Mr. Vaz : To ask the Attorney-General if any instructions have been given to the Crown Prosecution Service on the prosecution of persons formally charged under section 47 of the Offences Against the Person Act.
The Attorney-General : No specific instructions concerning the prosecution of offences under section 47 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 have been issued to the Crown Prosecution Service as a whole. However, some chief Crown prosecutors have issued guidance to Crown prosecutors in their area.
As with all cases prosecuted by the service, in accordance with the code for Crown prosecutors, Crown prosecutors are required to satisfy themselves that there is sufficient evidence to afford a realistic prospect of conviction, and, if there is, whether the public interest requires a prosecution, before continuing criminal proceedings for such offences.
Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will give for the latest year for which figures are available the school attendance rate for (a) the years one to five secondary school, (b) fourth year secondary pupils, (c) fifth year secondary pupils and (d) primary schools for each local education authority.
Mr. Butcher : This information is not collected centrally. The monitoring of school attendance and decisions on whether to publish figures on attendance are matters for local education authorities and schools.
Mr. Kenneth Baker : The Government set aside £5 million for Armenian relief and reconstruction shortly after last December's earthquake. Two million pounds of this has been allocated to a project to build, furnish and equip a school in Leninaken. Aid Armenia and a number of major British firms are also contributing to the project. Work will start shortly and my Department is planning to complete the school before the beginning of the 1990-91 school year. Parliamentary approval to provision for this school will be sought in the 1989-90 Supply Estimate for the schools, research and miscellaneous services Vote. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure estimated at £1.5 million will be met by repayable advances from the Contingencies Fund.
Mr. Amos : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he has now considered the views expressed by the local authority employees, teachers unions and others on his proposals following the second report of the Interim Advisory Committee on Schoolteachers Pay and Conditions ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Kenneth Baker : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales and I have decided to make available 23,172 places for intakes to initial teacher training courses in England and Wales in the academic year 1990-91, an increase of over 9 per cent. over the 1989 target of 21,157.
Four hundred and fifty of these additional places will be set aside for the development of innovative forms of secondary phase training in chemistry, music and modern languages. Initial teacher training institutions in the university and English PCFC sectors will be invited to bid for these places shortly.
I have also decided on the provisional allocations of intake numbers to individual courses at institutions in the English public sector. The Secretary of State for Wales will be seeking advice from the Wales advisory body on the allocation of places to the public sector initial teacher training institutions in Wales. I am writing today to the chairman of the Universities Funding Council to invite the council to consider the allocation of places in the university sector in England and Wales.
I am placing details of my proposals in the Library.
Mr. Sean Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with respect to the support grades in his Department (a) what is the number of staff employed, (b) how many vacancies there are and how many of these have existed for over one month and over three months, (c) how many temporary and casual appointments there are and (d) how much overtime was worked by them in London and elsewhere.
Mr. Sainsbury : As at 24 April 1989 a total of 2,963 office support grades (messengers, paperkeepers, office keepers, security guards, reprographic grades and Government telephonists) were employed within the Ministry of Defence.
During the period 1 April 1988 to 31 March 1989, the number of temporary and casual appointees was 51 and the amount of overtime worked by these temporary and casual appointees was :
(a) London--304.5 hours.
(b) Elsewhere--1,019.5 hours.
The office support grades are employed in Ministry of Defence establishments throughout the United Kingdom
Column 683and are recruited locally under delegated authority. Therefore, information about vacancies could be obtained only at
Mr. Cartwright : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he now expects teachers employed by the Service Children's Education Authority to be paid the back money due to them in respect of lunch-time supervision duties.
Mr. Neubert : Further to my reply of 20 February, at column 445, those teachers involved in lunch-time supervisory duties prior to 1 December 1988 have now completed claims for the hours worked and the individual calculations of moneys due have been completed. Payment is imminent.
Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to publish the summary of proposed steps for improving recruitment and retention in the armed forces ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Neubert : My hon. Friend the Minister of State for the Armed Forces said in reply to the hon. and learned Member for Leicester, West (Mr. Janner) on 24 February, at column 847, that we were considering the report on manning and recruiting in the Army in the nineties (MARILYN) and that in due course we should be in a position to publish a summary of the steps we would be taking to improve recruitment and retention. That remains our intention and naturally such a document would be made available to the House.
Mr. Sainsbury : My officials have been, and will continue to be, in consultation with the United Kingdom's representatives on the International Electrotechnical Commission's working group which is developing the international standard for software for computers in the application of industrial safety-related systems. The consultation is aimed at maximising the commonality between this standard and Def Stan 00-55.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence why his Department is developing its own standard of safety-related software independent of moves to introduce an international standard for civilian industry.
Column 684preference to European, national and defence standards. However, the lack of an adequate existing standard for safety- related software in defence equipment meant that it was essential for us to commence development of Def Stan 00-55. We are, though, taking account of the work, begun subsequently, of the International Electrotechnical Commission on an international standard for safety-related software for civilian industry.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if it is his intention that industry shall be bound by both (a) the impending standard on safety-related software coming from the International Electrotechnical Commission and (b) defence standard 00-55.
Mr. Sainsbury : The draft defence standard 00-55 covering the use of software in safety critical applications in defence equipment has yet to be issued for consultation. The extent to which that standard, and other related standards, will be applied in defence contracts will be resolved as part of the consultation process.
Mr. Sainsbury : Competitive tenders are being sought today for up to four Duke class type 23 frigates from the four United Kingdom shipbuilders with the appropriate capabilities--Yarrow Shipbuilders Ltd., Swan Hunter Shipbuilders Ltd., Vosper Thornycroft (UK) Ltd. and the VSEL/Cammell Laird group.
Tenderers will be required to submit fixed-price bids for varying combinations of up to four ships based on a phased build programme. Decisions will be taken on the precise timing and number to be ordered after the tenders have been received, evaluated and fully analysed.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representation Her Majesty's Government are making to the Iraqi Government about the unknown number of executions of young people under the age of 18, in the light of the minimum age limit of 18 for a death sentence to be imposed under international law.
Mrs. Chalker : We have repeatedly made clear to the Iraqi authorities our concern at the abuses of human rights in Iraq. Both the United Kingdom and Iraq have ratified the international covenant on civil and political rights which prohibits the use of the death penalty against minors. The Iraqis know that we expect them to abide by their international obligations.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how long are current waiting periods experienced by new asylum seekers from Vietnam between arrival in Hong Kong and screening by immigration officers ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 685screening in accordance with UNHCR criteria. The Hong Kong immigration department is currently screening those who arrived during July 1988. The screening and appeals process started off slowly because the procedures were new and complex, but we expect it to speed up as it becomes more established. Given the size of the problem and the increased rate of new arrivals, the Hong Kong immigration department, in consultation with UNHCR, has been reviewing its screening and appeals procedures with a view to shortening the waiting period.
The Al Yamamah economic offset programme arises from and is associated with project Al Yamamah, the sale of Tornado and other equipment to the Government of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. However, the offset programme is aimed at encouraging and assisting the creation of viable and profitable joint and other commercial ventures in any sector between United Kingdom and Saudi Arabian companies. It is a broadly based and flexible programme designed to provide the maximum benefit to the economies of both countries, and is open to all United Kingdom companies, not just defence contractors. Detailed arrangements for the programme were finalised between the Government and the Saudi Government at the end of last year, and the programme was formally launched to United Kingdom industry at a British seminar held in London on 31 January 1989.
The British offset office established within my Department has responsibility in the United Kingdom for implementing and managing this programme and it is working closely both with other Government Departments and with the many companies who have expressed interest in developing project ideas under the initiative. It is hoped that the first venture proposals will be ready for discussion with the Saudi Government offset committee very shortly. Because of the commercial confidentiality of the market opportunities under consideration, and respecting companies' wishes in this matter, we cannot at this stage give details of the business proposals under consideration.
Mr. Chris Patten : We have provided over £200 million in development assistance for Zimbabwe since independence and we intend to maintain a substantial programme. On her recent visit my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister pledged a further £10 million in capital aid for Zimbabwe, in addition to the £15 million that she offered to President Mugabe last October.
Research is under way at Warren Spring laboratory to process domestic refuse mechanically to recover materials, energy and compost and thus reduce the volume of wate for disposal in landfill sites. Warren Spring laboratory is also studying the preprocessing of refuse prior to incineration.
Numerous methods, both end of pipe and clean technologies, have been developed by industry in the United Kingdom for removal of heavy metals and the destruction of toxic components from process waste streams. However, the Department does not hold centrally details of all research and development projects currently being undertaken in the public and private sectors.
Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what work is being undertaken by or on behalf of his Department to consider the implications of a proportion of water and sewerage companies remaining in Government ownership.
Mr. Moynihan : A supplementary estimate on the central environmental services Vote (class X vote 2) will be presented in due course to cover the urgent expenditure on this new service. Pending parliamentary approval of this supplementary estimate, the Government's contribution of £500,000 to the Hillsborough disaster appeal will be met by a repayable advance from the Contingencies Fund. Subject to parliamentary approval of the supplementary estimate, the cash limit for the Vote will be increased by £500,000 from £279, 923,000 to £280,423,000. The increase will be charged to the reserve and will not therefore add to the planned total of public expenditure.
Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will place in the Library, the detailed coliform and E. coli results of all samples collected in the summer of 1988 for each of the 380 beaches summarised in deposited document NS 4754.
Details of all samples are recorded on the public register maintained by each water authority.
Column 687the Yorkshire water authority for the rebuilding of Bradford Beck and a comprehensive flood alleviation scheme ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Howard : Bradford city council and the Yorkshire water authority have submitted a draft joint application for European regional development fund grant for the combined Bradford Beck flood alleviation scheme and phase 1a of the Bradford Beck sewage strategy. The works are included in the Bradford integrated development operation (IDO).
Once a full application has been received it will be considered by the IDO co-ordinating committee who will assess the scheme's compatibility with the strategy and objectives of the programme.
Mr. Moynihan [holding answer 20 April 1989] : Under the Control of Pollution Act 1974, dischargers must apply to the appropriate regulatory authority--currently regional water authorities or Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution--before discharging into controlled waters. Consents are usually subject to specified conditions, the purpose of which is to protect the environmental quality objectives of the receiving waters.
My hon. and learned Friend the Minister for Water and Planning announced on 7 December 1988, at column 199, an accelerated programme of about £1,000 million for all water authorities to bring sub-standard sewage treatment works into compliance with their discharge consents by March 1992.
In addition, the Mersey basin campaign involves the construction of new sewage treatment and disposal facilities and the provision of major new interceptor sewers to take industrial trade and sewage effluents which are currently discharged directly into the river. The programme, which will cost around £2.5 billion over 25 years, will bring the Mersey up to class 2 (fair quality) throughout its length.
(2) whether he will now require Granox to comply with the Control of Pollution Act ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lee : As at 1 June 1987, 0.6 per cent. of the work force of British Coal were registered as disabled, as published in the Employment Gazette in February 1988. Figures for 1988 will be published shortly.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what reviews he is undertaking to implement the European Economic Community directive giving part-time workers the same legal rights as full-time workers ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Nicholls : This draft directive has not yet been approved by the Council of Ministers. At its meeting in June 1985 the Council agreed to defer further discussion. I understand that little progress has been made since then.
Mrs. Peacock : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is his Department's policy on European air fares after the decision of the European Court in the case of Ahmed Saeed Flugreisen and Another v . Zentrale Zur Bekampfung Unlauteren Wettbewerbs E.V. ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : Our policy objective is to ensure that air travellers are charged fair prices ; this conforms with the judgment of the European Court. We are reviewing the arrangements by which this objective is achieved to ensure that they are in accordance with the court decision.
Mr. Colvin : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a further statement on the application by the Central Electricity Generating Board to build a coal jetty and related works at Fawley.
Mr. Portillo : As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Energy informed my hon. Friend on 27 October 1988, at column 320, in view of the board's decision not to pursue for the time being its application for consent to build a generating station at Fawley the Government decided that the board's associated application for an order empowering the building of a jetty and other harbour works should not proceed further. There is therefore no extant application under the Harbours Act. The board recently announced the withdrawal of its application for the generating station.
Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many people travelling into central London by car receive (a) a free parking space and (b) a subsidised parking space from their employers ;
(2) what is the total cash assistance provided by employers to employees in central London for travelling by (a) car and (b) public transport ;
(3) how many people travel each day into central London by cars which are (a) owned by their employers or (b) subsidised by their employers.
Column 689The Department has commissioned research to examine the nature and scale of company assistance with travel costs to employees in the London area.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what correspondence or consultation has taken place between his railway inspectorate and British Railways Board concerning proposals to withdraw guards on trains running in single line tunnels between Finsbury Park and Moorgate ; and if he will place copies of such correspondence in the Library.
Mr. Portillo [holding answer 26 April 1989] : There has been a thorough consultation between British Rail and the railway inspectorate about the possible introduction of driver-only operation on this line, though I understand that British Rail has no immediate plans to withdraw guards. The inspectorate has assured me that it is satisfied with operational arrangements. I see no need to place copies of its correspondence with British Rail in the Library.
Mr. Portillo [holding answer 26 April 1989] : It is for British Rail to come forward with investment proposals based on its own assessment of priorities. I am always happy to approve worthwhile investment and I would consider carefully any plans to improve rail services in west Sussex.
As regards investment in roads, I refer my hon. Friend to the answer that I gave to him on 13 February 1989.
Mr. Sean Hughes : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, with respect to the support grades in his Department (a) what is the number of staff employed, (b) how many vacancies there are and how many of these have existed for over one month and over three months, (c) how many temporary and casual appointments there are and (d) how much overtime was worked by them in London and elsewhere.
(a) On 1 April 1989 there were 936 staff in post excluding casual staff (part-time staff are counted as half).
(b) On 1 April 1989 there were 57.5 vacant posts compared with 62 vacant posts on 1 March 1989 and 40 vacant posts on 1 January 1989. These figures reflect the difference between staff in post (including casuals) and authorised posts at each date.
Information on the duration of individual vacancies could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
(c) On 1 April 1989 there were 31 casual staff in post (part-time staff being counted as half).
(d) In 1988-89 approximately 76,850 hours overtime were worked in the DTI by support grades. The