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|c|Estimated average 

length of time<1>    

taken to reach a     

decision on an|c|    

|c|application for   

refugee status in    

the United Kingdom,  

for cases|c|         

|c|decided during    

the year.|c|         

|c|Average time in   




1985   |12           

1986   |14           

1987   |14           

<1> Excluding the    

time accounted for   

by an appeal where   


although this cannot 

be done in all       


Remand Prisoners

Sir Eldon Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department why he has not yet introduced into East Anglia the same time limits as he has applied in other

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regions on the length of time defendants may be held in custody while awaiting trial ; when he expects to do so ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. John Patten : Custody time limits will be extended on 1 June this year to a further 22 English counties including Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.

Category A Prisoners (Searches)

Mr. McNamara : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give details of the number of body searches, cell searches and cell changes and strip searches carried out on category A prisoners being held at Winchester police station during September and October 1988.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : No category A prisoners were held at Winchester police station during the period in question.

Mr. McNamara : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give details of the number of body searches, cell searches and cell changes and strip searches carried out on each of the category A prisoners being held at Her Majesty's Prison, Durham, monthly since Septembr 1988.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : As the hon. Member knows, records are not kept of the occasions when rub down seaching or "frisking" is carried out in prisons and it is not the practice to disclose detailed information about security arrangements such as that requested about the frequency of cell searches and cell changes.

Comprehensive records of strip searches are available only in respect of category A women prisoners, of whom there were three in Durham prison between 1 September and 30 October, and four between 31 October and 31 March. The number of occasions on which each was strip searched in each month from September to March is shown in the following table.

                      |Prisoner A|Prisoner B|Prisoner C           


September  |2         |7         |4         |-                    

October    |3         |6         |2         |1                    

November   |4         |5         |4         |4                    

December   |4         |6         |3         |4                    

January    |1         |-         |1         |1                    

February   |5         |2         |1         |2                    

March      |3         |2         |2         |3                    

Passport Applications

Mr. David Porter : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the current average waiting time for passport applications to be processed at each of the United Kingdom issuing offices.

Mr. Renton : The current processing times for straight-forward non- urgent postal applications at the six United Kingdom passport offices are shown in the table. Urgent applications are given priority, and are not normally subject to delay.

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|c|Average time between receipt of application  

and issue of passport|c|                        

|c|(working days) 16 April 1989|c|              

Passport Office |Working days                   


London          |20                             

Glasgow         |37                             

Peterborough    |27                             

Newport         |33                             

Liverpool       |46                             

Belfast         |4                              

Poppewell Report

Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the actions taken by Her Majesty's Government in respect of each of the recommendations of the Popplewell report.

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Mr. John Patten : The action taken relating to the recommendations of the final report of the Popplewell inquiry has been as follows. Designation under the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975 has been extended to all sports grounds used for either association football, rugby union, rugby league or cricket and identified as having accommodation for over 10,000 spectators (recommendation 2). As from 1 January 1988 parts I and II of the Fire Safety and Safety of Places of Sport Act 1987 abolished the distinction in the 1975 Act between "sports grounds" and "sports stadia" (recommendation 1), introduced a power for local authorities and fire authorities to issue prohibition notes or restriction notices (recommendations 7 and 8), and required local authorities to arrange annual inspections of designated sports grounds (recommendation 9(ii)).

As from 1 January 1989 part III of the 1987 Act introduced a system of safety certification for stands able to accommodate at least 500 spectators under cover at undesignated sports grounds and for their periodical inspection by local authorities (recommendations 3 and 4).

As from 1 June 1988 part IV of the 1987 Act extended entertainment licensing to indoor sports entertainments to which the public are invited as spectators (recommendations 5 and 6).

The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 which came into force on 1 January 1986 had already extended the police powers of search and arrest in ways which help them to deal with troublemakers at football grounds (recommendations 11 and 13). The Public Order Act 1986 created a new offence of disorderly conduct to cover hooliganism in football grounds as elsewhere (recommendation 12).

Following a review (recommendation 14) a relaxation of the controls over the sale and possession of alcohol in executive boxes was introduced in the Public Order Act 1986.

The Government's existing proposals for a membership scheme are contained in the Football Spectators Bill [Lords] . This follows previous efforts to encourage the football authorities to introduce membership schemes on a voluntary basis (recommendation 15). The question of structural fire precautions and means of escape in buildings (including covered sports stands) (recommendation 10) is under review as part of the Government's comprehensive overhaul of the building regulations. It is the intention of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment to issue a consultative paper by the end of this year seeking comment on a package of proposals dealing with these issues.

Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps have been taken by Her Majesty's Government in pursuit of recommendations 34 and 35 of the report from the working group on the green guide on football grounds, published as an adjunct to the Popplewell report.

Mr. John Patten : The guide to safety at sports grounds was revised in 1986. It provides guidance on the function of pitch perimeter fences including the importance of providing gates or access points to allow full access to the playing area (or perimeter track) where it is likely to be used as a place of safety in an emergency.

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Hillsborough (Public Order)

Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information he has received showing the number of people who were (a) arrested and (b) charged inside or outside the Sheffield Wednesday football ground on Saturday 15 April for (a) drink-related offences, (b) obstruction or assault on police officers, (c) robbery, (d) looting, (e) pilfering and (f) urinating in a public place.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : The chief constable of South Yorkshire police has informed us that 43 persons were arrested of whom 10 were charged, 10 ejected from the ground and 23 were cautioned and released. Of the 43 arrests 19 were for drink-related offences, one for obstructing or assaulting the police, none for robbery, looting or pilfering, and one for urinating in a public place.

Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information he has received about how many (a) police officers and (b) emergency service personnel on duty at Hillsborough on Saturday, 15 April required medical treatment because of injuries sustained during their duties on that day.

Mr. John Patten : I am informed by the chief constable that 19 police officers have so far been recorded as having received medical treatment for physical injuries. The chief fire officer informs me that so far none of his staff have reported a need for such treatment and I am informed by the chief ambulance officer that he is still engaged in debriefing his staff and that this information is not yet available. A number of members of the different services are suffering from stress and other problems relating to their experiences at Hillsborough.

Broadcasting White Paper

Mr. Wheeler : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which organisations have responded to his White Paper "Broadcasting in the '90s : Competition, Choice and Quality" November 1988 ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Douglas Hurd : I have today placed in the Library a list of the main organisations which have submitted comments on the broadcasting White Paper. We have received over 3,000 responses altogether. Further details may be obtained from the Home Office broadcasting department, room 669, 50 Queen Anne's Gate, London SW1H 9AT.


Operations (Contracting Out)

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many operations within the Trent regional health authority were contracted out to private hospitals, and at what cost, for the year in which he has the latest figures ; what was the position five and 10 years ago ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Freeman : I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Nottingham, North (Mr. Allen) on 4 April at columns 88-89 . The 816 deaths and discharges quoted break down into 21 surgical, 353 convalescent, 441 terminal care and 1 unspecified.

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Mental Illness

Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what are the most recently available figures for admission rate (a) for mental illness generally and (b) schizophrenia to mental hospitals, broken down by country of birth.

Mr. Freeman : The figures in the table show the proportion of all such admissions for all mental illness and for schizophrenia only, broken down by place of birth. The information relates to admissions, and not to individual patients, since the same patient may be admitted more than once during the year.

|c|All admissions to National Health Service mental illness hospitals|c|       

|c|and units, England during 1986, by place of birth|c|                        

|c|Percentage of all admissions|c|                                             

Place of birth        |All mental illness|Schizophrenia only                   

                      |per cent.         |per cent.                            


England               |51.1              |54.0                                 

Ireland<1>            |2.4               |2.2                                  

Scotland              |1.6               |1.2                                  

Wales                 |0.6               |0.4                                  

Europe                |1.2               |1.8                                  

Africa                |0.7               |1.4                                  

Central South Asia<2> |1.0               |1.8                                  

Rest of Asia          |0.4               |0.7                                  

Australasia           |0.1               |0.1                                  

Americas              |0.3               |0.4                                  

Caribbean             |0.7               |2.5                                  

Not known             |39.9              |33.5                                 

<1> Including Northern Ireland.                                                

<2> Central South Asia comprises Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, India,

 Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.                                                

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Mr. Beggs : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment of the research and development of a monitoring alarm into the prevention of sudden infant death syndrome by Clifton Towers Products Ltd. has been carried out by his Department ; and whether Her Majesty's Government will financially support further research and development of this invention.

Mr. John Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information he has on the work done by Clifton Towers Products Ltd. at Port Talbot into cot deaths ; what requests have been made to his Department for the funding of research and development ; and what parallel or similar research and development is being carried out with the support of his Department.

Mr. Freeman : Clifton Tower Products Ltd. contacted this Department in April 1988 to say that it had developed a monitor which would help save many babies' lives by triggering an alarm when the baby's temperature rose or fell by 2 from the normal. In subsequent correspondence they said that the alarm would prevent a significant proportion of sudden infant deaths. The evidence for this claim was requested. In September, material on the association between sudden infant death syndrome and temperature was submitted together with a request for unspecified financial support for the development of the alarm. (A subsequent letter requested £120,000 for further research.)

I understand that prior to, and during, this correspondence Clifton Towers was also in discussion with the Welsh Office. The results of these discussions were that,

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while no assistance was provided for research and development work, assistance was given by the Welsh Office for market research and associated activities under the business improvement services scheme (BIS), and the establishment of a manufacturing facility has been aided under the regional development scheme (RDG).

Officials have taken expert medical advice. The conclusion is that while, as we already knew, there is an association between some sudden infant deaths and temperature, the nature of the relationship is unknown. We are discussing further with the Medical Research Council what is known about the relationship between temperature and infant mortality and morbidity. On the basis of the conclusions of those discussions we will be able to consider the merits of a scientific evaluation of the usefulness and effectiveness of temperature monitors/alarms.

Hospital Trusts

Mrs. Mahon : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received from the Calderdale health authority and others on setting up National Health Service hospital trusts.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke : I have not received any representations from Calderdale health authority. Duncan Nichol, the chief executive of the National Health Service, has asked for initial expressions of interest in the proposals to be sent to my Department through regional health authorities, by 31 May.

Elderly People (Provision)

Mr. Robin Cook : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what are his Department's guidelines for (a) the provision of geriatric beds, (b) homes for the elderly and (c) home help staff per head of population.

Mr. Mellor : The level of service provision is a matter for the local health authority or local social services authority respectively to decide. Authorities should take into account local needs and where appropriate, the potential contribution of voluntary, private and informal care.

The Department's planning guidelines to health authorities (circular HC (88) 43) state that they should provide an integrated range of services for elderly people, comprising community health services, acute geriatrics/geriatric assessment, rehabilitation and continuing care.

Hearing Therapy Service

Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what stage has been reached in the review being undertaken by the National Health Service Training Agency into the hearing therapy service ; when he expects the report to be published ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Mellor : Provision of hearing therapy and employment of hearing therapists in the National Health Service are the responsibility of health authorities. The National Health Service training authority is concerned with the training required for health authorities to achieve the supply of skills they require. In this connection the authority has been reviewing future training provision for hearing therapists and the development of standards-based vocational qualifications. Proposals have been made

Column 345

to the care sector consortium and the Training Agency, and the British Society of Hearing Therapists has been invited to comment.

Capitation Fees

Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the possibility of the new standard capitation fees for general practitioners, proposed in "General Practice in the National Health Service--A New Contract", leading to general practitioners screening out patients before taking them on in their practice ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Mellor : Our intention to increase standard capitation fees is an important part of our proposals for a new contract for GPs. By increasing capitation payments as a proportion of a GP's income we will encourage GPs to recognise the importance of providing full services that will attract patients to their lists and keep them with the practice. In the case of patients aged 75 and over, we will be paying a much higher capitation fee than before. These measures will introduce a degree of competition in general practice which has not existed before and will, we believe, reduce rather than increase the likelihood that GPs will refuse to accept patients onto their lists. If any patient has difficulty in being accepted onto a GP's list the family practitioner committee has and will continue to have the power to assign the patient to a particular GP.

Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for Health on what assumptions on future numbers of (a) surgery sessions, (b) doctors' clinics and (c) general practitioners, his proposals for the introduction of capitation arrangements in "General Practice in the National Health Service --A New Contract" are based.

Mr. Mellor : The examples at appendix F of "General Practice in the National Health Service : A New Contract" are intended to illustrate in broad terms the effect of the proposed new contract on the remuneration of the average GP with a list size of a specified level. The notes on each example explain the assumptions made about the number of minor surgery sessions and health promotion clinics which the average GP with the list size specified in each case might undertake. No assumption has been made about the number of GPs as this does not affect the figures.

General Practice (Targets)

Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment he has made of the attainability of the assumptions of 80 per cent. screening of eligible women and 90 per cent. of childhood immunisation set out in "General Practice in the National Health Service--A New Contract" and what account was paid to patient resistance in setting these targets ;

(2) what estimate he has made of the potential disincentive effect on general practitioners undertaking screening and childhood immunisation of the levels at which the target take-up rates have been set.

Mr. Mellor : GPs will be required under their terms of service to provide health promotion and illness prevention services. These services will include advising patients on the wisdom of attending for screening and of immunising children. It is Departmental policy to achieve 80 per cent. coverage of women aged 20-65 for cervical cancer

Column 346

screening, and 90 per cent. coverage for immunisation of children under five. These target coverage levels provide a sufficient margin to allow for cases where screening or immunisation would not be appropriate.

We believe that these levels are attainable. In 1987-88 in England childhood immunisation coverage levels were 87 per cent. for polio (with diphtheria and tetanus), 76 per cent. for measles and 71 per cent. for whooping cough with uptake rates for the last two accelerating. Recent initiatives such as the introduction of the MMR vaccine will lead to further improvements. By replacing item of service payments for these services with payments related to achievement of the target coverage levels we will reward the good GPs who already reach those levels and introduce a powerful incentive for those who do not.

GP Contracts

Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what will be the transitional arrangements to the introduction of the new general practitioner contracts.

Mr. Mellor : No decisions have been made on this matter. Officials are in consultation with the General Medical Services Committee on what transitional arrangements if any will be needed when the new GPs' contract is introduced.

NHS Reform

Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how antenatal care will be costed under the new financial arrangements for general practitioners and National Health Service services ; and if he will make a statement ;

(2) whether patients readmitted to hospital will be accounted as new patients in every individual instance for the purposes of financial monitoring under the White Paper "Working for Patients."

Mr. Mellor : The detailed implementation of our proposals for funding hospital services through contracts between health authorities, or general practitioners, and hospitals is currently being considered and discussed with those most closely involved. We plan to issue guidance and model forms of contract by April 1990 as made clear in the second of the working papers published on 20 February.

Working for Patients"

Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will publish (a) a list of those commenting and (b) a summary of the comments of the relevant professional bodies, on the Government's National Health Service White Paper "Working for Patients."

Mr. Mellor : I refer the hon. Member to my right hon. and learned Friend's reply to the right hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ashley) on 17 April at column 53.

Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what expressions of public support he has received for his proposals on the National Health Service White Paper "Working for Patients".

Mr. Mellor : We have received many expressions of public support, both at local and national levels, for our proposals for an NHS able to provide more choice and better care for all patients.

Column 347


Youth Training Scheme

Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give the ethnic data for youth training scheme trainees as at March and October 1988 separately for each youth training scheme, both local and large company unit, operating in the Birmingham and Solihull, and Coventry and Warwickshire areas.

Mr. Cope : Because of the exceptional length of the reply, I am sending the hon. Member the information requested, a copy of which has also been placed in the Library.

Column 348

Training and Work Experience

Mr. Ralph Howell : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Fife, Central (Mr. McLeish) of 7 November, Official Report, column 51, if he will tabulate the total number of people on each Government training and work experience scheme in (i) 1979 and (ii) the latest date for which figures are available, giving the total of all such persons in each case and the overall cost.

Mr. Cope : The table shows the number of people in Great Britain who started a training or work experience scheme in the years 1979-80 and 1987- 88 and the total cost to the Training Agency (formerly Training Commission, formerly Manpower Services Commission). The figures include those who started for a second or subsequent time. Average numbers of trainees in training as quoted in my reply of 7 November are not available for every scheme.

Column 347

                                        1979-80                     1987-88                                  

Scheme                                 |Number (000s)|£ million    |Number (000s)|£ million                  


Youth Opportunities Programme          |216          |123          |-            |-                          

Training Opportunites Programme        |91           |229          |-            |-                          

Special Temporary Employment Programme |22           |51           |-            |-                          

Community Industry                     |9            |17           |9            |26                         

Youth Training Scheme                  |-            |-            |398          |1,066                      

Old Job Training Scheme                |-            |-            |49           |157                        

New Job Training Scheme                |-            |-            |99           |67                         

Training For Enterprise                |-            |-            |108          |23                         

Access to Information Technology       |-            |-            |22           |1                          

Local Grants to Employers              |-            |-            |124          |<1>31                      

Self Standing Work Preparation         |-            |-            |46           |-                          

Training Linked to Community Programme |-            |-            |41           |31                         

Community Programme                    |-            |-            |269          |1,110                      

Voluntary Projects Programme           |-            |-            |106          |15                         


Total                                  |338          |420          |1,271        |2,527                      

<1>Does not include local consultancy grants.                                                                

Industrial Injuries

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he has any plans to change the system of reporting and recording of industrial injuries ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Nicholls : The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1985 came into force on 1 April 1986. They changed and augmented the previous reporting requirements, in particular by extending definition of major injuries and introducing an obligation to report injuries resulting from accidents at work which cause incapacity for more than three days. Although there are no immediate plans for any further change to the reporting and recording system, the operation of the new regulations is being kept under close scrutiny.

Labour Statistics

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment when he now anticipates that unemployment levels will fall to 1979 levels.

Mr. Lee : The Department does not forecast future levels of unemployment.

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Wages (Underpayment)

Mrs. Golding : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what steps he will take to reduce the underpayment of wages by employers which are attributed to ignorance or inadvertence.

Mr. Nicholls : Measures designed to inform employers about statutory obligations on minimum pay include the provision of information in employer and business guides, talks and advice given by the wages inspectorate to individuals and groups, and the maintenance of a register of employers in scope of wages councils and to whom wages orders need to be sent. Given the very high level of compliance with wages orders these measures are considered adequate. However, particular efforts have recently been made to ensure that the inspectorate's register is kept up-to-date and there has been increased contact between the inspectorate and organisations which advise the public.

Sherrards Training Centre

Mr. Hoyle : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment in view of Manpower Services Commission funding what discussions his Department had with the Spastics Society regarding Sherrards training centre, Welwyn Garden City, prior to its closure ; and what reasons were given for the closure of this centre.

Column 349

Mr. Lee : The Training Agency, formerly the Manpower Services Commission, has had a number of detailed discussions over the last 18 months with the Spastics Society covering both funding and the need to improve and modernise the assessment and employer rehabilitation services at Sherrards training centre.

Detailed funding proposals were put to the society in November 1988 offering a continued level of support up to 31 March 1990. Subsequently in a letter to the Training Agency the society stated that a review of the society's services had been carried out to ensure that the organisation was using its resources in the most effective and efficient means for the benefit of its clients. As a result of the review, the society has decided to close the Sherrards training centre.

Mr. Hoyle : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment whether he is prepared to meet part of the funding of residential costs for training disabled people at Sherrards training centre.

Mr. Lee : The Sherrards training centre closed on 31 March.

Mr. Hoyle : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will discuss with the relevant local authorities the possibility of joint funding for Sherrards training centre.

Mr. Lee : No. The Training Agency paid up to 90 per cent. of the running costs of the Sherrards centre. The society, however, made it clear that even with a high level of funding it wished to close the centre.

The centre closed on 31 March 1989.


Mr. Tony Lloyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment when he intends to publish his responses to his Department's management report concerning evaluation of the integration pilot schemes between jobcentres and unemployment benefit offices ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Fowler [holding answer 20 March 1989] : Work to test a number of different approaches to integrate employment service local offices and the services they provide began in March 1989. I am currently considering the results of this exercise.

Equal Opportunities

Mr. Tony Lloyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give the ethnic monitoring details of YTS trainees for each individual large company unit scheme in the United Kingdom as at October 1989 or the most recent date.

Mr. Cope [holding answer 17 April 1989] : Because of the length of the reply, I am sending the hon. Member the available information, copies of which have also been placed in the Library.

EC Employment Council

129. Mr. Mills : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on his recent meeting with the Spanish Employment Minister, president of the Employment Council of Ministers, at Seville.

Column 350

Mr. Fowler [holding answer 18 April 1989] : I attended the informal meeting of Labour and Social Affairs Ministers in Seville on 7 March 1989. We had wide-ranging discussions on the social dimension of the single European market.


Rating Reform

Mr. Fraser : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will reimburse in full to Lambeth council the estimated cost of £3 million for preparations for the collection of poll tax to be incurred in the financial year 1989-90.

Mr. Gummer : No. The Government's grants and capital allocations towards the cost of preparing for the community charge will not necessarily reimburse in full the cost of implementation in each particular authority in view of the freedom available to charging authorities and community charges registration officers to decide what resources to deploy to implement part I of the Local Government Finance Act 1989 in their areas.

The Government have no plans to introduce a poll tax.

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment why the decision not to allow the sale of the extract of the community charge register was taken ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Gummer : I am sending the hon. Member an extract from a speech giving the reasons by my noble Friend the Earl of Caithness in another place on 29 June 1988, during the passage of the Local Government Finance Bill, Official Report, columns 1689-90.

Mr. Aspinwall : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will give details of the responses to the 1989 consultation document on the transition of non-domestic rating ; and if he will make a statement.

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