|Previous Section||Home Page|
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will introduce regulations to restrict the sale, copying or inspection of the electoral register when the electoral registrar obtains information from the poll tax registers.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : No. The considerations governing the sale, copying and inspection of the electoral register have not changed since the present policy was comprehensively reviewed in 1985-86. The Representation of the People Regulations 1986 already forbid the supply of data which is not required to be published in the register itself.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The measures initiated last year, which are continuing to deliver more prison accommodation, are being supplemented by a programme of vigorous management action to obtain the maximum capacity from the accommodation currently available.
Mr. Gerald Howarth : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will ensure that following 1992 there will remain sufficient safeguards to prevent the import of pornographic material into the United Kingdom from Europe.
Column 762of importation is among the matters we shall be discussing with our European Community partners in the general context of 1992.
Mr. George : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much is spent by his Department on private security firms performing services at immigration detention centres at Heathrow, Gatwick, Birmingham and Manchester airports, for each year since 1985 ; and how many firms are involved.
Mr. Renton : Group 4 Total Security Ltd. holds the sole contract for the provision of orderly and escort services for persons detained under the Immigration Act 1971 in the immigration detention centres at Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester. There is no longer a detention centre at Birmingham airport.
The contract was let to Group 4 Total Security Ltd. with effect from 31 December 1988 following competitive tenders. Between 1 July 1970 and 30 December 1988 the contract was held by Securicor Ltd. The cost of the services is a matter of commercial and contractual confidentiality which it would not be right to disclose.
Recruitment is a matter for individual chief constables. My right hon. Friend convened a conference in December 1987 in order to enable chief officers to discuss all aspects of the special constabulary, particularly how to increase its strength and improve its deployment. A report has been circulated to all forces.
The Government are also reviewing the allowances paid to special constables, in consultation with the Police Advisory Board for England and Wales.
Mr. John Patten : We have no present plans to extend the powers of courts to make confiscation orders, but the Prevention of Terrorism Bill would give courts additional powers to order forfeiture of funds destined for use in connection with terrorism.
Mr. Adley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what further representations he has received from the British Broadcasting Corporation on the implications for its existing levels of service of the proposals in his White Paper ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Renton : The White Paper refers to the definition given by the Peacock committee, namely the period between 1 am and 6 am (paragraph 3.12). It will be for the ITC to determine the boundaries between the different licence periods on Channels 3 and 5.
Mr. Bermingham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what representations he has received from private companies about privatisation within the penal system ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) if he will list those companies which have tendered for private remand prisons ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : No such tenders have been either invited or received. A number of private companies have submitted comments in response to the Green Paper "Private Sector Involvement in the Remand System" (Cm. 434, July 1988), and expressed interest in becoming involved in the areas of work which the Green Paper considers. My right hon. Friend expects to make an announcement shortly on the results of the Green Paper consultation and of the associated management consultancy study into the practicality of the options described in the Green Paper.
Mr. Bermingham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many special category A Irish prisoners have been transferred from a jail in England and Wales to a jail in Northern Ireland during the last 12 months ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 764in Northern Ireland are currently outstanding from prisoners who are serving their sentences in England and Wales ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Bermingham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the average length of time taken to process a request for transfer to a jail in Northern Ireland from a prisoner who is currently serving his or her sentence in England or Wales ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Bermingham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether a decision has yet been made about the application for transfer to a jail in Northern Ireland from prisoner 463799 (McCartney) ; and if he will make a statement.
(2) what information he has on the cost in each of the last five years of maintenance on the broadcasting transmitter networks.
Mr. Fisher : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information he has on the number of broadcast hours on (a) BBC-1, (b) BBC-2, (c) independent television and (d) Channel 4 made by United Kingdom independent producers in 1988 ; and at what cost.
Mr. Fisher : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will publish a table showing the cost of transmission for each independent television company and for Channel 4 (a) in cash terms and (b) per capita in catchment areas.
Mr. Fisher : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of training presently conducted by (a) the British Broadcasting Corporation, (b) the Independent Broadcasting Authority, (c) the Independent Television companies and (d) Channel 4, independent producers will be required to undertake.
Mr. Fisher : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the Independent Television Commission will be required to undertake the training for transmission presently conducted by the Independent Broadcasting Authority.
Mr. Renton : We shall not make detailed decisions on the responsibilities of the ITC in relation to transmission until we have received and considered the study which we have commissioned from Price Waterhouse. In a fully privatised transmission system the presumption is that any training necessary would be carried out by the private transmission operators.
Mr. Fisher : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what information he has on the investment by (a) the Independent Broadcasting Authority, (b) each independent television company and (c) Channel 4 in training in each of the past five years ;
(2) what information he has on the investment by the BBC in training in each of the last five years.
Mr. Fisher : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) whether he will publish a table showing what proportion of the total work force (a) the British Broadcasting Corporation, (b) each Independent Television company and (c) Channel 4 were registered disabled in each of the past five years ;
(2) whether he will publish a table showing how many registered disabled persons were employed by (a) the BBC, (b) ITV companies and (c) Channel 4 in each of the past five years.
Mr. Cryer : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether any guidelines are issued to police forces regarding the cost of pursuing prosecutions so as to place a limit on expenditure in relation to petty offences ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Cryer : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance he issues on the conduct of inquiries carried out by a police force on behalf of another force as to whether officers may be authorised to carry out searches without being accompanied by officers from the originating force ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr Hogg : None. Police constables in England and Wales have full constabulary powers throughout England and Wales. It is not therefore necessary for a police officer carrying out a search to be accompanied by an officer from the force that initiated the inquiry. Guidance to the police on the conduct of searching persons and premises
Column 766generally is contained in the codes of practice issued in accordance with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.
Mr. Speller : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will introduce legislation to ensure a specific minimum sentence for those convicted of rape ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. John Patten : Our criminal justice system does not provide for minimum sentences, except for the offence of murder. It is for the courts to consider the circumstances of each case and decide on a sentence which reflects the gravity of the individual offence, within the maximum penalties determined by Parliament. Following guidance given by the Court of Appeal, the proportion of convicted rapists receiving sentences of five years' imprisonment or longer increased from 42 per cent. in 1985 to 79 per cent. in 1987.
Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the letters to the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State from the hon. Member for Southwark and Bermondsey dated 12 December, 1988, 28 December 1988 and 6 January, on a matter relating to his constituent, Mr. Charles Pitts, who is a prisoner at Her Majesty's Prison Wandsworth will be answered ; and if he will give the reasons why the hon. Member for Southwark and Bermondsey has not received replies to these letters before now.
Mrs. Ann Winterton : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement outlining any plans which he has to introduce legislation to increase penalties available for assaults upon police officers.
Column 767penalties (six months' imprisonment or a fine of £2,000 or both), which are the maxima for offences tried in magistrates courts. More serious assaults would normally be dealt with as offences against the person, with higher maximum penalties, including life imprisonment for wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm and attempted murder.
19. Mr. Bill Walker : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the revenue obtained from excise duty and value-added tax from the sales of Scotch whisky in the latest year for which figures are available.
Mr. Brooke : Figures are not directly available for Scotch whisky. The revenue yield for excise duty and value added tax on Scotch whisky was about 95 per cent. of that from those taxes on all whiskies.
21. Mr. Henderson : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what percentage of total tax revenue arose from indirect taxes in 1988 ; and what figures he has for the United States of American, Japan and West Germany.
Mr. Major : The latest directly comparable OECD figures are for 1986. They show that the share of indirect taxes in the total was 43 per cent. for the United Kingdom, 29 per cent. for the United States of America, 27 per cent. for Japan and 30 per cent. for West Germany.