Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Prime Minister if she has any plans to amalgamate the activities for the education of the under-fives of the Department of Education and Science and the Department of Social Security ; and if she will make a statement.
The Prime Minister : The Government will give careful consideration to the recommendations made by the Education, Science and Arts Committee in its report on educational provision for the under-fives, including those which have a bearing on this, and will make our conclusions known in our response to that report.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Prime Minister if she will make a statement on inter-departmental co-operation and co-ordination on the greenhouse effect.
The Prime Minister : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment is responsible for Government policy on the greenhouse effect, in consultation with the other Ministers concerned. I am entirely satisfied with the arrangements for interdepartmental co-operation and co- ordination.
Mr. Cryer : To ask the Prime Minister if she will list the ministerial advisers appointed in her office for each year since 1979, the salary each person received, whether paid directly or to another employer, and the duties undertaken, whether solely in her office or in conjunction with other Departments ; and if she will make a statement.
The Prime Minister : The ministerial advisers appointed in my Office since 1979 are as follows :
Year and Name
Mrs. C. Ryder
Professor A. Walters
C. W. Monckton
W. R. F. Mount
D. C. Hobson
R. T. Jackling
N. C. Owen
Sir Anthony Parsons
Column 2D. L. Pascall
V. E. Hartley-Booth
Sir Percy Craddock
P. T. Warry
D. L. Willetts
J. B. Wybrew
Professor B. Griffiths
N. R. Blackwell
G. R. J. Guise
P. J. Stredder
Mrs. T. Gaisman
A. J. O'Sullivan
G. D. Bourne
Miss C. Sinclair
I. K. Whitehead
Salary paid to another employer. (Information prior to 1984 is not available).
It is not our practice to reveal the salaries of advisers as they are individually negotiated in relation to previous outside earnings and are therefore confidential.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Prime Minister if she will make it her policy to close accounts relating to repayment of costs incurred by media organisations on her visits abroad within three months of the completion of the relevant visit.
The Prime Minister : I have nothing to add to the answer I gave the hon. Member on 10 January 1989 at column 495.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Prime Minister what is the general practice within Government Departments as to the time permitted for repayment by outside bodies of sums owing for services provided by Government Departments.
The Prime Minister : Government Departments are advised in "Government Accounting" that the full sums due must be calculated and collected promptly.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Prime Minister which Departments of State were invited to send speakers to the BBC Radio 4 Today programme on Wednesday 11 January to discuss families rendered homeless by mortgage default ; what response was made ; and if she will make a statement.
The Prime Minister : Both the Department of the Environment and the Treasury were invited to send a speaker. The Minister for Housing, Environment and Countryside being unavailable on the date requested, discussed the issue on the following day. Mortgage repossessions are very distressing for those involved, but it is important to keep things in perspective : less than one
Column 3third of 1 per cent. of building society borrowers had their homes repossessed according to the most recent figures available.
Mr. Rooker : To ask the Prime Minister what is her policy on redirecting to Buckingham Palace messages of sympathy received by her from Heads of State at times of disasters.
The Prime Minister : Appropriate action is taken on all the messages which I receive.
Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consultation takes place with a local health authority when mentally ill patients are to be released from prison ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : Prison standing orders require that the discharge of a prisoner in need of skilled advice and attention on grounds of mental disorder should, if the prisoner consents, be notified to the district medical officer for the area in which the prisoner intends to reside.
The desirability of further developing such arrangements was included in the recommendations of a joint Home Office/Department of Health working group and accepted by the Government. The Departments are in discussion about guidance to regional and district health authorities and also with the professions on how this ought to be given effect. Revised prison department instructions and a model letter for use by prison medical officers, both presently in draft, will provide an administrative framework for NHS medical staff to be invited to visit an inmate and to discuss his case with the responsible medical officer.
Mr. Bermingham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many male and female prisoners in England and Wales currently have the human immuno-deficiency virus ; and in which prisons they are held.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : On 12 January 1989 the prison population of England and Wales included 50 male and seven female prisoners reported as having been identified as HIV antibody positive. For reasons of medical confidentiality it is not the Department's policy to disclose the number of such prisoners located at individual establishments.
Mr. Bermingham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has any plans to designate any prisons or parts of prisons in England and Wales as national HIV and AIDS centres.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : In the context of its contingency planning the directorate of prison medical services is identifying prison service establishments, with medical facilities which would be capable, when needed, of giving short or longer-term care and suppport to prisoners, with AIDS, AIDS-related illness or other infectious illness, whose condition does not require admission to the specialised facilities of the National Health Service.
Column 4A purpose-designed unit is planned for Brixton prison. Accommodation at Risley remand centre near Warrington is to be the main resource in the north. Hospital accommodation with suitable facilities at other establishments in each of the four regions will also be used to fulfil a care and support function as and when necessary.
Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish in the Official Report for each police force in England and Wales the number of scenes of crime officers in post ; and what is the corresponding percentage of these which are civilian.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The latest available information is as follows :
Police officers/civilians in scenes of crime department Provincial forces<2> |Number |Percentage civilian<1> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Avon and Somerset |40 |7.5 Bedfordshire |13 |38.5 Cambridgeshire |10 |20.0 Cheshire |22 |27.3 Cleveland |20 |- Cumbria |26 |61.5 Derbyshire |25 |96.0 Devon and Cornwall |28 |35.7 Dorset |13 |- Durham |22 |36.4 Dyfed Powys |10 |10.0 Essex |45 |4.4 Gloucestershire |12 |- Greater Manchester |56 |1.8 Gwent |12 |- Hampshire |44 |9.1 Hertfordshire |19 |- Humberside |41 |39.0 Kent |35 |51.4 Lancashire |38 |- Leicestershire |23 |34.8 Lincolnshire |15 |33.3 Merseyside |24 |- Norfolk |20 |15.0 Northamptonshire |14 |78.6 Northumbria |44 |27.3 North Wales |11 |100.0 North Yorkshire |18 |16.7 Nottinghamshire |31 |70.1 South Wales |39 |7.7 South Yorkshire |35 |51.4 Staffordshire |19 |- Suffolk |12 |- Surrey |21 |52.4 Sussex |44 |50.0 Thames Valley |33 |12.1 Warwickshire |12 |41.7 West Mercia |34 |38.2 West Midlands |57 |31.6 West Yorkshire |54 |7.4 Wiltshire |20 |- City of London |14 |35.7 |------ |------ Total |1,125 |26.0 Metropolitan Police<3> |196 |100.0 <1> It should be noted that some of the civilian staff identified for provincial forces may be engaged in general administrative support duties. <2> As at 31 December 1987. <3> As at 31 December 1988.
Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the rationale and formulae used by his Department to establish the ratios of the different ranks of police officers in each force in England and Wales.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : My right hon. Friend is advised by Her Majesty's inspectorate of constabulary which, among other things, takes account of the rank ratios across the police service as a whole. At the end of 1987 these stood as follows :
|Per cent --------------------------------------- ACPO |0.2 Chief Superintendent |0.4 Superintendent |1.3 Chief Inspector |1.8 Inspector |5.4 Sergeant |15.5 Constable |75.4
Mr. Martlew : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the review of police staffing levels carried out by his Department with regard to the Cumbria force.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The chief constable, not the Home Office, has carried out a review of police staffing levels in the Cumbria constabulary. Following that review the police authority has applied for an increase in the force establishments of 62 police posts. This will be considered along with applications which have been received from other authorities for increases in 1989-90. My right hon. Friend hopes to announce his decisions shortly.
Mr. Soley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the category C prison which is being built on the former Banstead hospital site is part of the previously announced programme of 26 new prisons to be opened between 1983 and 1995.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The previously announced programme made provision for 800 prison places on the Banstead site. In view of the urgent need for prison accommodation, these are being increased and provided in two phases. The first phase of converting existing accommodation to category C places is nearly complete. The second phase of building a local prison for 620 inmates will begin later this year.
Mr. Cryer : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the ministerial advisers in his Department for each year since 1979, the salary each person received, whether paid directly or to another employer, and the duties undertaken, whether solely in his Department or in conjunction with other Departments ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Hurd : The special advisers employed in the Home Office since 1979 are as follows :
|Name --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Mr. Robin Harris |June 1983 to March 1985 Mr. David Coleman |April to September 1985 Mr. Edward Bickham |September 1985 to April 1988 Mr. David Lidington |December 1987 onwards Mr. John Godfrey |July 1988 onwards (on secondment)
They have provided advice on a wide range of Home Office subjects. It is not our practice to disclose the salaries of individual advisers as they are negotiated individually in relation to previous outside earnings and are therefore confidential.
Mr. Fisher : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department by what means he intends to sell community radio franchises.
Mr. Renton : The method of allocating community radio contracts is currently for the IBA to decide.
Mr. Darling : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many representations he has received from hon. Members in connection with individuals refused entry to the United Kingdom since 3 January ; in how many cases he agreed to defer removal as a result of those representations ; and in how many cases he refused to defer removal.
Mr. Renton : The revised guidelines on the handling of representations by hon. Members in immigration cases, introduced with effect from 3 January 1989, require that, before approaching the Minister to request deferment of removal of a passenger refused leave to enter the United Kingdom, an hon. Member should first contact the immigration service and invite them to consider deferment. There are no central records of the total number of such requests by hon. Members nor of the number of cases in which deferment has been or has not been granted.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is (a) the number of current shotgun licences, (b) the number of shotgun licences issued since the enactment of the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988, and (c) the number of (i) civilian and (ii) police staff dealing with the processing of shotgun licence applications and (d) the change in the number of such staff since the enactment of the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : Statistics on shotgun certificates are collected on an annual basis. A total of 861,300 shotgun certificates were on issue in England and Wales at 31 December 1987, the last year for which figures are available. Information is not collected centrally on the number of police and civilian staff dealing with shotgun certificate applications and could be obtained only at
Mr. Dunnachie : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he has any plans to locate a United Kingdom immigrants advisory service office on the east coast of Scotland ; (2) if he has any plans to improve the provision of advice centres for ethnic minorities with regard to immigration, short-term visas and related problems.
Mr. Renton : Under the Immigration Act 1971 the Home Office makes a grant-in-aid to the United Kingdom immigrants advisory service, which offers a nationwide service to persons who have rights of appeal under the Act. We have no plans to make funds available for any other advice centres or organisations involved in these areas of work. The location of UKIAS offices is a matter for that organisation.
Mr. Corbett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will ask for a report from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis as to whether as a matter of policy and practice Metropolitan police officers are allowed to tape record a telephone conversation between a person held at a police station and a solicitor, relative or friend.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The Metropolitan police, like other forces, are bound by the provisions of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and the codes of practice made under the Act.
Mr. Corbett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance he has given to chief constables about the tape recording by police officers of any telephone conversation between a person under arrest and a solicitor, relative or friend.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : No specific guidance about the tape recording of communications has been given, but general guidance to the police about the treatment of people under arrest is contained in code C of the codes of practice made under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. This provides, in accordance with section 58 of the Act, that communications between a suspect and his solicitor must be private except in certain circumstances when an arrest has been made under prevention of terrorism legislation. Telephone conversations between a suspect and anyone other than a solicitor may be listened to and used in evidence, for which purpose a record will need to be kept. The suspect must be informed beforehand that his conversation will be overheard.
My Tony Lloyd : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has receive about the establishment of Greater Manchester police and what assessment he has made of them.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : Representations have been received from the Greater Manchester police authority and from hon. Friends and Members whose constituencies lie within the force area about the need for an increase in the establishment of the Greater Manchester police. My right hon. Friend will announce shortly his decision on this and other applications for increases in police establishments.
Mr. Mullin : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects that a reply will be sent to the letter from the hon. Member for Sunderland, South, referred to the Minister of State, the right hon. the Earl Ferrers, regarding the incident at the Vietnamese embassy on 4 September 1988.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : I am sorry that it has not yet been possible to provide a substantive reply. The correspondence raised a number of matters on which police inquiries were necessary and a report was requested from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis. I understand from the Commissioner that this should be completed shortly. My right hon. and Noble Friend will reply as soon as possible after the report has been received and considered.
Mr. Hind : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has reached a decision on whether to refer the case of the Guildford Four to the Court of Appeal ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Hurd : On 22 October 1975, Patrick Armstrong, Gerald Conlon, Paul Hill, and Carole Richardson were convicted of murder and other offences connected with the bombing of two public houses in Guildford on 5 October 1974, in which five people died. They were sentenced to life imprisonment. In addition, Patrick Armstrong and Paul Hill were convicted of two murders arising from the bombing of a public house in Woolwich on 7 November 1974. On 28 October 1977, after a hearing lasting 11 days, the Court of Appeal refused applications by all four for leave to appeal.
Since then, considerable efforts have been made by many people to establish that these convictions were unsafe. A large number of arguments have been adduced and, in the last two years, much allegedly new evidence has been brought to light.
In circumstances such as these a Home Secretary has, broadly speaking, three choices :
(a) to take no action and allow the verdicts to stand ; (b) to refer the case back to the Court of Appeal ;
(c) to recommend the use of the royal prerogative to pardon. The Home Secretary is an elected politician representing the Executive. The judiciary is and must be seen to be independent of the Executive. It follows that the power of the Executive over decisions of the judiciary needs to be exercised with very great care. Those who are seriously concerned about civil liberties in this country should be particularly chary of urging the Home Secretary to use these powers. I believe that the Home Secretary should only exercise the power of referral within stiff constraints. He should resist the temptation to substitute his view of the case for that of a court of law. The opinions of those who make representations to him, however distinguished, on whether the jury or the Court of Appeal dealt correctly with the evidence before them should not be decisive. Nor should his own personal opinions. This rules out at a stroke many of the matters raised in this case, because they were before the jury or the Court of Appeal. Those who were not in court are not well placed to challenge the decision of those who heard the evidence, except on the ground that there is new evidence or other consideration of substance which was not available at the original trial or