Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Prime Minister what discussions took place at the recent North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels regarding a comprehensive test ban treaty ; what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government towards negotiations with the Soviet Union on this subject ; and if she will make a statement.
We welcome the bilateral negotiations between the United States and Soviet Union in Geneva aimed at the ratification of the peaceful nuclear explosions treaty and threshold test ban treaty, and hope that these two treaties will be ratified soon. Further steps to limit tests will then have to be considered. For the foreseeable future the United Kingdom's security will depend on deterrence based, in part, on the possession of nuclear weapons. That will mean a continuing requirement to conduct underground nuclear tests to ensure that our nuclear weapons remain effective and up to date.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to her reply to the hon. Member for Greenock and Port Glasgow on 16 May, Official Report, column 119, if she will outline the research being undertaken by the Nature Conservancy Council into the identification of the most important sea bird feeding and gathering grounds in the United Kingdom ; when Her Majesty's Government expect to receive the findings of this research ; and if she will make a statement.
The Prime Minister : In 1979, the Nature Conservancy Council commenced the sea birds at sea project, a research programme to study the distribution of sea bird populations most at risk from pollution, particularly oil-spill, in the North sea. The work was jointly funded by the oil and gas industry, NCC and Government Departments. A report of the studies was published in 1987.
A further phase of the project is now in progress, extending the survey to waters north and west of Scotland. The Department of the Environment expects to receive a preliminary report on the most important areas for sea birds later this year.
A final phase, due to start in 1990, will complete the geographic coverage by surveying the English channel and south-west approaches.
Mr. Porter : To ask the Prime Minister if she will raise at the next meeting of the European Council the attendance of individual commissioners at meetings of backbench Members of the national Parliaments.
Mr. Porter : To ask the Prime Minister what is her policy for negotiating proposals by the European Community Commission as between (a) the Commission in general and (b) with individual commissioners ; and if she will make a statement.
The Prime Minister : Proposals are put forward by the Commission as a whole. Generally, they are discussed in the Council with those commissioners responsible for individual measures, rather than with the whole Commission. The same goes for bilateral contacts.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Prime Minister (1) what restrictions are placed on the appointment of civil servants, past or present, to quasi- judicial jobs such as regulators where those civil servants may be privy to preferential information on the nature of the job ; (2) what restrictions are placed on the appointment of civil servants, temporary or permanent, to quasi-judicial jobs such as regulators ;
(3) what guidelines are issued to departments for the appointment of regulators and other governmental quasi-judicial appointments.
The Prime Minister : In general, Ministers are free to decide who should be appointed and the manner and methods of identifying suitable candidates, subject to any statutory or constitutional requirements affecting the individual case. Full information about the job is made available as a matter of course to all those being considered for appointments.
Mr. Teddy Taylor : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to her reply of 13 June to the hon. Member for Southend, East, what information she has received concerning the proposed EC regulation on the control of concentrations and, in particular, to articles 12(1)(b), 12(1)(c) and article 13 thereof ; and whether she will take steps to improve the arrangements by which she is informed of legislative proposals being submitted by the Commission.
The Prime Minister : I am grateful to my hon. Friend for clarifying his earlier question of 13 June. I am of course aware of the proposed regulation on the control of concentrations between undertakings which was the subject of a Commons debate on 17 May at columns 427-28 and is expected to be considered at next month's meeting of the Internal Market Council.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Prime Minister if, during the visit of General Jaruzelski of Poland, on 10-11 June, the issue of the fourth review conference of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, to be held in 1990, was discussed.
Column 3The Prime Minister : No.
Mr. Flynn : To ask The Prime Minister if, during the visit of the Prime Minister of Jamaica on 14 June she discussed (a) initiatives to be taken to increase the number of non-aligned states which are signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty in the period leading to the fourth non-proliferation treaty review conference in 1990 and (b) the Jamaican Government's view of the present utility of article IV of the non- proliferation treaty in regard to nuclear exports.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Prime Minister if, pursuant to her reply on representations recently received on nuclear weapons, on 26 May, Official Report , column 759 , she will list the organisations and individuals from whom representations were received for and against nuclear weapons ; and why the information sought can be obtained only at a disproportionate cost.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Prime Minister what discussions took place during the visit of President Bush to the United Kingdom on 31 May to 2 June on the 1990 fourth review conference of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
The Prime Minister : The 1990 non-proliferation treaty review conference was not discussed during President Bush's visit. However, preparations for the review conference are frequently discussed with the Americans at an official level.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Prime Minister what is Her Majesty's Government's understanding of what percentage is represented by the word "partial" used in the communique issued by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Ministers in regard to the future revocation of land-based short range nuclear weapons in Western Europe.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Prime Minister when she last visited (a) a nuclear power station (b) a fossil-fuelled power station and (c) a renewable energy project ; what was the occasion of her visit ; and what it cost.
The Prime Minister : Within the United Kingdom, the most recent visit to a nuclear power station was on Saturday 13 May 1989, when I undertook the official opening of the Torness nuclear power station in East Lothian. I have not yet visited a fossil-fuelled power station as Prime Minister. In September 1986, I visited the energy world exhibition in Milton Keynes, which contained projects involving renewable energy. Information on the precise cost of these visits is not available, since each was combined with other engagements.
Column 4United Kingdom has been taken before the European Court, listing in each case the nature of the breach leading to action by the Commission and the court decision.
Year |Case No. |Nature of breach |Decision of courts -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1986 |60/86 |Dim-dip headlamp devices: |Judgement for the |non-compliance with |Commission |Council Directive 75/756 1987 |93/87 |Failure to pay monetary |Judgement for the |compensatory amounts- |United Kingdom |triangular arrangements for |imports for wheat |255/87 |Benzene in toys-failure to |Case withdrawn |implement Council |Directive 82/806 1988 |- |- |- 1989 |- |- |-
Mr. Maclennan : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what is the average margin between the price at which firearms with a recognised value in excess of £150 have been bought in in consequence of their prohibition under the Firearms (Amendment) Act, and the price at which they have been disposed of ;
(2) what is the average price at which firearms bought in at a price of £150 in consequence of their prohibition under the Firearms (Amendment) Act have been disposed of.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : None of the weapons surrendered under the buy-in scheme is to be disposed of by way of sale. Save for a small number of weapons of historical significance worthy of preservation for the national heritage, which will be offered to the National Museums Consortium, arrangements have been made for all weapons surrendered under the scheme to be destroyed.
Mr. Maclennan : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the number of firearms which became prohibited weapons under the Firearms (Amendment) Act which have been bought in at (a) a cost of £150 and (b) a sum in excess of £150.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : A substantial number of claims made under the Government buy-in scheme for weapons newly prohibited by the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988 were submitted on or shortly before the scheme finished on 30 April. Statistics on the operation of the scheme are not yet available, but we propose to publish them as soon as they are collated.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what up-to-date information he has about (a) the numbers and proportion of refugees from Nazi and other anti-semitic persecution in Europe, and of soldiers from Central Europe, who settled in the United Kingdom between 1930 and 1945, who subsequently
Column 5became naturalised British subjects with a permanent right of abode in the United Kingdom and (b) what proportion are still resident in the United Kingdom.
Sir John Farr : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will take steps to arrange for access to Her Majesty's prison Gartree by the media and local telvision following its regrading from category A to B.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : Her Majesty's prison Gartree is to change from a dispersal prison to a category B training prison in 1992. The prison service has a good record of allowing access to its establishments by the media and all such requests are carefully considered.
Mr. Nellist : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State will be in a position to give a substantive reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Coventry, South-East about Michael Patrick Brown, HMP, C58729 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Steel : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his response to the hon. Member for Clydebank and Milngavie (Mr. Worthington) of 19 May, Official Report, column 602, what assessment he has undertaken of the suitability for export of television programmes produced within Scotland ; and what steps he is undertaking to encourage independent Scottish television producers to export material.
Mr. Renton : In the exchanges to which the right hon. Member refers, I was offering a possible explanation for the point raised by the hon. Member for Clydebank and Milngavie about the relatively low proportion of programming produced by Scottish independent producers which was networked in other parts of the United Kingdom. My argument was simply that, in the end, successful programme producers will be those who respond to the demands of those who commission programmes and, ultimately, those who view them.
As to the steps being taken to encourage Scottish independent producers, the broadcasting White Paper sets out the Government's intention to require that a minimum of 25 per cent. of programmes produced for Channels 3, 4 and 5 and DBS must come from independent producers, and it will be open to Scottish producers to compete for these new opportunities that will be made available. I have also welcomed the suggestion of the chairman of the IBA that Channel 5 should be based in a production centre north of Birmingham, since the new channel can be expected to encourage and foster a new local industry in independent production.
Column 6the wooden pipe and 1.54g of cannabis used in evidence in the prosecution of Mr. Roc Sandford at Knightsbridge Crown court in October 1985.
Mr. Frank Field : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will specify the dates the various interested bodies decided to take no disciplinary action and to prefer no charges against the officers involved in the prosecution of Mr. Roc Sandford for possession of drugs at Knightsbridge Crown court in October 1985.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : I understand that the Crown prosecution service decided on 5 December 1986 that there was no evidence to justify criminal proceedings against the officers concerned ; and that the Police Complaints Authority agreed on 30 April 1987 that no disciplinary action should be taken.
Mr. Frank Field : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what involvement his Department had in the decision not to prosecute or discipline the officers involved on the prosecution of Mr. Roc Sandford for possession of drugs at Kinghtsbridge Crown court in October 1985.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : None. The decisions are the responsibility of the Crown prosecution service in respect of criminal proceedings and the Commissioner and the Police Complaints Authority in respect of disciplinary proceedings.
Mr. Frank Field : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is now in a position to release the names of the arresting officers and prosecution witnesses in the cases listed in the question of the hon. Member for Birkenhead on 6 July 1988, Official Report, column 596-97.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : Where inquiries into allegations of impropriety on the part of the police have been investigated without evidence being forthcoming to support either criminal or disciplinary proceedings, it is not the practice for the officers or other persons involved in the cases to be identified.
Mr. Frank Field : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department who is still considering the inquiry into the circumstance under which charges were brought and proceedings conducted against Mr. Roc Sandford ; and what conclusions have yet been drawn.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : I am informed by the Metropolitan police that, following the conclusion of the civil action taken by Mr. Sandford, additional inquiries were made and a report was submitted to the Police Complaints Authority, which indicated on 1 June 1988 that the matter should be taken no further. These further inquiries required no additional consideration by the Crown prosecution service. The inquiries are therefore considered to be complete.
Column 7during its defence against Mr. Roc Sandford's civil action for wrongful arrest, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution during the time period required by the court.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : I understand from the Metropolitan police solicitor that the court ordered both parties to exchange lists of documents within 28 days. As the question of the contents of the Metropolitan police's list was referred to counsel for advice, an extension was requested and was granted by Mr. Sandford's solicitors. Shortly afterwards, negotiations commenced, which eventually led to an out-of-court settlement. Because of these negotiations Mr. Sandford's solicitors did not press for the list, although it would have been open to them to do so.
Mr. Luce [holding answer 16 June 1989] : The Civil Service college was launched as an executive agency on 6 June 1989. The current principal of the college, Mr. Roger Jackling, was appointed as its first chief executive.
Mr. Jackling, a career civil servant, has been principal for two and half years. He has maintained and improved the high teaching standards of the college and evolved the management systems which have resulted in a smooth transition to agency status. He will return to his parent department in the autumn and his successor will be recruited through an open competition run by the Civil Service Commission.
Mr. Warren : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the results of the campaign during May by the police in Surrey and Sussex with the assistance of his Department against excise duty evasion by motor vehicle owners.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : Nearly 2,000 motorists were reported for not having a current road fund licence on display. These cases are being investigated ; where it is clear that vehicle excise duty has been evaded, those responsible will be prosecuted.
Special VED enforcement campaigns run jointly by Department of Transport and police forces form an important addition to the day-to-day VED enforcement activities. They have proved very effective in encouraging people to relicense their vehicles voluntarily as well as in catching the more determined evaders. A period of two weeks of extensive local publicity is followed by a further two weeks in which the police concentrate on identifying and reporting those who have ignored the warnings. Evaders caught during campaigns are not given the opportunity to settle out of court. The policy find that campaigns help them to detect many other offences including lack of insurance and MOT certificates, disqualifications, unroadworthy vehicles and occasionally more serious crimes.
Mr. Gerald Bowden : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has any plans to reconsider extending the Northern Line tube to Camberwell and beyond following the omission of this option from the central London rail study.
Mr. Portillo : The central London rail study concluded that extending the Northern line to Camberwell could not be justified in terms of meeting that study's objectives, in particular to seek relief to central London congestion. That being so, it is for the Underground to consider whether such a link is worth while both in its own right and in relation to other priorities for improvements to the network.
Sir Michael McNair-Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will list the action taken by the Civil Aviation Authority in implementing the recommendations in the report by the Accidents Investigation Board into the fire involving a British Airways 737 at Manchester airport in 1985.
follow-up-action on accident reports (FACTAR) issued on 13 March 1989 in response to the AAIB Report on the B737 accident at Manchester, 22 August 1985. I have arranged for a copy of the FACTAR to be sent to the hon. Member. I understand that the Authority will publish shortly the initial report on the research it has undertaken into evacutation requirements.
Mr. Malcolm Bruce : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many drums or other containers containing chemicals have sunk in waters within 100 miles of the British coast in the last 30 years ; how many have been recovered ; how many are known to have leaked ; and if he will specify the nature of the chemicals (a) known to have leaked, and (b) known to be under water and assumed not to have leaked.
Mr. Patnick : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he intends to meet representatives of the South Yorkshire passenger transport authority and executive, Sheffield city council, the development corporation and the chamber of commerce, to discuss the PTE's application for grant for the South Yorkshire Supertram project.
Mr. Portillo : I met this morning with representatives of the South Yorkshire passenger transport authority and executive, Sheffield city council, the development corporation and the chamber of commerce. I discussed with them the application made by the PTE for grant, under section 56 of the Transport Act 1968, towards the cost of Line 1 of the proposed South Yorkshire Supertram system. Further information and analysis will be needed on a number of important issues before it will be possible to reach a decision on grant. For example, the evaluation will have to include confirmation of the estimates of capital costs, a review of carrying capacity, and full allowance for the effects on other road users once the detailed highways arrangements have been designed. I will also expect the PTE to develop sound proposals for project management and financing, and to secure contributions from the private sector-- particularly the interests along the route which will benefit from the project. If the evaluation can be confirmed and the financing and other issues can be satisfactorily resolved, I would hope to approve a capital allocation and section 56 grant towards the capitalised cost of the expected financial deficit on Line 1. The time at which resources and grant might be made available would be determined in the light of analysis. In the meantime, I have decided to make capital allocation and 50 per cent. grant available in respect of eligible costs to be incurred in carrying out the further analysis required.
Mr. Gerald Bowden : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information he has on the provision of on-train Customs and immigration facilities between countries within the European Community and between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic ; whether there are to be frontier controls at Waterloo for passengers terminating in London ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Portillo : I understand that on-train controls are carried out between a number of Community member states, but not everywhere. Travellers between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are not subject to immigration controls, but are subject to customs checks ; passengers on express trains which travel non-stop to Belfast are cleared on disembarkation through the normal red/green customs channels, while customs clearance of stopping trains is carried out on the train while it is stationary at a point near the border. The present intention is to carry out customs checks at Waterloo for Channel tunnel rail passengers arriving in London. Immigration arrangements are under review. British Rail's choice of terminal was not dictated by frontier control considerations.
Mr. Gerald Bowden : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent representations he has received regarding the provision of Customs and immigration facilities for the Channel tunnel rail link and those passengers disembarking in London.
Year |Amount ---------------------- 1986-87 |295 1987-88 |239 1988-89 |190
Mr. Yeo : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment which major Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries had the largest rise in the number of people in employment during the last year ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Nicholls : The table shows, for the United Kingdom and the major OECD countries, the increase in civilian employment in the year to the fourth quarter of 1988. The United Kingdom had the largest percentage rise.
Increases in Civilian Employment United Kingdom and Major OECD Countries |Thousands |Percentage ------------------------------------------------------------ United Kingdom |642 |2.5 Canada |288 |2.4 United States |2,386 |2.1 Japan |864 |1.5 Germany (Federal Republic) |159 |0.6 Italy |134 |0.6 France |n/a |n/a n/a Not available Sources: United Kingdom: Department of Employment Other countries: OECD Labour Force Statistics, 1989/1
Mr. Nellist : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will estimate the value, in 1989, of the April 1978 youth opportunities programme weekly allowance for trainees if increased each year by (a) at a rate equal to the annual rate of price inflation and (b) at a rate equal to the annual average increase in wages ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 111978. If this allowance had been increased in line with changes in the retail price index, its value in May 1989 (based on the latest available figures) would have been £45.45. If the allowance had been updated to take account of increases in average earnings, its value in April 1989 (based on the latest available figures) would have been £58.13.
The youth opportunities programme was replaced in 1983 by YTS, which provides substantially higher quality training than YOP and incorporates structured off-the-job training. It is therefore misleading to compare the values of the YOP and YTS allowances, the the YTS allowance reflects the fact that trainees are still learning. Employers are free to supplement the minimum trainee allowance, and many do.
The balance sheet at March 1990 will also be affected by the need to bring the corporation's accounting treatment for its concessionary coal liabilities into line with statement of standard accounting practice 24. This change will not affect the future stream of concessionary coal liabilities as already anticipated by the corporation, but will affect the way in which these liabilities are accounted for. Creating a provision in the corporation's balance sheet in respect of these liabilities will involve a prior year adjustment. This will substantially increase the accumulated deficit shown in the corporation's accounts at 31 March 1990.
The Government have given an assurance each year since 1982-83 that, subject to Parliament approving any necessary provisions, adequate funds will continue to be made available to enable the Corporation to meet its financial obligations as they fall due. A minute was laid before the House on 8 June setting out the Government's intention to extend this commitment to include the corporation's financial year ending 31 March 1990.