Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on his Department's role in proposals in the White Paper "Working for Patients" as they affect (a) teaching hospitals, (b) academic research, (c) student teaching and (d) academic departments of general practice.
Mr. Jackson : Development of the proposals in the Cm 555 is for my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Health. However, the inter-relationship with education provision is recognised by close working between our two Departments, particularly through a steering group which also includes representatives of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals and other bodies with an interest in medical and dental education.
Mr. Jackson : This topic is already covered by the recommendations on basic medical education made by the education committee of the General Medical Council in the light of which medical schools determine the content of their courses.
Mrs. Rumbold : When the committee inquiring into the content of the educational experience of under-fives was established, I issued a general invitation to any interested party to submit written evidence or opinion.
Mrs. Rumbold : Most organisations submitting evidence are making their submissions public. I shall ask the committee to consider whether any additional measures to keep the House informed would be desirable.
Mr. Gow : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what are the responsibilities of the East Sussex county council to provide speech therapy and physio-therapy for those children who need those services at Hazel Court school, Eastbourne.
Mr. Kenneth Baker : Responsibility for the provision of speech therapy and physiotherapy services has rested with health authorities since the reorganisation of the National Health Service in 1974. Although an amendment to the Education Act 1981 contained in the Education Reform Act 1988 enables local education authorities, such as East Sussex, to provide non-educational provision, (which includes speech therapy and physiotherapy) for children with statements of special educational needs, this has not affected health authorities' general responsibilities.
Local education authorities will be aware that the recent High Court case of R v Lancashire county council ex parte CM ruled that speech therapy could be considered as either educational or non-educational provision.
Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many students pursuing degree courses in nursing in the current academic year are in receipt of local education authority mandatory awards.
Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will list those educational establishments offering degree courses in nursing, giving the number of such places offered by each for the current academic year.
Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will publish in the Official Report the data used to construct chart 7 on page 11 of "Top-up Loans for Students" (Cm. 520).
Average gross annual earnings of working males aged 30-39 Year |Earnings of male |Earnings of all working |graduates |males |£ |£ ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1979 |7,909 |5,728 1980 |9,119 |6,931 1981 |10,876 |7,867 1982 |11,822 |8,264 1983 |13,374 |9,220 1984 |14,589 |9,814 1985 |13,864 |10,575 Source: General Household Surveys 1979-1985.
The Attorney-General : The Green Papers set out proposals for the elimination of rules in the legal profession which may not be necessary in order to ensure standards of competence and conduct. The question, therefore, in relation to any particular rule is whether it is necessary for this purpose. If a rule is not necessary for this purpose its elimination is not likely to increase cost.
Mr. Lawrence : To ask the Attorney-General what response he is making to the Coopers and Lybrand report assessing the increase of the cost to the Exchequer of extending rights of audience in the high courts to solicitors in standard fee legal aid cases from £9.8 million to £17.7 million.
Column 346carefully considered, with a view to a response being made before the summer recess. The Lord Chancellor has, however, received a supplementary response from the Law Society which suggests that, contrary to the contentions in the Coopers and Lybrand report, for many straightforward Crown court cases it would be cheaper if a solicitor carried out the advocacy personally rather than employing a barrister.
Mr. Tim Smith : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when he expects to receive the annual report of the Securities and Investments board for the year ended 31 March 1989 ; and if he will take steps to bring forward a motion for the House to take note of the report.
Mr. Maude : My right hon. and noble Friend received the Securities and Investments board's annual report for the year ended 31 March 1989 on 5 June and copies of it were laid before Parliament on 6 June. The question of a debate on a motion taking note of the report is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House.
Mr. Malcolm Bruce : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what is his policy towards the scheme approved by the European Parliament which would help nations producing tropical timber to move towards sustainable forest management within five years.
Mr. Geraint Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he intends publishing a list of medical units that have expressed an interest in becoming self-governing ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 347officials have yet to complete our discussions with a range of interested parties in Wales, on the implementation of the proposals set out in the White Paper "Working for Patients".
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if his Department will seek to obtain a video cassette and transcript of the BBC2 nature series special programme "Climate in Crisis" broadcast on 5 June.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority reactors Dido and Lido at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment were (a) nominated on the facilities list of nuclear plants open to safeguards and (b) first visited by safeguards inspectors ; and if the reactors have ever been withdrawn from safeguards.
Mr. Parkinson : The DIDO reactor at AERE Harwell has never been nominated for the facilities list. The LIDO reactor was shut down in 1974 and therefore never included on the United Kingdom facilities list.
Mr. Alan W. Williams : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if, in view of the lack of confidence expressed by the Central Electricity Generating Board in reprocessing spent fuel from advanced gas cooled reactors at Sellafield, and of the Central Electricity Generating Board's plans to build alternative dry storage facilities at Heysham, he will reconsider the Thorp project ; and whether, if cancellation costs are not prohibitive, he will take a decision now to cancel Thorp.
Mr. Michael Spicer : The future of THORP is already assured. British Nuclear Fuels plc has contracts valued at some £4 billion and is negotiating with utilities in the Federal Republic of Germany for additional contracts, worth some £1.6 billion, which will help to guarantee the future of the plant well into the next century. The decision on whether to submit a planning application for a dry buffer store at Heysham is a matter for the CEGB.
Under the provisions of section 64 of the Agriculture Act 1967 Government support was provided in respect of guarantees given by the corporation on bank loans for agricultural and horticultural businesses. These powers expired on 31 March 1989.
I have been reviewing the need for a continuation of such powers and have concluded that it is no longer appropriate for the Government to continue making special provision for this sector. The Government take the view that public funds for bank loan guarantees should be targeted at those who do not have the necessary security or track record to obtain bank loans through the commercial market and yet have the potential for increasing national prosperity and the generation of additional employment. The Government are, however, considering the feasibility of whether the loan guarantee scheme operated by the Department of Employment, which helps small firms which would otherwise not be able to obtain finance, can be extended to include small firms in agriculture and horticulture.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will review the procedure for slaughterhouses catering solely for the domestic meat market, to have a pre-veterinery inspection, as for export- licensed slaughterhouses ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Donald Thompson : I have already announced my intention to introduce ante-mortem inspection in non-exporting abattoirs by 1 January 1991 to the hon. Member for South Shields (Dr. Clark) on 13 March 1989 at column 84. I have also decided that we should move towards a single set of rules for all slaughterhouses producing meat for human consumption. Discussions with the Commission and other member states on the arrangements which are to operate in the single market after 1992 will have a bearing on the implementation of this decision and its timing. I shall be discussing the issues with those in this country who have an interest.
Mr. Ryder : Last year the Ministry funded 436 research projects on food. Details can be found in the draft "National Programme of Food R & D 1988/89", a copy of which I am placing in the Library of the House.
Mr. Ryder : My Department is in regular contact with the Agricultural and Food Research Council (AFRC) at all levels. Moreover, my chief scientific adviser and the Secretary of the AFRC are both members of the Priorities Board for Research and Development in Agriculture and Food which advises United Kingdom Agriculture Ministers and the chairman of the AFRC on priorities in research and development in agriculture and food.
Mr. MacGregor : The Government have already taken wide-ranging action to deal with this new disease problem and has acted on all the recommendations made by the Southwood working party which was set up to look at all aspects of the disease, including any human health implications.
Although the Southwood working party regarded the risk to humans as remote, the Government acted on its recommendation that, as a precautionary measure, all cattle suspected as having BSE should be slaughtered and destroyed to take them out of the food chain. As a matter of extreme prudence, the Southwood working party also suggested that certain offals should not be used in the manufacture of baby foods. We established in February that these offals are not in fact currently used by baby food manufacturers. In order to provide even more reassurance to the public, I indicated then that we would bring forward regulations to ensure that there is no possibility of their use in the future.
In working out the details, I have concluded that a better way of dealing with this would be to ensure that the relevant types of bovine offals should be rejected at slaughterhouses for all cattle so that they cannot be used for human consumption in any way. These offals, which include brain, spinal cord, thymus, spleen and tonsils, will have to be stained in the slaughterhouse and disposed of under conditions similar to those applying to unfit meat. This approach also deals with a separate problem, namely, ensuring that if there is any risk that there are cattle incubating the disease but not showing clinical symptoms which are not being slaughtered and destroyed, their offals do not enter the food chain either.
Detailed proposals for regulations under the Food Act implementing this change will be issued for consultation, as required by the Act, very shortly.
Column 351very large number of individuals and organisations--over 1,200 in all--who responded to our consultation paper on untreated milk. The proposal for a ban on sales of untreated milk was supported by the enforcement authorities and by a number of other organisations, mainly those concerned with public health. Organisations and individuals representing producer interests were opposed to a ban. But the main volume of correspondence came from organisations and individuals representing consumers, the overwhelming majority of whom were also opposed to a ban. Their arguments were :
--they preferred to drink untreated milk, in spite of the additional health risks which this might involve ; and
--in accordance with the Government's general philosophy, they should be allowed to decide for themselves whether or not to continue drinking untreated milk.
Having carefully considered the representations which have been made--and in particular the large number received from individuals--my right hon. Friends and I have concluded that the consumer view should prevail. We therefore propose to continue to allow sales of untreated milk. But we recognise that this would continue to present a degree of public health risk, which we are anxious to do what we reasonably can to minimise. We are accordingly proposing that in future : --untreated milk should be more fully labelled, so that the consumer knows that it has not been heat- treated and may contain harmful organisms ;
--it should be subject to more sophisticated tests, which will have to be reflected in higher milk and dairies charges for producers ; and
--the procedure under regulation 20 of the Milk and Dairies (General) Regulations 1959 should be simplified to facilitate the issue of heat treatment orders in cases where untreated milk constitutes a threat to health.
Proposals for regulations will be issued shortly to interested parties in the usual way and will indicate the time scale for the various changes proposed. I recognise that new labelling requirements in particular cannot be introduced overnight.
The consultation document also sought views on untreated cream and on cheese made from untreated milk. In both cases there appears to be a need for more informative labelling and I shall be considering this in the light of our Community obligations. Action on goat and sheep milk must await the necessary primary legislation, but prima facie there is a case for making these milks subject to the same rules as cows milk.
Mr. Pawsey : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much aid is provided by the United Kingdom to Central America ; and what form it takes, giving figures for each year since 1985 and drawing a distinction between aid provided for reconstruction following the recent hurricane, and other aid.
Mr. Chris Patten : The latest figures for Central America are as follows. They include investment by the Commonwealth Development Corporation but do not take account of joint funding provided to non- governmental organisations.
Gross bilateral aid to Central America 1985-88 in current prices. £ thousands |1985 |1986 |1987 |<1>1988 ---------------------------------------------------- Costa Rica |12,685 |10,038 |2,584 |991 El Salvador |103 |239 |411 |154 Guatemala |0 |10 |1 |4 Honduras |3,653 |1,258 |811 |1,201 Nicaragua |116 |86 |0 |180 Panama |67 |70 |72 |988 <1> Provisional.
This aid is in the form of technical cooperation, apart from (a) investment by the Commonwealth Development Corporation, which was as follows :
£ thousands |1985 |1986 |1987 |1988 ----------------------------------------------- Costa Rica |12,389|9,516 |2,228 |258 El Salvador |- |- |- |- Guatemala |- |- |- |- Honduras |2,967 |500 |- |- Nicaragua |- |- |- |- Panama |- |- |- |-
(b) £20,000 provided to Costa Rica and £180,000 to Nicaragua in 1988 for relief measures following Hurricane Joan ; further relief aid was provided in 1989.
(c) Capital aid to the following countries :
£ thousands |1985|1986|1987|1988 ---------------------------------- Honduras |164 |271 |241 |615 Panama |- |- |- |854
The capital aid to Panama was provided under the aid and trade provision.
Mr. Chris Patten : This information is maintained by financial year rather than calendar year. Our total financial support to Oxfam for the past four financial years, including disaster and refugee aid as well as long-term development projects, was :
|£ ------------------------------ 1985-86 |6,642,014 1986-87 |3,951,154 1987-88 |5,741,378 1988-89 |8,553,027
Mr. Pawsey : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the attitude of Her Majesty's Government to Cambodia and Nicaragua so far as Oxfam funding is concerned ; and if pound for pound funding applies to these two countries.
Mr. Chris Patten : We are prepared to consider, under the joint funding scheme, proposals from Oxfam and other agencies for co-funding specific development projects in Nicaragua and specific projects with humanitarian goals in Cambodia.
Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what funds have so far been made available under the European Community's regional or other initiatives to encourage the economic development of the Falkland Islands.
Mr. Chris Patten : The Falkland Islands have been allocated project aid under the last three European development funds totalling 1.578 million ecu. They have also been allocated nearly 0.5 million ecu in the form of emergency aid, Stabex transfers and risk capital.
Q25. Mr. Holt : To ask the Prime Minister if, on a future Friday or Monday, she will accompany the Secretary of State for Transport and the hon. Member for Langbaurgh by normal family car on an official journey from London to Teesside.
Q184. Mr. Teddy Taylor : To ask the Prime Minister if she will raise at the next meeting of the European Council the issue of the Commission submitting proposals which empower officers of the Commission to enter business premises to demand information and to impose fines ; and if she will make a statement.