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EMPLOYMENT

Training (Expenditure)

Mr. Meacher : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how much has been spent on training programmes in (a) the public sector and (b) the private sector, in each EEC country and the United States of America, Japan and Sweden (i) including the cost of training allowances, and (ii) excluding the cost of training allowances, in real terms at 1989 prices and as a percentage of annual gross domestic product for each year that information is available since 1980.

Mr. Cope : I regret that the information requested is not available.

YTS

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on the average weekly take-home pay for YTS leavers in the economic region of Yorkshire and Humberside ; and what steps he is currently taking to review this.

Mr. Cope : Estimates from the youth cohort study for England and Wales, covering those young people who reached minimum school leaving age in the academic year 1984-85 and were surveyed in spring 1988, show that the average weekly take-home pay for those in a job in the economic region of Yorkshire and Humberside who said that they had had YTS experience within the previous three years was £71.27. The Government are continuing to fund the youth cohort study to establish information on this and other areas in the education, training and employment of young people.

Departmental Leaflets

Mr. Bill Michie : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the titles and code numbers of the 10 most issued leaflets published by his Department and indicate which of these leaflets has been issued in translation and in which languages.

Mr. Cope : The 10 most issued leaflets are as follows :


Title                                       |Code Number            

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

 1. Responsibilities of Claimants While                             

 Unemployed                                 |UBL 18                 

 2. Jobclub leaflet                         |JCL 12                 

 3. Availability For Work (Tear-off slip)   |UBL 671                

 4. Put you In The Picture                  |REST L1                

 5. Enterprise Allowance Scheme             |EAS 102                

 6. Get into Training                       |TA M66                 

 7. Better Off In Work                      |BOI W1                 

 8. Employment Training Action Plan         |M64                    

 9. How Unemployment Benefit Entitlement Is                         

 Decided                                    |UBL 48                 

10. Be Your Own Boss                        |EAS 113                

Publication 3 "Availability For Work" (UBL 671) is presently being prepared in the following 14 languages :

Arabic ; Bengali ; Cantonese ; French ; German ; Gujarati ; Hindi ; Italian ; Punjabi ; Somali ; Spanish ; Urdu ; Vietnamese ; Welsh. Leaflet 4 "Put You In The Picture" (REST L1) is produced in the following 12 languages :

Arabic ; Bengali ; Cantonese ; Gujarati ; Hindi ; Italian ; Punjabi ; Somali ; Spanish ; Urdu ; Vietnamese ; Welsh.


Column 455

Leaflets 5 "Enterprise Allowance Scheme" (EAS 102) and 10 "Be Your Own Boss" (EAS 113) are at present only available in English, but editions are being prepared in the following eight other languages :

Gujarati ; Hindi ; Bengali ; Urdu ; Punjabi ; Cantonese ; Vietnamese ; Welsh.

Leaflet 8 "Employment Training Action Plan" (M64) is produced in the following seven ethnic minority languages :

Urdu ; Punjabi ; Chinese ; Bengali ; Gujarati ; Hindi ; Vietnamese.

Retail Prices

Mr. Gordon Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment in which years since 1959 the annual rate of increase in retail prices was lower than in the previous year.

Mr. Lee : In 1963, 1966, 1967, 1972, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1981, 1982, 1983 and 1986.

Press Notices

Mr. Leighton : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many press notices his Department, including the Manpower Services Commission and Training Agency, issued in each 12-month period since 1979.

Mr. Cope : The information is as follows :


        |Numbers        

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

1979    |425            

1980    |385            

1981    |415            

1982    |398            

1983    |464            

1984    |416            

1985    |496            

1986    |484            

1987    |402            

1988    |386            

Note: These figures do  

not include press       

notices issued on       

behalf of the           

Department of           

Employment, the         

Manpower Services       

Commission and the      

Training Agency through 

the Central Office of   

Information regional    

offices.                

Labour Statistics

Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the numbers of people unemployed for more than five years in each of the travel-to-work areas.

Mr. Lee : The following information is also in the Library. The table shows the number of unemployed claimants who had been unemployed for more than five years in October 1988, the latest available date, for each of the travel-to-work areas in Great Britain.


|c|Number of claimants unemployed for more than five years|c|             

|c|in each travel-to-work area in Great Britain|c|                        

Travel-to-work area             |Number of unemployed                     

                                |claimants                                

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

Andover                         |57                                       

Ashford                         |196                                      

Aylesbury and Wycombe           |270                                      

Banbury                         |148                                      

Basingstoke and Alton           |156                                      

Bedford                         |231                                      

Bicester                        |34                                       

Brighton                        |1,184                                    

Canterbury                      |171                                      

Chelmsford and Braintree        |229                                      

Chichester                      |120                                      

Clacton                         |202                                      

Colchester                      |332                                      

Crawley                         |200                                      

Dover and Deal                  |155                                      

Eastbourne                      |200                                      

Folkestone                      |213                                      

Gosport and Fareham             |234                                      

Guildford and Aldershot         |335                                      

Harwich                         |69                                       

Hastings                        |277                                      

Hertford and Harlow             |632                                      

Hitchin and Letchworth          |193                                      

Isle of Wight                   |330                                      

Medway and Maidstone            |1,282                                    

Milton Keynes                   |308                                      

Newbury                         |46                                       

Oxford                          |525                                      

Portsmouth                      |1,151                                    

Reading                         |297                                      

Sittingbourne and Sheerness     |349                                      

Slough                          |390                                      

Southampton                     |1,064                                    

Southend                        |1,705                                    

Thanet                          |420                                      

Tunbridge Wells                 |195                                      

Watford and Luton               |1,245                                    

Winchester and Eastleigh        |122                                      

Worthing                        |234                                      

Beccles and Halesworth          |72                                       

Bury St. Edmonds                |63                                       

Cambridge                       |259                                      

Cromer and North Walsham        |107                                      

Diss                            |49                                       

Fakenham                        |58                                       

Great Yarmouth                  |396                                      

Haverhill                       |37                                       

Huntingdon and St. Neots        |113                                      

Ipswich                         |474                                      

King's Lynn and Hunstanton      |340                                      

Lowestoft                       |241                                      

Newmarket                       |112                                      

Norwich                         |876                                      

Peterborough                    |590                                      

Sudbury                         |59                                       

Thetford                        |124                                      

Wisbech                         |182                                      

Woodbridge and Leiston          |71                                       

Heathrow                        |1,744                                    

London                          |23,676                                   

Barnstaple and Ilfracombe       |149                                      

Bath                            |299                                      

Bideford                        |75                                       

Blandford                       |21                                       

Bodmin and Liskeard             |133                                      

Bournemouth                     |480                                      

Bridgwater                      |188                                      

Bridport                        |30                                       

Bristol                         |2,056                                    

Bude                            |43                                       

Chard                           |41                                       

Cheltenham                      |274                                      

Chippenham                      |99                                       

Cinderford and Ross on Wye      |248                                      

Cirencester                     |47                                       

Dartmouth and Kingsbridge       |38                                       

Devizes                         |30                                       

Dorchester and Weymouth         |120                                      

Exeter                          |398                                      

Falmouth                        |109                                      

Gloucester                      |413                                      

Helston                         |85                                       

Honiton and Axminster           |78                                       

Launceston                      |49                                       

Minehead                        |42                                       

Newquay                         |30                                       

Newton Abbot                    |109                                      

Okehampton                      |25                                       

Penzance and St. Ives           |142                                      

Plymouth                        |1,208                                    

Poole                           |207                                      

Redruth and Camborne            |291                                      

Salisbury                       |141                                      

Shaftesbury                     |51                                       

South Molton                    |18                                       

St. Austell                     |157                                      

Stroud                          |182                                      

Swindon                         |478                                      

Taunton                         |211                                      

Tiverton                        |55                                       

Torbay                          |330                                      

Torrington                      |30                                       

Totnes                          |32                                       

Trowbridge and Frome            |186                                      

Truro                           |114                                      

Wareham and Swanage             |27                                       

Warminster                      |20                                       

Wells                           |104                                      

Weston super Mare               |254                                      

Yeovil                          |152                                      

Birmingham                      |12,398                                   

Burton-on-Trent                 |374                                      

Coventry and Hinckley           |3,412                                    

Dudley and Sandwell             |5,458                                    

Evesham                         |105                                      

Hereford and Leominster         |316                                      

Kidderminster                   |390                                      

Leek                            |47                                       

Ludlow                          |87                                       

Malvern and Ledbury             |129                                      

Oswestry                        |80                                       

Rugby and Daventry              |235                                      

Shrewsbury                      |291                                      

Stafford                        |287                                      

Stoke                           |1,700                                    

Telford and Bridgnorth          |1,066                                    

Uttoxeter and Ashbourne         |55                                       

Walsall                         |2,718                                    

Warwick                         |386                                      

Whitchurch and Market Drayton   |119                                      

Wolverhampton                   |2,895                                    

Worcester                       |457                                      

Alfreton and Ashfield           |435                                      

Boston                          |164                                      

Buxton                          |87                                       

Chesterfield                    |1,010                                    

Corby                           |216                                      

Derby                           |1,494                                    

Gainsborough                    |127                                      

Grantham                        |143                                      

Horncastle and Market Rasen     |75                                       

Kettering and Market Harborough |160                                      

Leicester                       |1,806                                    

Lincoln                         |683                                      

Loughborough and Coalville      |226                                      

Louth and Mablethorpe           |89                                       

Mansfield                       |533                                      

Matlock                         |68                                       

Melton Mowbray                  |86                                       

Newark                          |220                                      

Northampton                     |465                                      

Nottingham                      |3,802                                    

Retford                         |155                                      

Skegness                        |87                                       

Sleaford                        |70                                       

Spalding and Holbeach           |104                                      

Stamford                        |69                                       

Wellingborough and Rushden      |189                                      

Worksop                         |311                                      

Barnsley                        |1,274                                    

Bradford                        |2,548                                    

Bridlington and Driffield       |131                                      

Calderdale                      |612                                      

Castleford and Pontefract       |591                                      

Doncaster                       |1,626                                    

Goole and Selby                 |202                                      

Grimsby                         |902                                      

Harrogate                       |103                                      

Huddersfield                    |548                                      

Hull                            |3,135                                    

Keighley                        |148                                      

Leeds                           |2,872                                    

Malton                          |25                                       

Northallerton                   |48                                       

Pickering and Helmsley          |19                                       

Richmondshire                   |52                                       

Ripon                           |23                                       

Rotherham and Mexborough        |1,978                                    

Scarborough and Filey           |162                                      

Scunthorpe                      |594                                      

Settle                          |18                                       

Sheffield                       |4,692                                    

Skipton                         |36                                       

Thirsk                          |18                                       

Wakefield and Dewsbury          |1,044                                    

Whitby                          |82                                       

York                            |459                                      

Accrington and Rossendale       |316                                      

Blackburn                       |622                                      

Blackpool                       |876                                      

Bolton and Bury                 |1,982                                    

Burnley                         |429                                      

Clitheroe                       |31                                       

Crewe                           |332                                      

Lancaster and Morecambe         |358                                      

Liverpool                       |14,312                                   

Macclesfield                    |170                                      

Manchester                      |9,176                                    

Northwich                       |363                                      

Oldham                          |805                                      

Pendle                          |198                                      

Preston                         |1,153                                    

Rochdale                        |679                                      

Warrington                      |605                                      

Widnes and Runcorn              |1,049                                    

Wigan and St. Helens            |3,683                                    

Wirral and Chester              |3,661                                    

Barrow in Furness               |261                                      

Carlisle                        |372                                      

Kendal                          |41                                       

Keswick                         |22                                       

Penrith                         |52                                       

Whitehaven                      |268                                      

Windermere                      |7                                        

Workington                      |411                                      

Alnwick and Amble               |108                                      

Berwick-on-Tweed                |42                                       

Bishop Auckland                 |651                                      

Darlington                      |519                                      

Durham                          |643                                      

Hartlepool                      |965                                      

Hexham                          |66                                       

Middlesbrough                   |3,628                                    

Morpeth and Ashington           |585                                      

Newcastle-upon-Tyne             |6,654                                    

South Tyneside                  |1,411                                    

Stockton-on-Tees                |1,661                                    

Sunderland                      |4,173                                    

Aberdare                        |372                                      

Aberystwyth                     |47                                       

Bangor and Caernarfon           |421                                      

Blaenau Gwent and                                                         

 Abergavenny                    |646                                      

Brecon                          |39                                       

Bridgend                        |539                                      

Cardiff                         |2,413                                    

Cardigan                        |73                                       

Carmarthen                      |88                                       

Conwy and Colwyn                |147                                      

Denbigh                         |56                                       

Dolgellau and Barmouth          |35                                       

Fishguard                       |41                                       

Haverfordwest                   |247                                      

Holyhead                        |333                                      

Lampeter and Aberaeron          |47                                       

Llandeilo                       |22                                       

Llandrindod Wells               |32                                       

Llanelli                        |350                                      

Machynlleth                     |15                                       

Merthyr and Rhymney             |804                                      

Monmouth                        |59                                       

Neath and Port Talbot           |352                                      

Newport                         |994                                      

Newtown                         |38                                       

Pontypool and Cwmbran           |466                                      

Pontypridd and Rhondda          |1,008                                    

Porthmadoc and Ffestiniog       |38                                       

Pwllheli                        |48                                       

Shotton Flint and Rhyl          |761                                      

South Pembrokeshire             |114                                      

Swansea                         |1,434                                    

Welshpool                       |32                                       

Wrexham                         |549                                      

Aberdeen                        |522                                      

Alloa                           |291                                      

Annan                           |72                                       

Arbroath                        |86                                       

Ayr                             |572                                      

Badenoch                        |27                                       

Banff                           |69                                       

Bathgate                        |600                                      

Berwickshire                    |29                                       

Blairgowrie and Pitlochry       |73                                       

Brechin and Montrose            |78                                       

Buckie                          |34                                       

Campbeltown                     |86                                       

Crieff                          |16                                       

Cumnock and Sanquhar            |502                                      

Dumbarton                       |471                                      

Dumfries                        |182                                      

Dundee                          |1,630                                    

Dunfermline                     |414                                      

Dunoon and Bute                 |92                                       

Edinburgh                       |2,335                                    

Elgin                           |86                                       

Falkirk                         |709                                      

Forfar                          |76                                       

Forres                          |28                                       

Fraserburgh                     |63                                       

Galashiels                      |59                                       

Girvan                          |75                                       

Glasgow                         |12,713                                   

Greenock                        |974                                      

Haddington                      |65                                       

Hawick                          |44                                       

Huntly                          |21                                       

Invergordon and Dingwall        |142                                      

Inverness                       |255                                      

Irvine                          |1,092                                    

Islay/Mid Argyll                |36                                       

Keith                           |35                                       

Kelso and Jedburgh              |21                                       

Kilmarnock                      |479                                      

Lanarkshire                     |3,145                                    

Lochaber                        |76                                       

Lockerbie                       |25                                       

Newton Stewart                  |48                                       

North East Fife                 |103                                      

Oban                            |53                                       

Orkney Islands                  |81                                       

Peebles                         |23                                       

Perth                           |180                                      

Peterhead                       |74                                       

Shetland Islands                |25                                       

Skye and Wester Ross            |53                                       

Stewartry                       |51                                       

Stirling                        |300                                      

Stranraer                       |117                                      

Sutherland                      |56                                       

Thurso                          |58                                       

Western Isles                   |96                                       

Wick                            |93                                       

Loan Guarantee Scheme

Mr. Fatchett : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will provide the latest estimate of the numbers, location and cost of the jobs created by the loan guarantee scheme.

Mr. Cope : A review in 1988 of the loan guarantee scheme undertaken by National Economic and Research Associates for the Department of Employment found that in a sample of 106 firms that had used the scheme, 310 full-time additional jobs were created in the first year. The net Exchequer cost of the LGS per person leaving the unemployment count is estimated at £450. Statistics are not collected by my Department on the actual numbers or locations of jobs created by the loan guarantee scheme.

Shipyard Workers

Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what steps he proposes to take following the number of successful appeals by former shipyard workers who had been denied unemployment benefit for 13 weeks, in respect of workers in other trades who have been made redundant under similar circumstances ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Lee : The decision of the independent adjudicating authorities in relation to a redundant shipyard worker relates specifically to that particular worker and his terms of redundancy. Where applicable, British Shipbuilders workers whose circumstances were identical can have their benefit position reviewed. The decision has no direct effect on workers made redundant in other industries.

Cigarettes (Cost of Living Index)

Mr. Jessel : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment (1) what machinery exists to register appropriate changes to the weighting of components in the cost of living index to relate to changes in normal household consumption of different items ; and if he will list those as applied to cigarettes in the last 30 years ;

(2) what weighting is given at the present time and 10, 20 and 30 years ago or at suitable convenient dates to cigarettes in the retail prices index or its predecessor.

Mr. Lee : The weighting of the retail prices index is updated at the beginning of each year. Since 1962 the weight for each component has been revised in the light of the latest available information on household consumption from the family expenditure survey. In the case of a


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few items (including cigarettes) allowance is made for under-recording of expenditure in the survey, by supplementing its results with more comprehensive information from the consumers' expenditure estimates in the national accounts. As they are introduced the new weights are published in Employment Gazette. Those for cigaretes have been as follows :


|c|Weight for         

cigarettes in general 

RPI (parts per        

thousand)|c|          

Date    |Weight       

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

1959-61 |70           

1962    |70           

1963    |69           

1964    |66           

1965    |67           

1966    |68           

1967    |64           

1968    |59           

1969    |60           

1970    |57           

1971    |53           

1972    |48           

1973    |44           

1974    |39           

1975    |42           

1976    |42           

1977    |42           

1978    |44           

1979    |40           

1980    |37           

1981    |33           

1982    |37           

1983    |36           

1984    |33           

1985    |34           

1986    |35           

1987    |33           

1988    |32           

TRADE AND INDUSTRY

Footwear

Mr. Pike : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what has been the United Kingdom market share of footwear produced in Taiwan and Korea for each of the last five years ; and what are the corresponding figures for the home share of the same market.

Mr. Atkins : The figures are as follows :


|c|United Kingdom Footwear Market (SIC       

4510)|c|                                     

|c|Percentage (by value) taken by United     

Kingdom production for the|c|                

|c|home market and by imports from South     

Korea and Taiwan|c|                          

               |1983|1984|1985|1986|1987     

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

United Kingdom |55.5|52.8|54.5|54.6|52.9     

South Korea    |2.2 |2.1 |1.9 |2.0 |3.0      

Taiwan         |3.2 |3.8 |3.3 |2.9 |4.0      

Furniture (Foam Filling)

Ms. Walley : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many representations he has received from retailers requesting Government compensation for loss of retail value of suites made from foam to the new standards but without the white label and therefore needing to be sold by 1 March.

Mr. Forth : I have received a small number of suggestions from furniture retailers that compensation should be paid to them for furniture which they are legally


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unable to sell after 28 February 1989 because it does not meet the requirements of the new regulations. Only one or two of these representations have referred to the temporary problem of furniture lacking the prescribed label but otherwise conforming. Any retailers placed in that position should make arrangements with the furniture manufacturer to obtain new permanent labels for furniture which otherwise meets the requirements of the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulation 1988.

Sanitary Towels and Tampons

Ms. Walley : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will take steps to encourage the sanitary tampon industry to standardise absorbency ratings.

Mr. Forth : No. This is primarily a matter for the industry to consider in the light of consumer demands. If a request were made to the British Standards Institution for work to be undertaken in this field, it would be considered on its merits.

Ms. Walley : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) if he will take steps to impose restrictions on the use of chemicals in the manufacture of sanitary tampons ;

(2) what information he has as to what chemical traces remain in sanitary towels after manufacture.

Mr. Forth : I have asked the industry what chemicals they add to tampons and sanitary towels and what checks they run on residues of pesticides and biocides in the cotton used. When I have this information our toxicologists will advise the Government on whether they pose any hazard.

Ms. Walley : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) if he will introduce legislation requiring manufacturers to label clearly packets with a comprehensive list of the contents of sanitary towels ;

(2) if he will introduce stricter controls on the manufacture of sanitary goods in respect of safety standards and sterile procedures for the manufacture of these goods.

Mr. Forth : No. I am satisfied that the existing voluntary prior approval scheme for tampons adequately ensures the safety of the public.

Disposable Nappies

Ms. Walley : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will take steps to end the use of synthetic chemicals in the manufacture of disposable nappies which are similar to those used in sanitary tampons removed from sale in the United States of America because of their association with toxic shock syndrome in consumers ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Forth : No. Toxic shock syndrome is not a problem with babies. However, I will ask the industry which chemicals are added to disposable nappies and this information will be considered by our toxicologists.

Ms. Walley : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if his Department will actively promote the use of chlorine-free paper pulp in the manufacture of disposable nappies.


Column 463

Mr. Forth : The brand leaders have gone over to unbleached disposable nappies and the remainder of the industry is likely to follow. It is a good example of the market responding to consumer preferences.

Paper Industry (Bleaches)

Ms. Walley : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will consult the paper industry on ways to encourage the use of different methods of bleaching.

Mr. Forth : I understand that no pulp mills in the United Kingdom bleach with chlorine. However I have asked the paper industry to provide unbleached alternatives to bleached paper products so that the consumer can have a choice.

Wood Pulp

Ms. Walley : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what is the annual United Kingdom requirement for wood pulp.

Mr. Forth : Precise figures are not available, but it is estimated that in 1987 the United Kingdom requirements of wood pulp amounted to between 2 and 2 million tonnes.

Monopolies and Mergers Commission

Mr. Colin Shepherd : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when he will make public the Monopolies and Mergers Commission's report on the supply of beer to the United Kingdom ; and if it is his intention to make a statement on the report at the same time.

Mr. Maude : The report will be published as soon as possible. It is customary for my right hon. and noble Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry to announce his response to a Monopolies and Mergers Commission report at the time of its publication.

Consumer Credit

Mrs. Margaret Ewing : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if, having regard to the proposals published in December 1988 for review of the consumer credit licensing system, he will consider extending the proposed powers to require information not only to those holding or seeking licences but also to anyone suspected on reasonable grounds of carrying out unlicensed consumer credit ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Maude : The Department's proposals for the consumer credit licensing system were contained in a consultation letter dated 26 October 1988. The proposed power for the Director General of Fair Trading to seek information would not be confined only to those seeking or holding licences, but would also extend to those suspected on reasonable grounds of carrying on any form of consumer credit business.

Broadcasting

Mr. David Porter : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if, in the light of his proposals outlined in the White Paper on "Broadcasting in the 90s", he has plans to seek to amend or repeal the Marine Offences (Broadcasting) Act 1967.


Column 464

Mr. Atkins : Yes, we are considering strengthening the enforcement powers in the Act. The exciting proposals outlined in the White Paper reinforce the need for vigorous action against all unlicensed broadcasting.

Sanitary Towels

Ms. Ruddock : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will take steps to encourage sanitary towel manufacturers to substitute biodegradeable plastics for non-biodegradeable plastics in their products.

Mr. Forth : I have no plans to do so, but I understand that the industry has approached higher educational establishments with a view to their carrying out relevant investigations.

Paper Mills (Pollution)

Ms. Ruddock : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when he last met representatives of the Paper Industries Research Association to discuss question of organochlorine pollution from pulp and paper mills ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Forth : I have not held any meeting with the Paper Industries Research Association but my Department is in touch with the association about its studies in this field.

Newspapers (Takeovers)

Mr. John D. Taylor : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in how many of the 15 daily newspapers circulating in Northern Ireland the Monopolies and Mergers Commission inserted a notice inviting representations in connection with the proposed takeover of Belfast Newsletter and Sunday News by Thomson Regional Newspapers ; what was the size of the notice in the press ; and what is the normal size for similar notices published by the commission.

Mr. Maude : This is a matter for the Monopolies and Mergers Commission, which will be writing to the right hon. Member.

Unigate (Dairy Crest Purchase)

Dr. David Clark : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether he will refer the purchase of part of Unigate's liquid milk business by Dairy Crest to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.

Mr. Maude [holding answer 17 February 1989] : The proposed acquisition is currently being considered by the Director General of Fair Trading who has a duty to advise the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on whether the proposed acquisition should be referred to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission. It would not be appropriate for me to comment on the proposed merger in anticipation of the director general's advice.

Textiles and Clothing (Silberston Report)

Mr. Madden : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will extend the time for receiving the report from Professor Aubrey Silberston into the effects on the United Kingdom economy of international trading policies on textiles and clothing, to allow Professor Silberston more time to consult widely and to ensure any


Column 465

recommendations he makes are widely supported by United Kingdom textile and clothing interests ; if he will consider inviting Professor Silberston to circulate his main conclusions before his study is finalised and presented to Ministers ; and if he will arrange for Professor Silberston's report to be published when available.

Mr. Alan Clark [holding answer 17 February 1989] : The commissioning of the study was announced last September and the textile and clothing, and other interests have been given ample opportunity to let Professor Silberston know their views before the report is completed. Professor Silberston expects the report to be published in the summer.

Takeover Bids

Mr. Tim Smith : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many deputations of hon. Members he saw on takeover bids in 1988.

Mr. Maude [holding answer 15 February 1989] : Department of Trade and Industry Ministers saw approximately 10 such deputations in 1988.

ENERGY

Market Research

Mr. David Evans : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what market research he proposes to undertake in 1989 as part of his Department's programme to promote awareness of, and research in, technology transfer and renewable energy sources.

Mr. Michael Spicer : Market research is an esential part of our renewable energy research and development programme, both in determining the most appropriate methods of informing and influencing the future market for renewable sources of energy, and in gauging the success or otherwise of publications that flow from the programme. Technology transfer plans are being developed for each technology classed as economically attractive. During 1989 a number of market research studies are planned in order to obtain a better understanding of technical transfer processes and the characteristics of those market sectors relevant to the renewable technologies. Over the next weeks the first of these studies will be undertaken to provide detailed information on the size and scope of the market that needs to be addressed. The results will be used to develop and target the most appropriate promotion material in support of our technology transfer activities. Recently completed market research has shown that our publications have been well received by the general public, industry and professionals.

Electricity Supply Industry

Mr. Moss : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what was the rate of return achieved by the electricity supply industry for the last year for which figures are available ; and what were the figures in 1979- 80.

Mr. Michael Spicer : In 1987-88, the last year for which figures are available, the industry's current cost rate of return on average net assets was 2.42 per cent. In 1979-80 the figure was 0.5 per cent.


Column 466

Electricity Distribution Boards (Chairmen)

Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he will next be meeting the chairmen of distribution boards ; and what subjects he expects to discuss.

Mr. Michael Spicer : My right hon. Friend and I meet the area board chairmen regularly to discuss various matters of mutual interest.

British Coal (Engineering Workshops)

Mr. Jack Thompson : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will list the British Coal national engineering workshops closed since July 1985 ; together with the number of redundancies declared with each workshop closure ; and the number of redundancies declared in other British Coal national engineering workshops since July 1985.

Mr. Michael Spicer : This is a matter for the management of the British Coal Corporation and I have asked the chairman to write to the hon. Member.

BNFL

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what progress has been made with the implementation of the integrated dry route kiln (IDR) process to convert uranium hexafluoride into ceramic uranium dioxide at British Nuclear Fuels plc, Springfields.

Mr. Michael Spicer : This is a matter for British Nuclear Fuel plc and I have asked the chairman to write to the hon. Member.

BNFL (Uranium Imports)

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make it his policy to refuse permission for British Nuclear Fuels plc to import natural uranium from South Africa for processing and re-export.

Mr. Michael Spicer : I have nothing to add to the reply that I gave to the hon. Member for Merionnydd Nant Conwy (Dr. Thomas) on 23 May 1988 at column 8.

Pressurised Water Reactor (Construction)

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will initiate a study of the net energy consumed and resultant carbon dioxide gas release from fossil fuels used in the manufacturing and construction of a 1300 Mw pressurised water reactor and in the manufacture, storage and processing of its fuel and resultant radioactive wastes ; and if he will publish a table giving comparable information for a coal-fired station of the same net output and fitted with flue gas desulphurisation technology.

Mr. Michael Spicer : I do not consider that such a study would be worthwhile.

Efficiency (Appliances)

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will initiate a departmental study to compare the volume decrease in carbon dioxide emissions that could be achieved by introducing a policy of energy efficient light


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bulbs and energy efficient labelling on refrigerators, water heaters and stoves, instead of building the equivalent number of power plant to provide the electricity saved.

Mr. Peter Morrison : No. It has always been the policy of the energy efficiency office that energy-efficient lamps should be used wherever they are cost effective and appropriate.

Under a recently concluded agreement by the European Committee of Manufacturers of Electrical Domestic Equipment, appliance manufacturers present the energy consumption data of major energy using domestic appliances in the same form. This allows comparisons by consumers no matter where in western Europe the appliances come from or are sold.

FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

Diplomatic Properties (Rate Arrears)

Mr. Ron Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether, pursuant to his answer of 7 February, Official Report, column 585, he will list the rate arrears for individual diplomatic properties ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Eggar : Rates owed by missions on properties accepted by Her Majesty's Government as being in diplomatic use, and on which the Foreign and Commonwealth Office are taking action with the missions concerned are :


           |£                    

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

Grenada    |2,452.83             

Iran       |32,595.52            

Libya      |371,026.32           

Nigeria    |33,942.01            

In certain cases the arrears are in dispute and under discussion between the mission and rating of Government property department. The following amounts are owed by diplomatic missions on properties which are not accepted as being in diplomatic use on which the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is similarly taking action :


           |£                    

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

Grenada    |2,452.83             

Iran       |32,595.52            

Libya      |371,026.32           

Nigeria    |33,942.01            

Rail Ozhegov

Mr. John Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations have been made to the Russians about the fate of Rail Ozhegov.

Mr. Waldegrave : Rail Ozhegov has only very recently come to our attention. We shall underline our concern


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about this case to the Soviet authorities at the next suitable opportunity, and shall continue to press the Russians until there is a satisfactory outcome.

Kampuchea

Ms. Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he has taken to seek to produce an international peace settlement on Kampuchea.

Mr. Eggar : I have nothing to add to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Stockport (Mr. Favell) on 8 February at columns 739- 40.

South Africa (Hunger Strikes)

Mr. Wray : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he has made known to the South African Government the concern felt by British people for the hunger strikers in Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth.

Mrs. Chalker : We have repeatedly urged the South African authorities to release all those detained without trial, and have done so again recently. We welcome the reported commitment by the South African Minister for Law and Order to give urgent personal consideration to the case of each detainee.

Non-proliferation Treaty

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he has made any specific representations to his counterparts in France and the People's Republic of China in regard to their respective joining the nuclear non-proliferation treaty before the 1990 NPT review conference.


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