and Singer Inc.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                                            |Cowen and Co.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                                            |First Southwest Company                                                                                
                                                                                                                                                            |Furman Selz Mager Dietz and Birney Inc.                                                                
                                                                                                                                                            |Janney Montgomery Scott Inc.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                            |Ladenburg, Thalmann and Co. Inc.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                            |C. J. Lawrence, Morgan Grenfell Inc.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                            |Morgan Keegan and Company Inc.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                            |Needham and Company Inc.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                            |Neuberger and Berman                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                            |Parker/Hunter Inc.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                            |Stifel Nicolaus and Company Inc.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                            |Sutro and Co. Inc.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                            |Underwood, Neuhaus and Co. Inc.                                                                        
                                                    |Canada                                             |Scotia McLeod                                      |Scotia McLeod                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                                            |Burns Fry                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                            |Merrill Lynch Canada                                                                                   
                                                    |Japan                                              |Nomura Secuurities Co.                             |Nomura Securities Co.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                                            |Daiwa Secrities Co.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                                            |Nikko Securities Co.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                            |Yamaichi Securities Co.                                                                                
                                                    |Europe                                             |Swiss Bank Corporation                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                            |Investment Banking Ltd.                                                                                
                                                    |   (SBCI)                                                                                                                                                                                                      
                                                    |Germany                                                                                                |Deutsche Bank Capital Markets Limited                                                                  
                                                                                                                                                            |Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                            |Bayerische Hypotheken-und Wechsel-Bank                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                            |DG BANK Deutsche Genossenschaftsbank                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                            |Schweizerischer Bankverein (Deutschland) AG                                                            
                                                                                                                                                            |Dresdner Bank Aktiengesellschaft                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                            |Bayerische Landesbank Girozentrale                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                            |Berliner Handels-und Frankfurter Bank                                                                  
                                                                                                                                                            |Deutsche Girozentrale-Deutsche Kommunalbank-                                                           
                                                                                                                                                            |Vereins-und Westbank Aktiengesellschaft                                                                
                                                                                                                                                            |Westdeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                            |Banque Indosuez                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                                            |Credit Commercial de France                                                                            
                                                                                                                                                            |Societe Generale                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                            |Banque de Gestion Privee-SIB                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                            |Rothschild and Cie. Banque                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                            |Banque Nationale de Paris                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                            |Cl-Alexanders Laing and Cruickshank                                                                    
                                                                                                                                                            |Banque Stern-Groupe Societe de Banque Suisse                                                           
                                                    |Italy                                                                                                  |Mediobanca-Banca di Credito Finanziario S.p.A.                                                         
                                                                                                                                                            |Banca Commerciale Italiana                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                            |Credito Italiano                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                            |Banca Popolare di Milano                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                            |Nuovo Banco Ambrosiano                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                            |Banca Nazionale del Lavoro                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                            |Cassa di Risparmio delle Provincie                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                            |   Lombarde-CARIPLO                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                                            |Banca Nazionale dell 'Agricoltura                                                                      
                                                                                                                                                            |Banco di Roma S.p.A.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                            |Instituto Bancario San Paola di Torino                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                            |Credito Romagnolo S.p.A.                                                                               
                                                    |Netherlands                                                                                            |Amsterdam-Rotterdam Bank NV                                                                            
                                                                                                                                                            |Cooperatieve Centrale Raiffeisen-Boerenleen Bank BA                                                    
                                                                                                                                                            |SBCI Swiss Bank Corporation Investment banking NV                                                      
                                                                                                                                                            |Pierson, Heldring and Pierson NV                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                            |Nederlandsche Middenstandsbank                                                                         
                                                    |Switzerland and                                                                                        |SBCI Swiss Bank Corporation Investment banking                                                         
                                                    |Leichtenstein                                                                                          |Ltd.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                            |Credit Suisse First Boston Limited                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                            |Swiss Volksbank London Branch                                                                          
                                                                                                                                                            |Julius Baer International Limited                                                                      
                                                                                                                                                            |Compagnie de Banque et d'Investissements                                                               
                                                                                                                                                            |Leu Securities Limited                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                            |Pictet International Ltd.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                            |BSI-Banca della Svizzera Italiana                                                                      
                                                                                                                                                            |Hentsch et Cie                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                            |Sarasin Investment Management Limited                                                                  
                                                                                                                                                            |SG Warburg Soditic (Jersey) Limited                                                                    
                                                                                                                                                            |Union Bank of Switzerland (Securities) Limited                                                         
                                                                                                                                                            |Banca del Gottardo                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                            |HandelsBank NatWest (Overseas) Limited                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                            |ombard Odier International Underwriters SA                                                             
                                                                                                                                                            |Bank J. Vontobel and Co. AG                                                                            
                                                                                                                                                            |Rothschild Bank AG                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                            |Swiss Cantobank Securities Limited                                                                     
                                                    |Other European                                                                                         |SBCI Swiss Bank Corporation Investment Banking                                                         
                                                    |countries                                                                                              |Ltd.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                            |Generale Bank                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                                            |Enskilda Securities, Skandinaviska                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                            |Enskilda Ltd.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                                            |Banco Hispano Americano SA                                                                             

Inland Revenue (Staff)

Mr. French : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give, in terms of the number of employees, the turnover of staff in the Inland Revenue for the most recent year for which figures are available.

Mr. Norman Lamont : During the year to 31 March 1988, 7,050 staff left, of whom 2,340 retired. This is slightly over 10 per cent. of the total staff in post at 1 April 1987.

EC Budget

Mrs. Roe : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the outcome of the 1989 European Community budget procedures.

Mr. Brooke : The President of the European Parliament declared the 1989 budget adopted on 15 December after the Council's budget committee, at a meeting in

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Strasbourg, had authorised the President of the Budget Council to accept the level of expenditure which resulted from the Parliament's second reading debate.

The 1989 budget amounts to 46,423 mecu (£32,250 million) in commitments and 44,838 mecu (£31,150 million) in payments, respectively 2,052 mecu (£1,426 million) and 2,047 mecu (£1,422 million) below the overall expenditure ceilings in the financial perspective, which forms part of the inter-institutional agreement (IIA) between the Council, the Parliament and the Commission. Provision for expenditure on agricultural market support is 26,761 mecu (£18,590 million), almost 1,900 mecu (£1,320 million) less than the limit set by the financial guideline calculated in accordance with the budget discipline decision. Non-compulsory expenditure totals 13,848 mecu (£9,620 million) in commitments and 12,241 mecu (£8,504 million) in payments. These figures are 19.5 per cent. and 21.0 per cent. respectively higher than in the

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1988 budget, reflecting the significant increase in the structural funds agreed at the February European Council. Provision for the United Kingdom's abatement under the Fontainebleau arrangements is 1, 780 mecu (£1,237 million).

Taking account of a provisional surplus of 2,000 mecu (£1,390 million) carried forward from 1988, the own resources called up for the 1989 Budget represent 1.03 per cent. of Community GNP, compared with the relevant annual sub-ceiling in the new own resources decision of 1.17 per cent.


Litter Offences

Mr. Amess : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information he has as to how many people were prosecuted for litter offences in the latest year for which figures are available and as to the average fine.

Mr. John Patten : The information available centrally indicates that there were 1,890 prosecutions for litter offences in 1987 and the average fine was £35.


Mr. Amess : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information he has as to how many people were prosecuted for offences related to graffiti in the latest year for which figures are availble and as to the average fine.

Mr. John Patten : It is not possible from the information held centrally to indentify prosecutions which relate to graffiti. Such offences will be included under the general offence of criminal damage.

Exclusion and Attendance Orders

Mr. Pendry : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the average cost of imposing (a) an exclusion order and (b) an attendance order upon a convicted criminal.

Mr. John Patten : The average cost of the operation of an attendance centre order in 1987, the latest year for which information is available, is estimated to have been £117. The operation of a football exclusion order (under section 30 of the Public Order Act 1986) does not in itself give rise to any cost to public funds. The cost to the police of enforcing compliance with an order of either sort varies widely from one case to another, and is not recorded in a way which allows an average to be calculated.

Student Visas

Mr. Holland : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will publish details of the number of applications for student visas received at the British post in Colombo for the last five years for (a) Tamil and (b) Singhalese applicants and the numbers of visa applications refused and granted for the same categories.

Mr. Renton : The information available centrally is given in the following table.

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Applications in Colombo for a student visa<1>                                                               
Number of persons                                                                                           
                        |Newly received<2>   |Granted<3>          |Refused initially<4>                     
1985 30 May to December |n/a                 |500                 |240<4>                                   
1986                    |n/a                 |630                 |200<4>                                   
1987 January-June       |n/a                 |180                 |70                                       
     July-December      |440                 |320                 |120                                      
1988 January-September  |700                 |440                 |180                                      
n/a= not available.                                                                                         
<1> The visa requirement for Sri Lankan citizens was introduced on 30 May 1985.                             
<2> Including applications subsequently withdrawn.                                                          
<3> Granted initially or on appeal.                                                                         
<4> 210 applications were refused in the period September 1985 to July 1986, of which 150 were from Tamils. 
Similar information is not available for other periods.                                                     

Delia McCall

Mr. Frank Field : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will review the sentence of Delia McCall who is in Cookham Wood closed prison.

Mr. John Patten : No. The appropriate sentence in a particular case is entirely for the courts to decide in the light of all the relevant circumstances and subject to the right of appeal, which Delia McCall has exercised. I am not aware of any circumstances which would justify my right hon. Friend in recommending interference with the sentence imposed on her.

Prisons (Food)

Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the average weekly cost of food for a prisoner.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : The average weekly cost of food for an inmate in 1987-88 was £6.36.

Prisoners (Suicide)

Mr. Lofthouse : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many suicides and attempted suicides there were in Armley prison, Leeds in (a) 1986, (b) 1987 and (c) from 1 January 1988 to 31 November 1988 ; and how many were (i) remand prisoners and (ii) under the age of 18 years.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : There were no suicides at Leeds prison during 1986 ; two during 1987, of which one was by a remand inmate and neither by an inmate under 18 ; and three between 1 January and 30 November 1988, all by remand inmates, one of whom was under 18. There has also been one apparent suicide, yet to be confirmed as such by an inquest, during the latter period ; the inmate concerned was on remand and was not under 18.

Thirteen attempted suicides were reported at Leeds prison during 1986, nine during 1987, and seven during 1988 up to 30 November. Information on the age and status of those involved is not normally held centrally, but I am aware that two of the attempts during 1988 were by inmates under 18.

Mr. Lofthouse : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many suicides there were in British prisons from 1 January 1986 to 31 October 1988 ; and how many were of (i) remand prisoners and (ii) under the age of 18 years.

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Mr. Douglas Hogg : The information in respect of suicides in prison establishments in England and Wales is given in the table below.

                          |Total number of suicides|Suicides by remand      |Suicides by prisoners                            
                                                   |prisoners               |under 18 years                                   
1986                      |17                      |10                      |0                                                
1987                      |42                      |27                      |1                                                
1988 (to 31 October 1988) |<1>29                   |<2>18                   |2                                                
<1> Includes eight apparent suicides which have yet to be confirmed as suicide by coroners' inquests.                         
<2> Includes three apparent suicides which have yet to be confirmed as such by coroners' inquests.                            

Non-metropolitan Areas (Policing)

Mr. Hunter : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from chief constables on the steps they are taking to tackle outbreaks of disorder in non-metroplitan areas ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Hurd : Following incidents of serious disorder in 1986 and over the 1987 new year period a working group comprising Home Office officials and representatives of the Association of Chief Police Officers was set up to consider means of improving police response to public disorder in areas where rapid mobilisation of resources may be difficult.

The group has recently reported its findings and made a number of recommendations. I have placed a full list of the group's recommendations in the Library. The recommendations relate to ways that forces might be able to improve information gathering and collation to help predict the likelihood and degree of disorder ; how contingency planning for the rapid mobilisation and deployment of officers could be sharpened up ; how the operational tactics in confronting disorderly groups could be made more effective ; and how following an outbreak of disorder procedures could be improved to detect offenders and bring them to justice.

With the agreement of the Association of Chief Police Officers I am circulating a copy of the report to all chief officers in England and Wales asking them to consider its recommendations to help inform their decisions on how best to tackle this sort of disorder in their areas.

Armley Prison

Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the average age of remand prisoners currently in Armley.

Mr. Douglas Hogg [holding answer 8 December 1988] : The readily available information is given in the following table.

Untried and convicted unsentenced prisoners<1> held in Leeds prison on                  
30 June 1988: by age and type of prisoner                                               
Age                   |Untried              |Convicted unsentenced                      
17-20                 |237                  |39                                         
21-24                 |123                  |19                                         
25-29                 |133                  |7                                          
30-39                 |95                   |8                                          
40-49                 |48                   |5                                          
50-59                 |16                   |1                                          
60 and over           |6                    |-                                          
All ages              |658                  |79                                         
<1>The figures are those recorded centrally and are approximate: detailed checking of   
individual cases would involve disproportionate cost.                                   

Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners remanded in Armley prison since January have not been convicted ; and what percentage this is of the total number of those on remand.

Mr. Douglas Hogg [holding reply 8 December 1988] : The readily available information held centrally relates to untried prisoners and is for the length of time since the initial reception into a prison service establishment. This may include some intervening time spent on bail.

It is estimated that of the 660 untried prisoners held in Leeds prison on 30 June 1988, 8 (1 per cent.) had been first received over a year earlier and about a further 70 (11 per cent.) had been first received between six and 12 months earlier.

Racial Harassment

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish the study on racial harassment produced for his Department by Brunel university.

Mr. Trippier : I have been asked to reply.

We are awaiting a final draft of the study report from Brunel university. We will then publish the report in the normal way.

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