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Written Answers to Questions

Thursday 2 February 1989

EDUCATION AND SCIENCE

Veterinary Medicine (Graduates)

Mrs. Margaret Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) if he will list in the Official Report the total number of women graduates in veterinary


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medicine in each British college in each of the past five years, showing this figure also as a percentage of the total number of graduates ;

(2) if he will list in the Official Report the total number of graduates in veterinary medicine at each veterinary college in Britain in each of the past five years.

Mr. Jackson : The available information is shown in the following table. Information prior to 1986 is not readily available.


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Women graduates in veterinary medicine in institutions in the United Kingdom                                                                                                                            

                          1986                                                                       1987                                                                                               

                         |Total                   |Women                   |Women as a percentage of|Total                   |Women                   |Women as a percentage of                         

                                                                           |total                                                                     |total                                            

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bristol                  |46                      |21                      |45.7                    |40                      |24                      |60.0                                             

Cambridge                |53                      |29                      |54.7                    |56                      |23                      |41.1                                             

Liverpool                |47                      |14                      |29.8                    |47                      |12                      |24.5                                             

London                   |57                      |26                      |45.6                    |65                      |29                      |44.6                                             

Edinburgh                |51                      |29                      |56.9                    |51                      |23                      |45.1                                             

Glasgow                  |58                      |29                      |50.0                    |52                      |27                      |51.9                                             

Belfast                  |1                       |1                       |100.0                   |2                       |1                       |50.0                                             

                         |---                     |---                     |---                     |---                     |---                     |---                                              

  Total                  |313                     |149                     |47.6                    |313                     |139                     |44.4                                             

Mr. Margaret Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will list in the Official Report the total number of British-domiciled graduates in


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veterinary medicine who (a) found employment in Britain and (b) found employment outwith Britain in each of the past five years.

Mr. Jackson : The available information is as follows :


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Destinations of first       

degree graduates in         

veterinary medicine (United 

Kingdom<1>)                 

----------------------------

1982-83 |222|6  |228|321    

1983-84 |207|4  |211|319    

1984-85 |210|5  |215|334    

1985-86 |229|7  |236|313    

1986-87 |227|4  |231|313    

<1> Includes a small number 

of students at university   

in Northern Ireland and a   

small number of non-United  

Kingdom domiciled students. 

Children (Medical Conditions)

Mr. Fatchett : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on the statutory provision made for children of normal ability whose academic progress is impeded by irregular school attendance caused by the crises of chronic medical conditions such as a sickle cell anaemia or asthma.

Mr. Butcher : It is the responsibility of local education authorities to make suitable education available for all children in their area. Such provision can be made either in schools or "otherwise than in schools"--for example, home tuition or hospital education. It is for each authority to determine what provision is appropriate for each child, after having taken account of individual circumstances, such as any particular medical condition.

Teachers' Superannuation Scheme

Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he proposes to introduce


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additional facilities for additional voluntary contributions within the teachers' superannuation scheme ; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Rumbold : The prudential pension fund services have been appointed to provide a new additional voluntary contributions (AVC) scheme for teachers who are members of the teachers' superannuation scheme for England and Wales. They have also been appointed to provide these facilities for members of the teachers' scheme in Scotland.

The AVC scheme will offer a flexible, money-purchase alternative to the existing provision for buying-in added years. Members will be able to choose to invest their contributions in a with-profits or a unit-linked fund, or on cash deposit at building society rates of interest, or to apply them to the purchase of additional life insurance cover, or in any combination of these investments. Members will also be free to vary their contributions, and their allocation between investments, at any time.

We intend to lay regulations before Parliament shortly to give effect to the new scheme, and to seek approval for


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it under section 592 of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988 so that teachers' contributions are allowable as a deduction from income before assessment to tax. Subject to these requirements, the scheme will come into operation on 1 April 1989, enabling members to secure tax relief on single premium payments in the 1988-89 tax year.

OVERSEAS DEVELOPMENT

Southern Africa Development Co-ordination Conference

Miss Lestor : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what new initiatives he will propose at the coming meeting of the Southern Africa Development co-ordination conference in Angola.

Mrs. Chalker [pursuant to her answer, 1 February 1989] : My hon. Friend the Minister for Overseas Development has today told the annual donors meeting of the Southern African development co-ordination conference (SADCC) that commitments of British aid for SADCC projects now stand at £60 million. This follows his approval of a £15 million project to finance the second phase of the rehabilitation of the Limpopo railway linking Zimbabwe to Maputo. He has announced that Britain will contribute £500,000 to the programme co-ordinated by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to repatriate Namibian refugees from Angola and Zambia ; and that we are ready when appropriate to provide technical assistance to help reopen the Benguela railway in Angola. He has also announced an additional £250,000 to help finance UNHCR's programme for Mozambican refugees in Malawi, bringing total British aid for this purpose to £3.328 million.

TRADE AND INDUSTRY

Manufacturing Output

Mr. Dykes : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what is the most recently available index figure for output in manufacturing industry ; and what was the figure for the same month in 1973, 1979, 1983 and 1986.

Mr. Atkins : The figures are as follows :


                     |Manufacturing Output                     

                     |(1985=100)                               

---------------------------------------------------------------

November 1973        |111.2                                    

November 1979        |106.6                                    

November 1983        |94.9                                     

November 1986        |104.1                                    

November 1988        |116.4                                    

Credit

Sir Anthony Grant : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what information he has as to what efforts are being made by the credit card companies and associated banks to assist those borrowers with problems of excessive personal indebtedness.


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Mr. Maude : The clearing banks through the banking information service provide information on credit and debt, through educational visits, videos and literature. Some 20 financial organisations, of which seven are banks, are providing £750,000 over a period of three years for money advice.

Sir Anthony Grant : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what information he has as to the average merchant service charge paid by retailers accepting (a) Visa, (b) Access, (c) American Express and (d) Diners Club for each year since 1984.

Mr. Maude : Merchant service charges paid by retailers accepting credit cards are a matter for commercial negotiation between the retailer and card company, and information about these charges is not held by my Department.

Sir Anthony Grant : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what information he has as to what range of interest rates are available to personal borrowers in the following categories : (a) bank credit cards, (b) store credit cards, (c) mortgages, (d) bank loans and (e) other forms of credit.

Mr. Maude : Detailed information on ranges of interest rates available to personal borrowers is not centrally available. The Consumer Credit (Total Charge for Credit) Regulations 1980 (SI 1980/51) prescribe the items to be included in and the method of calculating the annual percentage rate of charge (APR) so that consumers can compare the various rates on offer.

Sir Anthony Grant : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what information he has as to what proportion of credit card applicants have been rejected by the credit card companies in each of the past 10 years.

Mr. Maude : The information requested is not available. Whether to accept or reject a credit card application is a commercial decision for the card company concerned. However, a major credit card company recently announced that it rejects about one in three applications.

Sir Anthony Grant : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) what information he has as to what proportion of borrowers in each of the following categories pay interest at the full annual percentage rate ; and what is the average percentage paid in each category (a) bank credit cards, (b) store credit cards, (c) bank loans and (d) other forms of credit ;

(2) what information he has as to the annual increases in borrowing on which interest is paid for (a) bank credit cards, (b) unsecured personal loans, (c) secured personal loans and (d) loans from retailers for each year since 1984.

Mr. Maude : Credit business statistics published by the Department (there is no earlier comparable data) show that the amounts outstanding to lenders from borrowers were :


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£ million                                                                                                                                       

                        |Bank credit cards      |Retailers              |Bank loans (on personal|Finance houses etc.                            

                                                                        |accounts)                                                              

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1986                    |838                    |95                                             |1,452                                          

1987                    |889                    |357                    |1,711                  |2,619                                          

<1>1988                 |449                    |70                     |940                    |1,500                                          

<1> First half.                                                                                                                                 

However, the statistics do not distinguish the proportion of borrowers who pay interest on the credit available from those who only borrow for a free credit period.

Sir Anthony Grant : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what information he has as to what weighting is given, when calculating annual percentage rates, of the effect of the free credit period which holders of bank credit cards receive from the day of their purchase to their statement date.

Mr. Maude : Items to be included in the annual percentage rate of charge and the way it is calculated are set out in the Consumer Credit (Total Charge for Credit)


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Regulations 1980 (SI 1980/51). Any period of interest-free credit is not taken into account in the calculation of the annual percentage rate of charge.

Energy Saving Schemes

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how much has been spent by his Department in each of the last five years on the development and encouragement of energy saving schemes in the public and private sector.

Mr. Forth [holding answer 26 January 1989] : Payments made over the past six years by my Department to the private sector under schemes explicitly designed to encourage and develop energy savings are itemised in the table.


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d

£000's                                                                                              

Scheme                                      |1984-85|1985-86|1986-87|1987-88|1988-89|Total          

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Energy audit scheme                         |20     |13     |0      |0      |0      |33             

Industrial energy thrift scheme             |2      |3      |0      |6      |-      |11             

Renewable energy source scheme              |24     |11     |0      |2      |0      |37             

Energy conservation demonstration scheme    |338    |194    |134    |16     |0      |682            

Industrial heat recovery consultancy scheme |291    |594    |878    |173    |7      |1,943          

                                            |---    |---    |---    |---    |---    |---            

Total                                       |675    |815    |1,012  |197    |7      |2,706          

The responsibility of the then Department of Industry for improving energy efficiency in United Kingdom industry was passed to the Department of Energy in 1982 on the recommendation of a Rayner review. The payments shown in the table (excepting those for the industrial heat recovery scheme) arose from contracts entered into prior to the review. The industrial heat recovery scheme closed to new applicants in 1986. The activities of the regional energy efficiency officers located in the Department's regional offices are paid for by the Department of Energy under an agency agreement. Payments made under other DTI industrial support schemes contain conservation-related components but these are not separately identifiable.

Funds devoted by the Department to savings on the costs of its own energy consumption are likely to be some £208,000 in 1988-89.

EMPLOYMENT

Channel Tunnel

Mr. Hardy : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if in the light of the training and experience required of workers in the Channel tunnel, he will take steps to bring this and similar activities under supervision of Her Majesty's inspectors of mines and within the Mines and Quarries Regulations.

Mr. Nicholls : The decision on which inspectorate supervises a particular activity is an internal management


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matter for the Health and Safety Commission and Executive, and it is for them to decide on that allocation. The Channel tunnel project is a work of engineering construction and is regulated by the provisions of the Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974 and the construction regulations, which are enforced by HM factory inspectorate.

Docks (Deaths and Injuries)

Mr. Meacher : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what has been the number of deaths, serious injuries and minor injuries sustained in the docks industry (a) in dock labour scheme ports and (b) in non-scheme ports, for each year since 1979.

Mr. Nicholls : The figures are not available in the form requested and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

YTS

Mr. Nellist : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Coventry, South-East, on 30 January, he will give such information as he has as to the level of compensation or damages received by the families concerned following fatalities on YTS schemes from : (a) departmental or Training Agency payments and (b) insurance cover of YTS managing agents and training managers.

Mr. John Cope : The Department or Training Agency does not offer compensational damages to families of


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trainees fatally injured on YTS. However YTS managing agents and training managers are contractually obliged to obtain insurance to cover any claims to compensation or damages. Compensational damages paid by either insurance companies or YTS managing agents and training managers are a private matter between them and the trainees' families. The Training Agency is not informed of these settlements.

ATTORNEY-GENERAL

Extradition

Mr. Win Griffiths : To ask the Attorney-General on how many occasions since 1979 his Department has made extradition applications for terrorist offences ; and how often, by whom, and for what reasons such requests have been rejected. The Attorney-General : With respect to extradition requests to the Republic of Ireland I refer the hon. Member to answers given on 8 and 13 December 1988 by my hon. Friends the Minister of State for the Home Office, the Scottish Office and the Northern Ireland Office and to the answers I gave on 19 December 1988 to my hon. Friends the Members for Northampton, North (Mr. Marlow and for Orpington (Mr. Stanbrook).

Applications for extradition from other countries are a matter for my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for the Home Department, for Scotland and for Northern Ireland.

Land Registry Offices

Mr. Clelland : To ask the Attorney-General what was the average time taken by each of the land registry offices from receipt to completion of property transfers for each of the years 1984 to 1988.


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The Attorney-General : The average completion times in weeks at each office for all categories of substantive applications at the end of December for the year indicated are shown in the table.


Office          |1984  |1985  |1986  |1987  |1988         

----------------------------------------------------------

Croydon         |5     |7     |13    |18    |22           

Harrow          |10    |10    |17    |21    |19           

Tunbridge Wells |9     |10    |18    |15    |15           

Lytham          |8     |7     |14    |24    |18           

Nottingham      |8     |8     |16    |22    |27           

Gloucester      |7     |8     |17    |25    |28           

Stevenage       |8     |8     |14    |19    |19           

Durham          |8     |6     |14    |21    |22           

Plymouth        |7     |8     |14    |24    |24           

Swansea         |5     |7     |14    |19    |22           

Birkenhead      |9     |9     |11    |19    |15           

Weymouth        |5     |7     |11    |17    |17           

Peterborough    |6     |6     |11    |23    |26           

Telford         |-     |-     |-     |-     |19           

Coventry        |-     |-     |-     |-     |25           

Hull            |-     |-     |-     |-     |19           

The last three offices were opened as district land registries in 1988.

Mr. Clelland : To ask the Attorney-General what is the current complement of staff at each of the land registry offices and what were the levels of staff for each of the years 1984 to 1988.

The Attorney-General [holding answer 20 January 1989] : The authorised complement at each of the land registry's offices at 1 January 1989 and the total numbers of permanent staff in post on the same day in the years 1984 to 1988 are set out in the table.


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                         Permanent Staff                                                                                         

                         Authorised compStaff in Post                                                                            

                        |1 January 1989|1 January 1988|1 January 1987|1 January 1986|1 January 1985|1 January 1984               

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Croydon                 |550           |458           |495           |472           |484           |477                          

Harrow                  |585           |520           |520           |535           |526           |537                          

Tunbridge Wells         |725           |631           |633           |638           |612           |596                          

Lytham                  |670           |573           |535           |533           |520           |526                          

Nottingham              |890           |712           |686           |641           |644           |639                          

Gloucester              |770           |687           |697           |662           |650           |651                          

Stevenage               |695           |612           |622           |614           |548           |527                          

Durham                  |770           |526           |463           |466           |475           |476                          

Plymouth                |665           |568           |497           |457           |450           |468                          

Swansea                 |640           |466           |377           |366           |331           |323                          

Birkenhead              |560           |406           |376           |359           |359           |357                          

Weymouth                |620           |499           |445           |431           |375           |319                          

Peterborough            |680           |547           |432           |411           |375           |338                          

Telford                 |400           |153           |44            |-             |-             |-                            

Coventry                |350           |163           |-             |-             |-             |-                            

Hull                    |340           |112           |-             |-             |-             |-                            

Leicester               |130           |-             |-             |-             |-             |-                            

Headquarters (including                                                                                                          

   Computer Services                                                                                                             

   Division based at                                                                                                             

   Plymouth)            |388           |348           |329           |320           |294           |273                          

Land Charges Department |172           |158           |151           |152           |153           |146                          

                        |----          |----          |----          |----          |----          |----                         

Total                   |10,600        |8,139         |7,302         |7,057         |6,796         |6,653                        



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PRIME MINISTER

Environmental Protection

Q7. Mr. Livsey : To ask the Prime Minister what plans she has to improve co-ordination between Government Departments to promote the protection of the environment.

Q23. Mr. Kennedy : To ask the Prime Minister what plans she has to improve co-ordination between Government Departments to promote the protection of the environment.

Q87. Mr. Maclennan : To ask the Prime Minister what plans she has to improve co-ordination between Government Departments to promote the protection of the environment.

Q124. Sir Russell Johnston : To ask the Prime Minister what plans she has to improve co-ordination between Government Departments to promote the protection of the environment.

The Prime Minister : I am satisfied that the present arrangements effectively promote environmental protection.

Q95. Mr. Malcolm Bruce : To ask the Prime Minister if she has any plans to create a department of environmental protection ; and if she will make a statement.

Q115. Mr. Menzies Campbell : To ask the Prime Minister if she has any plans to create a department of environmental protection ; and if she will make a statement.

Q98. Mr. Wallace : To ask the Prime Minister if she has any plans to create a department of environmental protection ; and if she will make a statement.

Q155. Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Prime Minister if she has any plans to create a department of environmental protection ; and if she will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : We already have a Department of the Environment whose duties include environmental protection matters.

Scottish Development Agency

Q27. Dr. Godman : To ask the Prime Minister whether, following to the recently published White Paper, "Scottish Enterprise", it is the intention of Her Majesty's Government to retain the name of the Scottish Development Agency.

The Prime Minister : It seems sensible to have a new name for a new body, but we shall consider carefully all the comments received on the White Paper.

Global Environment

Q66. Mr Fearn : To ask the Prime Minister if she has any plans to convene an international conference on global environmental issues.

Q113. Mr. Geraint Howells : To ask the Prime Minister if she has any plans to convene an international conference on global environmental issues.


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Q135. Mrs. Ray Michie : To ask the Prime Minister if she has any plans to convene an international conference on global environmental issues.

The Prime Minister : In March my right hon Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment and I are convening an international conference in London to address the major global issue of saving the ozone layer. His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales will attend a dinner for heads of delegations hosted by my right hon. Friend. President Moi of Kenya will give the keynote speech at the opening ceremony.

Hormone Ban

Q126. Mr. Ken Hargreaves : To ask the Prime Minister if she has any plans to visit Hyndburn to discuss the threat to steak pie and ox tongue production posed by the EEC hormone ban.

The Prime Minister : I have at present no plans to do so.

Zeus and Securipol

Mr. M. Cohen : To ask the Prime Minister if she will list all Government contracts with (a) Zeus and (b) Securipol Ltd. since 1979 ; and if she will give the purpose of each contract.

The Prime Minister : Details of contracts placed by other Government Departments are not held centrally. Records for my office are readily available only from April 1984. No contracts have been placed with, or payment made to, Zeus or Securipol Ltd. by on behalf of my office during that period.

Monitoring (Contracts)

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Prime Minister whether Her Majesty's Government has contracted out to any private company the monitoring of individuals or organisations who are concerned about or object to the sub- sea disposal of nuclear waste ; and if she will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : The recent consultation exercise undertaken by UK Nirex Ltd. on the options for a deep disposal facility for radioactive waste has enabled individuals or organisations to make their views known. I know of no monitoring of those concerned about or objecting to the sub-sea disposal option.

Engagements

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 2 February.

Mr. Cran : To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 2 February.

Mr. Stern : To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 2 February.

Mr. Ian Taylor : To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 2 February.

Mr. Sumberg : To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 2 February.

Mr. Barry Field : To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 2 February.


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Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 2 February.

Mr. Key : To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 2 February.

Mr. Jack : To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 2 February.

Mr. David Shaw : To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 2 February.

The Prime Minister : This morning I presided at a meeting of the Cabinet and had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in the House, I shall be having further meetings later today.

FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

Brussels Treaty

Mr. Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he intends to present to the House the amendment to the treaty of Brussels of 1948, providing for the accession of Spain and Portugal to the Western European Union ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Waldegrave : The accession of Spain and Portugal to the Western European Union does not require an amendment to the treaty of Brussels which was modified in 1954. However, the protocol of accession of Spain and Portugal to the organisation will be laid before the House shortly.

HEALTH

Listeria

Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what foods have been found to be contaminated with listeria following diagnosis of a medical condition which has resulted from the consumption of such foods.


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