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Mr. Archie Hamilton : In the interest of national security, the nature and extent of the security counter-measures used to protect Ministry of Defence computer systems from authorised access cannot be revealed.
Miss Emma Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the potential effects of unauthorised access via computer of information held by his Department on the nation's security.
Information and material the unauthorised disclosure of which would cause exceptionally grave damage-- to the nation.
Information and material the unauthorised disclosure of which would cause serious injury-- to the interests of the nation.
Information and material the unauthorised disclosure of which would be prejudicial-- to the interests of the nation.
Information and material the unauthorised disclosure of which would be undesirable-- in the interests of the nation.
Miss Emma Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proposals he has to prevent the extraction of sensitive international defence material by computer, in the light of the recent problems uncovered in West Germany.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : The Ministry of Defence security authorities have all the information necessary to determine that the security policies of the United Kingdom's allies are comparable and compatible with Ministry of Defence security policy where the handling of Ministry of Defence material is involved.
Mr. Menzies Campbell : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the policy of his Department with regard to equal pay for equivalent work in the three armed services ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Neubert : The pay levels of service personnel are recommended by the Armed Forces Pay Review Body based on a system of job evaluation and comparability with civilian jobs of a similar weight. Job evaluation makes no distinction between service men and service women. However, service men's pay contains a 10 per cent. enhancement (the X factor) to compensate for the overall balance of advantage and disadvantage of service life, while service women receive an X factor of 9 per cent. because they are not liable for direct combat duties.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : The Soviet Union has the largest and most sophisticated chemical warfare capability in the world. Our estimate is that the Soviet stockpile of chemical warfare agents is several times larger than the 50,000 tonnes which it claims.
Mr. Cryer : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the number of civil servants in his Department whose main task is work related wholly or mainly to the European Economic Community ; and what is the gross annual cost of travel and accommodation to and from Brussels, Luxembourg and Strasbourg in connection with this work.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Prime Minister what reply she has sent to the recent letter sent to her by PEN American centre in respect of press freedom and individual rights in the United Kingdom ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Major : The Financial Statement and Budget Report for 1989-90 published on 14 March 1989 provides forecasts of the visible trade balance for 1989 and the current acount balance for 1989 and the first half of 1990. Forecasts for later years are not published.
Mr. Brooke : The ECOFIN Council met in Brussels on 13 March. I represented the United Kingdom. The Council discussed the Commission's first quarterly examination of the economic situation in the Community.
The Council heard a presentation from the Commission on the 10th anniversary of the European monetary system. Ministers discussed preparations for the spring meetings of the IMF and IBRD to be held in April in Washington. Ministers took note of the latest United States suggestions for strengthening the debt strategy and reaffirmed that the key to the resolution of debt problems is the implementation of economic policy reform in the debtor countries.
The Council discussed the European Court of Auditors report for 1987 ; I emphasised the importance of the court's work in helping to get better value for money and in combating fraud. The Council approved the recommendation to the European Parliament on discharge of the 1987 accounts.
The Council endorsed a declaration on fraud which foreshadowed new or revised proposals in a number of areas, notably export refunds and intervention storage ; and which promised an annual report by the Commission on fraud and an early discussion of key issues chaired by the head of the Commission's anti-fraud unit. The Council will return to the subject of fraud in the near future.
9 million people, or 20 per cent. of the adult population, now own shares, the same as one year ago, and compared to seven per cent. in 1979 ;
13 per cent. hold shares in privatised companies, and five per cent. own only privatised shares ;
3 per cent. hold shares in the company for which they work ; Share ownership is widely spread ; two-thirds of British shareholders come from outside the ranks of managers and the professionals ; similarly, almost two -thirds come from outside the south-east.
I am placing copies of the results of the survey in the Libraries of both Houses.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what are the latest figures for the number of staff presently employed and the full complement of staff including vacant posts, in the press and public relations office of the Treasury ; and what is the proposed complement for 1989-90.
Mr. Brooke [holding answer 13 March 1989] : The number of press and public relations staff employed in the Treasury on 1 March 1989 was 10 and the budgeted provision was 10 ; the budgeted provision for 1989- 90 is 10.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the latest figure for the estimated spending in 1988-89 by the Treasury on (a) TV advertising, (b) radio advertising, (c) newspaper advertising and (d) other promotional material ; and what is the 1989-90 budget for each of these categories of spending.
Mr. Brooke [holding answer 13 March 1989] : The estimated expenditure for 1988-89 is £51,500, none of which is likely to be on television or radio advertising ; the 1989-90 budget is £50,000, none of which is likely to be on television or radio advertising.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give the latest figures for the number of staff presently employed, and the full complement of staff including vacant posts, by grade, in the statistical divisions in the Treasury ; if he will differentiate between staff in statistical posts and staff in administrative posts ; and if he will give the staffing complements by grade, and differentiated between statistical and administrative posts, proposed for 1989-90.
|c|Staff in statistical divisions<1>|c| |Staff in Post 1 March|Budgeted Complement |Budgeted Complement |1989 |1988-89 |1989-90 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Unified Grade 5<2> |2 |2 |2 Unified Grade 7<2> |8 |8 |8 SEO |4 |4 |4 HEO |5 |5 |5 Senior Assistant Statistician/ Assistant Statistician |4 |4 |4 EO |10 |11 |11 AO/AA |13 |13 |13 |---- |---- |---- Total |46 |47 |47 <1>Defined as divisions headed by grade 5 chief statistician and employed mainly on statistical work. There are other statistician posts in HM Treasury which are not included in the above figures. <2>At the senior levels of the service, where management forms a major component of most jobs, there are service-wide common pay and grading arrangements. These unified grades 1 to 7 are known as the open structure and cover grades from permanent secretary level to grade 7 level. Within the unified grades there are no formal barriers to movement between the former occupational groups, e.g. scientists, administrators, statisticians; each post should be filled by the person best equipped in terms of skills, ability and experience.
Mr. Tim Smith : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what were the reasons for the rise in the national debt from £186 billion at 31 March 1987 to £197 billion at 31 March 1988, in the light of the repayment of public sector debt in the same period of £3.6 billion.
Column 249liabilities of the national loans fund. Unlike the public sector net debt, it does not include borrowing by local authorities, nor does it net off assets such as the foreign exchange reserves. The main reason why the liabilities of the national loans fund increased in 1987-88, despite the public sector debt repayment, was because sterling was drawn from the national loans fund to finance a substantial rise in the gold and foreign exchange reserves. There are, however, a great many differences between the two concepts, and a full explanation is given on pages 530-537 of the November 1988 Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin.
Ms. Walley : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on what date he intends to publish his report on the investigations he has carried out within his areas of responsibility into chlorine bleached packaging, dioxins and food.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will place in the Library a copy of the Agricultural Development and Advisory Service research and development report, "Mammal and Bird Pests, 1985."
Mr. Ryder : The 1985 ADAS research and development report on mammal and bird pests is on pages 67-76 of the 1985 research and development report of ADAS. I am arranging for copies to be deposited in the Library as soon as possible.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the current level of import of hens' eggs ; and if he will identify the main source of such imports by country and volume.
Mr. Donald Thompson : The latest monthly data from Her Majesty's Customs and Excise show that 39,910 boxes of hens' eggs (containing 360 eggs per box) were imported into the United Kingdom in January 1989. Of these 23,733 boxes came from the Netherlands, 7,478 boxes from the Federal Republic of Germany, 4,542 boxes from Denmark and 2, 700 boxes from France.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what plans Her Majesty's Government have (i) to allow to be sold and (ii) to require labelling for consumers, foods and food ingredients which have been treated with ionising radiation : and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Cryer : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the number of civil servants in his Ministry whose main task is work related wholly or mainly to the European Economic Community ; and what is the gross annual cost of travel and accommodation to and from Brussels, Luxembourg and Strasbourg in connection with this work.
Mr. Donald Thompson : The work undertaken by my Department as a consequence of the United Kingdom's membership of the European Community cannot easily be distinguished from other work. It is not possible, therefore, to give precise information on the number of staff whose main task is work related wholly or mainly to the EC. However, we estimate that between one quarter and one third of the Department's manpower, including common service and support staff, are concerned directly or indirectly with duties arising out of EC membership. At 31 January 1989 this amounted approximately to between 2,500 amd 3,400 staff.
The gross cost of travel and subsistence by Ministers and officials attending meetings of institutions of the European Community in 1987-88, the latest financial year for which figures are available, was :
|£ ------------------------------------------ Travel and allied charges |480,058 Subsistence |291,313 |----- |771,371
The bulk of travel costs is recoverable from Community funds. it is not possible to identify costs relating specifically to meetings held in Brussels, Luxembourg and Strasbourg, or those on EC matters not held under the auspices of the Community.
The 950 staff of the Intervention Board for Agricultural Produce are entirely engaged on work related to the European Community. The gross cost in 1987-88 of foreign travel and subsistence, almost all of which relates to meetings of institutions of the European Community, was £42,612.
(2) when he expects to be able to announce details of a scheme providing for the notification, compulsory slaughter, and full cash compensation for farmed deer infected with tuberculosis.
Mr. Donald Thompson : I intend to introduce measures shortly to make TB in deer a notifiable disease. The question of a compulsory slaughter with compensation scheme is being considered in the light of the response to the recent consultation letter seeking views on the possibility of an industry-funded arrangement.
Column 251constitutional and electoral arrangements contained in schedule 2 to the Land Drainage Act 1976, by virtue of the fact that they were constituted before 1930 ; and what steps have been taken to apply schedule 2 electoral arrangements to these boards.
Mr. Ryder : The following internal drainage boards are not considered to be covered by the constitutional and electoral arrangements in schedule 2 to the Land Drainage Act 1976 : Othery, Middlezoy and Westonzoyland
Bridgwater and Pawlett
Cannington and Wembdon
King Sedgemoor and Carey Valley
Information was last provided in 1985. Since then, one internal drainage board has been abolished and another, Wilberfoss and Thornton Level, is currently being reconstituted.
Mr. Donald Thompson : My right hon. Friend, the Minister, laid before Parliament on 10 March the Dairy Produce Regulations 1989, which replace similar regulations made in 1986 and amended in 1988 and earlier this year.
The new regulations introduce changes to the quota transfer rules, including new procedures for the appointment of arbitrators in cases of dispute. They take into account changes in European Community legislation which affect the calculation of liability to supplementary levy. A number of redundant provisions, most of them relating to the allocations of new quota rights, have not been re-enacted. Other changes have been made to clarify the meaning of certain provisions in the light of experience.
My Department has received various representations on the marketing of cook -chill foods and, as I told the House on 21 February at columns 873-74, we are considering the making of regulations.
Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many employment training places were allocated to the Ardrossan-Saltcoats area ; how many have been filled ; and if any change in the number of allocated places is proposed.
Mr. Nicholls : The information requested is not available in the form requested. In the Training Agency's Ayrshire, Dumfries and Galloway area office, of which the Ardrossan-Saltcoats area forms a part, there are currently 4,088 places available. Of these 2,526 were filled at 3 March. After just six months this is a very satisfactory take-up of employment training by unemployed people who are clearly attracted to a high quality programme. There are no plans to reduce the number of places in the Ayrshire, Dumfries and Galloway area.
Mr. Squire : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment whether he will bring forward proposals to repeal those provisions of the national dock labour scheme which provide for registered port employers to be fined or imprisoned unless they use registered dock labour on cargo-handling work.
Mr. Barry Field : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he has any plans to meet the director general of the Confederation of British Industry to discuss the employment of workers aged over 50 years by British industry ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Nicholls : My right hon. Friend has no immediate plans to do so, but I am arranging to meet the appropriate CBI employer panel in the near future to discuss the issue of employment of older workers. It is both irresponsible and unfair to discriminate without justification on grounds of age. I am encouraged that the Confederation of British Industry is seeking to draw to all employers' attention the implications of current demographic trends, and in particular the decline in numbers of young people.