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Settle-Carlisle Railway

Mr. Cryer : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what consultations he has held with local authorities regarding any proposals to permit privately operated services over the Settle-Carlisle section of British Rail ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Portillo : None. Such consultations are British Rail's responsibility.

Mr. Cryer : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the organisations, other than British Rail, with whom he has had discussions about providing railway services on the Settle-Carlisle section of British Rail, during the last eight weeks ; and if he will make a statement.


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Mr. Portillo : My right hon. Friend and I have had no such discussions.

Mr. Cryer : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on his proposal to support a company 51 per cent. owned by British Rail, 49 per cent. owned by Cumbrian Railways Ltd., to operate the Settle-Carlisle section of British Rail.

Mr. Portillo : Negotiations with any private organisations interested in the Settle-Carlisle railway are British Rail's responsibility. However, such negotiations must now be reviewed in the light of my right hon. Friend's answer to the hon. Member for Skipton and Ripon (Mr. Curry) on 11 April at columns 411-12.

Motorways (Diversions)

Mr. Roy Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many times traffic has been diverted off motorways for each of the last three years in England and Wales.

Mr. Peter Bottomley : This information is not available. The police take decisions on day to day traffic control including when to divert traffic in the event of accidents or other incidents obstructing traffic flow.

ENERGY

Sapphire Investigations Bureau

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what contracts his Department has placed over the past 10 years with the Sapphire investigations bureau.

Mr. Peter Morrison : We have no record of any such contract.

Electricity (Privatised)

Mr. Hardy : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he expects to announce the price of shares in the flotation of the various companies which are to be involved in electricity generation and supply ; and at what date he expects publicity campaigns in support of these flotations to commence.

Mr. Michael Spicer : No decisions on the pricing of the offers for sale will be announced until just before the time of the sales. Similarly, there will be no expenditure on publicity incurred by the Government in support of the flotations until much nearer the time of the sales.

DEFENCE

Challenger FV Tanks

Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the total number of Challenger FV tanks purchased for service with British forces ; and what is the total cost of these tanks.

Mr. Sainsbury : I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 22 March 1989 at column 616 ; the number of Challenger tanks purchased for service with the British forces remains classified.


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Helicopters

Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the total number of Westland-Augusta EH101 helicopters currently in service with British forces ; and what is the number on order and the expected total cost of the order.

Mr. Sainsbury : There are no Anglo-Italian EH101 helicopters currently in service with the British armed forces. The EH101 project is still in its development phase, and production orders are yet to be placed.

Exercise Mallet Blow

Mr. Beith : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether any aircraft taking part in Exercise Mallet Blow was authorised to cause a sonic boom over inhabited areas of Northumberland on Tuesday, 4 April ; whether any aircraft did so ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Neubert : I shall write to the hon. Member.

Pilots (Discipline)

Mr. Home Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many military pilots have been subject to disciplinary proceedings for breaches of the regulations concerning the height and speed of flights over the United Kingdom during the past two years.

Mr. Neubert : One military pilot has been subject to formal disciplinary proceedings for breach of the regulations concerning the height of flights during the past two years. This was a Royal Air Force pilot who was charged with unlawful low flying. Less severe infringements of low flying regulations, which have provisions covering both the height and speed of low level flights, are dealt with by informal procedures.

Nuclear Material (Imports)

Mr. George Howarth : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the 1958 Anglo-American mutual defence agreement on atomic energy matters was last amended ; when nuclear material was last imported from the United States under this agreement ; in what quality ; and in what quantity.

Mr. Sainsbury : The United Kingdom/United States bilateral agreement for co-operation on the uses of atomic energy for mutual defence purposes was last amended in 1984. Details of times of delivery, quantity and quality of materials are classified and, in the national interest, must remain so.

Sapphire Investigation Bureau

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what contracts his Department has placed over the past 10 years with the Sapphire investigation bureau.

Mr. Sainsbury : We have no record of any headquarters contract having been placed with a company of this name during the past 10 years.

Sea Mammals

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence to what extent his Department has used or is using or training sea mammals for any purposes.


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Mr. Archie Hamilton : Sea mammals are not used or trained for any purpose, and there is no record of their use in the recent past.

Nuclear Submarines

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many accidents (a) at sea or (b) in dock, involving Royal Navy nuclear powered submarines, involved (i) the death of submariners, (ii) the deaths of Royal Naval port workers, or (iii) the release of radioactivity.

Mr. Archie Hamilton : Since 1980, one accident involving a Royal Navy nuclear-powered submarine has resulted in the death (by drowning at sea) of a naval rating. There were no such accidents involving deaths of workers in Royal dockyards. Details of any accidents before 1980 could not be provided without disproportionate effort and cost. No Royal Navy nuclear -powered submarine has ever been involved in an accident involving a radiological hazard to service men, base personnel or members of the public.

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assistance from the Royal Navy or other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces has been offered to the Soviet Union in the rescue or recovery of the nuclear powered submarine lost off the north Norwegian coast on 7 April.

Mr. Archie Hamilton : No request for assistance from Her Majesty's forces has been made. In response to any such request, we would lend whatever support we could. Any discussions between the Soviet Union and other NATO countries are a matter for those countries. I understand, however, that an offer of assistance from Norway was declined.

Greenham Common

Sir Michael McNair-Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he has discussed the future of Royal Air Force, Greenham Common with representatives of the United States Air Force ; and whether there have been any talks with any official organisation with responsibilities for civil aviation about possible uses for the base, after the cruise missiles are withdrawn.

Mr. Archie Hamilton : RAF Greenham Common has been designated as a stand-by operating base for many years and we envisage that this role will continue after the cruise missiles have been withdrawn. No decisions have yet been taken on possible additional roles thereafter, but we envisage that the base will remain available to the United States authorities for military use. There have been no discussions with any official organisation with responsibilities for civil aviation about possible future uses of the base.

Condor Missile

Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the threat posed to the Falkland Islands by development of the Condor missile.

Mr. Archie Hamilton : We are concerned about the potential destabilising effect which Condor could have in any area of the world where it might eventually be deployed. As far as the threat to the Falkland Islands is


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concerned, we keep this constantly under review. At its present stage of development, Condor appears to lack the accuracy to pose a realistic military threat, and it would be politically

counter-productive for Argentina to threaten to use it against the Falklands. If she were ill-advised enough to do so, we are confident that it would not prevent reinforcement of the islands.

Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of (a) chemical and (b) high explosive warheads for the Condor 2 missile.

Mr. Archie Hamilton : In principle, both high explosive and chemical warheads could be developed for a missile of this type. Any step in the direction of developing a chemical warhead would of course be a serious further enhancement of Condor's destabilising potential.

PRIME MINISTER

Mountain Ash

Q12. Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Prime Minister when she next expects to visit Mountain Ash.

The Prime Minister : I have at present no plans to do so.

Crime

Q14. Mr. William Powell : To ask the Prime Minister what representations she has received regarding the fight against crime.

Q105. Mr. Leigh : To ask the Prime Minister what representations she has received regarding the fight against crime.

Q131. Mr. Alexander : To ask the Prime Minister what representations she has received regarding the fight against crime.

The Prime Minister : I receive a range of representations about crime and the Government's action to combat it.

Environment

Q22. Mr. Malins : To ask the Prime Minister what representations she has received regarding improvements to the environment.

Q44. Sir Anthony Grant : To ask the Prime Minister what representations she has received regarding improvements to the environment.

Q124. Mr. John Browne : To ask the Prime Minister what representations she has received regarding improvements to the environment.

The Prime Minister : I have received a number of representations, many of which echo this Government's concern to maintain and improve environmental standards.

Free Trade

Q80. Mr. Fishburn : To ask the Prime Minister what

representations she has received regarding the importance of free trade.

Q99. Mr. Cash : To ask the Prime Minister what representations she has received regarding the importance of free trade.


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Q128. Mr. Marland : To ask the Prime Minister what representations she has received regarding the importance of free trade.

The Prime Minister : I am pleased to note an increasing body of opinion supporting liberal trade policies, to which the Government are committed, both in relation to the European single market and to the GATT Uruguay round. It is encouraging that a firm basis has now been laid for the completion of the GATT Uruguay round negotiations.

Tropical Hardwoods

Q151. Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Prime Minister what action she is taking to control the importing of tropical hardwoods.

The Prime Minister : My hon. Friend the Minister for Trade has had useful and constructive discussion with Dr. Freezailah, executive director of the International Tropical Timber Organisation, in which he has strongly emphasised the importance we attach to ensuring that trade in these products is conducted in a manner consistent with the needs of conservation.

Ozone Layer

Q164. Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Prime Minister if she will take the initiative in organising an international conference on the dangers to the world of climatological flip resulting in another ice age, as a consequence of destruction of rain forest, along the lines of the conference on the ozone layer ; and if she will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : The whole question of climate change, including the impact of rain forest destruction, is being reviewed by the inter- governmental panel on climate change set up under the auspices of the World Meteorological Organisation and the United Nations Environment Programme and is fully supported by the Government. They will assess the scientific information available, and likely impacts of climate change, and possible policy responses and will report to the second world climate conference in 1990. I do not propose to organise an international ministerial conference at this stage.

Bilton, Rugby

Q166. Mr. Pawsey : To ask the Prime Minister if she has any plans to make an official visit to Bilton near Rugby.

The Prime Minister : I have at present no plans to do so.

Consultants and Special Advisers

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Prime Minister what was the amount spent by her office on outside consultants and special advisers attached to, or working for, No. 10 Downing street in 1988-89.

The Prime Minister : There has been no expenditure by my office on fees on outside consultants in 1988-89. The latest estimate of the amount spent by my office on advisers in 1988-89 is £261,600.

10 Downing Street and Chequers (Costs)

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Prime Minister if she will provide the final figure for 1988-89 for (a) the cost of


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maintaining and running 10 Downing street and additional cost at Chequers, (b) the grant in aid to the Chequers Trust and (c) the costs on a consistent basis and expressed at constant 1984-85 prices.

The Prime Minister : Final figures for 1988-89 are not available. The latest estimates of the figures requested are :


                                                              |£                  

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(a) cost of maintaining and running 10 Downing                                    

   street and additional costs at Chequers<1><2><3>           |6,262,672          

(b) grant-in-aid to Chequers Trust                            |238,000            

(c) figures at (a) and (b) in 1984-85 price terms   |(a)                          

                                                    |(b)      |193,810            

<1>The figures include costs at both 10 Downing street and Chequers; the          

information is not available by location.                                         

<2>Salaries and wages, notional pension liability, administration costs, the      

costs of office services and the grant-in-aid to the Chequers Trust are included. 

The salary of the Prime Minister is excluded.                                     

<3>This total is calculated on a consistent basis with the total for 1986-87 in   

sub-paragraph (a) of the reply to the hon. Member on 23 October 1987 at column    

846. If office services costs are excluded (to produce a figure consistent with   

those at sub-paragraph (c) of that reply) the total for 1988-89 is £5,756,942. (  

£4,688,056 at 1984-85 prices).                                                    

Disabled Staff

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Prime Minister what was the staff complement of No. 10 Downing street in 1988-89 ; and how many staff were registered disabled.

The Prime Minister : The total staff complement of 10 Downing street in 1988-89 was 67. None was registered disabled.

Official Entertainment

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Prime Minister what was the total cost of official entertainment associated with the office of Prime Minister in 1988-89.

The Prime Minister : Final figures for 1988-89 are not yet available. The latest estimate of the total cost is £21,979.

Costs

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Prime Minister what was the total cost to public funds of all her offices, duties, accommodation and expenses in the year 1988-89.

The Prime Minister : Final figures for 1988-89 are not yet available. The latest estimate of the total cost of all my offices in 1988- 89 is £6,297,151. (Note.-- Salaries and wages, notional pension liability, administration costs, and the grant in aid to the Chequers Trust are included. My salary as a Cabinet Minister is also included. My pay and allowances as a Member of this House are excluded.)

Overseas Visits (Media Representatives)

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Prime Minister how much is currently outstanding from media organisations for charges arising from their representatives who accompanied her on official transport on overseas visits ; and if she will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : I have nothing to add to the answer I gave to the hon. Member on 10 January 1989 at column 495.


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Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Prime Minister how many journalists accompanied her on her recent visit to various African countries using official transport ; and what was the charge per capita.

The Prime Minister : Twenty-three representatives of the media travelled with me. The per capita charge was £1,700.

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Prime Minister if she will give the names and the organisations of those media representatives who accompanied her on official transport during her recent visit to various African countries.

The Prime Minister : A wide range of media representatives accompanied me on my visit.

Appointments (Women)

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Prime Minister how many women she has appointed to public bodies since 1979 : and what percentage this represents of total appointments for which she is responsible.

The Prime Minister : I have appointed or reappointed 65 women to public bodies since 1979. This represents 14 per cent. of such appointments since that date for which I have been responsible.

African Visit

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Prime Minister if she will provide a breakdown by category of the cost to public funds of her recent visit to various countries in Africa.

The Prime Minister : The estimate of the cost of this visit, which I gave the hon. Member for Holborn and St. Pancras (Mr. Dobson) on 7 April 1989, can be broken down as follows : travel costs £41,000 ; other costs £25,000.

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Prime Minister what functions were carried out by each of the 11 accompanying officials on her recent visit to Africa ; what was her method of travel ; and who was the carrier.

The Prime Minister : I travelled to Africa in an RAF VC10. As regards the functions carried out by those accompanying me, I have nothing to add to the answers I gave the hon. Member for Holborn and St. Pancras (Mr. Dobson) on 7 April at column 303.

Official Gifts

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Prime Minister how much was expended from public funds for the provision of official gifts by her office in 1988 -89.

The Prime Minister : Final figures for 1988-89 are not yet available. The latest estimate of expenditure by my office on official gifts in 1988-89 is £13,653.

Travel (Costs)

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Prime Minister what was the total cost to public funds of travel by her and accompanying officials in 1988-89.

The Prime Minister : Final figures for 1988-89 are not yet available and cannot be provided in the precise form requested. The latest estimate of the total cost of my travel and that of my staff in 1988-89 is £902,952.


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Civil Service Relocation (Clwyd)

Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Prime Minister (1) if she will meet Alyn and Deeside district council at its Hawarden headquarters to discuss the relocation of civil service departments in the county of Clwyd and specifically at (a) St. David's business park, Ewloe, on the A55 and A483 and (b) Warren Hall business park, Broughton, near Chester, on the A55 ;

(2) if she will visit the Warren Hall and St. David's business parks to see construction work in progress and to assess the suitability of these landscaped sites for the relocation of Whitehall Civil Service departments ; and if she will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : I have no plans to do so. Under the policy announced by my right hon. Friend the Paymaster General on 31 March 1988 at columns 610-11, it is for individual Departments to review the location of their work in accordance with clear guidelines with a view to finding locations which offer advantages in terms of recruitment and retention of staff, value for money and increased operational efficiency ; and to make their own inquiries about the most suitable sites. When Departments decide to relocate some of their work they will include among the locations they consider areas, such as the hon. Member's constituency, which are the focus of the Government's regional and urban policies. Departmental Ministers will announce their own decisions on significant relocations, including their chosen venues.

Torness power station

Mr. Home Robertson : To ask the Prime Minister if she has any plans to visit Torness power station.

The Prime Minister : I hope to visit Torness power station in the course of the year.

Secretary of State for Wales (Speech)

Mr. Winnick : To ask the Prime Minister if the speech made on 10 April by the Secretary of State for Wales on the economy was totally in accordance with the Government's policy ; and if she will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : The policies being pursued in Wales by the present Secretary of State, as with his distinguished predecessor, are those of the Government as a whole.

Non-oil Balance of Payments

Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Prime Minister what policy proposals she has to tackle the adverse non-oil balance of payments.

The Prime Minister : The rise in the non-oil current account deficit has primarily reflected the strength of domestic demand. The Government have responded appropriately by tightening monetary policy and the effects of this are already apparent--for example in recent figures for MO, retail sales and the housing market.


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