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Mr. Lawrence : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has received representations about the increase in pornographic books and magazines in circulation ; whether he is giving consideration to a more effective definition of obscenity ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Renton : We receive correspondence about a number of aspects of our controls on obscene material. The Government have supported recent attempts to strengthen the test of obscenity in the Obscene Publications Act 1959, and have strengthened the controls on child pornography. Attempts to change the 1959 Act have not yet commanded the support of Parliament.
Mr. Heddle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis as to whether maximum use and benefit is currently being derived from the Metropolitan police car pound at Calthorpe street, London WC1 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : I understand from the commissioner that although the car pound at Calthorpe street WC1 has not yet been used to full capacity it is regarded as an important acquisition, allowing the Metropolitan police scope for expansion of their removal operations and providing additional space which may be required in the event of closure of other car pounds.
Column 254any proposal, in the light of consideration in due course, to include similar questions in the post-enumeration survey following the 1991 census.
(2) how many representations he has received in favour of an inquiry into greyhound racing finances.
Mr. John Patten : Between November 1988, when the British Greyhound Racing Board launched a campaign for an inquiry into the finances of greyhound racing (and of horseracing) and their relationship to off-course betting, and 15 May, we have received 13 letters from Members of Parliament in support of or asking about such an inquiry. In addition, in that period there have been two earlier questions asking if such an inquiry is to be established, and early-day motion 185, which calls on the Government to undertake a
"wider inquiry into off-course bookmaking and the feasibility of a levy for greyhound racing".
In his reply on 22 March to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Langbaurgh (Mr. Holt), my right hon. Friend said that he would announce his conclusion on the recommendation from the Government-appointed members of the Horserace Betting Levy Board that there should be an inquiry into the long-term funding of racing when he had received and considered advice from Lloyds merchant bank as to the feasibility of privatising the Horserace Totalisator Board. Whether or not the financing of greyhound racing should be included in such an inquiry is among the considerations which my right hon. Friend is taking into account.
Sir David Price : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give instructions to all electoral returning officers that every polling station should have reasonable access for disabled people, including those in wheelchairs.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the longest period during the past 20 years for which a person has been held in custody on remand ; and who currently on remand has been held for the longest time.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : Information about the longest periods held on remand during the last 20 years is not available centrally. On 31 March 1989 one unconvicted prisoner had been held in Pentonville prison for more than
Column 255three years having been committed to custody pending completion of extradition proceedings. An indication of the length of time spent in prison service establishments by persons received on remand is published annually in "Prison Statistics England and Wales" (tables 2.3, 2.4 of the latest issue, for 1987, Cm. 547), copies of which are in the Library.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how long Lorrain Esme Osman, currently held in Her Majesty's prison, Pentonville, has been in custody ; what grounds there are for Mr. Osman's continued detention ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : Mr. Osman has been in custody since 7 December 1985. He was committed in custody by Bow street magistrates court on 1 June 1987 to await the Home Secretary's order for his surrender to the Hong Kong authorities under the provisions of the Fugitive Offenders Act 1967. Since then his surrender has been repeatedly deferred pending the outcome of applications for writs of habeas corpus and related appeals.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make available the request for extradition received from Hong Kong accompanying a warrant of arrest dated 30 November 1985 in respect of Lorrain Esme Osman.
Mr. John Patten : The request for Mr. Osman's extradition has been considered by the courts. The information provided to the courts in accordance with the Fugitive Offenders Act 1967 included the arrest warrant and supporting documents. It is not the practice to publish other communications about extradition cases.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make it his policy not to order Lorrain Esme Osman to be returned to Hong Kong until the English courts have completed their consideration of the effect of the decision by the Hong Kong Court of Appeal on 4 May 1989 quashing a warrant dated 30 November 1985 on the grounds that it was vitiated by bias ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. John Patten : Under the provisions of the Fugitive Offenders Act 1967 my right hon. Friend cannot order the return of a fugitive until any proceedings challenging the committal for surrender by the Bow street magistrates, whether by way of an application for habeas corpus or an appeal arising from such an application, have been concluded.
Mr. Shersby : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers in England and Wales have lost their lives in the course of their duty in each of the past five years for which figures are available.
|Number --------------------- 1984 |15 1985 |7 1986 |9 1987 |11 1988 |2
In each of the years 1987 and 1988 one officer in addition to the above figures lost his life as a result of responding to criminal action while off duty.
Mr. Renton : We have received about 250 letters of complaint about delays at the passport offices since the beginning of the year. Not all of these related specifically to applications for renewal or replacement of an existing passport.
Mr. Cran : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Beverley of 15 May, what he treats as legitimate uses to which electronic surveillance listening devices may be put as distinct from television-based devices.
Section 2 (Re-definition of exempted shotguns)
Section 3 (Grant and renewal of shotgun certificates)
Section 4 (Transfers of shotgun)
Section 5 (Restriction on sale of ammunition for smooth-bore guns) Section 6 (Shortening of barrels)
and 7(3) (Conversion of weapon to which section 1 of the 1968 Act applies not to affect classification)
Section 11 (Grant of co-terminous certificates)
Section 13(1) (Firearms dealers)
Section 15 (Rifle and pistol clubs)
Section 19 (Firearms and ammunition in museums)
Section 20 (Removal of arms and ammunition to Northern Ireland) Section 23(4) (Minor and consequential amendments)
Section 24(2) (Expenses and receipts)
Sections coming into force on 1 October 1989
Section 17 (Visitors' permits)
Section 18 (Firearms acquired for export)
Section 23(8) (Repeal of section 14 of the 1968 Act)
Transitional arrangements have been made to allow owners of smooth-bore guns raised to section 1 control a
Column 257period of seven months--from 1 July 1989 to 31 January 1990--in which to comply with the new controls. During this time they will have a number of options open to them. If they wish to retain the weapon in its existing condition they may apply for a firearm certificate, or a variation to an existing one, subject to the criteria laid down in the Firearms Act 1968 being met. They may continue to hold the gun on a shotgun certificate by adapting it so that it has a non-detachable magazine incapable of holding more than two cartridges in the manner approved under section 2(3) of the Act. Or they may arrange to have it de-activated. Alternatively, the weapon may be sold to a registered firearms dealer or to the holder of a section 1 firearm certificate who is authorised to acquire it.
Mr. Winnick : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what decision he has made regarding allowing Fiore, an Italian citizen, to remain in the United Kingdom ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Renton [holding answer 17 May 1989] : In 1981 the Italian Government requested the extradition of Mr. Fiore for a number of offences, but the request failed in the courts because a prime facie case could not be established. No further request has been received from the Italian Government for his extradition. When the extradition provisions of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 are brought into force later this year the United Kingdom will be able to ratify the European convention on extradition, which does not impose a prime facie requirement.
Consideration has also been given to Mr. Fiore's deportation under section 3(5)(b) of the Immigration Act 1971. Under Community law, a Community national working here can be deported on grounds of public policy, public security or public health. In accordance with case law established by the European Court, however, it would be necessary to have evidence of personal conduct constituting a present threat to the requirements of public policy. Mr. Fiore has been interviewed by officers of the immigration department of the Home Office, but the evidence available does not meet the strict criteria for deportation required under European law.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what provision there is in Wales for student nurses, whose first language is Welsh, to study for nursing qualifications ; and if he will list those schools of nursing in Wales who provide training for nurses whose first language is Welsh.
Mr. Grist : For individuals in Wales to register and practise as a nurse they must obtain qualifications prescribed by the United Kingdom central council for nursing, midwifery and health visiting. Registration
Column 258enables nurses to practise anywhere in the United Kingdom. Student nurses in Wales are therefore trained solely through the medium of English.
Mr. Wyn Roberts : The Polytechnic of Wales will continue to be funded from the higher education quantum on the advice of the Wales Advisory Body for Local Authority Higher Education. If it acquires corporate status as a limited company it will become an assisted, rather than a maintained, institution, but its funding arrangements would not change. The question of the polytechnic acquiring corporate status in this way is a matter for Mid Glamorgan county council as the maintaining local education authority.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what proposals he has for improvement of community dental services ; what additional resources he is making available to district health authorities for this purpose ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Grist : Welsh Office officials will be discussing community dental services with officers of district health authorities in order to assess the adequacy of current levels of provision in the light of the recently issued circular WHC(89)28 entitled "The Future Development of Community Dental Services".
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether there is any cash limit on the central Government resources available to housing associations in Wales for 1989-90 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Grist : There is currently no technical cash limit on central Government resources available to housing associations in Wales, but I determine each year the allocation within which Housing for Wales must plan its development programme.
Mr. Martyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if the two recent changes in the staff of his Department responsible for mental health provision were post deletions ; and if he will make a statement.
Year |<1>Number of applications|Value of grant applied |for (£ million) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1987-88 |198 |68 1988-89 |267 |135 <1>RSA project and training grants.
Mr. Livsey : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the number and value of regional development grant applications in Wales for (a) 1985-86, (b) 1986-87, (c) 1987-88 and (d) 1988-89.
Year |<1>Number of applications|<2>Related project |expenditure (£ million) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1985-86 |952 |169 1986-87 |1,640 |351 1987-88 |3,438 |1,567 <1>The RDG II scheme closed to new applications on 31 March 1988. Ineligible applications received subsequent to that date have been excluded from the answer. <2>The related project expenditure represents the capital expenditure forecast to be incurred by applicants on projects toward which grant is sought. An RDG II applicant is not required to state the value of grant applied for.
Mr. Livsey : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will publish the inflation-adjusted expenditure on the National Health Service in Wales per year over each of the last 10 years up to the year ending March 1989.
Total National Health Service gross expenditure Year |<1>£ million --------------------------------------- 1979-80 |904.7 1980-81 |982.0 1981-82 |1,018.6 1982-83 |1,048.9 1983-84 |1,064.1 1984-85 |1,096.1 1985-86 |1,109.7 1986-87 |1,154.3 1987-88 |1,219.0 1988-89 |1,273.7 <1> Actual expenditure has been adjusted for the effect of general inflation by using the gross domestic product market price deflator, brought to a 1988-89 price base.
Mr. Livsey : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will publish the figures for perinatal mortality in Wales for each year since 1979, in a form statistically comparable to those produced elsewhere in western Europe.
Perinatal deaths in Wales Year |<1>Number|<2>Rate ---------------------------------------- 1979 |569 |15.6 1980 |483 |12.8 1981 |508 |14.1 1982 |400 |11.1 1983 |405 |11.3 1984 |380 |10.5 1985 |378 |10.2 1986 |384 |10.3 1987 |351 |9.2 <1> The number of registered stillbirths and deaths within the first week of life. <2> Perinatal deaths per 1,000 total ( ie live and still births). Source:OPCS.
Precise data comparability with countries outside the United Kingdom are problematic as the legal requirements of the registration systems vary, as do the recording practices, particularly as regards stillbirth.
Within the United Kingdom stillbirths of 28 weeks gestation and over should be registered. Lower gestation limits apply in some countries for example France (26 weeks). In other countries a physical measurement of the stillborn is the criterion. For example birthweight of 1,000g or more applies in Federal Republic of Germany and in some countries the criterion is either gestation or physical measurement.
Public consultation on alternative options for a bypass of Talgarth will be undertaken towards the end of the year and a fee competition for the appointment of consultants to undertake a bypass feasibility study for Crickhowell will be held shortly.
Mr. Wyn Roberts : "Roads in Wales 1989--Progress and Plans for the 1990's" shows Talgarth bypass for possible start in the medium term period April 1991 to March 1994 and Crickhowell bypass as a long-term scheme unlikely to start before 1994-95. It is not possible to be more precise.
Mr. Livsey : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the number of National Health Service hospitals in each of the Welsh health authority areas for every year from 1979 to the end of 1988.
Mr. Grist : A list of hospitals in Wales, up to and including 1987, has been published annually in "Health and Personal Social Services Statistics for Wales" copies of which are in the Library of the House. During 1988, one hospital--Neath annexe in west
Glamorgan--closed and one hospital--Minffordd in Gwynedd--reopened.
Mr. Livsey : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much has been allocated to Tai Cymru for its rural housing initiative ; and how much of this money will be allocated to each district and borough council area in Wales for 1989-90.
Mr. Grist : No specific allocation has been made to Housing for Wales-Tai Cymru for rural housing, but I have asked it to maintain its investment in rural areas in line with previous years at around 25 per cent. of its development programme. With regard to detailed allocations by Housing for Wales to district and borough council areas, I have asked the chairman to write to the hon. Gentleman.
Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if his Department's water and environmental protection division will now reply to the letters sent on 14 December 1988 and 19 March 1989 to M. Mathews, R. H. Lockyear and P. M. Jones regarding the effects of the Water Bill on the Swansea City Council (Tawe Barrage) Act 1986.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will publish a table showing the average farm income in Wales for each of the last five years for which figures are available and adjusted for inflation.
Year ------------------ 1982-83 |100 1983-84 |92 1984-85 |79 1985-86 |84 1986-87 |81 1982-83 = 100
On an index basis, and adjusted for inflation, the figures are as follows :