The Attorney-General : An inquiry under section 447 of the Companies Act 1985 was commenced by the Department of Trade and Industry on 28 July 1986 and concluded on 6 August 1986 when upon the Secretary of State's petition to the court the Official Receiver was appointed provisional liquidator. Police inquiries into the management of Macdonald-Wheeler Fund Management Ltd. commenced in August 1986, one month after the company ceased trading. In April 1988 the newly formed serious fraud office adopted the inquiry and continued the investigation in conjunction with the police. Criminal proceedings were commenced against one person in June 1988.
The Prime Minister : This morning I presided at a meeting of the Cabinet and had meetings with Ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in the House I shall be having further meetings later today.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will publish a table in the Official Report showing in each of the three counties of Yorkshire, how many applications and registrations he has received under the set-aside scheme (a) within and (b) outside less favoured areas ; and within each category how many applications he has received for (i) permanent fallow, (ii) rotational fallow, (iii) farm woodland and (iv) non-agricultural use.
|Applications: less |Applications: other areas|Registrations: all |favoured areas |areas<1> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- North Yorkshire Permanent Fallow |7 |42 Rotational Fallow |3 |20 Woodland |1 |8 Non-agricultural Use |1 |12 |------- |------- Totals<2> |8 |62 |1,039 West Yorkshire Permanent Fallow |Nil |3 Rotational Fallow |Nil |Nil Woodland |Nil |1 Non-agricultural Use |Nil |2 |------- |------- Totals<2> |Nil |5 |118 South Yorkshire Permanent Fallow |Nil |11 Rotational Fallow |Nil |3 Woodland |Nil |Nil Non-agricultural Use |Nil |1 |------- |------- Totals<2> |Nil |12 |178 Notes: <1> Breakdown between less favoured and other areas not available. <2> Some applications are for more than one land use.
Mr. Sayeed : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to his answer of 13 February, Official Report, column 94, what factors were taken into consideration by the Government in taking the decision not to publish details of individual brands sampled under the food surveillance programme.
Mr. Ryder : The purpose of the sampling undertaken under the programme of the steering group of food surveillance is to carry out scientific surveys of particular issues ; it is not an enforcement programme. Sampling programmes are necessarily selective and do not cover every item on the market. It would therefore be inequitable to report data on those brands included when others of equal quality are excluded.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to his answer of 16 February, Official Report, column 357, under which grant scheme the regeneration of older woodland is taking place ; and if he will provide figures to illustrate the extent to which this has happened over the past five years.
The area of woodland regenerated in England over the last five years, both by the Forestry Commission and the private sector, is given in the table.
Year ended 31 March |1984 |1985 |1986 |1987 |1988 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Area restocked (hectares) with conifers |3,375 |2,966 |3,060 |3,532 |3,259 with broadleaves |1,127 |972 |1,442 |1,896 |2,068 Area of broadleaves as percentage of total area |25 |25 |32 |35 |39
The British Wool Marketing board has achieved good prices for United Kingdom wool in 1988. Average market prices for the 1988 clip rose above the prevailing guarantee, enabling the board to make further repayments to the stabilisation fund. Stocks are low and demand continues to be good ; the wool board is confident of market prospects for 1989.
We have given careful consideration to an appropriate guarantee level for 1989 in the light of these market circumstances. We have also noted the deficit on the stabilisation fund, currently around £14.5 million and my announcement in October last year of our plans to abolish the wool guarantee. We have decided in the light of these considerations to set the price guarantee for the 1989 clip at an unchanged level, 129p/kg.
Following the sale of the 1989 clip any remaining deficit falls to be written off under the terms of the financial agreement with the board, During the following period leading up to the termination of the guarantees for wool we would not expect to raise the price guarantee above its present level.
Column 709of untreated milk for liquid consumption in England and Wales. It also seeks views on untreated cream (which poses risks similar to those arising from untreated milk) and on cheese made from unpasteurised milk. There is no proposal to introduce any prohibition on the use of unpasteurised milk in the manufacture of cheese. I am placing a copy in the Library of the House. Copies will also be made available in the Vote Office.
Mr. Ryder [holding answer 22 February 1989] : The major effect in rats at all dose levels was a moderate to severe granulomatous inflammation associated with oil droplets in the mesenteric lymph nodes in both sexes and in the livers of females only.
Mr. Kennedy : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what notifications have been issued to the National Farmers Union over the past 12 months concerning the possible incidence of listeria infection in United Kingdom cheese production ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Ryder : Action over individual instances of listeria in cheese has been taken with the individual producers concerned. The NFU has been made aware of the general problem through the series of meetings of all the organisations concerned that led to the production of the code of practice for cheese producers that was issued in August 1988.
Mr. Kennedy : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what representations he has received from the Food and Drink Federation concerning possible listeria infection in United Kingdom produced cheese ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what research his Department is currently funding into the causes and incidence of listeria contamination in dairy products other than liquid milk ;
(2) what research his Department is currently funding into the causes and incidence of listeria contamination in fresh milk.
Mr. MacGregor : A considerable programme of research into the micrological safety of food is being undertaken and funded by my Department. This programme includes work on factors which cause the listeria organisms to multiply and methods of inhibiting such growth.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what evidence he has that milk infected with listeria became infected (a) from listeria endemic or internal to the cow or (b) through contamination from listeria in the environment.
Column 710to be due to environmental contamination. The presence of listeria in milk is minimised by ensuring that milk is produced and processed under hygienic conditions--and the Milk and Dairies Regulations aim to achieve this.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will estimate the volume of United Kingdom production for each of the last three years of soft cheese using unpasteurised milk.
Year |Tonnes<1> ------------------------------ 1985 |900 1986 |600 1987 |700 <1>To the nearest 100 tonnes.
I have no information as to the volume of this cheese that was produced from unpasteurised milk.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list those measures he has enacted in each of the last three years to improve the quality and wholesomeness of (a) home produced and (b) imported food.
Mr. Ryder : One of the major objectives of my Department is to maintain the quality and wholesomeness of the food supply and this is taken into account in all measures which we enact most of which apply to imported as well as home-produced food. In 1986, 20 measures were enacted including The Milk and Dairies (Heat Treatment of Cream) (Amendment) Regulations 1986, The Milk-Based Drinks (Hygiene and Heat Treatment) (Amendment) Regulations 1986 and The Horticultural Produce Act. In 1987, 15 measues were enacted including The Coffee and Coffee Products (Amendment) Regulations 1987, The Colouring Matter in Food (Amendment) Regulations 1987, The Materials and Articles in Contact with Food Regulations 1987. In 1988, 14 measures were enacted including The Animals and Fresh Meat (Examination for Residues) Regulations 1988, The Animals and Fresh Meat (Hormonal Substances) Regulations 1988, The Pesticides (Maximum Residue Levels in Food) Regulations, The Importation of Milk Regulations 1988, The Sweeteners in Food (Amendment) Regulations 1988, The Milk (Special Designation) Regulations 1988, The Milk and Dairies (Semi-skimmed and Skimmed Milk) (Heat Treatment and Labelling) Regulations 1988.
Proposals have been issued for consultation on the following draft regulations :--
Column 711Tetrachloroethylene in Olive Oil Regulations
Caseins and Caseinates (Amendment) Regulations
Preserved Milk (Amendment) Regulations
Soft Drinks Regulations
Fish Product Regulations
Fat Spread Products Regulations
Amendments to Food Labelling Regulations to introduce alcoholic strength marking and restrictions on the use of the term "low alcohol"
Regulations to ban the use of mineral hydrocarbons in food and food processing
Preservatives in Food Regulations
In addition I am considering proposals to limit the quantities of colouring matter in food ; a number of important reviews, affecting the quality and wholesomeness of our food, are currently being undertaken by the Food Advisory Committee and, as part of the single market programme, nine Community directives were adopted, or a common position agreed, last year and these will all be implemented into United Kingdom legislation. They cover jams, fruit juices, quick-frozen food, additives, labelling, materials and articles in contact with food, foods for particular nutritional uses, batch marking and the official inspection of foodstuffs.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will publish a table of comparable annual research and development investment in renewables by Organisation of Economic, Co-operation and Development countries and a table showing the number of renewable energy research projects undertaken annually in each EEC member state since 1979.
Country |£ million ----------------------------------- Canada |6.94 United States |77.33 Australia |0.49 Japan |57.33 New Zealand |0.22 Austria |2.11 Belgium |2.56 Denmark |2.44 Germany |38.89 Greece |4.22 Ireland |0.27 Italy |18.06 Netherlands |11.33 Norway |1.39 Portugal |0.89 Spain |7.80 Sweden |8.39 Switzerland |6.33 Turkey |0.27 United Kingdom |15.05 Notes: 1. This information was derived from the IEA 1987 Review, Energy Policies and Programmes of IEA Countries, published in 1988. 2. For the United Kingdom the table includes expenditure on renewable energy R and D by Department of Energy, Department of Trade and Industry, Natural Environmental Research Council and the Science and Engineering Research Council.
No information is available on the number of renewable energy research projects undertaken annually in each EEC member state since 1979. This information has not been collected in the past by the Commission but it is currently considering setting up a database of information on member states R and D programmes. In the case of the Department's programme, over 250 projects are currently underway with 70 to 80 new projects being initiated each year.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will list all occasions over the past year when he has discussed with Government representatives or industrialists from abroad the prospects of their purchasing United Kingdom-designed nuclear power plants or nuclear fuel services.
Mr. Lee : My Department promotes British tourism abroad through its sponsorship of the British Tourist Authority which undertakes a wide range of promotional and marketing activities to encourage visits to Britain from abroad.
Mr. Clay : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many companies have been (a) prosecuted and (b) successfully prosecuted for offences under section 55 of the Social Security Act 1986 and its predecessors, region by region, each year since 1979.
Mr. Lee : This information is not collated centrally and is not available for any years between 1979 and 1987. Since 1988, two companies, in Wales and Kent, have been prosecuted, both successfully, for offences under section 55 of the Social Security Act 1986.
A copy of the information being published will be placed in the Library.
Mr. Frank Field : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is the number of people who have so far registered for an ET course ; what are the number and proportion which have ceased attending ; and what are the main reasons for withdrawal.
Mr. Nicholls : By 10 February 1989, 174,500 people had started on employment training. By the end of December, the latest date for which information is available, it is estimated that about 20,000 of these people had left the programme. People leave the programme for a number of reasons such as completing their training or getting a job. Information on the numbers leaving for particular reasons is not yet available.
Mr. Frank Field : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is the cost of each ET placement ; if this sum has changed since (a) the announcement and (b) commencement of the scheme ; and if he will give his reasons for any change.
Mr. Nicholls : The Government expect to spend about £2,300 on average on each trainee on employment training. There has been no change in the grants and allowances for ET since the announcement and start of the programme.
Mr. Strang : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many horseracing and equestrian establishments have been prosecuted for breaches of health and safety regulations in each of the last 10 years.
Mr. Nicholls [holding answer 22 February 1989] : During the period 1 April 1978 to 31 March 1988 two prosecutions under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act were brought against horseracing and equestrian establishments--one in 1986 and one in 1987.
Mr. Forth : Trading standards officers (TSOs) are employed by local weights and measures authorities. Records indicate that some 1,323 TSOs were in post in 1978. Information from 1979 is held in the House of Commons Library and contained in "Trading Standards Statistics' published jointly by the Societies of County Trading Standards Officers and County Treasurers until 1987 and subsequently by CIPFA.
Column 714current degree of import penetration and (b) that in December 1978 for (1) radios, (2) black and white televisions, (3) video recorders, (4) colour televisions, (5) telephone receivers, (6) refrigerators, (7) passenger motor vehicles, (8) microwave ovens, (9) calculators, (10) desk top computers, (11) computer printers, (12) word processors, (13) microchips, (14) irons, (15) commercial vehicles, (16) x- ray machines, (17) dental instruments and appliances, (18) shoes, (19) sewing machines, (20) excavators, (21) lawn mowers, (22) public transport type passenger motor vehicles, (23) burglar alarms, (24) built-in ovens, (25) hovercraft, (26) lasers, (27) vending machines, (28) dishwashers, (29) medical instruments and appliances, (30) paper, (31) wallpaper, (32) printed matter and (33) furniture, respectively.
|c|Import penetration by product|c| Import penetration<1> per cent. Product |1978 |January to September 1988 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Black and white televisions |<2>48 |104 Video recorders |n/a |81 Colour televisions |18 |40 Telephone receivers |2 |<6>41 Refrigerators |46 |51 Cars<3> |49 |<4>56 Microwave ovens |n/a |60 Irons |15 |65 Commercial vehicles<3> |22 |<4>40 X-ray machinery |n/a |33 Dental instruments and appliances |n/a |30 Footwear |30 |<5>47 Domestic sewing machines |37 |n/a Excavators |102 |64 Lawn mowers |10 |n/a Buses and coaches<3> |3 |<4>38 Burglar alarms (including fire alarms) |6 |33 Vending machines and parts |44 |54 Dishwashers |n/a |78 Medical instruments and appliances |47 |57 Pulp, paper and board |53 |<5>63 Wallcoverings |6 |<5>11 Printed matter |10 |<5>11 Wooden furniture and upholstery |11 |20 <1>Unless otherwise stated, import penetration is defined as imports divided by home demand where home demand is estimated as United Kingdom manufacturers' sales plus imports minus exports. The figures are evaluated in value terms and may exceed 100 per cent. in products subject to a substantial degree of entrepot trading. <2>Fourth quarter only. <3>Based on vehicle registration data. Import penetration is defined as numbers of imported vehicles registered divided by total registrations. <4>1988 data. <5>1987 data. <6>Subscribers' telephone apparatus.
(2) if he will publish in the Official Report the site location of the five plants in the United Kingdom producing ethylene dichloride ;