Mr. John Patten : I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Minister for Public Transport to the hon. Member for Leyton (Mr. Cohen) on 1 February at columns 209-10. The order came into force on 1 April.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to make regulations under section 12 of the Fire Preventions Act 1971 to require specified fire precautions at all Underground stations.
Mr. McFall : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will seek a report from the chief constable of Essex on what steps he intends to take to investigate the bugging of meetings of objectors to the pressurised water reactor at the Sizewell inquiry.
Mr. Mullin : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons have been placed in segregation by the governor of Her Majesty's prison, Albany in the last six months for suspected criminal offences ; and how many of these have actually been charged with an offence.
Column 296segregation pending investigation of matters which might have led to criminal charges. None of these was charged with a criminal offence.
Dame Jill Knight : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether consideration is being given to the employment of private agencies to police penal establishments with dogs as an alternative to prison officer dog handlers.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how much has been spent on the assisted places scheme in each of the last five years ; and what is the estimate for the current year.
H Financial year |Expenditure (£ million) ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1984-85 |22.2 1985-86 |29.6 1986-87 |37.9 1987-88 |46.0 1988-89 |<1>52.3 1989-90 |<2>59.0 <1> Forecast outturn. <2> Provision in Estimates.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) what has delayed the finalisation of his Department's 1989-90 estimates for advertising, publicity and publications ; (2) whether the estimates for his Department's spending on advertising, publicity and publications for 1989-90 have yet been finalised.
In addition, the Department estimates that expenditure on publications and information concerned with the national curriculum will be about £2.7 million.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science why the estimated expenditure by his Department on publications, videos, exhibitions etc. in 1988-89 exceeded by £1 million the estimate he gave to the hon. Member for Holborn and St. Pancras on 21 July 1988, Official Report, column 744 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Rumbold : Expenditure in 1988-89 is higher than the original estimate because of the need to give certain of the Department's publications a wide circulation and because of additional publications such as "Our Changing Schools : a handbook for parents". This is an example of a publication giving valuable information for parents which has been very well received. Well over 3 million copies have been distributed.
The Attorney-General : Drug trafficking cases are dealt with as part of the normal work of the Crown prosecution service. Resources are allocated as required by the number and weight of such cases. In addition it is the policy of the Director of Public Prosecutions that at least one lawyer in each of the 31 Crown prosecution service areas should have attended a specialist training course with regard to the provisions of the Drug Trafficking Offences Act 1986. That person will, in addition to his normal casework, either deal personally with cases arising under this Act or provide advice and assistance to colleagues who are dealing with such cases.
|c|Average Waiting Time in weeks from date of committal|c| |c|to start of hearing-Northern Circuit|c| |Committed in custody|Committed on bail |Total Committals --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1979 |11.3 |17.5 |16.2 1980 |10.4 |16.7 |15.6 1981 |9.6 |15.1 |13.9 1982 |12.1 |15.2 |14.5 1983 |8.9 |12.6 |11.8 1984 |8.3 |12.1 |11.2 1985 |8.7 |11.4 |10.7 1986 |8.4 |10.8 |10.2 1987 |7.3 |10.0 |9.2 1988 |7.5 |10.6 |9.7
Column 298(2) if he will make a statement as to the estimated additional cost to public funds arising out of the implementation of the recent Green Papers on the legal profession.
The Attorney-General : The Green Papers are consultation documents, which seek the views of both the public and the legal profession on the Government's provisional proposals for changes in the way in which legal services are to be provided in the future. No firm estimates based on settled policy can therefore be made, but it is anticipated that the implementation of the proposals contained in the Green Papers would not entail any additional cost to public funds but would be broadly cost neutral.
Mr. Waldegrave : We have made repeated representations to the Czechoslovak Government over Vaclav Havel, most recently on 23 February. I take this opportunity to reiterate that we deplore the treatment of Havel, who is a distinguished writer ; such treatment is contrary to Czechoslovakia's commitments under the Vienna concluding document.
Mr. Eggar : The accord announced on 24 March explicitly offers United States support for the peace and democratisation process in central America, and for the goals embodied in the Esquipulas II agreement. It puts emphasis on the need for democratisation in Nicaragua, and calls for progress towards strengthening civilian leadership, the defence of human rights and the consolidation of free, open, safe political processes elsewhere in the region. It calls for credible standards of compliance, strict timetables and effective means of verification. It supports the use of "incentives and disincentives" to achieve these United States policy objectives. United States policy is of course a matter for the United States. But we have consistently supported the peace process and we welcome the United States Government's new diplomatic strategy. For our part, we shall continue to urge on all parties the need for early and full compliance with the commitments which the central American presidents freely undertook in the Esquipulas, Alajuela and El Tesoro summits.
Mr. Dunn : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is his estimate of how many families with children would not have gained from an increase in child benefit in April ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Moore : Increasing child benefit would not help the 1.5 million families who receive income-related benefits. We believe it best to concentrate help on those who most need it. That is why almost all children in families claiming income-related benefits will get an extra 50p per week this April over and above the amount needed to maintain the real value of benefits. These benefits do hit their targets. Experience shows that almost £9 out of every £10 of available income-related benefits is claimed, and nearly four out of five families eligible actually get them. For families who do not rely on income-related benefits (and around 70 per cent. of them have incomes above average male earnings), £7.25 child benefit a week per child is a worthwhile recognition of the extra cost of bringing up a family.
Mr. Gordon Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many workers currently earn below the national insurance contributions lower earnings limit ; and how many of them are (a) part-time women, and (b) part-timers.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if Her Majesty's Government have investigated or intend to investigate the allegations that blueback or whitecoat seal skins have been illegally imported into the United Kingdom in contravention of Community directive 85/444 ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) if Her Majesty's Government intend to support an indefinite extension of the European Economic Community import ban on seal skins in Community directive 85/444 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the functions and responsibilities transferred from the London residuary body to the City of London since its inception.
Column 300portraits and paintings and the sub-mariners war memorial have been transferred on agreed terms to the corporation of the City of London from the London residuary body.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the item proposed by the London residuary body to be transferred from the Middlesex Guildhall collection to the London borough of Harrow.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley [holding answer 4 April 1989] : The London residuary body hopes that all the items making up the Middlesex Guildhall collection will be transferred to one owner. Discussions on this are in hand with the London borough of Harrow.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment why he rejected the possibility of a transfer of Hampstead heath from the London residuary body to the London borough of Camden ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has regarding the whereabouts of the tape recordings of the last meeting of the Greater London council, held on 27 March 1986 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has regarding the terms of the proposed purchase of county hall by the County Hall Development Group plc ; and what is the envisaged timetable for the adaptation of county hall.
Column 301and the Football League to submit their proposals for a national membership scheme for football to him ; when he expects to have concluded his consideration of the proposals ; and when he estimates that the scheme will be fully implemented.
Mr. Moynihan : Subject to parliamentary approval of the Football Spectators Bill, we hope that a body set up by the Football Association and the Football League will be appointed as the Football Membership Authority to run the national membership scheme. To that end they are already engaged in detailed consideration of the proposed scheme through the establishment of a joint working party. Provided that the Bill achieves the Royal Assent by the summer recess the football authorities are aiming to submit a draft scheme by 31 August and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will then consider the draft in the autumn. It is expected that the scheme will be implemented in full in spring 1990 subject to the appropriate technology being in place.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment why the London borough of Harrow was chosen to accept responsibility for the Middlesex Guildhall colection ; and what other London boroughs were approached.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley [holding answer 4 April 1989] : The London borough of Harrow, whose boundaries formerly fell within the area of Middlesex county council, expressed an interest in assuming responsibility for the Middlesex Guildhall collection.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what are the terms of the proposed agreement between the London residuary body and the London borough of Harrow in respect of the Middlesex Guildhall collection ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has regarding the cost of the restoration work needing to be made on the George III tapestry currently within the Middlesex Guildhall collection ; who will be responsible for the restoration costs ; where the tapestry is to be located ; and under whose responsibility.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley [holding answer 4 April 1989] : The scale of costs for this restoration has not been established as yet. The London residuary body proposes to meet the restoration costs. On restoration it is planned the tapestry will be placed in the Middlesex Guildhall building. Negotiations on the long term responsibility and care of the tapestry are continuing.
Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list those water authorities that have tested, or are testing, treated water derived from overground or river sources for the presence of cryptosporidia ; and how many tests have revealed the presence of cryptosporidia.
Mr. Ridley [holding answer 6 April 1989] : This information is not held centrally. I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Oxford, East (Mr. Smith) on 5 April 1989 on the presence of cryptosporidia in water supplies in the Oxford area of Thames water authority.
Mr. Sainsbury : Following demanding and very satisfactory validation and field user trials, I am pleased to announce that at the end of March this year we took up production options within existing contracts, announced by my predecessor on 5 December 1986 at column 840 , with Leyland DAF for the medium mobility vehicle, including the load handling system, and with Paccar UK Ltd. (Foden Trucks Division) for flatracks. Production options on other DROPS equipments will be exercised when trials requirements have been satisfied.
Mr. Barry Field : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he has discussed the possibility of the United States navy accepting and disposing of redundant submarine reactors on behalf of the United Kingdom.
Mr. Neil Hamilton : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he has received on the effects of Lonrho's attempts to frustrate British arms sales to Kenya ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Prime Minister what was the final cost of her previous trip to Africa, to which she referred in her answer to the hon. Member for Holborn and St. Pancras on 14 January 1988, Official Report, column 353.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Prime Minister whether Mr. Bernard Ingham or the Head of the Central Office of Information is the centre of advice on the propriety of Government publicity and advertising as defined in evidence to the Public Accounts Committee following the former's take-over of the latter's previous role as head of profession for Government information officers.
The Prime Minister : Ministers in charge of Departments are responsible for ensuring that Government conventions on publicity and advertising are complied with. The Cabinet Office provides guidance to Departments on the conventions governing propriety. The Cabinet Office also advises the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, who adjudicates on these matters in cases of doubt.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if, in view of the complaints received regarding the adequacy of the reheating of cook-chill food on wards at Clayton hospital, Wakefield, and the evidence of breaches of his Department's 1980 guidelines, he will order the immediate suspension of cook-chill catering in this hospital and the reintroduction of conventionally cooked meals.
Column 304cook-chill meals have been consumed by patients. As at 5 April the district health authority had received a total of five complaints, three of which were from the same patient. Only one related to cook-chill food. All five complaints were passed to the hon. Member who relayed them to the press before seeking an explanation from the health authority. As a result the local press produced biased and inaccurate reports of complaints which in my judgment would certainly not justify the suspension of the successful and popular introduction of cook- chill catering in this hospital.
Sir Michael McNair-Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans his Department has for switching liability for negligence claims against hospital doctors from medical defence organisations to health authorities ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Mellor : The rising cost of medical defence subscriptions has been of concern to doctors and to the Government for some years. In 1988 and 1989 the Government are reimbursing two thirds of the cost of defence subscriptions to hospital doctors on whole-time contracts and to doctors on part-time contracts who work wholly for the National Health Service. This is an interim arrangement following a recommendation by the Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body in its 1988 report.
On 20 March 1989 we issued a consultative paper proposing that health authorities should take financial responsibility for negligent acts and omissions of their medical and dental staff in the course of their National Health Service employment. We have asked for comments from interested organisations by 5 May.
A copy of the paper has been placed in the Library.