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Mr. Ingram : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list those organisations which have asked that
Column 387their responses to the consultation document "The Scottish New Towns, Maintaining the Momentum" be treated in confidence.
Mr. Lang : No, since the respondents asked that their responses be treated in confidence ; there were two such responses.
ading Transport Mr. Wray : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what consultations he is now having with the trade unions, entrepreneurs and environmentalists regarding the case for fast trains between Scotland and the continent for the Scottish manufacturing industry, and the environmental requirements which the Scottish people demand from railways and motorways.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : None at the present time. British Rail is still working on its proposals for Channel Tunnel passenger and freight services and any associated investment. It is required by section 40 of the Channel Tunnel Act 1987 to publish a plan by the end of the year.
As part of this process, British Rail is consulting with a wide range of interests in Scotland in a series of meetings.
Mr. Martyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, (1) what consideration he has given to the procurement of smart cruise missiles for British forces ;
(2) what consideration he has given to the procurement for the British forces of cruise missiles armed with cluster munitions ; and what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government on the stationing of such missiles on British territory or in British territorial waters.
Mr. Sainsbury : A number of future missile options are under consideration.
Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Denton and Reddish of 22 March, Official Report, column 616, when it became his policy not to publish unit production costs.
Mr. Sainsbury : I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Rhondda (Mr. Rogers) on 14 January 1988 at column 373 .
Mr. Cartwright : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many National Health Service (a) in-patients and (b) out-patients have been treated at the Queen Elizabeth military hospital, Woolwich, during each of the past 10 years.
Mr. Neubert : I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply given by my predecessor on 28 April at columns 242-43. It has not proved possible to produce reliable information for the years prior to 1983 when the records were maintained manually. The comparable figures for 1988 are : in-patients 6,507 ; day patients 1,575 ; out-patients 5, 208.
Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he has received from members of the armed forces and their dependents serving overseas regarding the introduction of postal voting in United Kingdom elections ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Neubert : I am not aware of any recent representations on postal voting overseas. The Representation of the People Act provides a separate registration procedure for service personnel enabling them to retain their right to vote when serving overseas and allows the spouses of service personnel to register under this procedure if they so wish. Currently service personnel and their spouses must vote by proxy when overseas. They can use either the proxy or the postal voting procedure if serving away from their constituency but within the United Kingdom.
Mr. Graham : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what are the financial arrangements between his Department and Royal Ordnance plc for the deployment of Ministry of Defence police at Royal Ordnance Bishopton ;
(2) what financial arrangements exist between his Department and Royal Ordnance plc for providing the services of Ministry of Defence police at Royal Ordnance factories.
Mr. Sainsbury : Under the terms of an agreement made in April 1985 on the deployment of MOD police at Royal Ordnance sites, including Bishopton, RO plc pays the equivalent of a commercial charge for the services of the MOD police.
Mr. Graham : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether, in the light of recent developments and the announcement by Royal Ordnance plc that it is considering a partial reprieve of the site, it is intended to retain a complement of Ministry of Defence police at Royal Ordnance Bishopton ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Sainsbury : No decision has yet been taken on whether MOD police should remain at Royal Ordnance, Bishopton.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Lord President of the Council if he will list the (a) statements and (b) other speeches in debate made by Prime Ministers in each of the last 15 years.
Mr. Wakeham : I refer the hon. Gentleman to the relevant published indexes of the Official Report and to information held on POLIS in the House of Commons Library.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Lord President of the Council if, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Falkirk,
Column 389w East (Mr. Ewing) on 6 April, concerning statements made by Sir Leon Brittan, he will give the name of any documents, together with appropriate references, that show that approval was given by two named officials to the disclosure of a letter from the
Solicitor-General ; and if he will place copies of any such documents in the Library.
Mr. Wakeham : I refer the Gentleman to the fourth report of the Select Committee on Defence for the 1985-86 Session.
Ms. Walley : To ask the hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed, as representing the House of Commons Commission, what is the policy of the Commission on the level of nutritional expertise which it will require in respect of the appointment of consultants on the provision of food in the House.
Mr. Beith : Policy matters concerning the Refreshment Department are the responsibility of the General Manager of the Department on the advice of the Catering Sub-Committee of the Select Committee on House of Commons (Services). The Commission considers proposals for expenditure from the Refreshment Department trading fund account in accordance with the general principles of financial prudence.
Mr. McLoughlin : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many prescriptions for benzodiazepines were prescribed in (a) January to June 1987, (b) July to December 1987, (c) January to June 1988 and (d) July to December 1988.
Mr. Mellor : The number of prescriptions for benzodiazepines dispensed by community pharmacists in Great Britain during the periods in question were as follows :
|Number of prescriptions |(millions) ------------------------------------------------------------------------ January to June 1987 |12.7 July to December 1987 |12.8 January to June 1988 |11.9 July to December 1988 |<1> <1> Not yet available.
Mr. McLoughlin : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will set out the mortality rate from coronary heart disease for men aged under 65 years from 1979 to the present time, analysed by socio-economic group.
Mr. Freeman : I regret that the information requested is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment Sir Donald Acheson has made of the
Column 390plant alkaloid Castanospermine, as a possible treatment for certain forms of AIDS, in the light of clinical tests at St. Mary's hospital in London ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Mellor : I understand that there have been some in vitro tests involving derivatives of Castanospermine, but none involving patients. If the hon. Member would like more information he may wish to approach the Medical Research Council.
Mrs. Margaret Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will publish the information he has regarding problems in the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Freeman : The Office of Population Censuses and Surveys is responsible for recruiting staff below the executive officer (and equivalent) grades. No major recruitment problems are currently being encountered at its Titchfield and Southport locations but, in common with other Departments, there are difficulties in recruiting and retaining administrative officers, personal secretaries and administrative assistants at its London headquarters.
Mrs. Margaret Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether interviewers employed by the Office of the Population Censuses and Surveys are termed employees of the Crown ; and to what pension rights they are entitled to under existing legislation.
Mr. Freeman : Interviewers employed by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys are employees of the Crown. Under existing social security legislation, interviewers have a choice between contributing to SERPS (provided that their earnings are sufficient) or to a personal pension.
Mrs. Margaret Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many men and women are employed as interviewers by the Office of the Population Censuses and Surveys on (a) a full-time and (b) a part-time basis.
Mr. Freeman : Interviewing work carried out by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys fluctuates with the demand for surveys and with the requirements of individual surveys. As a result the number of interviewers employed by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys is variable. At present, 476 hourly-paid interviewers are employed, of whom 52 are male and 424 are female. Interviewers are not guaranteed any fixed amount of work and are paid on an hourly fee basis for work undertaken. The nature of the work means that all interviewers are employed on a part-time basis.
Mrs. Margaret Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list (a) the number of unfilled vacancies at the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys as a percentage of total employees and by job category and (b) the average length of time taken to fill a vacancy by job category at the office.
Mr. Freeman : (a) The information is in the table. The numbers of unfilled vacancies are the difference between staff in post and the staff profile, as at 1 March 1989, the latest date for which information is available. Casual staff are excluded.
Job category |Vacancies |Percentage of employees|Percentage of profile ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Grade 7 and above |(+4.0) |(+4.7) |(+4.9) Senior executive officer- executive officer and equivalents |33.0 |5.6 |5.3 Administrative officers and assistants |39.5 |3.4 |3.3 Other staff |34.5 |15.4 |13.4 |---- |---- |---- Total |103.0 |5.0 |4.8
(b) Due to the different recruitment methods and wide variation between categories, this information is not collected and could not be obtained without incurring disproportionate cost.
Mrs. Margaret Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list (a) the Civil Service pay rates applicable to interviewers employed by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys and (b) the starting times for shift work when applicable.
Mr. Freeman : Interviewers employed by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys are paid one of seven rates ranging at present from £3.69 to £5.38 per hour plus expenses. In addition, higher rates are paid for unsocial hours and to interviewers based in the London area.
Interviewers' pay is linked to the pay spine agreed between HM Treasury and the Institution of Professional Civil Servants. This link is solely a means of determining pay movement.
A minority of interviewers work on projects with fixed starting and finishing times. With the exception of a small group of interviewers whose starting time is normally 4.15 pm on weekdays and 9.30 am on Saturdays, starting times vary by location and to take account of the requirements of particular surveys.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action he is taking to ensure that the Government's rejection of the proposed three year qualification for social work does not jeopardise the achievement of parity of recognition of British social work qualifications alongside other European qualifications.
Mr. Mellor : The European Community directive on a general system for the recognition of higher education diplomas was adopted on 21 December 1988 and will be implemented in European Community member states on 4 January 1991. It will make it easier for members of a number of professional groups to practice in other member states. The Government and the European Commission support the principle of mutual recognition of qualifications irrespective of length of training and will be working towards this in the context of completing the single market by 1992.
The Government, meanwhile, fully recognise the importance of achieving high standards of training for social workers and other staff employed in the personal social services. We are promoting, with full knowledge of the Directive and in co-operation with the Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work and other organisations, a number of improvements to present arrangements.
Mr. McCrindle : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what consideration has been given to the effect on the need for patients with long-term care needs to develop a relationship of trust with health care providers of proposals for health authorities to buy in the necessary services from different sources ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Freeman : The Government fully recognise the importance of trust between patients and those caring for them. Under our proposals district health authorities will have a responsibility to ensure that the health care services available to their resident populations are comprehensive and of a high standard. Continuity of treatment will remain an important consideration. Contracts will specify periods of notice to ensure that any changes in the provision of services are introduced without disruption or inconvenience to patients.
Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the hospital referral rate per 1,000 of population for each family practitioner committee in England in the latest available year.
Mr. Kenneth Clarke : This information is not currently available.
Mr. Harry Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Derbyshire, North-East of 4 April, why he does not propose to supply a pre-publication list of the electoral registration figures for the local government areas of England and Wales due to be published in an OPUS monitor (EL 89/1) at the end of April.
Mr. Freeman : The list of 1989 electorate figures for local authority areas is still being assembled by OPCS. It will be published as soon as possible after all information has been received from electoral registration officers and queries have been resolved.
Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will give a breakdown by age of the mother of the numbers and rates of incidence of births of Down's syndrome babies in (a) the latest year for which figures are available and (b) 10 years previously.
Mr. Freeman : The information is shown in the table.
Figures are derived from a voluntary system of notification which collects information on cases reported at birth or up to seven days thereafter. It is, therefore, likely to be an incomplete measure of the total number of babies affected.
|c|Number of babies born with Down's syndrome and rate per 10,000|c| |c|births, by age of mother, England and Wales 1977 and 1987|c| Age of mother |Number |Rate 1977 All ages |425 |7.4 Under 20 |28 |5.1 20-24 |80 |4.5 25-29 |116 |5.5 30-34 |81 |8.0 35-39 |67 |25.9 40-44 |39 |69.1 45+ |7 |149.6 Not stated |7 |n/a 1987 All ages |459 |6.7 Under 20 |33 |5.7 20-24 |71 |3.7 25-29 |118 |4.9 30-34 |107 |7.8 35-39 |89 |19.0 40-44 |35 |42.7 45+ |3 |55.7 Not stated |3 |n/a n/a=Not available.
Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the current incidence of Down's syndrome ; and what it was (a) 10 years and (b) 20 years ago.
Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State what has been the incidence of Down's syndrome in newborn infants in (a) the latest year for which figures are available, (b) 10 years previously and (c) 20 years previously.
Mr. Freeman [pursuant to his reply, 21 March, column 573] : The answer omitted nine Down's syndrome cases for 1987 for which information was not reported as to their being live or still births. The correct table should therefore read :
* |c|Number of babies born with Down's syndrome and rate per 10,000|c| |c|total and live births in England and Wales for 1967, 1977 and 1987|c| All births Live births Year |Number|Rate |Number|Rate ------------------------------------------ 1967 |613 |7.3 |594 |7.1 1977 |425 |7.4 |413 |7.3 1987 |459 |6.7 |443 |6.5
Mr. Fearn : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will estimate the savings to the National Health Service drugs bill from the introduction of indicative drug budgets.
Mr. Mellor : It is premature to try to determine the exact level of the savings.
Mr. Fearn : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he has any plans to introduce a national grading system for medical secretaries.
Mr. Mellor : No. The pay and grading of administrative and clerical staff (including medical secretaries) are matters for negotiation in the Administrative and Clerical Staffs Whitley Council. The management side of the council has made proposals for a new grading structure for all staff in the group. Negotiations on these proposals and on the staff side's pay claim will continue when the joint negotiating committee of the council meets next on 12 April.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action he is taking to deal with the problems identified in the National Children's Home publication, "Children in Danger Factfile 1989", a copy of which he has been sent.
Mr. Mellor : As the hon. Member may be aware, the factfile was launched on 21 March and is a detailed and wide-ranging document requiring careful consideration.
Mr. Michael Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what arrangements are made to inspect the premises of pharmaceutical wholesaling establishments in the United Kingdom who import from countries which are not a party to the pharmaceutical inspection convention.
Mr. Mellor : No special arrangements are made. All licensed wholesale dealers in imported medicinal products are regularly inspected by medicines inspectors.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will bring forward proposals to prevent persons found guilty of mismanaging residential homes to go on caring for profit for up to three residents at a time.
Mr. Mellor : I refer the hon. Member to my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Wyre Forest (Mr. Coombs) on 23 February at column 793.
Mr. Andrew Bowden : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is his policy towards implementation of the recommendations made in the report by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, "Who Pays? Who Cares?" on the future funding of residential care ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The report is being taken into account in the Government's consideration of the future arrangements for community care.
Mr. Andrew Bowden : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what representations he has received following the publication by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations of "Who Pays? Who Cares?" on the future funding of residential care.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : We have received letters form Servite Houses Ltd., the Brendoncare Foundation, and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations itself, drawing attention to the report. Some individuals have also written in similar terms.
Mr. Frank Field : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what proportion of first instance social fund decisions are taken (a) after a home visit or (b) after the social fund officer has interviewed the claimant.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The proportion of first instance social fund decisions cleared by visit is 1 per cent. The proportion cleared after interview is 25 per cent. Details of the number of applications processed are available in the Library.
Mr. Robin Cook : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the average award of family credit ; and what was the average award of family income supplement.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The latest information on family credit is derived from an examination of amounts in payment at the end of February 1989. This indicated that the average amount in payment at that time was around £25 per week. The latest information on family income supplement relates to June 1987 when the average was £15.28 per week.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many payments have been made under the cold weather payments scheme for each of the weeks in 1989 (a) in Nottingham and (b) the United Kingdom as a whole.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the number of people for whom bed and breakfast payments are being made in Doncaster and Mexborough ; and whether they are (a) single, (b) single with children, (c) a couple or (d) a couple with children, for each year since 1979.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : I regret that the information requested is not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will publish a table showing, for the most recent available date, the number of persons securing compensation for industrial diseases and injuries, analysed by percentage disability groupings.
Mr. Scott : At 2 April 1988, the provisional numbers of recipients of industrial injuries disablement pension, reduced earnings allowance or both were as shown in the table :
Assessed Disablement Per |Number (thousands) cent. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- All percentages |262 Less than 20 |103 20 to 24 |64 25 to 34 |46 35 to 44 |22 45 to 54 |11 55 to 64 |7 65 to 74 |3 75 to 84 |2 85 to 94 |1 95 to 100 |4
Mrs. Mahon : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people in Halifax who have claimed attendance allowance are currently within the six-month waiting period.
Mr. Scott : I regret that the information is not available.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will publish a table showing an estimate of the annual rise in living standards since 1980 for (a) non-pensioner couples with children, (b) non- pensioner couples without children, (c) non-pensioner single people, (d) non-pensioner single people with children, (e) single pensioners and (f) pensioner couples.
Mr. Peter Lloyd [holding answer 15 March 1989] : The available information is set out in the table.
|c|Improvements in living standards percentage (individuals in households) 1979 to 1985 Great Britain|c| |1979 to 1981|1981 to 1983|1983 to 1985|1979 to 1985 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Non-pensioner couples with children |-0.2 |2.6 |6.1 |8.6 Non-pensioner couples without children |1.7 |-1.5 |5.7 |5.9 Non-pensioner single people |4.8 |-8.7 |10.2 |5.5 Non-pensioner single people with children |5.9 |2.8 |0.7 |9.7 Single pensioners |7.3 |6.2 |1.1 |15.2 Pensioner couples |5.8 |5.7 |2.9 |15.1 All individuals |2.2 |0.2 |6.2 |8.8 Notes: 1. Based on the methods and assumptions of "Households Below Average Income: 1981-85" copies of which are in the Library. 2. Improvements in living standards are measured by percentage changes in the real average household income of individuals (before housing costs). For further details see Cm. 523 "The Measurement of Living Standards For Households Below Average Income", November 1988.
Mr. Heddle : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when he expects to announce the conclusion of his Department's study to establish the nature, scope, extent and implications of professional liability problems.
Mr. Maude : I expect the report of the studies of professional liability problems to be submitted to me in the near future.