Mr. Clelland : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will use the powers available to him under the Regulation of Railways Act to require British Rail to supply him with regular returns of working hourse of (a) drivers, (b) signalmen and (c) other staff.
Mr. Portillo : There is no requirement in legislation for the British Railways Board to provide the Secretary of State with regular returns of working hours. The Transport Act 1962 places upon the board a duty to provide railway services having due regard to efficiency, economy and safety of operation. The question of working hours is therefore a matter of management for the board.
Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has had any approach from British Railways to withdraw its passenger service from Manchester Victoria to Stockport via Miles Platting, Denton and Reddish, south ; and whether such a service will be maintained after 15 May.
Mr. Portillo : We have received no such proposal. The timetabling and routing of services are entirely a matter for the board.
Mr. Pawsey : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what was his Department's forecast rate of road traffic growth and the actual rate for each of the last five years ;
(2) what is the Department's current forecast rate of road traffic growth for each of the next three years ;
(3) what percentage increase in road traffic is anticipated by the year 1999.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : The Department's estimates of traffic growth compared with actual growth are as follows for the years requested :
|c|Growth (per cent.)|c| Year |Low |High |Actual ----------------------------------- 1984 |1.9 |3.3 |4.5 1985 |1.7 |3.2 |3.1 1986 |1.6 |3.1 |6.1 1987 |1.5 |3.0 |5.6 1988 |1.6 |2.9 |5.2
The forecasts for annual traffic growth for the next three years are as follows :
|c|Annual growth ( per cent.)|c| Year |Low |High -------------------- 1989 |1.16|2.49 1990 |1.15|2.50 1991 |1.07|2.18
The increase in road traffic from 1988 to 1999 is forecast to be between 10 and 22.5 per cent.
The Department's forecasts are for long-term traffic growth. They are not intended to provide accurate forecasts for individual years or short periods.
The forecasts of growth are presented as a range to reflect uncertainty about growth in factors underlying traffic growth, such as GDP and fuel prices. They are based on the forecasts given in "National Road Traffic Forecasts 1984" issued by the Department in March 1985. The forecasts are for all motor traffic excluding motor cycles.
Mr. Jack : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to publish his White Paper on the future road building programme for Britain.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : In the late spring or summer.
Mr. Pawsey : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what action is taken to record systematically vehicle speeds on motorways.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : Automatic traffic counters, which also measure vehicle speeds, are being installed at 25 motorway sites. At present, speed data are being obtained from two of these sites ; another eight should be supplying data by the end of the year, with the remaining 15 becoming operational in 1990.
These data will enable vehicle speeds, and trends in vehicle speeds, to be analysed by type of vehicle and time of day. It is unlikely that it will be possible to do such analyses until mid-1990 because of the need to have a sufficient number of sites supplying reliable, consistent, data.
Mr. Rathbone : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the cost of the national road building programme in East Sussex for 1988-89 and for 1989-90.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : Expenditure on national trunk road programme schemes in East Sussex is as follows :
|£ million ------------------------------ 1988-89 |4.2 1989-90 |<1>21.0 <1> (estimated).
Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on progress of the current road building programme in the north west.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : Five major motorway and trunk road construction contracts are currently under way. The total works value is around £80 million. Work continues on other improvements and maintenance of the network.
Mr. Devlin : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to announce early conditional acceptance in the Cleveland TPP bid of the Stockton south spine road ; and when commencement of the project will occur.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : All local highway authorities have been invited to submit bids by 31 July for transport supplementary grant for 1990-91. Decisions on the allocation of resources will be announced later in the year. The programme for construction of this scheme is a matter for Cleveland county council.
Mr. McCrindle : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will list the options being considered for the future operation and management of British Rail ; and if he will make a statement ; (2) if he has any plans to set up a national track authority to lease track time to competing companies on a national or regional basis ; and if he will make a statement ;
(3) if he has any plans to re-introduce regional railway companies to operate a full range of services ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Portillo : I am considering the long-term options for British Rail including privatisation. The possibilities for privatisation include : a single privatised company to run the entire network ; a division into several independent companies based on British Rail's business sectors ; a division into a number of independent regional companies ; a vertically separated railway industry with track owned by a track authority on which independent companies would run services ; or a combination of these. We are not yet in a position to take decisions.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport to what extent the building of the second Severn crossing is dependent upon assessment of future traffic flows.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : The decision to build the second Severn crossing has already been taken.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what decisions he has reached about the proposed changes in the A50 road through Stoke-on-Trent ; and if a date has been arranged for the consequent inquiry.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : Final design is being undertaken to enable publication of the complete package of draft statutory orders in November this year. Arrangements for an inquiry cannot be made until objections are known. If one is necessary for this scheme we would expect it to take place in the spring of 1990.
Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if there have been any recent developments in regard to new routes from the United States to Manchester airport ; if he expects any further developments in the near future ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : The Government have continued to press the United States authorities to agree a reasonable
Column 4exchange of rights to enable new routes to be established between the United States and Manchester airport. The United States has been considering an offer we made earlier in the year and has recently promised revised and comprehensive counter-proposals.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what was the total cost of the King's Cross public inquiry ; and which parties appearing before the inquiry received reimbursement of legal costs.
Mr. Portillo : The cost to the Department of the King's Cross investigation, excluding staff costs, was about £1.2 million. The Department does not have information on the costs incurred by others. My right hon. Friend made it clear to the House on 10 November that he had accepted in full Mr. Fennell's recommendations about the award of costs to represented parties as set out in paragraphs 4-8 of chapter 21 of his report ; claims are being settled on that basis.
Mr. Janner : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many and what percentage of officers in grades 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 6 and 7 respectively, and overall in his Department are (a) women and (b) members of ethnic minorities.
Mrs. Rumbold : The numbers and proportion of women at 1 September 1988 were :
|Percentage ----------------------------------------------- Grades 1 to 5 |22 |15 Grade 6 |104 |25 Grade 7 |36 |26 |-- |-- Overall |162 |23
We do not hold information on the ethnic origin of all our staff but of those who have responded to the ethnic monitoring survey, those from ethnic minorities were :
|Number ---------------------------- Grades 1 to 7 |<1>10 <1> 1.7 per cent. of respondents in those grades.
The survey was conducted on the undertaking that anonymity would be preserved. Any further breakdown of the figures could identify individuals and cannot therefore be provided.
Mr. Janner : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science when his Department last conducted a survey of the ethnic origin of its employees ; when it next plans to do so ; and whether he will make a statement.
Mrs. Rumbold : A survey of all the Department's employees was carried out in 1986 since when all new recruits have been asked to complete an ethnic monitoring questionnaire on a voluntary basis. We are proposing to conduct another survey later in the year.
Mr. Janner : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps he has taken to recruit members of ethnic minorities in top grades of employment at his Department.
Mrs. Rumbold : Recruitment of grades above administrative officer is carried out by the Civil Service Commission.
Mr. Henderson : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many vehicles and at what value were purchased by (a) his Department, (b) universities and (c) other public sector agencies for which he is responsible, in 1988 ; and how many of these vehicles were British- made within the definition of British as set out by the Department of Trade and Industry in its arrangement on content with the European Community.
Mrs. Rumbold : The Department of Education and Science purchased nine vehicles in 1988 at a total cost of £48,041.45. I am unable to confirm that these vehicles were United Kingdom-produced, on the definition employed by the DTI for statistical purposes, under which a vehicle is classified as United Kingdom-produced if the United Kingdom content exceeds 50 per cent. of the ex-works value, but they are all of EC origin. The information sought regarding the universities and other public sector agencies for which my right hon. Friend is responsible is not held centrally.
Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the estimated number of settlers from Turkey, who are now living in the occupied area of northern Cyprus.
Mrs. Chalker : I told the House on 10 June 1988, at column 696, in answer to a question from the right hon. Member for Strangford (Mr. Taylor), that we estimated that there were then about 35,000 non-Cypriot settlers in northern Cyprus. We have no evidence to suggest there has been any change in the meantime.
Mr. Chris Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, further to his answer to the hon. Member for Islington, South and Finsbury, 28 November, Official Report, columns 107-8, what representations he has made to the Thai authorities regarding British citizens imprisoned there, in particular in respect of those held in chains ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Eggar : When British prisoners have been shackled in circumstances not covered by normal Thai practice, Her Majesty's embassy at Bangkok have made effective representations and the chains have been removed.
Her Majesty's embassy continue closely to monitor conditions under which British prisoners are held, to ensure that these are no worse than those applied to Thai or other prisoners.
Mr. Chris Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations
Column 6he has made about the treatment of Edward Heaton-Smith, presently held in Phitsanalok prison, Thailand ; what information he has about the conditions in which he is held, particularly with regard to his continuing isolation from other foreign nationals, the duration of his being shackled in leg-irons and his ill-treatment at the hands of the prison authorities ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Eggar : Representations made to the Thai authorities by Her Majesty's Embassy at Bangkok have met with the following responses : (
(a) Leg-irons are worn by all new arrivals at a prison. Their release is conditional on the prisoner satisfying the prison authorities as to his conduct. Mr. Heaton-Smith has not met the latter criterion ;
(b) a report on the alleged ill-treatment is awaited from the prison governor ;
(c) Mr. Heaton-Smith will be transferred to Klong Prem prison, where there are British prisoners ; but he first has a charge to face in Phitsanulock.
The British Consul visited Mr. Heaton-Smith on 16 March 1989, when he showed no signs of malnutrition or abuse.
Mr. D. Townsend : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many Soviet trade inspectors there are in the United Kingdom monitoring the manufacture by British companies of goods and equipment to be delivered to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics under export contracts ; and what were the comparable figures for each of the last five years.
Mr. Waldegrave : The figures for the number of Soviet trade inspectors resident in the United Kingdom over the last four years are as follows :
|Number --------------------- 1986 |20 1987 |17 1988 |21 1989 |27
Records of previous years were not kept in the same way, and comparable figures prior to 1986 are therefore not available.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) how many representations he has received about the denial of human rights or the use of torture in (a) Bhutan, (b) Brunei, (c) Burma, (d) China, (e) Taiwan, (f) Hong Kong, (g) India, (h) Indonesia, (i) Iran, (j) Iraq, (k) Israel, (l) Japan, (m) Jordan, (n) Kampuchea, (o) North Korea, (p) South Korea, (q) Kuwait, (r) Laos, (s) Lebanon, (t) Macao, (u) Mongolia, (v) Maldives and (w) Malaysia ; and which organisations made these representations ;
(2) how many representations he has received about the denial of human rights or the use of torture in (a) Nicaragua (b) the Netherlands Antilles, (c) St. Vincent and the Grenadines, (d) El Salvador, (e) Trinidad and Tobago, (f) Turks and Caicos Islands, (g) the British Virgin Islands, (h) the United States Virgin Islands, (i) Argentina, (j) Bolivia, (k) Brazil, (l) Chile, (m) Colombia, (n) Ecudaor, (o) French Guiana, (p) Guyana,
Column 7(q) Paraguay, (r) Peru, (s) Surinam, (t) Uruguay, (u) Venezuela, (v) South Georgia, (w) Falklands Islands, (x) Afghanistan, (y) Bahrain and (z) Bangladesh ; and which organisations made these representations ;
(3) how many representations he has received about the denial of human rights or the use of torture in (a) France, (b) East Germany, (c) West Germany, (d) Gibraltar, (e) Antigua and Barbuda, (f) Bahamas, (g) Barbados, (h) Belize, (i) Bermuda, (j) Cayman Islands, (k) Costa Rica, (l) Cuba, (m) Dominica, (n) the Dominican Republic, (o) Grenada, (p) Guadeloupe, (q) Guatemala, (r) Haiti, (s) Honduras, (t) Jamacia, (u) Martinique, (v) Montserrat, (w) St. Lucia, (x) St. Christopher and Nevis, (y) Puerto Rico and (z) Panama ; and which organisations made these representations ;
(4) how many representations he has received about the denial of human rights or the use of torture in (a) Nepal, (b) Oman, (c) Pakistan, (d) Philippines, (e) Qatar, (f) Saudi Arabia, (g) Singapore, (h) Sri Lanka, (i) Syria, (j) Thailand, (k) Turkey, (l) the Asian Republics of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, (m) United Arab Emirates, (n) Vietnam, (o) North Yemen, (p) South Yemen, (q) Albania, (r) Andorra, (s) Austria, (t) Belgium, (u) Bulgaria, (v) Cyprus, (w) Czechoslovakia, (x) Denmark, (y) Faroe Islands and (z) Finland ; and which organisations made those representations ;
(5) how many representations he has received about the denial of human rights or the use of torture in (a) Yugoslavia, (b) Australia, (c) Norfolk Islands, (d) Fiji, (e) French Polynesia, (f) Guam, (g) Kiribati, (h) Marshall Islands, (i) Micronesia, (j) Nauru, (k) New Caledonia, (l) New Zealand, (m) Cook Islands, (n) Nive, (o) Ross Dependency, (p) Northern Mariana Islands, (q) Palau, (r) Papua New Guinea, (s) Pitcairn Islands, (t) Eastern Samoa, (u) Western Samoa, (v) Soloman Islands, (w) Tonga, (x) Tuvalu, (y) Vanuatu and (z) Wallis and Fortuna Islands ; and which organisations made those representations ; (6) how many representations he has received about the denial of human rights or the use of torture in (a) Senegal, (b) Seychelles, (c) Sierra Leone, (d) Somalia, (e) South Africa, (f) the Republic of Ireland, (g) Iceland, (h) Hungary, (i) Greece, (j) Italy, (k) Liechtenstein, (l) Luxembourg, (m) Malta and Gozo, (n) Monaco, (o) the Netherlands, (p) Norway, (q) Poland, (r) Portugal, (s) Romania, (t) San Marino, (u) Spain, (v) Sweden, (w) Switzerland, (x) Turkey, (y) European Russia and (z) the Vatican City State ; and which organisations made those representations ;
(7) how many representations he has received about the denial of human rights or the use of torture in (a) Cote d'Ivoire, (b) Djibouti, (c) Egypt, (d) Guinea, (e) Ethiopia, (f) Gabon, (g) Gambia, (h) Ghana, (i) Guinea- Bissau, (j) Kenya, (k) Lesotho, (l) Liberia, (m) Libya, (n) Madagascar, (o) Malawi, (p) Mali, (q) Mauritania, (q) Mauritius, (s) Mayotte, (t) Morocco, (u) Mozambique, (v) Namibia, (w) Niger, (x) Nigeria, (y) Rwanda and (z) St. Helena ; and which organisations made those representations ;
(8) how many representations he has received about the denial of human rights or the use of torture in (a) Sudan, (b) Swaziland, (c) Tanzania, (d) Togo, (e) Tunisia, (f) Uganda, (g) Zaire, (h) Zambia, (i) Zimbabwe, (j) Canada, (k) Greenland, (l) Mexico, (m) United States, (n) Anguilla, (o) Algeria, (p) Angola, (q) Benin, (r)
Column 8Botswana, (s) Burkina Faso, (t) Burundi, (u) Cameroon, (v) Cape Verde Islands, (w) the Central African Republic, (x) Chad, (y) Comoros and (z) Congo ; and which organisations made those representations.
Mr. Eggar : We receive representations on a wide range of countries from many organisations and individuals. The precise information requested is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many representations he has received about the denial of human rights or the use of torture in Aruba ; and which organisations made those representations.
Mr. Eggar : We have checked our records for the last three years. In that time we have received no representations about the denial of human rights and the use of torture in Aruba.
Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the President of the Soviet Union and other Soviet authorities regarding the withdrawal of Vietnamese troops from Laos and the present whereabouts of the former Laotian King Savang Vatthana and Crown Prince Vong Savang ; what information he has of the whereabouts of the former Laotian Chief of Staff, General Phasouk S. Ratsphak ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Eggar : We have not discussed the withdrawal of Vietnamese troops from Laos or the whereabouts of the former King and Crown Prince of Laos with the Soviet authorities, at least in recent years. We have no knowledge of General Phasoul S. Ratsphak.
Mr. Squire : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, further to his answer to the hon. Member for Hornchurch, Official Report, 29 November 1988, column 185, what response he has had from the Gibraltar authorities in respect of amending their law on consensual homosexual acts between males.
Mrs. Chalker : The Gibraltar Attorney General has prepared a Bill amending the law on consensual homosexual acts between males to conform with article 8 of the European convention on human rights. We understand that the Bill will shortly be submitted to the Council of Ministers for introduction in the Gibraltar House of Assembly.
Mr. Henderson : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many vehicles, and of what value, were purchased by (a) his Department and (b) other public sector agenices for which he is responsible in 1988 ; and how many of these vehicles were British made within the definition of British as set out by the Department of Trade and Industry in its arrangement on content with the European Community.
Mr. Eggar : The Foreign and Commonwealth Office bought 240 vehicles at a cost of £3,089,600 in 1988. Other
Column 9public sector agencies for which the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs has responsibility, purchased 32 vehicles at a cost of £275,000.
Most popular models of vehicle produced by the multinational manufacturers are built in the United Kingdom and other European countries. Using the definition employed by the DTI for statistical purposes, under which a vehicle is classified as United Kingdom-produced if the United Kingdom content exceeds 50 per cent. of the ex-work value, it is not possible to determine how many were United Kingdom-produced without individual inspection of each vehicle. Vehicles purchased by the FCO are considered British if they have been bought in the United Kingdom from a British manufacturer. On this basis, 176 vehicles were British.
In the same period, the Overseas Development Administration purchased 371 vehicles costing £3,785,000 and their public sector agencies nine vehicles costing £98,500. Of these, 372 were British.
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will seek to obtain for his departmental library a video copy of the "Horizon" programme on BBC2 on 10 April on the consequences to the Panama Canal of destruction of the central American forest.
Mr. Eggar : The Foreign and Commonwealth Office library does not normally stock audiovisual material or transcripts of television programmes. We are, however, fully aware of the contents of the programme concerned.
Mr. Bellingham : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he has received the affadavit sworn by Ms. Jennie Street in Khartoum dated 12 February concering the use of napalm by the Ethiopian armed forces in Eritrea ; and whether he will condemn its use against the civilian population of both Eritrea and Tigre .
Mrs. Chalker : We have a copy of this affidavit. While we have no means of verifying the allegations it contains, the frequency, and gravity, of such reports is cause for concern. We have made this known to Ethiopian authorities and raised the matter at the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Geneva.
Sir John Farr : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will place in the Library a copy of a report together with the findings of the meeting held under ICAO auspices from 6 to 10 March of international experts.
Mr. Waldegrave : The ICAO report of this meeting has not been published. For reasons that the House will appreciate, it is preferable that details of this work should not become publicly known.
Sir John Farr : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will (a) place in the Library or (b) circulate in the Official Report, the names of those attending on behalf of the United Kingdom, the meetings from 6 to 10 March, held under ICAO auspices.
Mr. Waldegrave : It is not the custom to name officials engaged in Government business. It would be particularly inappropriate to name those who are involved with this important and often sensitive work.
Sir John Farr : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when and where he expects the international convention on the subject of Semtex envisaged in his answer of 10 April, Official Report, column 360, will take place ; and whether British attendance will be at ministerial level.
Mr. Waldegrave : We are discussing with European Community partners and others the most appropriate forum in which to negotiate a convention. Further technical study of the feasibility of marking explosives must precede any such negotiation. The United Kingdom will continue to take a leading role.
Sir John Farr : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has as to which countries apart from Czechoslovakia have the ability to manufacture and export Semtex and as to which of these countries takes either of these courses of action.
Mr. Waldegrave : As far as I am aware, Semtex is not produced in any country other than Czechoslovakia. The Czechoslovak authorities have stated publicly that they no longer export Semtex.
Mr. Chris Smith : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the value of the United Kingdom's stock of net overseas assets at the end of 1988, based on the same method of assessment as that used in the calculation for 1987 in paragraph 3.29 of the "Financial Statement and Budget Report 1988-89", and what are the reasons for the exclusion of any such figure from the "Financial Statement and Budget Report 1989-90."
Mr. Lilley : Preliminary estimates of identified United Kingdom net overseas assets at the end of 1988 are made available by the CSO on request. The latest estimate is of the order of £115 billion to £120 billion. (The estimated level of identified net overseas assets at the end of 1987 has been revised up to just over £100 billion). However, the method of assessment which is used by the CSO assumes that the balancing item does not reflect errors in the capital account. In practice, it is likely that a substantial part of the balancing item, which has totalled over £40 billion in the last three years taken together, reflects unidentified capital inflows, some of which will lead to an underrecording of United Kingdom external liabilities. The standard methodology is being reconsidered by the CSO. In view of this, an estimate of overseas assets was not included in the Financial Statement and Budget Report. An estimate of the value of the United Kingdom stock of net overseas assets will, however, be included as usual in the Pink Book in August.