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competition in that particular market is being restricted or distorted, he should bring it to the attention of the director general.

Special Steels (Spain)

Mr. Devlin : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether the inter-industry agreement on special steels from Spain, referred to in his answer of 27 April 1988, Official Report, column 171, has now ended.

Mr. Alan Clark : I am informed that, following completion of the transitional arrangements for steel on Spain's accession to the European Community, the inter-industry agreement on special steels has ended.

Releasing Enterprise"

Mr. David Shaw : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether the rolling programme of deregulation reviews referred to in the White Paper, "Releasing Enterprise", has been determined.

Mr. Maude : I am announcing today details of the first rolling programme of deregulation reviews to be carried out by Government Departments. This carries forward commitments undertaken in the Government's recent White Paper "Releasing Enterprise" (Cm 512) which was published in November 1988.

We regard this programme of reviews as essential to keep a check on existing requirements or regulations which, although they may have seemed reasonable at the time, have become outdated, over-burdensome or simply unnecessary.

Together with the existing mechanisms we have in place for new legislation, we hope to be able to free enterprise from unnecessary Government interference.

Each year, Departments will review at least one area of their work, with an emphasis on consultation, particularly with business, at all stages. Where possible, business expertise will be brought in to assist.

The results of this programme will be reported to Parliament once it has been completed.

The first programme of deregulation is as follows :

Enterprise and Deregulation Unit

(i) Business Licensing

Review of the administration of business licences.

(ii) Fire and building review

Review of overlap of building control and fire regulations, the way the legislation is implemented and the requirements for consistent enforcement.

Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

(i) Compulsory dipping of sheep against sheep scab

This will consider the burden to farmers and possible alternatives to compulsory dipping while maintaining adequate control over the disease.

(ii) Enforcement of fruit and vegetable marketing


Review of the EC regulations laying down marketing standards for fruit and vegetables and their impact on United Kingdom traders. Her Majesty's Customs and Excise

(i) VAT second-hand schemes

VAT is paid on the margin between the selling and purchase price with second-hand schemes. The review will examine ways of reducing the record- keeping requirements.

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(ii) Export data capture

The review is to examine increasing direct trader input of export data in customs computers to bring it into line with import systems. Department of Employment and the Home Office

(i) Work permit scheme

To ensure that the rules and operation of the scheme enable business to hire overseas non-EC staff with the minimum regulation required to safeguard the employment of resident labour and for immigration control.

Health and Safety Executive

(i) Factories Act section 139

To review the need for employers to post copies of health and safety regulations or notices at workplaces, with a view to amendment or repeal of section 139 of the Factories Act 1961.

Department of the Environment

(i) Use Classes Order part II

To review the Special Industrial Use Classes which are five groups of industries, eg chemicals, smelting and other metal treatment and animal by- products. Because of the processes involved these create particular environmental problems and the review will be done with a view to rationalisation of the Use Classes Order.

Department of Health

(i) NHS standard conditions of contract

To overhaul Health Authority procedures for tendering and contracting, with particular reference to extending competition and best procurement practices.

(ii) NHS supplies

To streamline the NHS approved supplier/contractor system under which at present each regional NHS Authority conducts its own separate vetting and appraisal.

Home Office

(i) Data Protection Act

Review of implementation of the Data Protection Act 1984, with particular regard to the impact on data users of the registration requirements.

(ii) Business licences

Review of the administration of the business licences for which the Home Office is responsible.

Inland Revenue

(i) Pay as you earn communications with employers

Full scrutiny-style review of all communications between the Inland Revenue and business about PAYE.

Office of the Minister for the Civil Service

(i) Forms

To identify the means of reducing the burden of Government forms on business and make recommendations.

Department of Social Security

(i) Inquiries of business

To simplify the way in which social security information is obtained from employers, and drop outdated requirements.

Department of Transport

(i) HGV and PSV operator licensing

To consider the scope for reducing the burden imposed by operator licensing on goods and passenger vehicle operators.

Department of Trade and Industry

(i) Steel scrap export licensing

(a) Ferrous Scrap : to review the need for export licences for all grades of steel and non-alloy scrap.

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(b) Control of Stainless Steel and High Alloy Scrap Exports : to review the continuing need for an early 1980s agreement between DTI and the steel industry giving BSC first refusal on all supplies. (

(ii) Regional selective assistance

To consider the possibility of a shortened and simplified offer letter for smaller cases and the extent to which payment and monitoring procedures can be simplified.

(iii) Insurance

To review the data collection requirements of this area with a view to eliminating those which are unnecessary while making the essential compliance, collection and use of data as cost effective as possible.

(iv) Copper scrap quotas

To prepare the case for the removal of the annual quota imposed by the EC on copper exports.

(v) Export procedures review implementation (with Customs and Excise and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food) To implement the recommendations of the enterprise and deregulation unit's export procedures review.

EC Structural Funds

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will list the areas of Yorkshire which he has submitted for consideration to the European Commission under its review of the European Economic Community's structural funds ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Atkins [holding answer 30 January 1989] : I have recommended the Commission to select for the new objective 2 of the funds the whole of South Yorkshire ; the parts of Middlesbrough and Darlington travel-to-work areas that are in north Yorkshire ; and the Bradford city, Kirklees borough, Leeds city and Wakefield city metropolitan districts in West Yorkshire.

I should have liked to recommend the Whitby TTWA in North Yorkshire, but the terms of article 9 of the Council regulation (EEC) No. 2025/88 do not qualify for consideration.



Mr. McCusker : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many Loyalist and Republican prisoners in Northern Ireland received compassionate parole during the last three years ; and what was the average length of parole for each category.

Mr. Ian Stewart : During the last three years compassionate home leave was granted on 340 occasions to both determinate and indeterminate sentence prisoners. Based on their believed paramilitary affiliation, 69 were Loyalist prisoners for an average period of 11.5 hours, 136 Republican prisoners for an averge period of 12.2 hours, and 135 prisoners with no believed paramilitary affiliation for an average period of 14.6 hours. The length of a period of compassionate home leave in any individual case depends upon a number of factors, including the distance a prisoner has to travel and the mode of travel.

DNA Testing

Mr. McNamara : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to his reply to the hon.

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Member for Kingston upon Hull, North on 10 January, Official Report, column 502, whether mouth samples taken for the purposes of DNA testing by a swab between the lip and the gum yielded sufficient material to carry out valid DNA profiles in all cases.

Mr. Ian Stewart [holding answer 18 January 1989] : Research work undertaken at the Northern Ireland forensic science laboratory has proved that a mouth swab taken from the area between the lip and gum can yield sufficient DNA material for profiling purposes. However, none of the mouth samples taken for DNA profiling has been analysed so far.

Anthony O'Doherty

Mr. Livingstone : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what information he has as to allegations made at the trial of Sergeant Charles McCormick that Anthony O'Doherty had been supplied with weapons by the security forces ; what inquiries have been carried out ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Ian Stewart [holding answer 19 December 1988] : The allegations made at the trial of Sergeant Charles McCormick that Anthony O'Doherty had been supplied with weapons by the security forces were fully investigated by the police and their findings reported to the Director of Public Prosecutions who directed that there should be no prosecution.

I regret the delay in obtaining this information for the hon. Member.


Mr. Fearn : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many tourists visited Northern Ireland in each of the years 1983 to 1988 (a) from European countries, and (b) from North America.

Mr. Viggers [holding answer 25 January 1989] : The information requested for each of the years 1983 to 1987 is given in the table. Tourist numbers for 1988 are not yet available.

Tourist numbers      



1983 |796|29 |52     

1984 |847|30 |43     

1985 |778|28 |63     

1986 |750|35 |47     

1987 |860|33 |57     

<1> Tourists from    

Great Britain and    

Republic of Ireland. 

Meat Imports

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the annual total of meat imports into Northern Ireland via the overland route from the Republic.

Mr. Viggers [holding answer 26 January 1989] : Her Majesty's Customs and Excise statistics sources show that in 1987 imports of meat from the Republic of Ireland into Northern Ireland totalled 108, 200 tonnes.

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House Searches

Mr. Mallon : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many houses were searched in Northern Ireland by the Army, police or the Ulster Defence Regiment under (a) the Emergency Provisions Act and (b) the Prevention of Terrorism Act during 1988 ; and in how many house searches a warrant was sought or obtained.

Mr. Ian Stewart [holding answer 27 January 1989] : Statistics are not available in respect of searches under sections 11, 13, 14 and 17 of the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1978, or under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1984. During the first nine months of 1988 a total of 2,899 premises in Northern Ireland were searched by the police and 2,712 by the Army under section 15 of the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1978. These figures include both occupied and unoccupied premises. Warrants are not required for such searches.

ENVIRONMENT Southwark Urban Development Area

Mr. Leighton : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has of the number of firms active in the Southwark urban development area in 1980, the number of people they employed and whether the employees lived in (a) Southwark and (b) the other dockland boroughs ; and if he has comparable information for the latest available date. Mr. Trippier : The numbers of employing establishments and employees in the Southwark part of the UDA in 1981 and 1987 were as follows :

                         |1981 |1987       


Employing Establishments |285  |358        

Employers                |5,824|8,732      

LDDC has no data for 1980 ; and no place of residence information for 1981. Data for 1987 will be available shortly and I will write to the hon. Member at that time.

Tobacco Dock

Mr. Leighton : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will direct the London Docklands Development Corporation to take steps to ensure that the shops to open in the spring at Tobacco dock employ local labour.

Mr. Trippier : No, but I understand that the operators have recruited locally and are actively encouraging shop tenants to do so.

Disabled People

Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what has been the total amount of grant given by his Department to housing associations to encourage the building of disabled persons' housing units.

Mr. Trippier : This information is not held by the Department. The Housing Corporation is responsible for the allocation of its capital programme to housing

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associations and types of scheme, within the broad framework agreed annually by Ministers. I have therefore asked the Chairman of the Housing Corporation to respond to the hon. Member direct.

Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment pursuant to the reply of 10 November 1988, to the right hon. Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe, Official Report, column 273, if he will make a statement on the outcome so far of his Department's consideration of the Prince of Wales advisory group on disability entitled "Living Options Lottery" and, in particular, about the action he will be taking in regard to its findings.

Mr. Trippier : The report is a useful contribution to current thinking and planning on disability issues. We continue to encourage housing providers to look at ways in which they can respond more effectively to the needs and wishes of people with disabilities.

Agricultural Dwellings

Mr. Nicholas Baker : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will introduce rules to allow local authorities to tie planning permission for erection of an agricultural dwelling to a specific farm and area of land.

Mr. Chope : We are reviewing our planning guidance on agricultural dwellings and occupancy conditions in the light of our policies for diversification of the rural economy.

Gipsy Sites

Mr. Gregory : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many local authorities have been granted exemption for provision of a gipsy site under the Caravan Sites Act 1968 ; and for what reasons.

Mr. Trippier : None. Section 6(2) of the Caravan Sites Act 1968 which provided for exemption was repealed by section 173 of the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980.

Swimming Pools (Safety)

Mr. Evennett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what guidance his Department issues to the owners or operators of swimming pools concerning the safety of water slides, water chutes and similar apparatus.

Mr. Moynihan : The Health and Safety Commission and the Sports Council published a joint guidance booklet for owners and operators of swimming pools entitled "Safety in Swimming Pools" in 1988. My Department was consulted when the guidance was being drafted and fully endorses its contents.

Alzheimer's Disease

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the 47 water treatment plants in the United Kingdom producing drinking water whose aluminium content is above European Economic Community limits ; by how much each treatment plant is in excess of these limits ; and if he will make a statement in respect of excess aluminium sulphate in drinking water and any connection with the brain disorder, Alzheimer's disease.

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