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Mr. Donald Thompson : The most recent figures show that there were 276 reports of isolations of salmonella enteritidis in broiler flocks in 1988. There were estimated to be 1,704 holdings with broiler flocks in Great Britain. In addition, birds will be sold for the table from laying flocks and breeding flocks, which are kept on an estimated 50,000 holdings. It is not possible to give as a percentage those flocks in which salmonella enteritidis has been reported as more than one report may relate to the same flock.
Mr. Ryder : Near market research is research which offers the prospect of commercial application or exploitation, whether as a product, process or system, within a short enough timescale to justify investment by industry.
Dr. David Clarke : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he has made an assessment of the length of time traces of dioxins from pesticides remain in soil after application ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. MacGregor : I understand that where traces of dioxins have reached the soil they may remain for some years, depending on a variety of physical, chemical and biological processes favourable to degradation. My Department, in conjunction with the Department of the Environment and the Department of Health, has been working on a statement on dioxins in the environment which will be published shortly and will include a discussion of this aspect.
For pesticides, where reaction mechanisms and manufacturing process conditions suggest the possible co-production of dioxin contaminants, the approval of the pesticide is dependent on the manufacturer meeting an acceptable specification for his product. If necessary, maximum limits for dioxin contamination can be set. For example, an upper limit of 0.1 mg/kg for the presence of the most toxic dioxin, 2.3, 7.8--Tetra chloro dibenzo-p -dioxin (TCDD) in the herbicide 2, 4, 5-T was imposed in 1970 and this was reduced to 0.01 mg/kg in technical 2, 4, 5-T in May 1980 as soon as suitably sensitive methods of analysis had been developed and validated. This condition of approval has statutory force under the Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will specify each donation which his Department has made in each financial year since 1979-80 in response to public appeals for financial aid.
Mr. Moore : My Department has made no donations in response to public appeals for financial aid since its creation in July 1988. However the Government do make donations to a variety of organisations working in the social security field. For example, I announced to the House last October that the Government will be contributing £5 million to a special trust fund set up to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Motability, the scheme set up to help disabled people to obtain cars on favourable terms and up to £5 million has also been made available in the current financial year to the independent living fund.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : During the period August 1981 to April 1983, the number of social security regions was reduced from 12 to seven. This resulted from a departmental efficiency scrutiny published in July 1981.
Of the original 12 regions, only Scotland remained unchanged. The former Wales and south-west regions were combined, and the remainder were merged to form five new regions. Where possible the existing county, local authority, and other accepted boundaries were retained. Full details of the earlier regions and the areas which they served, and a map showing the current regional boundaries have been placed in the Library.
Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what, by standard Great Britain region, including Greater London, is the average length of time between an unemployed claimant receiving an adjudication officer's adverse decision as to availability for work and a subsequent appeal ; and what proportion of appeals result in a decision revised in favour of the claimant.
Mr. Gordon Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what arrangements were made to publicise the availablility of a bridging allowance to young people aged 16 to 18 years who lost entitlement to income support in September 1988 ; whether any plans were drawn up by his Department to instruct local offices to publicise both bridging allowances and the payment of child benefit to parents ; and whether any offices caried out exercises to publicise such allowances.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : From May 1988 a supplement was included in the leaflet FB23 "A young persons' guide to Social Security". The supplement was entitled "New Income Support rules for people under eighteen". It included sections on both bridging allowance and extended child benefit. Any young person leaving school could obtain the leaflet FB23 and the supplement free from careers offices, DSS local offices, and from schools and local authority social service departments.
Young people aged 16 or 17 years at 12 September 1988 who were receiving income support up to that date were
Column 160sent a letter advising them that their income support was being withdrawn. The letter included details of the availablility of a bridging allowance. No mention was made in the letter of the payment of child benefit for an extended period since most of these young people would have left school at Easter 1988, or before, and their parents would not have qualified for payment.
Mr. David Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people have applied for a transitional payment to date ; how many applications have been (a) awarded, (b) refused and (c) are still outstanding ; and what has been the average payment made.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Of the 423,657 applications for housing benefit transitional payments received at 8 February, 177,948 cases have been successful and 204,883 have been refused. Of the 40,826 applications outstanding, 25,737 are awaiting return of inquiry forms from the local authority. The average weekly payment is £3.89.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The clearance times for applications for transitional payments will vary considerably from case to case and depend on how long the local authorities take to return the inquiry forms and whether further inquiries have to be made from the unit. For straightforward cases, it takes at present two days from receiving an application in the unit to sending the inquiry form to the local authority, 35 days for the local authority to return the inquiry form to the unit, and a further five days from receiving that inquiry form at the unit to deciding whether a payment can be made. The transitional payments unit has contacted a number of local authorities to encourage them to return the inquiry forms promptly.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : There are 360 full-time employees at the transitional payments unit. Of these 158 are permanent DSS staff ; the remainder are employed on a limited period contract. There are no part-time employees.
Information on the number of people claiming income support by local office is contained in my reply to the hon. Member for Livingston (Mr. Cook) on 1 February 1989 at columns 286-92.
Mr. Peter Lloyd [holding answer 1 February 1989] : The information requested, for the years 1986-87 to 1988-89 has been placed in the Library. The table for 1988-89 is incomplete as returns have yet to be made by a small number of local authorities and the validity of others is still being checked.
Mr. Graham Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many claimants will not receive any overall increase in their benefit income in April 1989 (a) for the United Kingdom as a whole and (b) for his Department's local offices in the county of Nottinghamshire, both numerically and as a percentage of benefit claimants.
Mr. Peter Lloyd [holding answer 16 January 1989] : I regret that precise information is not available. Of some 20 million social security benefit recipients whose benefit increases in April 1989 around 570,000 income support recipients and an estimated 1,200 in receipt of housing benefit transitional protection payments will not receive any overall increase in their benefit income. Family credit awards are for a fixed period, normally six months, and they are not uprated during this period. The new rates take effect only from the following claim.
Information for Northern Ireland is a matter for my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will specify each donation made by his Department in response to public appeals for financial aid during each financial year since 1979-80.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will give the total number of inward investment projects brought to Nottingham, North by location in each year since 1979, giving the number of jobs involved and the volume of expenditure.
Year |Number of projects|Jobs ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1980 |1 |40 1984 |2 |95 1986 |1 |30 1987 |2 |25 1989 |2 |245
No information on the volume of expenditure is available.
Mr. Waller : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will seek to implement all the recommendations of the Eden committee on the metrological control of equipment for use for trade which the Government accepted in their response dated July 1986.
Mr. Forth : Those recommendations accepted by the Government's response (Cmnd. 9850) to the report of the Eden committee which did not require primary legislation have already been implemented. It remains my Department's intention to introduce legislation to implement the remaining accepted recommendations when parliamentary time is available.
Mr. Macdonald : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what discussion his Department has had with British Aerospace regarding its planned British Aerospace air combat manoeuvring installation in the North sea ; and if he will make a statement.
(2) if there are any proposals to introduce specific legal standards governing the manufacture of sanitary tampons ; (3) what consumer safeguards exist to regulate the composition of sanitary protection products ;
(4) what action he will take to publicise the danger to women of toxic shock syndrome when using sanitary tampons and printing such information on sanitary tampon packets.
Mr. Forth : Four years ago the Government set up a voluntary prior approval scheme with the sanitary protection industry, under which manufacturers submit to the government any new tampon or tampons to which there have been significant changes in design or materials, and toxicologists from the Department of Health scrutinise them to decide whether they pose a health hazard. I am satisfied that this scheme is adequate to safeguard the public and I commend it as a good example of a responsible industry voluntarily looking after the interests of its customers.
Ms. Walley : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will introduce a code of conduct or guidelines on the sanitary protection industry with regard to problems related to the disposability of their products.
Ms. Walley : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) if he will make it his policy to encourage manufacturers of disposable soft tissue products to change to unbleached pulp for manufacture ;
Column 163(2) when he last met representatives of the sanitary protection industry to discuss organochlorines and dioxins remaining in the product following wood pulping and bleaching of raw materials and their health implications ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Forth : Chlorine bleaching of pulp is the process which gives the whitest finished product. It produces very small amounts of dioxins in the effluent, and minute quantities--parts per billion or less may be retained in the pulp itself. There is no evidence at present that this is a hazard to consumers, but the expert Committee on Toxicity, at the Department of Health, will shortly be advising the Government on the toxicity of dioxins generally, and we shall back any action needed. Organochlorine pesticides do not occur in wood pulp.
Ms. Ruddock : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether cotton fibre intended for use in tampon manufacture is guaranteed free of herbicides and pesticides applied in the country of origin.
Mr. Forth : I have no reason to think that materials used in the manufacture of tampons are contaminated with herbicides or pesticides, but I am asking the industry to check this aspect of its supplies of imported cotton fibre.
Mr. Forth : I shall ask the Association of Sanitary Protection Manufacturers what chemicals are used to enhance the absorbency of sanitary towels and about their bioavailability. Toxicologists at the Department of Health will then consider whether they pose any hazard to health.
(2) how many pulp mills in the United Kingdom use the sulphite process with chlorine bleaching ;
(3) how many paper mills in the United Kingdom carry out further chlorine bleaching of imported paper pulp.
(2) what is the percentage of paper pulp imported into the United Kingdom annually that is chlorine bleached.
Mr. Forth : Imports of paper pulp in 1988 were 2 million tonnes, of which 1.7 million tonnes (84 per cent.) were bleached or semi-bleached. It is not possible to identify what percentage of paper pulp is chlorine bleached.
Mr. Straw : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will publish a table expressing as a percentage of gross domestic product the total (a) Government expenditure on civil research and development (b) other expenditure on civil research and development and (c) (a) plus (b) , for each year since 1970.
Mr. Forth : The available information relates to gross expenditure on research and development in the fields of science, technology, social science and humanities, performed in the United Kingdom and the Government financing of it, as a percentage of gross domestic product. The data are available only for years in which a survey of research and development performed in industry was carried out and is as follows :
|Gross expenditure on |Gross expenditure on |research and development|research and development |as a percentage of gross|financed by Government |domestic product |as a percentage of gross |domestic product ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1972 |2.1 |1.1 1975 |2.2 |1.2 1978 |2.2 |1.1 1981 |2.4 |1.2 1983 |2.3 |1.2 1985 |2.3 |1.0 1986 |2.4 |1.0
Mr. Churchill : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if, further to his reply to the hon. Member for Davyhulme of 6 February, he will give details of the projects funded from the European regional development fund in (a) the city of Manchester and (b) the Trafford district of Greater Manchester in respect of each of the past five years for which figures are available.
|£ -------------------------------------------------------------------------- (a) the City of Manchester: Infrastructure projects 1984 Manchester Science Park |63,900 Mini Industrial Units (Denhill Road and Hulme Hall Lane) |40,800 Floats Road Wythenshawe |29,400 Castleford Urban Heritage Park Phase 1 |122,550 Phase 2 |376,200 Advance Factories, Tulketh Street Muston |78,600 Pollard Street |253,200 Strangeways Highway Network |50,100 1985 Chapman Street/Railway Street Junction |49,500 1986 Park Street Access Road |145,000 1987 Manchester Science Park |102,000 Mill Street Reconstruction |32,500 A6010 Improvement (Pottery Lane/Gorton Lane) |20,500 Manchester/Salford Inner Relief Road |2,603,000 Beswick Street Junction |33,000 Grey Mare Lane Junction |35,500 Bank Street Junction |45,000 Middleton Road/Leicester Road/Bury Old Road Junction |356,500 1988 Longsight District Centre, Highway Improvements |246,500 Great Ancoats Street Bridge |66,000 Ashton New Road Junction |19,500 Wood Street Improvement |27,500 Old Street Improvement |78,500 Industry projects 1986 Sellars Electronics Ltd., Instrumentation for Quality Control Testing |35,000 Presbar Diecasting Ltd., Aluminium Diecasting Manufacture |375,000 1987 Polybay Ltd., Drainage Channels of Polyester, Resin and Concrete |90,000 1988 Motivation and Display Ltd., Point of Sale Display Equipment |22,000 Brentcast Ltd., Furniture |20,000 Cyril Bernstein Ltd., Kitchen and Bedroom Furniture |175,000 Trafford Rubber Products Ltd., Rubber Products |20,000 (b) the Trafford District of Greater Manchester: Infrastructure project 1985 Trafford Park Village Highway |237,500 Industry project 1988 Isaac Bentley, Water Oil and Gas Industry Products |49,000
Mr. Tom Clarke : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what percentage of the total number of registered businesses in the United Kingdom have made use of the Europe--Open for Business 1992 database ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maude : Around 190,000 requests for information have been received since the Europe--Open for Business campaign was launched in March last year. Spearhead, the Department's on-line database of single market measures, has a subscriber base of around 100,000. In total there are just over 1 million registered limited companies in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Forth : I have asked the two brand leaders for full details of the chemical composition of the active ingredient in superabsorbent disposable nappies. Our toxicologists at the Department of Health will check whether they are liable to pose a hazard to health.
Mr. Home Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the cases of salmonella food poisoning connected with eggs which were referred to in Government press advertisements, giving the number of people affected, the area of the outbreak and the most likely source of the eggs in question for each case.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : The figures referred to in the press advertisements related only to England and Wales. In Scotland five outbreaks of salmonella were reported during 1988. These involved 99 people. Details are as follows :
Area of outbreak |Number of people affected |Most likely source -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Fife |5 |Free range group of hens kept for |domestic egg supply. Argyll and Clyde |54 |Supermarket-source could not be |traced. Borders |24 |Free range poultry farm. Lothian |3 |Anecdotal evidence only that raw |Lothian |13 |variety of sources so that precise |source of eggs cannot determined.
Mr. Home Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the incidence of salmonella-infected hens in chicken flocks in Scotland ; and if he has instituted a survey of such incidence.
|Number --------------------- 1984 |9 1985 |27 1986 |11 1987 |12 1988 |21
As is customary in these cases all incidents were investigated by the state veterinary service.
Mr. Home Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the number of salmonellae in eggs produced or marketed in Scotland, and on any survey he has instituted in order to compile such information.
Column 167currently affected by salmonella is not available. The Government's concern is to eliminate the risk of infection at all stages of production and in the preparation of food in the home and in eating places. The steps which we have announced are directed to that end.
Mr. Home Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he will make a statement on the incidence of transmission of salmonella into eggs by trans-shell and transovarian routes, respectively ; and if he has instituted any research into this question ;
(2) if he will make a statement on the frequency with which hens infected with salmonella lay infected eggs ; and if he has instituted any survey on that subject.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : As the recent report from the joint MAFF, DH and BEIC working group made clear, further information on both these aspects is required before definitive conclusions can be reached. Consideration is being given to how this might best be pursued.
Mr. Home Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement concerning the action that would be necessary to achieve a long-term solution to the problems associated with salmonellae in poultry and eggs.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to my hon. Friend the Member for Suffolk, Central (Mr. Lord) on 18 January at columns 214-15. Action on a number of the proposals has already been taken. This includes further controls on protein processing plants ; the imposition of restrictions on units where salmonella is suspected ; and the compulsory slaughter of laying flocks where salmonella is confirmed. Taken together, these various measures underline our resolve to tackle the problem of salmonella.
Mr. Home Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the distribution of salmonella infection in chicken flocks in Scotland ; and if he has instituted any survey of such infection.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : Salmonella was reported on 21 poultry units in Scotland during 1988. In all cases the state veterinary service visited the premises and gave advice on hygiene and control measures.
Mr. Home Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland on what date he received the information on eggborne salmonellosis in Scotland contained in appendix 2 of the joint report of the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Department of Health and BEIC working group ; and if he will list the actions he has taken since then to advise the public about any risks and to promote the reduction of salmonella contamination in laying flocks.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : Appendix 2 lists seven incidents of salmonella food poisoning involving eggs. These isolated incidents, spread over 1987 and 1988, represented a small proportion of all salmonella incidents reported to the communicable diseases (Scotland) unit, Ruchill. Advice on the consumption of eggs was given to community medicine specialists and directors of environmental health in August and November, 1988. A press release was issued in August 1988 and advertisements were