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Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he has yet determined whether or not extremely low frequency communications systems will have an operation role to play in improving the operatinal effectiveness of Royal Navy submarines.
Mr. Sainsbury : One of the functions of the ELF demonstrator programme is to investigate what operational capabilities such a system might offer. No decision on the use of ELF will be taken prior to the results of such research being available.
Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if there has been any co-operation between the United Kingdom and French Governments with regard to the use of extremely low frequency technology for the purpose of communicating with submarines ; (2) if there have been any agreements between the United Kingdom and French Governments regarding the use of extremely low frequency communications facilities for the purpose of communicating with submarines ;
(3) if it is proposed that there will be any co-operation between the United Kingdom and French Governments with regard to the use of extremely low frequency technology for the purpose of communicating with submarines ;
(4) if it is proposed that there will be any agreements between the United Kingdom and French Governments regarding the use of extremely low frequency communications facilities for the purpose of communicating with submarines.
Mr. Sainsbury : While it is the policy of the United Kingdom Government to partake in research collaboration with other nations in order to make the most efficient and cost-effective use of our resources ; it is not our policy to disclose specific topics which are the subject of such collaboration.
Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if any agreement exists between the United Kingdom and United States Governments regarding the use of TACAMO very low frequency communications systems for communication with Royal Navy submarines.
(2) how many Royal Navy submarines will be equipped to receive extremely low frequency transmissions from the proposed trial extremely low frequency transmitter at Glengarry forest in Scotland when it becomes operational in 1993.
Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if any agreements exist covering the use of the extremely low frequency transmitters in Wisconsin and Michigan, USA, for the purpose of communicating with Royal Navy submarines.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : Article VI of the non-proliferation treaty requires the parties to it to pursue negotiations on effective measures connected with nuclear disarmament. Since the United States and the Soviet Union possess between them the overwhelming preponderance of nuclear weapons it is universally recognised that the primary responsibility for negotiations falls to them. The United States and the Soviet Union are currently engaged in such negotiations which aim at 50 per cent. reductions in their strategic nuclear weapons.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if any invitation has been received for officials in his Department to attend as observers at the annual conference of Scientists Against Nuclear Arms on 22 and 23 April.
Column 382drafting of (a) the 1983 Montebello agreement and (b) the 1987-88 intermediate nuclear land forces treaty of Washington.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : On the first part of the hon. Member's question, Her Majesty's Government were fully involved in both the preparation of the high level group report and in the subsequent ministerial meeting at Montebello in October 1983.
On the second, the 1987-88 intermediate land nuclear forces treaty is a treaty between the Governments of the United States and the Soviet Union. However, as one of the five European basing countries, Her Majesty's Government were kept fully informed at all stages of the negotiations.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what contracts his Department has with (a) British Nuclear Fuels plc and (b) any other corporate organisations in respect of Calder hall and Chapelcross ; and what is their value.
Mr. Sainsbury : British Nuclear Fuels plc produces and processes special nuclear materials for the Ministry of Defence, but for security reasons and in accordance with the practice of successive Governments, details and costs of the programmes undertaken by the company cannot be disclosed.
Sir Ian Gilmour : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) on what criteria roughly 470 miles of cross country use on each of two medium mobility DROPS validation vehicles is considered adequate troop trialling ;
(2) what mileage onroad, offroad, and cross country he will expect future medium mobility vehicles to complete in trials ; and what similar mileages have been demanded of other medium mobility vehicles in the past ;
(3) why he has not so far submitted the performance and reliability of the latest design of MMLC DROPS to protracted cross-country trialling ; and if he will make a statement on the implications for the confidence of soldiers and the general public in such equipment of the absence of such trials.
Mr. Sainsbury [holding answer 8 March 1989] : Trials requirements for medium mobility vehicles vary according to their roles and battlefield missions. In the case of the DROPS medium mobility load carrier they are particularly demanding, but the programme is nevertheless ahead of schedule. In addition to troop trials, in the evaluation and validation phases the DROPS vehicle has so far covered some 146,000 km including some 10 per cent. cross-country and 20 per cent. off-road. The design of vehicle recently trialled by BAOR is essentially the same as that originally evaluated and has been accepted by the Army as meeting the operational requirement.
Column 383Control Organisation in 1988 ; whether its work has been restricted in any countries ; what action the Government have taken to maximise the Desert Locust Control Organisation's effectiveness ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Chris Patten : In 1988 we contributed a total of over £700,000 for the locust control activities of the Desert Locust Control Organisation in Eastern Africa (DLCO-EA), mainly in the form of emergency supplies. We also committed £1.75 million for its armyworm control project, of which we spent over £60,000 in 1988. We understand that conflict in northern Somalia and Ethiopia restricted DLCO-EA's ability to work in certain areas.
Following a review of DLCO-EA in 1987, carried out with the European Community, we are providing an operations adviser, two pilots and training for DLCO-EA staff to help to improve operational performance. We have also offered to provide expert advice in strategic planning, financial management and vehicle fleet management, together with a number of trucks. Only when we receive confirmation that DLCO-EA is implementing the recommendations of the 1987 review will we consider providing further long- term support.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what were the total fees paid out by his Department to management consultants in 1979-80 and each year to date ; and what is the estimate for the current year.
|£ thousand --------------------------------- 1984-85 |1,217 1985-86 |2,041 1986-87 |2,094 1987-88 |2,347 1988-89 |2.510
Comparable figures for the years 1979-80 to 1981-82 are not available because of machinery of Government changes and the figures for 1982-83 and 1983-84 could only be given at disproportionate cost. The figure for the the current year is a forecast outturn. Information distinguishing between different types of consultancies (for example, management and other) is not available.
Mrs. Ray Michie : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what information he has as to on what advice or research work, with respect to disease and parasite control stocking density and site separation, the Crown Estate Commissioners have based their revised guidelines for the siting and design of fish farms.
Mr. Lawson [holding answer 14 March 1989] : In preparing revised guidelines on fish farming the Crown Estate Commissioners have drawn on a wide range of experience and research. Guidelines on the siting and
Column 384design of marine fish farms in Scotland were published in 1987 following consultation with the relevant departments, agencies and interest groups. Further experience and commissioned research provide the basis now for an expansion of the locational framework and the advice on operating standards. One of the most important elements is the distance between fish farms and the indicative standards recommended in the guidelines reflect the range of expert opinion.
Mrs. Ray Michie : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what information he has as to which interested parties are being consulted over the Crown Estate Commissioners' revised guidelines for the siting and design of marine fish farms.
Scottish Office Departments
Highlands and Islands Development Board
Countryside Commission for Scotland
Nature Conservancy Council
Relevant Planning Authorities
National Farmers Union of Scotland
Scottish Salmon Growers Association
Association of Scottish Shellfish Growers
Mr. Hannam : To ask the Secretary of State for Health to whom responses to the White Paper, "Working for Patients" from organisations representing patients should be sent ; and by what date they should be sent.
Mr. Kenneth Clarke : Each working paper gives the name and address of a contact point in the Department. Where proposals depend on primary legislation the necessary discussions with interested parties need to be completed by May 1989.
Mr. Mellor : Comprehensive information on EC work on medical audit could only be provided at disproportionate cost, but I have lodged a list of publications in English, compiled by the Kings Fund Centre, in the Library.
Mr. Freeman : There is no central figure available for the cost of treatment of malaria and related disease. The number of cases of malaria notified in England and Wales in 1986 (the latest year for which figures are available) was 1,663.
The main agency through which the Government support medical and related biological research is the Medical Research Council, which receives its grant-in-aid from the Department of Education and Science. In the financial year 1987-88, the total cost of projects with relevance to malaria supported by the MRC was approximately £1.8 million. The MRC is always willing to consider soundly based research proposals for funding in competition with other applications.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Leyton, Official Report, 22 February, columns 671-72, if he will list separately in the Official Report for (a) each district health authority and (b) each family practitioner committee the number of members from black and ethnic minority communities as at (i) 1 January 1979 (ii) 1 January 1984, and (iii) 1 January 1989 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Mellor : The appointment of district health authority members is the responsibility of the relevant regional health authority and local authorities. In our guidance about how these appointments should be made we encourage them to draw members from ethnic minority groups where appropriate.
We do not monitor the ethnic composition of family practitioner committees. However, FPCs are asked when seeking nominations to ensure that organisations representing ethnic minorities are encouraged to put names forward.
Mr. Andrew Bowden : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the likely implications on public service broadcasts emanating from his Department of the White Paper, "Broadcasting in the '90s : Competition Choice and Quality."
Mr. Mellor : There is no reason to suppose that the proposals in the White Paper will alter the present arrangements whereby public service messages are broadcast by the BBC. It will be for the new Channel 3 and 5 licensees to consider whether they will broadcast such messages. The arrangements for paid Government advertising on television will not be affected by the proposals.
Mr. McLoughlin : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress he can report on the introduction of the Hoffenberg system of audit of brainstem deaths ; whether there has been any increase in the number of transplanted organs since previous years ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Freeman : According to information provided by the United Kingdom transplant service the number of National Health Service patients waiting for organ transplants in the United Kingdom on 12 March 1989 was :
Organ |Number ---------------------------------- Kidney |3,556 Heart or Heart/Lung |442 Liver |47
Mr. Hannam : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what support his Department is giving to the United Nations global project to promote the decade of disabled persons ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Jopling : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what changes in front-line staff in South Cumbria district health authority have been achieved since 30 September 1982 in both numbers and percentages.
|c|NHS staff in post in South Cumbria district health authority|c| |c|at 30 September: Front line staff<2>|c| Whole-time Change 1982 to 1987 equivalents<1> 1982 |1987 |WTE<1> |Percentage ------------------------------------------------------- 1,280 |1,330 |+50 |+3.9 Source: Department of Health Annual Census of NHS Medical and Non-Medical Manpower. <1>Figures are independently rounded to the nearest ten (10) whole time equivalents. Changes calculated on unrounded figures. <2>Includes medical and dental (permanent paid, honorary and locum staff, nursing and midwifery [including agency] and professional and technical [excluding works]) staff.
Mr. Jopling : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what changes there have been in the numbers of both in-patients and out-patients treated since 30 September 1982 by South Cumbria district health authority, including percentages.
[ |c|In-patients and out-patients treated, South Cumbria District Health|c| |c|Authority 1982 and 1987-88|c| |1982<1> |1987-88 |Percentage change ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In-patient cases |17,313 |22,088 |27.6 New out-patients |24,291 |30,720 |26.5 Total out-patients attendances |107,419 |129,961 |21.0 <1> Data prior to 1987-88 was collected on a calendar year basis, and since then on a financial year basis.
Mr. Kenneth Clarke : The Government's plans for improving the family doctor service and making it more responsive to patients were set out in the White Paper "Promoting Better Health". The objectives of this White Paper were widely supported in many quarters including the representatives of general practitioners, the general medical services committee. Following 12 months' consultation with the GMSC negotiators, I recently set out the Government's plans in more detail in the report "General Practice in the National Health Service--A New Contract", which I sent to all general practitioners.
I have received a variety of responses in person, in writing and through the helpline set up for GPs in my Department. The response of individual GPs depends to some extent on their circumstances. Those who provide fully comprehensive services and are attracting patients to their lists are able to see how their practice incomes can increase as a result of the reforms we advocate. Others are recognising the need to change the way they run their practices if they are to maintain practice incomes at present levels. To summarise, the responses vary, but a number of important changes are enthusiastically welcomed, such as the greater emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention and on health care in areas of deprivation.
I intend to have a further meeting with the GMSC negotiators myself and I still regard myself as engaged in a process of consultation with them, despite the outspoken comments of some of their leaders and of some of their local medical committees.
Mr. Mellor : We have received almost 700 letters since the beginning of August about the 1989-90 pay round of staff groups covered by Whitley councils ; mostly about the pay of professional and technical staff.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work has provided guidance to local authorities about refresher training for social workers approved in connection with the Mental Health Act 1983.
Mr. Mellor : The Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work is to publish guidance on refresher training for local authorities for approved social workers later this year, following widespread consultation.
Column 388allegations that Mr. Richard Gibson, formerly an employee of M. and I. E. Dentsply, has made in relation to the manufacture of hospital anaesthetic equipment ; (2) whether, in the light of the allegations made by Mr. Richard Gibson, he will order an immediate inspection of all the medical equipment the National Health Service has purchased from M. and I. E. Dentsply.
Sir John Farr : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how short of its official establishment of occupational therapists, expressed in percentage terms, is (a) the National Health Service, (b) the Trent region and (c) the Leicestershire health authority.
Mr. Mellor : The most recent survey data published in the evidence to the pay review body indicate that nationally just over 14 per cent. of occupational therapy posts are unfilled after three months. The figure for the Trent region is 19.3 per cent. We do not hold centrally data on unfilled posts at district level.
Sir John Farr : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the waiting time for a first visit by an occupational therapist in (a) the Market Harborough area, (b) the Leicester area, (c) the Trent region and (d) nationally, today ; and what were the comparable waiting times (i) five years ago and (ii) 10 years ago.
Mr. Mellor : We do not collect this information centrally. Local authorities are responsible for the provision of domicilliary occupational therapy. My hon. Friend may care to write to the relevant local authority for the details he requires.