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Mr. Redmond : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will publish a table in the Official Report giving details of (a) pre -tax net farm income and (b) gross output in current prices and in real terms for each year since 1979 (i) for each of the three counties of Yorkshire and (ii) nationally ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Ryder : Information on farm output and incomes is not available by county. However estimates of gross output, gross product and farming income by standard statistical region have been published for 1984 and 1985 in the annual reports on farm incomes in the United Kingdom. Corresponding figures for 1986 will be provided in the next report due to be published in the spring. These reports also include estimates of net farm income by farm type but by the (different) farm business survey regions.
The figures provided in these reports are however subject to revision and the best estimates which are currently available (consistent with the United Kingdom figures recently published in "Agriculture in the United Kingdom 1988") are as follows :
£ million |1982 |1983 |1984 |1985 |1986 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Gross regional output Yorkshire and Humberside |1,026 |1,056 |1,189 |1,110 |1,132 United Kingdom |11,334|11,763|12,818|12,211|12,504 Gross Product Yorkshire and Humberside |470 |441 |574 |500 |543 United Kingdom |5,299 |5,105 |6,024 |5,389 |5,836 Farming Income Yorkshire and Humberside |183 |137 |258 |140 |175 United Kingdom |1,730 |1,339 |2,061 |1,053 |1,470
No regional figures for agriculture are available for years before 1982. The purchasing power of farming income (which is pre-tax) may be derived by deflating the series by the retail price index. The values of this (1985 = 100) for each year are 1982--85.8 ; 1983--89.7 ; 1984--94.3 ; 1985--100 and 1986--103.4. Separate price indices do not exist for each region.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (a) whether he has any proposals to extend regulations governing milk production to goats' milk and ewes' milk and (b) whether he proposes to support the goat producers association's clean milk production scheme.
Mr. Donald Thompson : As regards goats' milk I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave to the hon. Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr (Mr. Rooker) on 8 February. This referred to the Ministry's code of practice which has objectives similar to the clean milk producton scheme. The legal position of ewes' milk is the same as that of goats' milk, and a code of practice is being prepared.
Mr. Donald Thompson : As regards goats' milk, I refer my hon. Friend to the answer that I gave to the hon. Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr (Mr. Rooker) on 8 February. The legal position of sheep's milk is the same as that of goats' milk, and a code of practice is being prepared.
Mr. Donald Thompson : Cows' milk is already comprehensively regulated. The position on goats' milk was described in the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr (Mr. Rooker) on 8 February. The legal position of sheep milk is similar to that of goats' milk, and a code of practice is being prepared.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he has made any assessment of the study undertaken by Friends of the Earth of the potential radioactive pollution of the River Esk by Americium 241, caesium 137 and other radioisotopes released from Sellafield.
Mr. Donald Thompson : My officials have only just received a copy of the report in question from Friends of the Earth and are studying this. I have, however, seen various press reports referring to statements by Friends of the Earth about radioactivity in the area of the river Esk. These reports refer to comparisons between measured levels of radioactivity and the generalised derived limits (GDLs) recommended by the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB). Such comparisons are not valid. The GDLs provide a simple but crude way of demonstrating the environmental acceptability of given levels of radioactivity, but they do not provide means of calculating dose. The GDLs are intended for situations where no information is available on land usage, local habits and other factors relevant to the radiation exposure of people in the area. This is patently not the case around the river Esk. On the basis of extensive monitoring conducted by my scientists, British Nuclear Fuels plc and others, it has been clearly established that there is no risk of unacceptable exposure of man from these contamination levels.
Mr. Donald Thompson : In the negotiations on the review of the EC sheepmeat regime, which have made little progress so far, I will be seeking to ensure that the United Kingdom sheep industry can, at reasonable cost, continue to capitalise on its natural advantages and superior efficiency. It is too early to judge which means of support will be most effective in achieving this.
Mr. David Porter : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the total area of land covered by agreements in the Suffolk environmentally sensitive areas ; how many farms are covered ; and how he intends the scheme to progress in the future.
ESA |Number of agreements |Area of land covered in |hectares ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Broads |624 |11,990 Breckland |82 |3,100 Suffolk River Valley |273 |6,130
Information on the number of farms covered is not readily available. I intend to carry out a policy review of ESAs in 1991-92 to determine how the scheme will progress.
Mr. Ryder : The area has not been surveyed in detail and the published 1 : 63,360 scale agricultural land classification map gives only a generalised indication of land quality. It shows approximately one third of the agricultural land as grade 2, and almost all of the remaining land as grade 3.
Mr. Macdonald : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he received the report of the joint Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Department of Health and British Egg Industry Council working group on salmonella and eggs ; and at what exact time he placed a copy in the Library.
Mr. MacGregor : I received the report of the joint Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Department of Health and British Egg Industry Council working group on salmonella and eggs on 10 January 1989 and placed a copy in the Library at about 10.45 on Tuesday 7 February 1989.
Mr. Sayeed : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what levels of aluminium are contained in the following soya milks (a) Wysoy by Wyeth Nutrition in powder form, (b) Granose produced in West Germany in liquid form and (c) White Wave produced by Unisoy Milk in the United Kingdom ; what evidence he has on the effect of such levels of aluminium on infants and young children ; and if he will publish the results of research showing the levels of aluminium in the most popular brands of soya milk sold in this country.
The Department of Health's independent committee on toxicity chemicals in food, consumer products and the environment has considered the results of analyses carried out by my Department and has advised that no action is needed to reduce the aluminium intakes from infant formulae. That Department's expert advisory committees will keep under review the results of research in this area.
27. Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received concerning the proposed Channel tunnel fixed lines to Waterloo and Charing Cross ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Portillo : I have received a large number of representations about British Rail's proposals for rail links to the Channel tunnel. It is not envisaged that Channel tunnel trains will use Charing Cross.
45. Mr. McCartney : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what further plans he has to encourage improvements to the road and rail network to enable the north of England to benefit from the Channel tunnel.
47. Sir John Stanley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what consideration he has given to British Rail's proposals for a new high- speed line between London and the Channel tunnel ; and whether he will make a statement.
Mr. Portillo : I am in regular contact with British Rail about the progress that it is making with the development of its proposals. I set out the Government's position in my response to the Adjournment debate initiated by my hon. Friend the Member for Maidstone (Miss Widdecombe) on 2 December 1988 at columns 1025-32.
52. Mr. Hind : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he has any plans to meet the chairman of British Rail to discuss links from Scotland, Wales, the north, midlands and south-east of England to the Channel tunnel ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Portillo : Not at present. British Rail is still consulting widely in preparation for the plan which it will be publishing later this year in accordance with section 40 of the Channel Tunnel Act 1987.
Mr. Portillo : In response to my request London Regional Transport has already commissioned independent consulting engineers to review the working of automatic ticketing systems. It expects to receive the consultants' report by the end of April 1989.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : The M40 between the M42 and Warwick and between Warwick and Wendlebury should be completed by autumn 1989 and the end of 1990, respectively. Completion of the section between Wendlebury and Waterstock will depend on the statutory procedures. We hope to make an announcement shortly.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : My right hon. Friend is considering a request from BAA plc, as owners of Prestwick and Glasgow airports, for a review of the 1986 traffic distribution rules for Scotland, which restrict intercontinental traffic to Prestwick. He will make an announcement in due course.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : Our short-term target is to reduce the annual number of road fatalities below 5,000, as well as to bring about a sharp decline in injuries. Since 1986 there has been a 5 per cent. reduction in fatalities and a 6 per cent. reduction in serious injuries.
Over the year ahead, we will be concentrating our efforts on vulnerable groups such as children, the elderly, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, as well as on dangerous groups such as drinking drivers and selfish and aggressive road users.
Overall we have the best record in the EC for road deaths. We must now aim for the same position on each of the vulnerable road user groups.
Engineering, education, enforcement, exhortation and example will all play their part.
22. Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if, pursuant to his reply to the right hon. Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe, on 16 January, on security at Heathrow airport, he will now make a further statement on any developments since then.
20. Mr. Beith : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he has received the reports of the studies conducted by his Department and the Scottish Office on the future of the A1 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : Discussions have taken place and further meetings are planned between officials of the Department's northern regional office and the Scottish Development Department about a proposed improvement scheme on the A1 near the English/Scottish border at Marshall meadows. An announcement on a preferred route is expected by early summer 1989.
Column 94The report of an independent study being carried out by the Scottish Development Department is a matter for my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland.
Over the past five years £14 million has been made available to the county council through transport supplementary grants for the local road network.
20. Mr. Roy Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to uphold safety standards in the road haulage industry after 1992 and the introduction of the single European market.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : My right hon. Friend is considering a British Airports Authority plc request to review the 1986 traffic distribution rules for Scotland. He will make an announcement in due course.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : We are planning improvements at junction 1 and a climbing lane at junction 9. Schemes planned for the A5 will also help to relieve the M1. The trunk road programme is currently under review. We expect to make an announcement in the spring.