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Mr. Allen : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) what investigations his Department has made of the impact of watermark disease on the export potential of the cricket bat manufacturing industry in the east midlands ;
(2) what trends his Department anticipates in exports of British cricket bats.
Mr. Atkins : The issue of watermark disease has been raised with me on several occasions. I am advised that the virus is not currently a major threat to stocks of English willow, and I do not expect it adversely to affect the export of British cricket bats. As the hon. Member would expect, however, I am continuing to monitor developments closely.
Mr. Maude : The Government's policy on references to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission is stated in a DTI Blue Paper entitled "Mergers Policy", published in March 1988. The main consideration in considering whether to refer a merger to the MMC is the potential effect on competition in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Campbell-Savours : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what discussions he has had with the Newspaper Publishers Association on proprietorial interference in the publishing of newspapers.
Mr. McCrindle : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what representations he has received concerning the oil pricing policies of the major oil companies, the ownership and operation of petrol stations and their pricing policies ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maude : I have received a number of representations from hon. Members and others about petrol prices. The wholesale supply of petrol is being investigated by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission, which is due to report by 8 November this year.
Mr. McCrindle : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when he expects the Monopolies and Mergers Commission to publish its report on the motor fuel business ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maude [holding answer 14 April 1989] : The Commission is due to submit its report to my right hon. and noble Friend the Secretary of State by 8 November. It will be published as soon as possible after it has been submitted to and considered by my right hon. and noble Friend.
Column 40trade statistics between member states of the European Community after 1992 to replace the current procedure based on customs' documentation, has been prepared by the EC Commission and will be considered by EC Ministers over the coming months.
Trade statistics will continue to be collected both for intra-EC trade and for trade with third countries, but the level of detail for commodity classification will be the subject of related legislation and will be discussed by a working party of officials from member states later this year. The Government are seeking to ensure that the collection of these statistics does not impose unnecessary burdens on business involved in trade between member states .
Mr. Mullins : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many former employees of North East Shipbuilders Limited have found jobs under the British Shipbuilders job creation scheme ; and how many of those jobs have lasted for more than one month.
Mr. Newton : As at 7 April 1989, 895 out of a total 1,637 former employees had found new jobs and a further 83 had been placed on retraining courses arranged by Sunderland Enterprise and Training Limited. There is no systematic information about how long jobs so far found have lasted, but only 40 clients of Sunderland Enterprise and Training Limited who had found work have so far returned for further assistance.
Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) what steps have been taken by his Department to ensure the continuation of the current system of national quotas for the multi-fibre arrangement after the introduction of the single European market in 1992 ;
(2) what estimate has been made by his Department of the impact which would result upon the United Kingdom textile and clothing industries from the possible introduction of a community quota system for the multi-fibre arrangement after the introduction of the single European market in 1992 ;
(3) what representations he has received and what discussions he is holding with the United Kingdom textile industry with regard to the consequences of the introduction of a community-wide quota system for the multi-fibre arrangement.
Mr. Alan Clark : It is not easy to estimate the impact of the possible phasing out of member states' shares of Community quotas under the multi-fibre arrangement, although I have received a number of representations expressing concern. The report which we have commissioned from Professor Silberston on the multi-fibre arrangement and the United Kingdom economy will address this issue.
The arrangements which will apply after 1992 are not at present determined. The European Commission has taken a general view that individual member states quotas or shares of European Community-wide quotas cannot continue after the introduction of the single European market. How far this will extend to the treatment of textiles and clothing has yet to be settled. The existing Community bilateral agreements with major multi-fibre
Column 41arrangement textile suppliers already allow for some automatic and increasing transfer between member states of each member state's share of the Community quotas. These arrangements work well. However, the present extension of the multi-fibre arrangement expires in 1991.
The future of the multi-fibre arrangement--and other textiles restrictions- -is a matter for negotiation within the current Uruguay round of multilateral trade negotiations in GATT, which is due to conclude in September 1990. It is still too early to say what the outcome of these negotiations will be.
Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will make a statement outlining the progress which has been made so far in the current Uruguay round of general agreement on tariffs and trade multilateral trade negotiations with regard to the textile and clothing industries.
Mr. Alan Clark : The negotiating group on textiles and clothing has yet to enter detailed and substantive negotiations on the "modalities" for the return of the sector to GATT rules. At the mid-term review, which concluded with the meeting of the Trade Negotiations Committee at the beginning of this month, it was reaffirmed that the process of reintegration of the textiles and clothing sector should be on the basis of strengthened GATT rules and disciplines and that the modalities should among other things cover the phasing out of the multi-fibre arrangement and other restrictions inconsistent with GATT, together with the timing and progressive character of the process of integration. The TNC text preserves existing rights and obligations under the present MFA and calls upon all participants to try to improve the trade situation. Lengthy substantive negotiations can now be expected with a view to reaching an agreement within the time frame of the round.
Mr. Tim Smith : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether the Office of Fair Trading is now considering the monopoly position of the bookmaking interests in the transmission of racing information to the off-course market, in the light of the further allocation of equity in Satellite Information Services shortly to be allocated.
Mr. Maude [holding answer 13 April 1989] : I understand that the Director General of Fair Trading is continuing to monitor developments in the off-course bookmaking market under the competition legislation for which he is responsible.
Mr. Tim Smith : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how long the inspectors have now been investigating the affairs of Guinness plc ; what has been the cost of the investigation to date ; when he expects the inspectors to report ; and whether the publication of the report will be deferred until all criminal proceedings arising from the Guinness affair have been disposed of.
Mr. Tim Smith : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how long the inspectors have now been investigating the affairs of James Ferguson Holdings plc ; what has been the cost of the investigation to date ; when he expects the inspectors to report ; and whether the publication of the report will be deferred until all criminal proceedings arising from the Barlow Clowes affair have been disposed of.
Mr. Maude [holding answer 13 April 1989] : Mr. Lawrence David Ziman, solicitor, and Mr. Walter Max Hoffman FCA were appointed on 10 June 1988 under section 432 of the Companies Act 1985 to investigate and report on the affairs of James Ferguson Holdings plc. On 4 July 1988, the same inspectors were appointed under section 442 of the Act to investigate and report on the membership of that company and under section 432 to investigate and report on the affairs of Barlow Clowes Gilt Managers Limited.
The investigations have cost £669,244 to date. I am unable to say when the inspectors will submit their report. The question of publication will be considered when the report is received.
Mr. Alan Clark [holding answer 13 April 1989] : Her Majesty's Government expect to see a considerable reduction in export controls well in advance of 1992, which should encourage the freer movement of goods within the European Community. We are examining the most effective means of streamlining our export controls procedures to achieve this, consistent with the need to continue to safeguard the national interest. This will not directly affect the work of the Co-ordinating Committee (COCOM) which is concerned with strategic export controls on trade with the eastern bloc and the People's Republic of China.
Mr. David Atkinson : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will make a statement on (a) the progress on discussions to reduce the COCOM, and its period of rotating review and (b) the procedures for enforcement.
Mr. Alan Clark [holding answer 13 April 1989] : Her Majesty's Government recognise the vital need to shorten the COCOM control lists to ensure that controls are effective and the support of industry is retained. We are vigorously seeking ways, together with our COCOM partners, to streamline the lists both through the continuous list review procedure, which examines one quarter of the lists each year, and through one-off exercises. Some progress has been achieved, and in 1988, 17 items were partially or wholly removed from the lists and 57 items reduced to lower levels of control. It is difficult in practice to achieve a rapid reduction in the lists, given the requirement for unanimity within COCOM and the need for a strategic re-assessment of any items it is proposed to remove. We are discussing with our COCOM partners ways of achieving more rapid progress.
Mr. Gow : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether he will refer to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission the price increases imposed by the Eastbourne Waterworks Company following the takeover of the company by the French company SAUR S.A., in the light of the information provided to him by the hon. Member for Eastbourne in his letter dated 6 April.
Mr. Alan Clark : [pursuant to his reply, 18 January 1989] : My right hon. and noble Friend wrote to Dr. Bangemann, the European Commissioner responsible for industry and the internal market, on 6 March asking him formally to clarify with the French Government that cars produced at Sunderland by Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK Ltd. are allowed to enter France quite independently of the level of car imports into France from Japan. Dr. Bangemann has just replied saying that the Commission has now received a formal assurance from the French Government that this will be the case.
On this basis, Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK Ltd. expects that its business with France will continue unimpeded. We welcome this resolution of the position and look forward to discussions with France and other member states on future policy in the European Community on the range of vehicles issues that will have to be considered in the context of completion of the single market.
Mr. John Lee : The information requested is not available. My Department's small area statistics monitor net only changes in employment between census of employment dates and the latest available figures are for September 1984. More up-to-date employee estimates for local areas, from the September 1987 census of employment, will become available later this year.
representatives have an important contribution to make. I welcome the efforts of the TUC to encourage safety representatives to be more active in carrying out their statutory functions.
Mr. Nicholls : No, I have no such proposals. The authorities of the Palace seek to ensure that the provisions of the Acts are met wherever possible. The Health and Safety Executive has arranged with the Palace authorities for visits to be made to give advice on health and safety matters. Visits may be made on the initiative of either the HSE or the Palace authorities.
Mr. Henderson : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many vehicles and at what value were purchased by (a) his Department and (b) other public sector agencies for which he is responsible, in 1988 ; and how many of these vehicles were British-made within the defintion of British as set out by the Department of Trade and Industry in its arrangement on content with the European Community.
|Number |Cost |£ ---------------------------------------------------- Employment Department |19 |139,795 Employment Service |70 |473,912 Training Agency |20 |136,831 Health and Safety Executive |14 |106,486 |---- |---- Total |123 |857,024
Of these, 25 vehicles were definitely 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. A further 95 vehicles comprised models of multinational companies which are manufactured both in the United Kingdom and elsewhere in Europe. It would be possible to determine how many were United
Kingdom-produced only by individual inspection of each vehicle. The selection and purchase of vehicles in the Department is normally restricted to European Community made or assembled vehicles.
Mr. Tony Lloyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish details of the number of job clubs, since the start of the intitiative to the most recent date, by year, for the north-west region and for the United Kingdom as a whole.
Date |North West |Great Britain -------------------------------------------------------- November 1984 |- |2 April 1985 |- |4 April 1986 |4 |29 April 1987 |157 |991 April 1988 |200 |1,204 February 1989 |207 |1,220
Mr. Adams : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment (1) on what premise closure of 220 employment service job clubs is based ; (2) when he made the decision to close 220 employment service job clubs.
Mr. Lee : I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State to my hon. Friend the Member for Bury, North (Mr. Burt) on 27 January 1989, Official Report, column 810.
Mr. Tony Lloyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish details of the advertising and publicity expenditure for the Training Agency for each financial year from 1979 to the present date.
|c|Spending on advertising and publicity by the Manpower Services|c| |c|Commission|c| Year |Amount £ million --------------------------------------------------- 1979-80 |n.a. 1980-81 |5.5 1981-82 |4.7 1982-83 |6.3 1983-84 |4.9 1984-85 |6.1 1985-86 |17.0 1986-87 |34.9 1987-88 |35.9
Information on budgets for 1988-89 and 1989-90 for spending on general publicity, to include the Training Agency, will be found in table 7.29 on page 25 of the Public Expenditure White Paper, cm. 607, published January 1989. Details of final expenditure for 1988-89 are not yet available. Detailed decisions on expenditure by media group for 1989-90 as requested have not yet been taken.
Mr. Tony Lloyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish details of the advertising and publicity expenditure for his Department for each financial year from 1979 to the present date.
Year |Amount £ million --------------------------------------------------- 1979-80 |0.7 1980-81 |0.3 1981-82 |0.4 1982-83 |0.5 1983-84 |0.5 1984-85 |0.3 1985-86 |1.2 1986-87 |16.4 1987-88 |10.5 1988-89 |<1>18.3 <1>This includes expenditure for the Employment Service. Training Agency expenditure is not included.
Mr. Tony Lloyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what legally binding guarantees he will obtain in order to secure for the public sector benefit of any windfall gains on sale of assets following skill centre privatisation.
Mr. Cope : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State told the House on 13 March that he would make provision for the Government to share in any development gains in the years immediately after sale. We shall be receiving professional advise as to the form such provision should take.
Mr. Tony Lloyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish details of the average weekly earnings of full-time 16-year- old 17-year-old and 18-year-old employees, for each year since 1979 to the present.
|c|Average gross weekly earnings of full-time employees whose earnings|c| |c|were not affected by absence-Great Britain|c| April |Aged 16|Aged 17|Aged 18 |£ |£ |£ ---------------------------------------- 1979 |34.7 |40.8 |49.8 1980 |41.9 |49.6 |60.7 1981 |47.5 |55.4 |66.9 1982 |50.1 |59.5 |71.8 1983 |52.6 |61.4 |76.4 1984 |55.0 |63.7 |78.8 1985 |60.2 |70.0 |83.3 1986 |66.8 |74.5 |91.5 1987 |73.4 |81.1 |96.0 1988 |79.7 |92.5 |107.2 Source: New Earnings Survey.
Column 47risen annually in line with (a) the retail prices index, (b) average earnings and (c) the average yearly rate of inflation.
Mr. Cope : The two-year YTS was introduced in April 1986, at which date the YTS allowances were set at £27.30 per week for first year trainees and £35 per week for second year trainees. If the allowances had been increased in line with changes in the retail price index they would have been £31.25 and £40.07 respectively in February 1989. If adjusted in line with increases in the average earnings index, the allowances would have been £33.57 and £43.04 respectively in January 1989. Adjusting the allowance for the rate of inflation is equivalent to the adjustment made for changes in the retail price index. Many trainees receive more than the minimum level of the trainee allowance.
Mr. Mellor : There is no charge for NHS sight tests. We shall be monitoring the position in respect of private tests in the autumn. Concerning the dental examination, I refer the hon. Member to my reply of 6 March to the hon. Member for Wakefield (Mr. Hinchliffe) at column 421.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many of Her Majesty's inspectors of anatomy are in post ; how many vacant posts there are ; what is the position in Yorkshire ; and if he will make a statement on the qualifications for this post.
The appointment is made on the basis of the recommendation of the chief medical officers for the aforementioned countries.
Mr. Goodlad : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what funds have been specifically earmarked for the care of the mentally ill following the closure of mental hospitals in (a) the current and (b) each of the last two years in each health region ; (2) on what information about mental health his Department has allocated funds to regional health authorities in the current year.
Mr. Freeman : For the most part, allocations to regional health authorities do not make separate provision for individual clinical services or client groups. It is for authorities to determine how the resources available to them should be spent in line with national policy guidelines and their assessment of local needs and priorities.
A total of £6 million has, however, been made available over the last three years specifically for mental illness development projects in the community. The aim of this
Column 48initiative has been to establish or improve multidisciplinary community-based services for people with mental illness, especially adults suffering from serious disorders. Regional shares of these funds are shown in the table.
Additionally, joint finance is available to support the development of community services planned jointly by health and local authorities and the voluntary sector and to promote the shift from hospital to community care. The total joint finance allocation to regions in each of the last three years has been :
Year |£ million cash --------------------------------------------- 1987-88 |110.9 1988-89 |112.9 1989-90 |118.5
Some two thirds of these allocations have been or will be spent on services for mentally handicapped, mentally ill and younger physically disabled people.
|c|Mental Illness Development Projects: Allocations|c| RHA |1986-87 |1987-88 |1988-89 |1989-90 |(£000s cash)|(£000s cash)|(£000s cash)|(£000s cash) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Northern |- |139 |144 |151 Yorkshire |- |106 |161 |169 Trent |10 |114 |137 |144 East Anglian |15 |149 |149 |<1>- North East Thames |- |128 |143 |164 North West Thames |35 |139 |145 |112 South East Thames |- |113 |115 |120 South West Thames |- |145 |161 |126 Wessex |- |166 |202 |53 Oxford |18 |149 |154 |112 South Western |- |73 |161 |202 West Midlands |25 |142 |196 |175 Mersey |33 |99 |142 |152 North Western |- |141 |137 |144 Bethlem and Maudsley SHA |- |141 |74 |78 |---- |---- |---- |---- Totals |<2>136 |1,944 |<3>2,221 |1,902 Notes: <1> East Anglian's 1989-90 allocation is still the subject of discussion between the Region and the Department. <2> Includes £40k issued as capital. <3> includes £284k issued as capital.
Mr. Andrew Bowden : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is his best estimate of the numbers of people with (a) mental handicaps and (b) mental illness who are aged 65 years and over ; and what advice on services and other provisions for these groups his Department gives to health and local authorities.
Mr. Freeman : We have no basis upon which to estimate the prevalence of mental illness or mental handicap, neither of which is a well defined term, among the estimated 7.4 million people aged 65 years or more. I can say that at 31 December 1986, the latest date for which figures are available centrally, the number of people aged 65 years or more in NHS hospitals and units in England was as follows :
|Number ------------------------------------------------------- (a) Mental Handicap hospitals, units and community units |5,552 (b) Mental illness hospitals and units |34,341
In recent years we have issued the following relevant guidance, copies of which are in the Library.
DHSS Study Team Report "Helping Mentally Handicapped People with Special Problems".
Health Advisory Service Report "The Rising Tide".
Government Response to the Second Report from the Social Services
Committee Cmnd. No. 9674.