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Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of the prison population the number of inmates referred to National Health Service consultant psychiatrists and other National Health Service psychiatrists represented in the last year for which figures are available, and to what extent inmates may be referred to more than one psychiatrist.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : During the period 1 April 1987 to 31 March 1988 12,285 inmates were referred by prison medical officers to NHS psychiatrists appointed to visit establishments on a sessional basis or to NHS consultants for domiciliary consultations. In addition, psychiatric consultations were arranged for 4,151 inmates at the instigation of inmates' legal advisers.

On the imformation available it is not possible to calculate that the sum of those numbers represents a given proportion of the prison population since that population is not static. While the average prison population in 1987-88 was 49,300 (including an average of 750 prisoners in police cells) the number of first receptions to prison service establishments in the course of that year was in the order of 136,000.

Prison medical officers have unfettered clinical discretion to call other medical practitioners into consultation and are not restricted as to the number consulted in any individual case.

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will indicate the current extent, and regularity, of police training including that involving

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professional psychiatric expertise, in dealing with mentally disturbed individuals who create a disturbance ; whether there are any plans to improve this training ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : Training for all ranks in the police service aims to develop oficers' interpersonal skills, knowledge and attitudes to enable them to deal effectively with all sections of the community, and to foster an understanding of the social context of policing and the role of other agencies. As part of this integrated approach, officers will study such areas as responding to illness--including mental disturbance--in the street, dealing with distressed persons and the social causes of crime.

Chief officers and commandants may invite members of the psychiatric profession to contribute to training in forces and at district training centres. The police staff college involves members of the psychiatric profession in a number of its courses. Police training is kept under regular review by the police training council, which seeks to ensure that all training meets the needs of the police service and the community at large.

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether disturbances at Bedford prison during 1988 involved mentally disturbed prisoners ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : No prisoners diagnosed as mentally ill (who would be held in the prison hospital) were involved in any incident of violent concerted indiscipline at Bedford during 1988.

Body Belts

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will indicate each prison establishment in which body belts were used during 1987, the number of inmates upon whom they were used for each establishment, the number of inmates fitted with body belts twice or more, and the extent of injuries or deaths arising as a result.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : The following information for 1987 relates to prison establishments in England and Wales. It is additional to the particular case of which the hon. Member has knowledge and which involved the use of a body belt in transit between establishments. The table shows, by establishment, the number of occasions on which a violent or refractory inmate was kept in an establishment under restraint by means of the application of a body belt, and the number of inmates :

Establishment              |Number of applications|Number of inmates                            


Prisons and remand centres                                                                      

Albany                     |1                     |1                                            

Bedford                    |1                     |1                                            

Blundeston                 |1                     |1                                            

Canterbury                 |2                     |2                                            

Chelmsford                 |2                     |2                                            

Frankland                  |6                     |<1>5                                         

Hull                       |7                     |7                                            

Leeds                      |1                     |1                                            

Leicester                  |6                     |6                                            

Lindholme                  |1                     |1                                            

Long Lartin                |4                     |<1>3                                         

Oxford                     |1                     |1                                            

Parkhurst                  |5                     |5                                            

Pentonville                |2                     |2                                            

Reading                    |1                     |1                                            

Stafford                   |3                     |3                                            

Wakefield                  |2                     |2                                            

Wandsworth                 |6                     |<1>5                                         

Wormwood Scrubs            |3                     |3                                            


Youth custody centres                                                                           

Dover                      |7                     |7                                            

Glen Parva                 |1                     |1                                            

Guys Marsh                 |1                     |1                                            

Hollesley Bay Colony       |1                     |1                                            

Northallerton              |1                     |1                                            

Onley                      |1                     |1                                            

Rochester                  |7                     |7                                            

<1> Includes one prisoner to whom a body belt was applied twice.                                

I am not aware of any case in which a causal connection between death and the application of a body belt has been proven. Such information as is available centrally about injuries to inmates does not enable injuries sustained in circumstances where a body belt was in use to be separately identified.

Michael Bettaney

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how long Michael Bettaney has spent in solitary confinement ; and what are the reasons for it.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : Mr. Bettaney is not held in solitary confinement.

Street Lighting

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, further to his answer of 25 January, Official Report, column 588, what early action Her Majesty's Government propose to take substantially to improve lighting in public areas and streets to combat crime ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. John Patten : I announced today that the Home Office has undertaken to fund a major research study at Southampton university. The research will assess the impact of street lighting on crime and the fear of crime, and the study will be carried out in the London borough of Wandsworth.

Children's Television Programmes

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on his proposals for children's programmes.

Mr. Renton : Our broadcasting White Paper envisaged that the BBC would continue to be expected to provide high quality programming across the full range of public tastes and interests, and that Channel 4 would be required to cater for any interests

under-represented by other parts of the independent television sector. It also envisaged a broadcasting environment in which there would be more outlets and opportunities for many different types of programming such as children's programming. We are now carefully considering the comments we have received on the White Paper.

Heavy Goods Vehicles

Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment has been made of

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whether the level of policing on motorways is adequate to ensure compliance by heavy goods vehicles with road traffic regulations.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : It is a matter for individual chief officers of police to determine how to deploy their resources. I have no reason to believe that the level of policing on motorways is unsatisfactory.


Mr. Cummings : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he intends to reply to the hon. Member for Easington's letter dated 6 February concerning prisoner Ian Armstrong.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : I replied to the hon. Member on 14 March.

Mr. Hafiz Ali Akbar

Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to take a decision in the case of Mr. Hafiz Ali Akbar who has applied to enter the United Kingdom ; when Mr. Akbar's case was referred to him by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office ; when Mr. Akbar, ref. A380937/2 and GV 100/2878, applied to enter the United Kingdom and when he last was interviewed in Pakistan ; what inquiries he has made in the United Kingdom ; and when Mr. Akbar can expect to be told whether his application has been granted.

Mr. Renton [holding answer 17 March 1989] : Mr. Akbar applied for entry clearance on 6 July 1987 and was interviewed in Islamabad on 5 October 1987. His application was referred to the immigration department on 6 March 1988. Further information and supporting evidence was sought from the secretary of the Burnett place mosque on 15 March 1989. I much regret the long delay in dealing with this case. Once our inquiries are complete the application will be determined as quickly as possible and Mr. Akbar will be notified of the decision by the entry clearance office. I shall write to the hon. Member in due course to let him know the outcome of the case.

Miss Michelle Renshaw (Imprisonment)

Mr. Cryer : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report on the facilities provided during the imprisonment of Michelle Renshaw for contempt ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : No. I am satisfied that the normal facilities were afforded to Miss Renshaw during her imprisonment.


Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to make a recommendation on the application of Mr. Zulfiqar Khan ref. GV 100/5117, to enter the United Kingdom ; and when Mr. Khan's application was referred to him.

Mr. Renton : Mr. Khan's application was referred to my Department on 6 April 1988 for an interview of the sponsor, Mrs. Yasmeen Akhtar. The immigration service at Hull interviewed Mrs. Akhtar on 19 February 1989 and its report dated 9 March was sent to Islamabad on 13 March. A decision on Mr. Khan's application will be made by the entry clearance officer in Islamabad.

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Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when papers concerning the application to enter the United Kingdom by Mrs. Musarat Bibi, ref. GV100/5248, were passed to the Immigration Office at Leeds/Bradford airport ; and when any report is to be sent to the European Community officer at the British embassy in Pakistan.

Mr. Renton: The papers were passed to the immigration office at Hull on 19 January 1988 so that the sponsor could be interviewed. Further investigations proved necessary and these were carried out first at Hull and then at Leeds/Bradford airport. A full report was sent to the immigration department on 22 February 1989.

The entry clearance officer in Islamabad was authorised on 16 March to issue entry clearance to Musarat Bibi.


Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department why, in the light of letters to him dated 7 December and 16 February from the hon. Member for Bradford, West, concerning an application for British citizenship by Mrs. Sarwar Begum, ref. IMP R 161633/3(S), the hon. Member was not informed until 13 March that a certificate of registration had been sent to Mrs. Sarwar Begum via the British embassy in Islamabad on 16 January.

Mr. Renton : The letter of 7 December was not referred to the nationality division for advice until the hon. Member responded on 16 February to my Private Office's request for additional details to identify the case. I then replied to the hon. Member as soon as possible. These events did not however delay the nationality division's action on the application, which was granted in January.

Mr. Teddy Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make inquiries into the position of Mr. Govinden Vythelinghad who submitted a nationality application to Lunar House (ref : V6/80/43) in October 1987 ; and when Mr. Vythelinghad can expect a decision.

Mr. Renton : I am writing to my hon. Friend.

Prisoners (Escape Attempts)

Mr. Bermingham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners attempted to escape from prisons in England and Wales in each of the years since 1979.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : Details of offences punished of attempting to escape or abscond are given in chapter 9 of the published prison statistics, of which copies are available in the Library.

Magistrates' Courts

Mr. Lawrence : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will institute a review of procedure in magistrates' courts ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Hurd : It has been apparent for some time that some aspects of criminal and domestic procedure in magistrates' courts are unwieldy or outmoded. I have, therefore, decided to initiate a thorough review. This will be carried out by a working party of officials and experienced practitioners under Home Office chairmanship. Its terms of reference will be :

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"to review the criminal and domestic procedure of magistrates' courts ; to consider what changes could be expected to make that procedure more effective, efficient and economical, consistently with satisfactory provision for due process ; and to make




Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will assess the employment creation potential of

chlorofluorocarbons-free refrigerator production.

Mr. Nicholls : It is not possible to assess the employment creation potential of producing refrigerators free of chlorofluorocarbons. However, the eventual production in the United Kingdom of CFC-free refrigerators should benefit both our manufacturing industry and the world environment.

Parliamentary Constituencies

Mr. Grocott : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the parliamentary constituencies of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in order of size, showing in each case the extent to which they are above or below the electoral quota.

Mr. Freeman : The information requested is contained in "Electoral Statistics 1988" (HMSO) a copy of which is in the Library. Statistics relating to the 1989 electoral registers are still being assembled centrally. They will be published in "Electoral Statistics 1989" (Series EL No. 16) at the end of May, and a copy will be placed in the Library.


Offshore Safety

30. Mr. McAllion : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what steps he proposes to take to improve safety in the offshore oil and gas industry.

Mr. Parkinson [pursuant to the reply, 27 February 1989, c. 81] : A consultative document containing our proposals for a set of regulations for pipeline safety valves on offshore installations has been issued today. Copies of this document are available in the Library of the House.

As a consequence of the technical investigation carried out by my Department into the Piper Alpha accident last July, my director of safety contacted all pipeline operators on 24 August 1988 to reassess the location and operation of their pipeline isolation systems. Following a review by my Department of the operators' responses I have decided that it is necessary to introduce regulations requiring emergency shut-down valves on pipeline risers serving offshore installations together with the periodic inspection and testing of these valves and their control systems. In addition, it is proposed that an Order in Council will be made whereby these valves will become part of the certification process of the installation. These proposed regulations represent an important further step in securing improvements in the safety of offshore pipeline systems. I shall in due course be laying further regulations to deal with subsea isolation systems,

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however these present very difficult technical problems which require further study before I can make firm proposals.

Employment Training

Mr. Loyden : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give a breakdown of the target figures for employment training for (a) September 1988, (b) December 1988 and (c) March 1989 on (i) a national and (ii) an area office basis.

Mr. Nicholls : Targets both nationally and for Training Agency area offices for the number of filled employment training places are for internal management purposes only.


Mr. Goodlad : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment by how much the average weekly wage in the north-west of England has increased since 1979.

Mr. Lee : The average gross weekly earnings of full-time adult employees in the north-west of England increased by 138 per cent. between April 1979 and April 1988.

Labour Force Survey

Mr. Meacher : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment to which month the published results of the labour force survey apply in each of the last 10 years.

Mr. Lee : Published estimates from labour force surveys are based on interviews conducted in the spring of each labour force survey year. In 1979, 1981 and 1983, the interviews took place between April and June. From 1984 onwards the labour force survey has been carried out annually and the interview period has been between March and May.

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Time Off

Mrs. Fyfe : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment whether he intends to issue any guidance on the interpretation of reasonable amounts of time off for (a) trade union representatives and (b) safety representatives representing the same number of members.

Mr. Nicholls : In relation to (a) , guidance is already provided by ACAS in accordance with section 27(2) of the Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act 1978 ; in relation to (b) , no.

Health and Safety Inspectors

Mr. Strang : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is the projected number of (a) factory and (b) agricultural inspectors that will be employed by the Health and Safety Executive on 31 March.

Mr. Nicholls : At 1 March 1989, 608.5 factory and 165 agricultural inspectors were in post. The Health and Safety Executive's objective is to increase the numbers employed to 638 and 175 respectively as soon as possible.

Following the latest in a series of recruitment competitions, 12 successful candidates have been offered employment, (nine to the factory and three to the agricultural inspectorate). Offers are expected to be made shortly to some 20 further candidates subject to completion of medical and other checks.

Labour Statistics

Mr. Win Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many men were in employment in each standard planning region of the United Kingdom in June 1979 and September 1988 ; and how many of these were self- employed.

Mr. Lee : The available information is as follows :

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|c|Male civilian work force in employment|c|                                                                                                 


                           June 1979                                     September 1988                                                      

                          |All                   |of which self employed|All                   |of which self employed                       


South East                |4,839                 |544                   |5,039                 |815                                          

Greater London                                                                                                                               

 (included in South East) |n.a.                  |n.a.                  |1,996                 |312                                          

East Anglia               |481                   |64                    |609                   |100                                          

South West                |1,032                 |111                   |1,135                 |221                                          

West Midlands             |1,462                 |124                   |1,416                 |180                                          

East Midlands             |1,013                 |99                    |1,062                 |154                                          

Yorkshire and Humberside  |1,302                 |107                   |1,223                 |176                                          

North West                |1,700                 |161                   |1,460                 |215                                          

North                     |802                   |61                    |732                   |84                                           

Wales                     |716                   |98                    |616                   |109                                          

Scotland                  |1,333                 |128                   |1,218                 |170                                          

Northern Ireland          |359                   |56                    |320                   |53                                           

Figures for Her Majesty's forces are not available below national level. Comparisons of data for June 1979 and September 1988 are affected by seasonal variations. The civilian work force in employment is the sum of employees in employment, the self-employed, and participants in work- related Government training programmes.

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Child Care Facilities

Ms. Richardson : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment whether he will ensure that the local education authorities' development programmes for further education provision outlined in the White Paper "Employment for the 1990s", provide child care facilities which allow (a) parents, and (b) mothers, to attend colleges, further education institutes, polytechnics and universities.

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Mr. Cope : The content of local education authorities' development programmes for further education provision is for authorities themselves to determine. The Training Agency encourages the further education service to provide easy access to vocational education throughout working life for all members of the work force, including those needing child care facilities.

Quality of Life

Mr. Goodlad : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what information he has on the relationship between the quality of life in the north-west of England, Greater London and the United Kingdom as a whole.

Mr. Lee : Any assessment of the quality of life is inevitably subjective and depends on the importance placed by individuals on a large range of factors such as income, local amenities and nearness to the countryside. I do not have the information required to make a comparison of the overall quality of life in different regions. However the Central Statistical Office annual publication "Regional Trends" has statistics on matters that might be thought to contribute towards the quality of life.

As far as the information available to me is concerned, I can report that all regions are benefiting from the success of the Government's economic policy ; over the year to September 1988, the civilian work force in employment is estimated to have grown by 38, 000 in the north-west, 61,000 in London and 736,000 across Great Britain as a whole. Furthermore, unemployment rates have decreased sharply, with falls over the past year of 2 per cent. in the north-west, 1.8 per cent. in London and 1.9 per cent. in Great Britain.


Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Prime Minister if, during her discussions with the Federal German Chancellor in Frankfurt in February, she discussed the planned modernisation of the short-range nuclear forces in the context of articles I and VI of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

The Prime Minister : No.

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Prime Minister if, during her recent meeting with Chancellor Kohl in Frankfurt, she discussed issues to be discussed at the fourth review conference of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty to be held in 1990.

The Prime Minister : No.

Commercial Forestry

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Prime Minister whether Her Majesty's Government have set an ultimate target for the area covered by commercial forestry in the United Kingdom, over and above the annual targets currently set for commercial forestry and the farm woodland scheme.

The Prime Minister : No. The amount of land that is devoted to forestry will depend on a number of factors, including the amount of land that comes out of agricultural use.

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Lockerbie Air Crash

Mr. Prescott : To ask the Prime Minister if she will report to the House on the circumstances in which senior Government officials and others gave private briefings to journalists in which they stated that they knew both the identity and the whereabouts of those responsible for planting a bomb on Pan Am Flight 103 which exploded over Lockerbie.

The Prime Minister : My right hon. and learned Friend the Lord Advocate issued a statement to the press on Friday about progress in the investigation. He said :

"The type of item of baggage in which the tape recorder was contained is now known and that will allow the police to take a further step forward in the enquiries they are making, both on a national and international basis.

I can confirm that it appears that all the explosives were packed in the tape recorder and were not located elsewhere in the item of baggage.

If we can move forward from knowing not just the type of the item of baggage, as I have to put it, but to an identification of the owner of that bag, clearly, I think it can be appreciated that we would then have taken a further significant step forward. Although the progress of the enquiry has been remarkable, the evidence which has been secured so far has not yet led to the identification of the person or persons responsible for placing the bomb in baggage on Pan Am Flight 103. Enquiries are continuing with that end in view.

Of course there are suspicions and of course a number of lines of enquiry are being pursued, but what I would not like people to believe at the moment is that I am holding something back, or that the British Authorities are holding something back, for some obscure or ulterior purpose.

My primary concern, because I am responsible not only for the investigation but also for the prosecution, is to ensure that there is no prejudice either to that investigation or ultimately to a prosecution. I appreciate that the public both nationally and internationally are very anxious to know what is going on but I think they should also appreciate, indeed I hope they do, that the ultimate success that we wish to achieve in this is the bringing to justice of those people who were responsible for this mass murder.

In association with the FBI, the West German BKA and the Metropolitan Police investigators are continuing to pursue and investigate all matters which have a possible bearing on this case. These include the finding of a bomb and a radio cassette player in Frankfurt in October 1988. As I indicated in my answer in the House of Lords yesterday the possible connection between that bomb and the Lockerbie disaster is being scrutinised with the greatest care. I should emphasise that the two persons held in custody in Germany have not been arrested in connection with Lockerbie.

I have to say, as I have said several times before, that the success of these enquiries is not likely to be assisted by the kind of wild, irresponsible speculation in some newspaper reports this morning. Although some of those reports purport to be based on Whitehall sources' they are not accurate. The only authoritative information about the progress of this investigation is that issued by me, or on my authority, by the senior investigating officer in charge of the enquiries.

I will authorise disclosure of relevant information about the progress of the investigation wherever possible and as soon as possible, as we all recognise the general interest of the public and the particular interest of the relatives of the victims to be informed about the matter".

That remains the position.

Special Advisers

Mr. O'Brien : To ask the Prime Minister if she will show in the Official Report the previous employment of the special advisers listed in her answer to the hon. Member for Copeland (Dr. Cunningham), 29 July 1988, Official Report, column 628.

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The Prime Minister : The information is not readily available in the form requested. The previous employment of serving special advisers is as follows :

Previous employment                      |Number employed                        


Bank of Montreal Capital Markets         |1                                      

British Petrolem Company plc             |1                                      

Cazenove and Co.                         |1                                      

City University Business School          |1                                      

Cluff Investments and Trading            |1                                      

Conservative Central Office              |4                                      

Conservative Research Department         |2                                      

Consolidated Goldfields plc              |1                                      

Council of European Communities          |1                                      

Daiwa Europe Ltd.                        |1                                      

Department of Health and Social Security |1                                      

Foreign and Commonwealth Office          |1                                      

Former Special Adviser                   |3                                      

Fund-raising for charity                 |1                                      

Good Relations Group plc                 |1                                      

Hill Samuel and Company Ltd.             |1                                      

Institute of Directors                   |1                                      

McKinsey and Co.                         |1                                      

Milk Marketing Board                     |1                                      

P and O                                  |1                                      

Phillips and Drew                        |1                                      

Political Office, Number 10              |1                                      

RTZ Ltd                                  |1                                      

Secretary to MPs                         |1                                      

Self employed                            |1                                      

Student                                  |1                                      

This list covers special advisers who are on secondment from or are still employed, full or part-time, by other employers.

Mr. O'Brien : To ask the Prime Minister if she will state the total cost to public funds of (a) the special advisers on secondment and (b) the most senior special advisers not paid on the common pay spine.

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