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Mrs. Rumbold : In the light of the Local Government Finance Act and the White Paper "A New Planning Total" (Cm 441), my right hon. Friend intends to amend existing legislation so as to bring arrangements for determining the size of the education support grant (ESG) programme in line with those for the larger in-service teacher training grant programme. He has agreed to meet the local authority associations very soon to discuss the size and content of the 1990-91 ESG programme. As the intention is that there will no longer be a statutory ceiling on the programme, the question whether equivalent grant to grant-maintained schools is within or outside that ceiling does not arise.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what costs have been allocated to the construction of a new survey ship for the British Antarctic Survey ; and when he expects to (a) call for tenders and (b) announce the award of a construction contract.
Mr. Jackson : The hon. Member will appreciate that, for reasons of commercial confidentiality, I cannot say at this time what funds have been allocated for the construction of a new research ship for the British Antarctic Survey.
Tenders for the construction of the vessel are currently being sought by the Natural Environment Research Council from five of the 30 shipyards that were originally sent an outline specification of requirements. Two of these five yards are in the United Kingdom. The tenders are due for return by 20 January 1989 ; an announcement will be made to the House about the placing of the contract in due course.
Sir Ian Lloyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) what is his policy on providing additional funds for the upgrading of standards in animal research laboratories when this is known to be the direct result of higher safety or other operating standards imposed by legislation ;
(2) whether, in determining the funding requirements of animal research laboratories within the public sector, he will take into account any additional direct costs imposed
Column 481entirely as a consequence of enhanced security arrangements resulting from raids carried out on such laboratories with the object of disrupting, damaging or destroying their work.
Mr. Jackson : The total resources available for higher education and science are distributed taking into account the needs of individual institutions, but that distribution is not determined in detail by my Department.
Mr. French : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many oral parliamentary questions he has answered by written reply because the question was not reached at Question Time, for the most recent year for which figures are available.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what information he has regarding the number of pensioners who currently make use of the Inner London education authority adult education service.
Mrs. Rumbold : We are informed by the Inner London education authority that in the academic year 1987-88, a total of 31,837 people over 60 years of age and living in the authority's area attended ILEA adult education classes. Information is not available as to how many of these people had retired from work, nor as to the additional number of enrolments by people over 60 living outside the ILEA's area.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what he estimates will be the effect on adult education within inner London of bringing the inner London education authority's adult education service into line with grant-related expenditure assessment levels.
Mrs. Rumbold : It is for individual local education authorities to determine their provision and fee structure for adult education in the light of the resources available to them and their statutory responsibilities. This principle applies currently to ILEA and will apply to the inner London boroughs as education authorities from 1 April 1990.
The Attorney-General : As I told the House on 14 December 1988 in answer to the private notice question tabled by the hon. Member for Norwood (Mr. Fraser), I found it singularly surprising that the Irish Attorney- General denied the application on the ground of fair trial. The very recent Extradition (Amendment) Act 1987 does not provide that the Irish Attorney- General should satisfy himself on that score. There have been a number of commentaries in the Irish press questioning the legality of his decision. I am not persuaded, however, that the objective of securing the return of fugitive offenders would be served by my taking action in the Irish courts. The Government are making representations to the Irish Government concerning the forthcoming review of part III of the Extradition Act 1965, as amended by the 1987 Act.
Mr. McNamara : To ask the Attorney-General in how many cases the Criminal Law Jurisdiction Act 1975 has been used in (a) Northern Ireland and (b) Great Britain ; and what are the numbers of those convicted or acquitted.
The Attorney-General : I refer the hon. Member to my reply of 19 December 1988 to my hon. Friend the Member for Orpington (Mr. Stanbrook) at columns 94-96. All the trials in the United Kingdom of cases pursuant to the Criminal Jurisdiction Act 1975 in respect of offences allegedly committed in the Republic of Ireland have taken place in Northern Ireland.
Mrs. Beckett : To ask the Attorney-General in how many cases leave to appeal to a social security commissioner was granted ; and how many appeals were decided by the commissioner in each month since April 1987.
The Attorney-General : Leave to appeal to a social security commissioner may be granted by both chairmen of the lower tribunals and the commissioners. The figures requested are not readily available, but the Lord Chancellor's Department has prepared a best estimate of the figures requested on a quarterly basis based on information provided by the office of the social security commissioners, the office of the president of the social security appeals tribunal and the Department of Social Security.
England, Wales and Scotland |Number of cases in which|Number of appeals |leave to appeal to a |determined by a Social |Social Security |Security Commissioner |Commissioner was granted ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1987 April-June |597 |650 July-September |583 |609 October-December |612 |550 1988 January-March |761 |692 April-June |733 |656 July-September |810 |695
Column 484crime figures for Derbyshire by the differing categories of crime ; and what are the comparable figures for the previous quarter over the past five years.
Notifiable offences recorded by offence group in Derbyshire police force area Number of offences Year |Total |Violence against the |Sexual offences |Burglary |Robbery |Theft and handling stolen|Fraud and forgery |Criminal damage |Other offences |person |goods ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1983 1st quarter |11,690 |452 |109 |2,873 |20 |5,799 |472 |1,930 |35 2nd quarter |12,181 |541 |128 |2,660 |24 |6,160 |499 |2,116 |53 3rd quarter |10,871 |568 |138 |2,247 |28 |5,461 |559 |1,823 |47 4th quarter |11,803 |575 |129 |2,414 |27 |6,296 |443 |1,967 |52 1984 1st quarter |11,840 |483 |78 |2,873 |29 |5,772 |556 |1,988 |61 2nd quarter |13,274 |543 |218 |2,725 |22 |6,698 |625 |2,407 |36 3rd quarter |11,974 |585 |59 |2,275 |19 |6,252 |654 |2,051 |79 4th quarter |13,361 |543 |177 |2,539 |20 |7,103 |660 |2,246 |73 1985 1st quarter |12,337 |493 |137 |2,216 |17 |6,788 |841 |1,782 |63 2nd quarter |12,685 |566 |84 |2,563 |24 |6,585 |538 |2,272 |53 3rd quarter |11,181 |597 |68 |2,398 |45 |5,955 |15 |2,033 |70 4th quarter |11,632 |528 |115 |2,293 |30 |6,016 |526 |2,055 |69 1986 1st quarter |11,197 |492 |104 |2,585 |32 |5,661 |398 |1,880 |45 2nd quarter |12,223 |546 |137 |2,487 |26 |6,376 |404 |2,172 |75 3rd quarter |10,952 |564 |111 |2,198 |27 |5,632 |373 |1,999 |48 4th quarter |12,114 |570 |99 |2,645 |30 |5,978 |516 |2,228 |48 1987 1st quarter |12,049 |525 |113 |2,758 |41 |6,125 |449 |1,989 |49 2nd quarter |12,076 |597 |115 |2,532 |27 |6,270 |404 |2,084 |47 3rd quarter |11,129 |668 |128 |2,092 |33 |5,906 |334 |1,899 |69 4th quarter |11,468 |634 |92 |2,492 |28 |6,012 |302 |1,820 |88 1988 1st quarter |11,029 |583 |121 |2,577 |33 |5,534 |259 |1,835 |87 2nd quarter |10,611 |677 |84 |2,068 |19 |5,452 |245 |1,988 |78 3rd quarter |10,498 |720 |109 |1,934 |23 |5,559 |252 |1,810 |91
(2) if he will make a statement on the shooting incident in Chatham road, Battersea, on 21 December.
Mr. Hurd : At approximately 11.30 pm on Tuesday 20 December 1988 an 18-year-old man attempted to break into a Renault motor car which was parked in Northcote road, Battersea. He broke the window of the car having disturbed a man sleeping in the rear seat who then shot him in the stomach. The assailant ran off in the direction of nearby Staplehurst court. The police were called to the scene and the man was taken by ambulance to St. George's hospital, Tooting, was treated for his injuries and has since been discharged. Police inquiries established that the assailant had entered a ground floor flat in Staplehurst court but when armed officers later entered the flat they found the premises empty. It was immediately evident that the flat was being used as a bomb-making factory. An initial search revealed a considerable quantity of the explosive Semtex, other bomb-making equipment, and a number of weapons and ammunition.
Column 484Police inquiries revealed that two men had been living in the flat and that they had escaped. The two men remain at large and the Metropolitan police are continuing their efforts to find them with the co-operation of the Royal Ulster Constabulary and the An Garda Siochana. A man has been charged in connection with this investigation with conspiracy to cause explosions and withholding information about acts of terrorism.
The use of Semtex and the other equipment involved corresponds with previous finds of IRA explosives. There is no indication as yet of the means by which the explosives were brought into the country or their source.
Mr. Livingstone : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from the Chief Constable of the Sussex police as to all investigations conducted by the Sussex police into alleged paedophilic homosexual activities in the period between the appointment of Sir George Terry as chief constable of Sussex force and his assignments to investigate allegations relating to the Kincora boys home.
Mr. Livingstone : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his reply of 15 December, Official Report, column 720, if he will provide details of the full review undertaken in February into the case of Mr. Albert Baker.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The review involved a full assessment of Mr. Baker's likely behaviour in prison in the event of his being transferred back to Northern Ireland. I do not think that it would be right to publish further details.
Mr. Livingstone : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) when he expects to receive a report from the staff counsellor for the security and intelligence services ; and whether he will make it available to hon. Members.
(2) how many times since November 1987 he has met with the staff counsellor for the security and intelligence services ; and what items were discussed.
Mr. Hurd : The arrangements for the staff counsellor for the security and intelligence services to report to me were set out by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister in her reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Wycombe (Mr. Whitney) on 2 November 1987 at column 512. There has been no change to those arrangements. It is not proposed that the staff counsellor's reports should be published or that details should be given about how he discharges his responsibilities.
Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects the introduction of subscription fees for British Broadcasting Corporation television to be technologically feasible ; and what technology he expects to be deployed.
Mr. Renton : The technology for subscription television is already available in some forms and the BBC has started a downloaded night hours subscription service, in conjunction with British Direct Television providing information for the medical profession. Other forms of subscription technology are still being developed.
Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department at what level he expects British Broadcasting Corporation subscription fees to be set ; and whether there will be exceptions or reduced fees for (a) pensioners and (b) those on social security.
Mr. Renton : The extent and pace of the move towards subscription are a matter for the BBC to judge. The consequences for the level of the licence fee after April 1991 will be a matter for discussion with the Government as proposed in the White Paper.
Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the British Broadcasting Corporation will retain its public service broadcasting commitment after the introduction of subscriptions.
Mr. Renton : I refer the hon. Member to our White Paper "Broadcasting in the '90s : Competition, Choice and Quality" (November 1988, Cm 517), which makes clear our commitment to the continuation of the BBC as the cornerstone of public service broadcasting.
Mr. Renton : A wide range of different technologies is used in broadcasting, some of which are mature and some still developing. Although we do not regularly monitor changes in their cost, it is likely that the position varies from one technology to another, depending partly on the stage of development which they have reached.
Mr. Renton : Yes. Existing statutory safeguards are contained in the Broadcasting Act 1981 and the Cable and Broadcasting Act 1984. Paragraphs 6.48 to 6.53 of our recent White Paper "Broadcasting in the '90s : Competition, Choice and Quality" (November 1988, Cm. 517) made clear our determination that ownership in the independent sector should be widely spread, and sought views on a number of principles on which ownership rules in the proposed legislation might be based.
Mr. Renton : My right hon. Friend anounced on 2 November 1988 that he had approved a proposal by the Independent Broadcasting Authority to establish 20 incremental radio stations. We understand that they expect to announce their decisions on the first five stations in the spring.
Mr. Gale : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will, as a matter of urgency, introduce regulations under the Firearms Act to prohibit the issuing of firearms licences to persons convicted of criminal offences ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : There is no power for the Secretary of State to make such regulations. Under the Firearms Act 1968 there is already prohibition for life from possessing firearms or ammunition for persons sentenced to terms of three years or more in preventive detention, imprisonment, corrective training or youth custody. For sentences of three months or more but less than three years, there is a prohibition for five years from the date of release. Where an applicant for a firearm or shotgun certificate has convictions for lesser offences, it is for the chief officer of police to determine, in each case, whether these justify the refusal of a certificate. There is a right of appeal against a chief officer's decision, to the Crown Court.
Mr. Wray : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he has taken to satisfy the conditions of the Court of Human Rights for admissible restrictions on the freedom of expression in his proposals for new legislation on official secrets.
Mr. Malcolm Bruce : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will investigate complaints of indiscipline among some members of the British rescue squad recently despatched to Armenia ; and what further action he proposes to take.
Mr. John Patten : The question of discipline in respect of London Fire Brigade officers is a matter for the London Fire and Civil Defence Authority. I understand from the chief fire officer that the officers concerned have denied the allegations made in the media and that this has been accepted by the chief officer.
Her Majesty's inspector of fire services who led the team of London Fire Brigade officers has also denied these allegations of indiscipline. We accept this and have no plans to take any further action.
Mr. Harry Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the latest available figures for (a) total arrests, (b) the total population and (c) arrests on a percentage of the population in England.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many cases there have been in the last 12 months of Home Office and immigration service officials withdrawing previously granted residence permits from people who had allegedly entered the country by deception or by some other illegal method ; in how many of these cases the accused persons sought to challenge this allegation ; how many made representations to the Minister's office via hon. Members ; and in how many cases where the Home Office or immigration service's decision was so challenged these challenges were upheld and the allegation from the official dismissed.
Mr. Renton : In 1988, 2,120 persons given leave to enter by an immigration officer were subsequently treated as illegal entrants. The rest of the information requested is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Key : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will reply to the letters from the hon. Member for Salisbury dated 14 November 1988 on the subject of accident and emergency services.
Mr. French : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many oral parliamentary questions he has answered by written reply because the question was not reached at Question Time, for the most recent year for which figures are available.
Mr. Marlow : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the number of arrests at each football league ground for each club per home match for (a) the last season and (b) the current season to date.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : For arrests last season I refer my hon. Friend to the reply from my hon. Friend the Minister for Sport to a question from the hon. Member for Derbyshire, East (Mr. Barnes) on 19 December 1988, columns 56-60. The Association of Chief Police Officers does not yet have complete figures for each ground in the first part of this season, but the provisional total of arrests up to 31 October 1988 is :
|Arrests --------------------------- Division 1 |672 Division 2 |540 Division 3 |287 Division 4 |543 |----- Total |2,042
Mr. Marlow : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have applied for (a) naturalisation and (b) registration as British citizens in each of the last five years and in each of the last 12 months ; and what number of applications have been granted in each of these periods.
Mr. Renton [holding answer 22 December 1988] : The information is not available in the form requested. The numbers of applications for citizenship received in the nationality division, and the numbers granted, are set out in the table. The figures in the table do not include applications awaiting preliminary processing in the registry, of which there were approximately 110,000 at the end of November 1988.
Applications received Applications granted<1> |Naturalisations|Registrations |Naturalisations|Registrations ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1984 |14,971 |27,731 |13,615 |59,907 1985 |18,815 |33,756 |14,978 |38,407 1986 |19,610 |37,873 |13,722 |31,925 1987 |22,695 |57,322 |18,376 |46,233 1988 January |2,305 |11,752 |1,518 |5,855 February |1,899 |9,327 |1,115 |4,855 March |2,540 |14,848 |1,077 |4,193 April |5,351 |4,911 |1,101 |3,811 May |2,264 |3,258 |1,294 |3,943 June |873 |3,309 |1,517 |3,492 July |827 |4,859 |1,434 |2,730 August |698 |9,741 |1,088 |1,849 September |1,816 |10,802 |1,018 |3,046 October |1,318 |13,256 |1,032 |4,215 November |3,211 |18,836 |1,195 |6,662 December not yet available <1> Statistics for 1988 are provisional.
Mr. Nigel Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he expects to reply to the response to the National Association of Probation Officers to his Green Paper "Punishment Custody and the Community" ; and when he expects to meet officers of the Association to discuss the Green Paper.
Mr. John Patten : The Government will make its views known on the comments of the National Association of Probation Officers on the Green Paper "Punishment, Custody and the Community" when all such comments have been received and considered. The deadline for comments is 31 January. I have no immediate plans to meet members of NAPO again to discuss the Green Paper ; I have met them on two occasions during 1988. They have promised further comments before the deadline and I await these with interest.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Prime Minister whether the Government will compensate members of the public who have been poisoned by salmonella eggs and provide legal and other assistance for those who wish to claim damages against the egg producers in question.
The Prime Minister : No. Producers and suppliers of food owe a legal duty to care to the ultimate consumer of the food to ensure that the food is fit to eat. Those who have suffered food poisoning that is due to a breach of that duty by the producer or supplier would have a right to take action through the courts to obtain compensation.
Column 490she will publish in the Official Report figures showing the number of such enterprises and the number of official veterinary inspections carried out in 1987 and to date.
The Prime Minister : In 1988, a total of 20 cases of salmonella enteritidis were reported under the Zoonoses Order 1975. There are around 38,500 enterprises in Great Britain of which 2,052 have over 1,000 laying birds. Since April 1988, all reports of salmonella enteritidis in laying hens have been investigated by veterinary officers of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Prime Minister whether she will take steps to ensure that no egg farmer is paid compensation directly or indirectly in respect of lost egg sales unless she is satisfied that the undertaking in question has not sold contaminated eggs in 1987 and that the hen flocks are now completely free of salmonella.