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Child Benefit

Mr. Robin Cook : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what has been the level of expenditure on child benefit in cash and constant 1988-89 prices in each year since 1978.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : The information is as follows :

|c|Child benefit expenditure (£ million)|c|                 

Financial year |Cash          |1988-89 prices               


<1>1978-79     |1,776         |3,872                        

1979-80        |2,787         |5,199                        

1980-81        |2,944         |4,637                        

1981-82        |3,372         |4,835                        

1982-83        |3,660         |4,898                        

1983-84        |3,988         |5,104                        

1984-85        |4,276         |5,209                        

1985-86        |4,468         |5,164                        

1986-87        |4,513         |5,048                        

1987-88        |4,598         |4,885                        

<2>1988-89     |4,522         |4,522                        

<1> Child benefit not fully phased in until April 1979.     

<2> Estimated outturn.                                      

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Civil Service College

Mr. Allen : To ask the Minister for the Civil Service (1) if he will ask the Civil Service college to plan a programme of seminars to be available to those hon. Members elected for the first time at the next general election ;

(2) if he will take steps to discover on what topics sufficient demand exists among hon. Members to arrange briefing seminars at the Civil Service college ;

(3) what proposals he has to encourage hon. Members to attend Civil Service college courses.

Mr. Luce : The Civil Service college held briefing seminars on the work of the Civil Service on 2 and 23 March 1988 for hon. Members who first entered the House at the beginning of this Parliament. I hope that these will be repeated after the next general election. I attach great importance to the contribution that the college can make for the benefit of hon. Members, and I am actively considering with officials how this can best be developed further.

Civil Service (Political Activity)

Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Minister for the Civil Service how many staff within the Civil Service in the category politically restricted, as defined by the Civil Service pay and conditions code, have permission to engage in local political activity.

Mr. Luce [holding answer 27 February 1989] : A survey of the major employing departments in 1987 showed that, between 28 September 1984 and 1 October 1987, 52 staff in the restricted group requested and were granted permission to engage in local political activity.


Sponsorship (Nottingham)

Mr. Allen : To ask the Minister for the Arts if he will make a statement on the level of sponsorship for the arts in Nottingham, North.

Mr. Luce : Figures for Nottingham, North are not available. However, latest figures for the business sponsorship incentive scheme in the east midlands as a whole show that 31 businesses have supported the arts, generating £237,000.

Arts Funding

Mr. Jack : To ask the Minister for the Arts what was the level of Government and private sector funding for the arts in 1979 ; and what he estimates this will be in 1989, at current values.

Mr. Luce : Central Government funding for the arts in 1979-80 was £154 million. The provision made for 1989-90 is £439 million. There are no comprehensive figures for private funding of arts activities, which comprises their revenue and trading income together with contributions and support from individuals and organisations of all kinds.

The Government's policy is to create the conditions in which the arts can develop by attracting additional funds

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from private sources, and I welcome the evidence of its success. Thus, since its introduction in 1984, the business sponsorship incentive scheme has brought £22.75 million new money into the arts and attracted 931 new sponsors. Similarly, the receipts of the national museums and galleries from trading and other activities have risen from some £3 million in 1979-80 to an estimated £27 million in 1989-90.


Mr. Pike : To ask the Minister for the Arts what is his Department's policy regarding the promotion of ballet in the regions ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Luce : I refer the hon. Member to the Adjournment debate on Wednesday 8 March 1989, Official Report, columns 1007-14.

Industrial Museums

Mr. Pike : To ask the Minister for the Arts what is his Department's policy with regard to the support of working industrial museums.

Mr. Luce : My Department supports non-national museums through the Museums and Galleries Commission and area museum councils.

Queen Street Mill, Burnley

Mr. Pike : To ask the Minister for the Arts if he will make an official visit to Queen street mill, Burnley, to discuss the case for urgent funding.

Mr. Luce : I have at present no plans to visit Burnley. I understand that the north-west museum and art gallery service, which is funded by the Museums and Galleries Commission and which provides advice and selective financial assistance to museums, is in contact with Burnley borough council about the mill.

Management Consultants (Fees)

Mr. Dobson : To ask the Minister for the Arts what were the total fees paid out by the Office of Arts and Libraries to management consultants in 1979-80 and each year to date ; and what is the estimate for the current year.

Mr. Luce [holding answer, 13 March 1989] : The Office of Arts and Libraries was established in July 1983. No management consultants have been employed.


Cordless Telephones

Mr. Beggs : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he proposes to have enforced in Northern Ireland similar action as is taken in Great Britain by the Department of Trade and Industry in respect of illegal cordless telephones on sale to the public.

Mr. Atkins : I have been asked to reply.

The Wireless Telegraphy (Cordless Telephone Apparatus (Restriction) Order (SI No. 774)) makes it unlawful to import, sell, manufacture or have in one's custody cordless telephone apparatus not meeting the Department's specification. The order applies and is enforced in Northern Ireland as in Great Britain.

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Information Campaigns

Mr. Dewar : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give his Department's expected expenditure in cash terms on information campaigns in 1989-90 which is covered by class XVI Scotland Supply Estimates in 1988-89 and the comparable figure he expects to spend in 1989- 90.

Mr. Rifkind : Proposed provision for expenditure by the Scottish Office on information campaigns in 1989-90 is £2.9 million. The estimated expenditure for 1988-89 is £2.1 million.

Low Frequency Transmissions

Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what information he has regarding the effects of extremely low frequency electric and magnetic radiation on plant, animal and human life.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : The National Radiological Protection Board is currently reviewing the results of extensive work on possible effects on human and animal health of electromagnetic radiation. The Government will consider the board's advice when it becomes available.

Housing Associations

Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what capital allocations were made to housing associations in (a) Greenock and Port Glasgow, (b) Strathclyde and (c) Scotland as a whole for (i) new building and (ii) renovation in each year since 1979 ;

(2) what capital allocations to housing associations in (a) Greenock and Port Glasgow, (b) Strathclyde and (c) Scotland as a whole will be made for (i) new building and (ii) renovation in 1989 ; and what capital allocations are planned for 1990 and 1991.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Such information is not held by the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State, in making his annual allocation to the Housing Corporation in Scotland for housing association purposes, requires the corporation to operate within a development programme approved by him each year. This programme is on the basis of specified categories of need. Subsequent allocations to particular associations and particular areas, and decisions on the means of provision are then the responsibility of the Housing Corporation.

Similar procedures will operate for future years when Scottish Homes will take over from the Housing Corporation, responsibility for the funding of housing associations in Scotland.

Labour Statistics

Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what are the latest unadjusted figures for unemployment in (a) Greenock and Port Glasgow, (b) Strathclyde and (c) Scotland as a whole ; and if he will give the equivalent figures for 1979 on the most nearly comparable basis.

Mr. Lang : The numbers of unemployed claimants for these areas on 12 January 1989 (the latest date for which information is available) are provided in the table,

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together with corresponding figures for January 1979. (Unemployment statistics for Greenock and Port Glasgow parliamentary constituency prior to June 1983 are not available and due to changes in the coverage and compilation of the count the latest unemployment figures and those available for 1979 are not directly comparable.)

                            |January 1989|January 1979             


Greenock and Port Glasgow                                          

 Parliamentary Constituency |6,619       |n/a                      


Strathclyde Region          |146,556     |106,910                  


Scotland                    |269,043     |190,300                  

n/a=not available.                                                 

This information is available in the Library.


Mr. Andrew Welsh : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has any plans to provide a national ski-ing development policy for Scotland.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The Government published national planning guidelines for skiing development in 1984. These guidelines set the framework within which we would expect to see development take place and continue to form the basis of Government policy for the development of skiing and for considering individual development proposals.

Legal Profession

Mr. Andrew Welsh : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he expects the Green Paper on the Legal profession in Scotland to be published.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : My right hon. and learned Friend's consultation paper "The Legal Profession in Scotland" was published on 13 March. Copies have been placed in the Library.


Rape in Marriage

Ms. Richardson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will bring forward legislation to outlaw rape in marriage.

Mr. John Patten : In its 1984 report on sexual offences, the criminal law revision committee set out the arguments for and against extending the offence of rape to all married couples. By a narrow majority the committee decided not to recommend such an extension, although it did unanimously favour extending the offence to couples who were no longer cohabiting if a satisfactory definition could be found. The principal arguments which swayed the committee against recommending extending the offence to married couples generally were that within marriage the act would be of different character, there would be grave difficulties in investigation and prosecution, and a husband who had intercourse with his wife without her consent could be charged with other offences.

The Government recognises the difficulties in this matter and have no present plans for legislation.

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Computer Safety

Miss Emma Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what precautions his Department has taken to safeguard sensitive material transmitted by computer from being accessed or obtained by third parties ;

(2) whether the security of computer files on Home Department issues is regularly checked for breaches by internal or external unauthorised access ;

(3) what is his Department's policy on the implication for security of continued departmental computerisation.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : A large number of computer systems operate within the Department. The security counter-measures appropriate to each system are considered at the design stage in the light of the assessed risk, and are kept under continuing review. It would not be in the interests of security to disclose the nature and extent of those measures.

Miss Emma Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what information he has on whether computerised border control and passport control records are susceptible to electronic invasion ;

(2) what measures he has taken to prevent breaches of computerised border and passport control records by electronic invasion.

Mr. Renton : The security of the immigration and nationality department's computerised information systems is considered at an early stage in the design of new systems, and the security measures taken are reviewed in the light of changing threats to existing systems. It would not be in the interests of security to disclose the nature and extent of those measures.

Miss Emma Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department following illegal extraction of files from the police computer, what steps he has taken to increase protection to ensure that no future penetration occurs.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : I am satisfied that the monitoring and auditing systems for users of the police national computer are adequate. Additional measures are, however, being considered in planning the replacement police national computer system due to be introduced next year.

Crime (Dorset)

Mr. Butterfill : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what was the percentage detection rate for crimes in Dorset for each of the last two years ;

(2) what was the total number of reported crimes in Dorset for each of the last two years.

Mr. John Patten : The information is published annually, and most recently in tables 2.4 and 2.18 of "Criminal Statistics, England and Wales, 1987", Cmd. 498. It is planned to publish recorded crime figures for 1988 later this month in a statistical bulletin, and clear-up rates for 1988 will be included in the annual Command Paper in the autumn.

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Rugby Matches (Policing)

Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will obtain from the chiefconstables of Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cheshire and Cumbria, a list of the charges made for the policing of first and second division rugby league matches.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : I understand that the charges (exclusive of VAT) to individual rugby league clubs in the areas mentioned from the beginning of the current season to Saturday, 25 February 1989 have been as follows :

Police Force and Club  |Cost £ (excluding VAT)                       


North Yorkshire                                                      

York                   |908.00                                       


South Yorkshire                                                      

Doncaster              |-                                            

Sheffield Eagles       |149.04                                       


West Yorkshire                                                       

Batley                 |-                                            

Bradford Northern      |5,671.58                                     

Bramley                |-                                            

Castleford             |5,593.03                                     

Dewsbury               |-                                            

Featherstone Rovers    |4,500.01                                     

Halifax                |5,767.74                                     

Hunslet                |1,851.26                                     

Keighley               |967.60                                       

Leeds                  |17,274.27                                    

Wakefield              |7,108.02                                     



Warrington             |5,993.48                                     

Widnes                 |5,993.48                                     



Barrow                 |1,966.50                                     

Carlisle               |2,070.00                                     

Whitehaven             |1,499.60                                     

Workington             |749.80                                       


1. No police presence is required at some grounds.                   

2. There are no first or second division rugby league clubs in       


Police (Sex Discrimination)

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information he has for each of the last four years for each police force of the number of women police officers who have submitted formal grievances because they consider they have suffered from sexist behaviour or language.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : This information is not available centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Mentally Disturbed Prisoners

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 8 March, Official Report columns 540-41, how many of those who committed suicide in the prison department establishments referred to therein were known to have had a history of mental disturbance ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : This information is not available, but it is known that 30 per cent. of inmates who committed

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suicide in prison department establishments in 1987 had undergone psychiatric assessment or treatment before coming into custody.


Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will list the criteria that the immigration service is instructed to use in order to determine whether a Member of Parliament is putting forward compelling reasons when requesting a deferral of removal in order to make representations ;

(2) what checks are made of the consistency with which the immigration service is applying the criteria to determine whether or not a Member of Parliament shall be allowed to intervene in a port refusal case ;

(3) how many individuals have been refused entry to Britain since the new guidelines on Members' representations became effective ; and in how many of these refusals an hon. Member, lawyer or advice agency, sought to intervene ;

(4) how many times hon. Members have sought to intervene in port refusals since the introduction of new guidelines for hon. Members' representations ; and in how many cases removal directions have been delayed in order that representations could be made.

Mr. Renton : The criteria are exemplified in paragraph 10 of the guidelines introduced on 3 January and sent to right hon. and hon. Members under cover of my letter of 14 December. Instructions to immigration officers emphasise that the examples of circumstances given in the guidelines are not exclusive but are illustrative of the sort of circumstances which would justify deferment of removal. Under the guidelines a right hon. or hon. Member may contact my Private Office (or, out of working hours, the Home Office duty officer) after speaking to the relevant port, in any case where he believes that the immigration service has wrongly refused to defer removal on the basis of exceptional and compelling circumstances. In the first two months of 1989 some 2,700 persons were initially refused entry at the major ports and airports. Comprehensive figures for interventions are not centrally available, but during the first eight weeks of operation of the new guidelines, I understand that at the major ports and airports some 160 calls were received asking for deferments, and removal was deferred in about 14 cases.


Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many Tamils (a) have applied for political asylum in the United Kingdom, (b) are on temporary admission, (c) have been granted exceptional leave to remain and (d) have been returned to Sri Lanka in the last 15 months.

Mr. Renton : No distinction is made in statistical records between Tamils and other Sri Lankans. During the 15 months up to 30 September 1988, which is the most recent date for which these statistics are available, 341 Sri Lankans. applied for asylum in the United Kingdom. During the same period 257 Sri Lankans were granted exceptional leave to remain. There are no central records of numbers temporarily admitted, but at any one time only a small minority of those with outstanding asylum applications are detained. Removals and deportations of failed asylum seekers are not normally recorded

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separately. However, it is known that 45 Sri Lankans who sought asylum at ports have been removed since 1 January 1988. Additionally in the same period 26 Sri Lankans have been removed as illegal entrants and seven have been deported : most of these applied for asylum and were refused, after consideration of their applications. Annual information, by nationality, on applications for asylum and decisions taken is published in a statistical bulletin. The 1988 bulletin will be published during the summer of 1989. Information on passengers refused entry and removed, on illegal entry and on deportation is published annually in "Control of Immigration : Statistics, United Kingdom". The 1988 volume will also be published in the summer.

Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if there has been any monitoring by Her Majesty's Government of the safety of Tamils forcibly returned to Sri Lanka since the beginning of 1988 ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Renton : No. Asylum applicants are returned to their own country only after it has been decided that they are not refugees under the 1951 convention and that it would not be right to grant them exceptional leave. In such circumstances, as with any person in breach of immigration control whose departure we enforce, their safety becomes a matter for their own Government.

Prison Discipline

Mr. Oppenheim : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he intends to implement changes in the prison disciplinary system.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : My right hon. Friend has laid before the House revised prison rules and revised young offender institution rules which will implement from 1 April important reforms in the disciplinary systems governing the conduct of prisoners.

The rules introduce a new code of offences which will be simpler and clearer than the present code. New offences have been created to deal specifically with serious offences such as hostage-taking, barricading and arson. At the same time, the offences of making a false and malicious allegation against an officer and repeatedly making groundless complaints have been abolished. The maximum punishment on a single charge which is available to boards of visitors has been reduced from 180 days' loss of remission to 120 days in adult establishments, and will be 90 days for young offenders. The maximum loss of remission on consecutive punishments arising from a single incident will be 180 days and 135 days respectively. The procedures for referring more serious charges to the board of visitors have been simplified. An extensive programme of training in the new rules is being carried through, and the recent issue of a completely revised guidance manual on the conduct of adjudications will also assist boards of visitors and governors in carrying out this vital function. The manual will be available in a published edition shortly and is in any event made accessible to all prisoners. In addition, the prison Standing Order governing adjudications is being revised and will also be published. I believe that these changes represent a substantial improvement to the prison disciplinary system.

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HEALTH Tobacco Industry (Meetings)

Mr. Foulkes : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many meetings he, his Ministers and his Department's officials have had with representatives of the tobacco industry since 1 January 1988 ; and if he will list the dates, venues and purpose of each meeting.

Mr. Mellor : The table lists the meetings which Ministers have had with representatives of the tobacco industry or individual tobacco companies. Officials have had several meetings with representatives of individual tobacco companies and expert medical and scientific advisers which are covered by commercial confidentiality. I am not therefore at liberty to disclose details of these meetings. Officials have contact from time to time with representatives of the tobacco industry, notably as a consequence of the work of the committee for monitoring agreements on tobacco advertising and sponsorship.

Date                             |Venue                           |Purpose                                                          


12 February                      |Department                      |Meeting with the Tobacco                                         

1988                             |of Health                       |Advisory Council on general                                      

                                                                  |matters relating to smoking                                      

25 April 1988                    |Department                      |Meeting with Svenska Tobaks to                                   

                                 |of Health                       |discuss the proposed ban on                                      

                                                                  |certain oral tobacco products                                    

6 July 1988                      |Department                      |Meeting with United States                                       

                                 |of Health                       |Tobacco International to discuss                                 

                                                                  |proposed ban on certain                                          

                                                                  |oral tobacco products.                                           

27 September                     |Department                      |Meeting with United States                                       

1988                             |of Health                       |Tobacco International to discuss                                 

                                                                  |proposed ban on certain                                          

                                                                  |oral tobacco products.                                           

15 December                      |Department                      |Meeting with representatives of                                  

1988                             |of Health                       |the tobacco industry to discuss                                  

                                                                  |draft EC tobacco directives.                                     

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Mr. Hunter : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much public money has been directed towards research into the sudden infant death syndrome or related projects in each year since 1979, expressed (a) in cash terms, (b) in real terms on the 1979 amount and (c) as a percentage increase or decrease on the previous year.

Mr. Freeman : The following readily available information about research into sudden infant death syndrome and related projects refers to projects funded by the Medical Research Council, the main agency through which the Government support biomedical and clinical research.

                       |Actual expenditure    |Expenditure in 1979-80|Percentage change<1>                         


                       |£                     |£                                                                   


1979-80                |79,130                |79,130                |-                                            

1980-81                |133,608               |112,806               |+42,.56                                      

1981-82                |207,610               |159,569               |+41.45                                       

1982-83                |206,600               |148,211               |-7.12                                        

1983-84                |243,861               |167,328               |+12.90                                       

1984-85                |241,912               |157,996               |-5.58                                        

1985-86                |282,948               |175,329               |+10.97                                       

1986-87                |476,059               |285,457               |+62.81                                       

1987-88                |405,182               |230,772               |-19.16                                       

<1> Percentage change of expenditure in 1979-80 prices over previous year.                                         

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Stomach Cancer

Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the incidence of stomach cancer in (a) each of the districts of the Mersey region and (b) the rest of the United Kingdom.

Mr. Freeman : This information is shown in the table. The latest available data are for 1984.

|c|Number of newly registered cases of malignant neoplasm of the|c|         

|c|stomach<1>, Mersey Regional Health Authority, its component|c|           

|c|Districts and United Kingdom, 1984.|c|                                   

Area                        |Number         |Rate per 10,000                



United Kingdom              |12,749         |2.26                           

Mersey RHA                  |589            |2.43                           

Chester DHA                 |43             |2.43                           

Crewe DHA                   |53             |2.17                           

Halton DHA                  |28             |1.97                           

Macclesfield DHA            |30             |1.70                           

Warrington DHA              |50             |2.82                           

Liverpool DHA               |144            |2.90                           

St. Helens and Knowsley DHA |83             |2.32                           

Southport and Formby DHA    |29             |2.49                           

South Sefton DHA            |47             |2.58                           

Wirral DHA                  |82             |2.29                           

<1> International Classification of Diseases code 151.                      

Air Conditioning and Hot Water Systems

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance or directions he gives to health authorities and hospital managers about the taking of regular bacteriological tests on air conditioning and hot water systems.

Mr. Freeman : In 1987, guidance based on expert advice recommended against routine sampling to detect the presence of Legionella pneumophila in both wet-spray cooling systems and hot and cold water services, unless it was suspected that they were the source of hospital-acquired infection. The application of this guidance to wet-spray cooling systems is currently under review.

Hospital Building

Mr. Colin Shepherd : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he plans to review the capital works programme for hospital building within the National Health Service.

Mr. Freeman : I am content to leave the review of the programme to the health authorities responsible for its management in the knowledge that our increased capital allocations will permit investment in the modernisation of the National Health Service to be sustained at record levels. Capital expenditure on the hospital and community health services in 1989-90 is planned to reach £1.2 billion, an increase in real terms of 41 per cent. over the 1978-79 level.

Hospitals (Charity Appeals)

Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of equipment is raised for National Health Service hospitals by charity appeals.

Mr. Freeman : I regret that information on the percentage of National Health Service hospitals equipment expenditure met from funds raised by charity appeals is not available.

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Genito-urinary Clinics

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent action he has taken to encourage Waltham Forest district health authority to provide a genito-urinary clinic.

Mr. Freeman : Planning of health services within a particular area is a matter for the health authority concerned, which is best able to judge the priorities in the light of local needs and circumstances.

Deaf-blind People

Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (i) deaf-blind adults and (ii) deaf-blind children there are in Britain ; and how long it is since the last survey was made.

Mr. Freeman : The numbers of adults and children in England who were registered with local authorities as blind with an additional handicap of deafness are recorded in "Registered Blind and Partially Sighted Persons at 31 March 1986--England". A copy of this publication is in the Library. The most recent collection of these statistics related to 31 March 1988 and will be published in due course. Registration of disability is a voluntary process. The numbers of deaf-blind adults and children in the population are believed to be considerably greater than the numbers who register but no reliable estimate is available.

Young Persons (Remands)

Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will arrange urgently for appropriate accommodation to be provided for the 15- year-old who has twice been remanded to an adult prison from Crewe juvenile court ; and what secure accommodation is available for young people in the north-west.

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