Previous Section Home Page

Column 403

Military Aircraft

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Woolwich (Mr. Cartwright), Official Report, 25 January, column 651, about military aircraft destroyed or severely damaged in accidents during the last 10 years, he will set out the total costs for these losses in pounds sterling at present day values.

Mr. Neubert : It is not our practice to publish unit production costs of equipment. For information on the costs of major equipment projects I refer the hon. Member to table 3.2 of volume 2 of the statement of Defence Estimates 1988 (Cm. 344-11).

Nuclear Missiles

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what information he has on the number of nuclear missiles removed from the European theatre by the Soviet Union ; and what is the source of this information.

Mr. Archie Hamilton : The Soviet Union has publicly announced that it will be withdrawing about 24 short range missile systems from the forward area as part of the unilateral withdrawals that they intend to make before 1991. This will be in addition to the complete removal of INF systems under the terms of the INF treaty.

Soviet Union (Nuclear Systems)

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Wealden (Sir G. Johnson Smith), Official Report, 7 February, column 795, if he will set out the source of his information that the Soviet Union has modernised all its shorter-range nuclear systems in the last few years.

Mr. Archie Hamilton : It is not our practice to discuss in detail the sources of our information on such matters.

Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he has recently discussed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty with his counterparts in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries.

Mr. Archie Hamilton : No, but nuclear proliferation and the non- proliferation treaty are kept under continual scrutiny by Ministers and officials in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Defence.


Child Care Workers

Ms. Richardson : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what proportion of his Department's appropriate grant aid budget has been allocated to the training of child care workers over the last five years to date.

Mr. Needham : The information requested is not available in the form requested, since the financial records of the Department of Health and Social Services do not distinguish between grants allocated for the training of child care workers and for other purposes.

Column 404

Health and social services boards meet their own training costs out of their annual revenue allocations from the Department. In May 1988, I announced that an extra £50,000 a year was being made available to boards for at least three years to provide additional training in tackling child abuse. £25,000 has been allocated to date, and the annual sum will be increased to £100,000 in 1989-90. In addition, the Department is contributing to the cost of developing the University of Bath's computer software programme, CHIAC, to assist social workers handling child abuse cases. Development costs for the Northern Ireland programme will amount to £28,000 and £48,000 has been allocated to boards towards the acquisition of computers to enable them to make full use of CHIAC.

The Department funds directly the training of the staff of voluntary social services organisations and offers bursaries and studentships to individual social work students. The Department's expenditure on these items in 1987- 88 was £673,700.

Social Security Payments

Mr. Hume : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what information he has on the numbers of dependants of those claiming income support or supplementary benefit in each social security office in the past four years.

Mr. Needham [holding asnwer 13 February 1989] : The available information, which is based on a 5 per cent. sample, is as follows :

                                      |1986   |1987           
Dependants of people on supplementary                         
 benefit                              |183,700|185,800        

Criminal Injuries Compensation

Rev. Martin Smyth : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will publish a table showing the number of punishment cases involving paramilitaries in Northern Ireland for which criminal injuries compensation has been paid and the amounts in each of the years 1979, 1984 and 1987.

Mr. Stewart : The information that is readily available relates only to criminal injury claims for punishment shootings in the form of kneecapping and is as follows. The annual figure represents those cases settled within that calendar period and not those initiated during the year. I understand that five cases were initiated in 1987 of which four have recently been resolved and the other is currently under appeal.

|c|Kneecapping cases|c|                                                 
Year              |Cases awarded    |Compensation paid                  
1979              |7                |16,200                             
1984              |3                |85,500                             


Water Supplies (EEC Standards)

Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list all those water supplies in Wales which

Column 405

currently fail to meet the standards set out in the EEC directives on the quality of drinking water and whether or not these are subject to derogations ; how and when it is proposed for each of those water supplies to meet the standards laid down ; and what is the estimated cost of complying with the standards in each case.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : For the supplies covered by derogations I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply given on 3 February to the hon. Member for Gateshead, East (Ms. Quin).

The following table lists those supplies for which application has been made to the Commission under article 20 for a longer period in which to comply fully with the directive. For these supplies improvement programmes have been submitted which should mean that most of those sources will comply with the directive by 1992. Source



Capel Dewi

Strata Florida










Eaton Bishop

Llandeilo Graban

Llanwrtyd Wells

Cross Way


Bolton Hill

Small Source (serving less than 1,000 population)

Ffynnon Rhys







Health Promotion Authority

Sir Raymond Gower : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what allocation of resources is to be made to the Health Promotion Authority for Wales for the financial year 1989-90.

Mr. Grist : Subject to parliamentary approval £2.057 million will be made available for allocation to the Health Promotion Authority for Wales in 1989-90. The allocation will be conditional upon satisfactory completion of annual performance review. It represents a further and substantial additional commitment of resources to HPAW over the £1.792 million allocated in 1988-89.

Air Pollution

Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether he has received a report from the Government researchers based at Warren Springs on lead in the air in Cardiff ; what significance he places on the latest available figures for Cardiff ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Grist [holding answer 16 February 1989] : My right hon. Friend has received a report including figures for Cardiff up to 1987. The Cardiff figures are well below the limit value required by the EC directive on lead in air.

Column 406

(Overseas Development)

Net Flows

Sir John Stanley : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what was the level of net flows from the United Kingdom to developing countries in each year from 1979 to 1987 at 1979 prices ; and what is his definition of net flows.

Mr. Eggar : Total net flows comprise those official and private flows set out in table 3 of "British Aid Statistics 1983-87" which is available in the Library of the House. The information requested is as follows :

|c|Net flows from the United Kingdom to      
developing countries at 1979|c|              
|c|prices (£ million)|c|                     
         |Official|Private |Total            
1979     |1,083   |5,277   |6,360            
1980     |607     |3,782   |4,388            
1981     |948     |3,446   |4,394            
1982     |778     |1,716   |2,494            
1983     |795     |1,864   |2,659            
1984     |901     |1,389   |2,290            
1985     |886     |253     |1,139            
1986     |812     |1,755   |2,567            
1987     |699     |77      |776              

Aid Programme

Sir John Stanley : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in what circumstances it is his practice to tie British overseas aid grants or loans under either the multilateral or the bilateral aid programme to the purchase of British goods or services.

Mr. Eggar : Goods and services funded by bilateral aid are generally British and provided by British firms. In the poorer countries generous provision is made within project aid to help meet the local costs of projects incurred within the recipient country. Part of our contribution to the World Bank's special programme for Africa, project loans and investments by the Commonwealth Development Corporation, budgetary aid, food aid, debt relief and disaster relief are untied. European Community aid is tied to member states and recipient countries. Other multilateral aid is effectively untied.


Criminal Injuries Compensation Board

Sir Michael McNair-Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what sum of money in total is made available to the Criminal Injuries Compensation board ; and by what formula payments are made.

Mr. John Patten : In 1988-89, £70 million has been provided for compensation and £7.4 million for administration. This expenditure falls on the votes of the Home Office and the Scottish Home and Health Department and is paid as grant-in-aid monthly in advance to meet forecast expenditure. Details about the administration and scope of the criminal injuries compensation scheme and the basis on which compensation is paid are set out in the board's latest annual report (Cm. 265), copies of which are in the Library.

Column 407

Horserace Betting

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he proposes to initiate the inquiry into horserace betting recommended by the Royal Commission on Gambling in 1978.

Mr. John Patten : The Royal Commission recommended a study of bookmaking finances, possibly through the Office of Fair Trading and the Monopolies and Mergers Commission. Beginning in 1986, the Office of Fair Trading undertook extensive inquiries into the off-course bookmaking industry, to see if it should be the subject of a complex monopoly reference to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission. In January 1988, the Director-General of that Office announced that he had decided that there were no grounds for such a reference. We are considering a recommendation from the chairman of the Horserace Betting Levy Board that, following my right hon. Friend's forthcoming determination of the 28th horserace betting levy scheme, there should be an inquiry into the long term financing of racing.


Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will publish his estimates of television advertising revenue and the increase in total advertising necessary to support a viable fifth television channel, satellite television, cable television and channels 3 and 4 plus three new national radio channels and new local radio stations as envisaged in his Broadcasting White Paper ; and what consultations he has had with the advertising industry about its own projections of revenue.

Mr. Renton : My right hon. Friend does not think it appropriate for him to publish forecasts of the revenue that will arise under the new broadcasting arrangements. I am, however, aware of a number of academic studies undertaken in this area and of a variety of forecasts by the advertising industry. In July 1988, we held a seminar on television advertising expenditure to explore the implications of such studies and forecasts for broadcasting policy. Regular contact is maintained with representatives of the advertising industry.

Justices' Clerks

Mr. Bermingham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department where a salary is paid in excess of the JNC for the justices' clerks national salary arrangements to a clerk to the justices, what proportion of the excess is contributed by his department ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. John Patten : The Home Office meets 80 per cent. of the cost of justices' clerks salaries under the provisions of the Justices of the Peace Act 1979. The Secretary of State may, however, impose conditions on the payment of grant.

Needles (Prisons)

Mr. Bermingham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has any proposals to seek to eliminate the use of needles and halt the market in illegal drugs, needles and syringes in prisons by the introduction of treatment facilities to replace injectable illegal drugs ; and if he will make a statement.

Column 408

Mr. Douglas Hogg : The possibility of a history of drugs misuse is one of the factors that medical officers inquire into during the course of their examination of inmates being received into prison custody. Staff are particularly watchful for signs that illicit drugs have been injected. The nature and extent of medical help offered is determined by the medical officer's clinical assessment of the individual case. Counter-measures have been taken to tackle the smuggling and misuse of illicit drugs and implements, and further steps are under consideration.

Registration and Naturalisation

Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how long applications now being considered for (a) registration and (b) naturalisation, are taking on average, to complete ; and what reduction in time taken to complete consideration of such applications he anticipates by the end of 1989.

Mr. Renton : The average time takent to complete applications for registration and naturalisation in January 1989 was 14 months and 21 months respectively.

In view of the enormous number of applications received towards the end of 1987, no improvement in the average processing times is anticipated during 1989 but a considerable improvment is expected during the course of 1990- 91.

Prison (Facilities)

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action he is taking in respect of recommendations by the Chief Inspector of Prisons that all prison cells should have in-cell toilet facilities ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Douglas Hogg [pursuant to his reply, 9 February,c. 760] : Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons report on prison sanitation will now be published on 20 February.


Elderly Persons (Transport Facilities)

Mr. Roy Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he has any plans to increase public transport facilities for the elderly.

Mr. Portillo : Local authorities already have powers under the Transport Act 1985 to make provision for special transport facilities for the elderly and disabled. They can also make grants to improve transport facilities and equipment for the disabled and such improvements often benefit the elderly too.

Mr. Roy Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he has any plans to extend the existing schemes of free of charge public transport for pensioners throughout the United Kingdom.

Mr. Portillo : Local authorities already have discretionary powers under section 93 of the Transport Act 1985 to establish cheap or free travel schemes for pensioners. In addition, private operators such as British Rail and National Express provide travel concessions for the elderly on a commercial basis.

Column 409

Merseyrail Facilities (Safety)

Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to announce a decision of Merseyside Passenger Transport Authority's application for section 56 funding for safety improvements to Merseyrail facilities ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Portillo : I expect to announce a decision very shortly.

A361 (Taunton-Barnstaple)

Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which local authorities he informed of his proposal, following the detrunking of the A361 between Taunton and Barnstaple, to declassify it and renumber it the B3227 ; and when this was done.

Mr. Peter Bottomley : All the local authorities and parish councils through which the A361 runs were notified of the proposal to reclassify it as a classified road when the draft detrunking order was published in September 1984, and again when the order was made in August 1986.

The number B3227 was agreed for the Taunton to South Molton section in 1982 with Somerset and Devon county councils.

Oil Pollution (Court Cases)

Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will make it his policy to review the remedies available to the courts when sentencing, after a finding of guilt, in respect of a case of oil pollution in British waters in order to ensure the equal treatment of British and foreign owners.

Mr. Portillo : I have no reason to believe that the courts treat British and foreign owners differently either in oil pollution cases or in any others. Where it is not possible to bring a foreign owner before a British court the Department notifies the relevant flag Administration and invites them to consider prosecution.

Road Tunnels (Ventilation)

Mr. Burns : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether his Department's design standards for ventilation in road tunnels are intended to deal with lead in vehicle emissions ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Peter Bottomley : Yes. Road tunnel design standards control the dominant pollutants in vehicle emissions and set fresh air requirements for conditions when tunnel traffic is fully congested and emissions are at their worst.

The ventilation standards are for carbon monoxide and diesel smoke and can safely disperse the small quantities of lead to be found in some tunnel atmospheres. Even the unlikely event of a lengthy traffic delay would not cause tunnel users to remain in a tunnel long enough appreciably to increase their overall exposure to lead.

The issue of lead and health was considered by a Department of Health and Social Security working party on lead in the environment. After considering all sources of lead and the variability of short-term average exposures, it recommended that the annual mean concentration at places where people might be exposed to lead in air

Column 410

continuously and for long periods should not exceed 2 mg per cubic metre. The same limit was subsequently adopted in EEC directive No. 82/884--Council directive on a limit value for lead in air. The working party did not recommend, and the directive does not impose, any limits for short term exposures for lead in air, but the Health and Safety Executive sets occupational health limits in its guidance note EH 40/88 "Occupational Exposure Limits 1988". These are based on average exposures over eight-hour periods and would be relevant to tunnel maintenance workers, in particular those allowed to work in tunnels which remain fully or partially open to traffic. In such cases it is standard practice for tunnel ventilation systems to remain in operation.

There is no evidence to suggest that lead arising from vehicle emissions in tunnels increases health risks significantly for tunnel users, maintenance workers or nearby residents. In longer tunnels the environment is continuously regulated and in all cases tunnel exhaust shafts and portals are sited to minimise the impact of tunnel pollution on the immediate vicinity. The steps now taken to protect those working in or living close to tunnels from any adverse effects from tunnel pollution will be reinforced by the reduction of levels of lead in petrol, the increasing availability of unleaded fuel and the implementation of the requirement that from next year all new cars should be capable of running on unleaded petrol.

Pedestrian Crossings

Mr. Nigel Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the malfunction of pedestrian crossings with an audible facility was detected, and on what dates subsequent action was taken by his Department.

Mr. Peter Bottomley [holding answer 14 February 1989] : On 26 September 1988. On 27 September 1988, 24 November 1988, 21 December 1988, 3 January 1989 and 1 February 1989.


Advisory Panel on Deregulation

Mr. David Porter : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what is the current membership of the advisory panel on deregulation ; and when he will be appointing new members.

Mr. Maude : A new member has been appointed and will join the panel on 1 March 1989. He is Mr. Neil McArthur, chairman of Thurnall Engineering Ltd., Northbank industrial estate, Cadishead, Manchester. A further four appointments will be made in April.

The advisory panel makes an important contribution to the enterprise and deregulation unit's work by advising it on the impact of regulatory requirements on business and enterprise development. The new appointment will help to ensure the panel's continuing effectiveness as a source of valuable advice.

The existing membership of the advisory panel on deregulation is as follows :

Sir Nigel Mobbs, DL (Chairman) --Chairman and Chief Executive, Slough Estates plc, Slough.

Mr. Colin Dauris--Chairman and Managing Director, James Dauris & Co. Ltd., London.

Mr. Mike Fisher--Managing Director, Whale Tankers Ltd., Solihull, West Midlands.

Next Section

  Home Page