The Prime Minister : I refer the hon. Member to my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Tiverton (Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop) on 7 December 1988 at column 163 concerning the division of responsibility between the Department of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Food inspection under the Food Act 1984 is a local authority responsibility. The district councils, including London boroughs, are responsible for food hygiene and safety inspections. The county councils and the London boroughs are responsible for inspections for the composition and labelling of food.
Mr. Rooker : To ask the Prime Minister if she will arrange for transcripts made by the Central Office of Information of interviews she gives to be placed in the Library after publication of the interviews.
Column 368of concern to our respective responsibilites, in particular extradition between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.
The Attorney-General : None. As the hon. Member will know, my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary has now decided to refer the case to the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) under section 17 of the Criminal Appeal Act, 1968.
41. Miss Widdecombe : To ask the Attorney-General how many prosecutions were brought by the Crown Prosecution Service under the Infant Life Preservation Act 1929 in 1987 ; and if he will make a statement.
The Attorney-General : No. It is for the police to decide whether or not to institute criminal proceedings. If proceedings are instituted, the matter is then passed to the Crown prosecution service for independent consideration. It will employ the criteria set out in the code for Crown prosecutors.
Column 369Erdington on 16 January, Official Report, column 11 , whether proceedings are to be instituted against Mr. Richard Norton-Taylor of The Guardian, and its editor Mr. Peter Preston, arising from the publication on 4 January of the name and background of the new head of the Secret Intelligence Service.
1989 -- 28,200
1984 -- 25,800
1979 -- 24,000
1974 -- 21,500
1970 -- 19,300 (the earliest year for which the figures are available)
I welcome the opportunity to record the Lord Chancellor's appreciation of the voluntary work done by increasing numbers of justices, drawn from all ages, communities and backgrounds up and down the country. They make an essential and much appreciated contribution to the administration of justice.
The Attorney-General : Advisory committees have until the end of 1992 to make their membership known. Whether, and if so when, they do so before that time is a matter for each advisory committee to decide.
Mr. Chris Patten : I met the director-general on 13 December 1988. We discussed the locust situation in Africa and the threat to the world's tropical rain forests. I received a report on progress of the review of the Food and Agriculture Organisation's objectives and functions.
Mr. Chris Patten : Our gross bilateral aid expenditure on India was estimated to be about £90 million in the financial year 1987-88. We are awaiting final confirmation of the figures. At that level, India remains our largest bilateral aid programme.
51. Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he has any plans to ship eggs to Eritrea, the Sudan and other countries with a food supply problem ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Chris Patten : We have made the major contribution to the interest subsidy account of the IMF's enhanced structural adjustment facility. We have converted nearly £1 billion of old aid loans into grants. The Paris Club is now implementing the special Toronto terms based on the sub-Saharan African initiative first proposed by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1987. These are all very significant contributions towards lessening the debt burden on the poorest countries--and widely recognised as such.
54. Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on Her Majesty's Government's response to the recent UNICEF report, "State of the World's Children".
Mr. Chris Patten : I welcome the publication of this report. It examines the problems faced by women and children in developing countries and is an example of the work of UNICEF in advocacy for children.
Our contributions to UNICEF increased from £7.64 million in 1985-86 to over £15 million in the last financial year.
Mr. Chris Patten : The project, with support from our joint funding scheme, is progressing well. About half of the 54 cows sent to Uganda so far have already calved and the remainder are expected to calve within the next few weeks. Those chosen to receive the cows, including widows of the recent conflicts and others with large families and low incomes, both Moslem and Christian, are now starting to benefit from the extra milk yields.
Mr. Chris Patten : We have developed well-tried systems both for ensuring and assessing the effectiveness of our aid. These include annual country review and objectives papers ; project appraisal and monitoring ; project completion reports ; and the full evaluation of a sample of projects. A full account will be given in this year's public expenditure White Paper, to be published shortly.
Mr. Chris Patten : In the most recent year for which figures are available (1987), British aid disbursements to the four Caribbean dependencies in receipt of aid were £8,767,000, or £214 per head. I visited the Turks and Caicos Islands, the largest recipient of our aid, from 5 to 8 January and subsequently chaired in Barbados a meeting of dependent territory governors to review aid policy in the dependencies.
Mr. Chris Patten : We have contributed £1.3 million to a pilot project in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Two hundred classrooms have been built to improved designs which provide a better educational environment ; and teachers and teacher educators have been trained in child centred learning techniques. We are now considering a proposal to extend the project throughout the state, at a cost of abou £30 million.
The first EC/ACP Ministerial negotiating meeting is in Brazzaville next month. I plan to attend this and
Column 372subsequent Ministerial negotiating meetings. I also intend to continue to raise Lome issues on my bilateral visits to Africa, Caribbean and Pacific countries.
61. Sir Fergus Montgomery : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on British support for the Southern Africa Development Co-ordination Conference.
Mr. Chris Patten : The United Kingdom is a firm supporter of the Southern Africa Development Co-ordination Conference (SADCC). Pledges of British bilateral assistance for SADCC projects now amount to some £60 million. I shall attend the SADCC annual conference in Angola next month.
Mr. Chris Patten : I have received a great many representations from organisations, commercial companies and individuals offering donations, cost price relief supplies and personal help. It has been a magnificent and spontaneous response. The Soviet authorities have gone out of their way to express their gratitude for all the help provided from Britain.
63. Sir Trevor Skeet : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about Britain's contribution to the earthquake disaster relief operation in Armenia.
Mr. Chris Patten : Of the £5 million emergency aid which I announced on 9 December 1988, some £1.4 million has been allocated in response to specific requests from the Soviet authorities for assistance with emergency relief and search-and-rescue measures. This phase of the relief operation is now over. The balance of our £5 million will be used for rehabilitation and reconstruction activities which are now under consideration by the Soviet authorities.
64. Mr. Jacques Arnold : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will undertake a study of the implications of the debt for development swap in Sudan with UNICEF, whereby Midland bank's debt exposure has been donated to finance development programmes for the Kordofan region, and as to what opportunities this precedent opens up for charitable work in the third world with the support of Her Majesty's Government.
65. Mr. Colin Shepherd : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on future aid and trade relations with the African, Caribbean and Pacific group of countries.
Mr. Chris Patten : Aid and trade relations between the European Community and the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries are governed by the Lome conventions. Negotiations on a successor to the third Lome convention, which expires in February 1990, were opened formally in October last year. We will be actively involved throughout the renegotiation.
Miss Lestor : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if, following the announcement of a grant of $100 million being made available for Nigeria, he will publish the revised figures for the net aid programme including aid administration costs, for the financial years 1988-89 and 1989-90 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Chris Patten : For the financial years 1988-89 and 1989-90, the net overseas aid budget, which includes aid administration, stands at £1,387 million and £1,430 million respectively. Assuming the conditions are met for the disbursement of the $100 million aid grant for 1989 pledged as part of our Nigeria initiative, I would at present expect, on the basis of current exchange rates, that some £47 million would be added to the aid programme in 1989-90 for this purpose.
Mr. Sean Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the number of staff in his Department, by grade, in receipt of local pay additions outside London and the south-east economic planning region ; what are the different amounts paid to staff by grade ; whether this figure varies due to location ; what qualifying period of scale-related criteria is used ; and whether this varies by location.
Mrs. Chalker : All grades currently in receipt of local pay additions are employed in Central London and at Croydon. Details were contained in the answer to the hon. Member for Knowsley South (Mr. Hughes) of 20 October 1988 at column 984.
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is his policy on the internationally monitored system of on-site inspections following a pre-emptory challenge of the nature of the work, or of materials stored, in relation to verification of chemical and biological disarmament ; and what is his policy towards the formation of international inspection teams.
Column 374comprehensive convention banning chemical weapons is largely drawn from a United Kingdom proposal tabled in 1986. However, much work remains to be done to elaborate the detailed procedures which will be required to make the regime effective.
It is agreed in the negotiations that on-site inspections will be carried out by international inspection teams drawn from the technical secretariat of the international organisation which will be established to oversee and administer the implementation of the convention.
The development, production, stockpiling and use of biological weapons is already banned by the 1972 biological weapons convention to which over 100 states (including the United Kingdom) are party. This convention has no specific provision for on-site inspections, either routinely or on challenge.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the level of income at which the following should have a lower overall tax burden in real terms now than in 1979 (a) a single man, (b) single woman, (c) married man, (d) married woman, (e) married man with wife not working and with one child, (f) married man with wife not working and with two children, (g) married man with wife not working and with three children and (h) married man with wife not working and with four children.
Mr. Major : Inflows of direct and portfolio investment into the United Kingdom are estimated to have been £6.8 billion in the first three quarters of 1988. Net capital inflows into the United Kingdom are estimated at £2.2 billion.
Sir David Price : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will ensure that all public departments in determining the award of contracts under competitive tendering procedures give proper consider-ation to the maintenance of professional standards.
Mr. Brooke : The award of contracts for goods and services is primarily the responsibility of individual Departments. However, the Government's "Guidelines on Public Purchasing Policy", last issued by the Treasury in January 1987, require that such goods and services should be acquired by competition unless there are convincing reasons to the contrary. The guidelines provide that the assessment of value for money should take account of other factors as well as price, including the financial, technical and professional status of tenderers. At the same time, part of the function of the Treasury's central unit on purchasing is to increase the professionalism of
Column 375Government purchasing, by working with Departments to improve their organisation and systems and the training and professional skills of purchasing staff.
Mr. Lilley : The personal sector saving ratio has fallen in recent years. However this has been largely offset by rises in saving by companies and the public sector, leaving total national savings broadly unchanged as a share of gross domestic product. Rises in interest rates in recent months will encourage more saving and less borrowing by households.
Mr. Major : Total taxes on income, expenditure and capital in 1988- 89 are expected to yield £143.8 billion, as published in the autumn statement. The comparable figure for 1978-79 is £105.4 billion at 1988 -89 prices.