Mr. Atkinson : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action Her Majesty's Government have taken to ensure that the Commonwealth fellowship and training programme for Namibians will not be restricted to members of the South West Africa People's Organisation ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Chalker : We are concerned that all multilateral programmes for Namibia to which we contribute should be impartially administered and distributed. The Commonwealth programme to which my hon. Friend refers is not restricted to members of SWAPO.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has concerning the action, or intention, of any Government to provide lethal aid to any group within the resistance coalition of Cambodia, within or on the borders of that country ; and what reactions or representations have been made by Her Majesty's Government to any such policy.
Mr. Eggar : I am aware of reports that certain governments have provided, or intend to provide, lethal aid to groups resisting Vietnam's illegal occupation of Cambodia. We do not plan to make representations as long as that occupation continues.
Mrs. Chalker : Since the May 1987 General Elections in Malta, we have signed the following agreement with the Government of Malta : "Agreement on the development of friendly relations and co-operation". The agreement was signed in Valletta on 15 March 1989.
Mrs. Fyfe : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make diplomatic representations to the South African Government concerning the case of Jabu Ndlovu, whose home was attacked by Inkatha.
Mrs. Chalker : Jabu Ndlovu and her family were most regrettably among the latest victims of the long-running intra-communal conflict in Natal. We have made clear our hope that action will be taken to end the violence. We hope that recent contacts between the parties directly involved will lead to a lasting settlement.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if any arms or military equipment used by the Chinese People's Liberation Army in Tiananmen Square or other parts of Beijing to kill students and protestors in June were made in the United Kingdom and officially exported to the People's Republic of China.
Mr. Eggar : We are not aware of any British equipment having been used to kill protestors in Peking during the recent disturbances. In my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State's statement to the House of 6 June, we announced a ban on arms sales to China.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he has ascertained from the Government of the People's Republic of China the terms on which they would be prepared to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
Mr. Waldegrave : Although we have regularly pressed the Government of the People's Republic of China to accede to the nuclear non- proliferation treaty, they have not given us any indication of the terms on which they would be prepared to do so.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the last eight countries to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty giving the date of signature in each case.
Mr. Waldegrave : The last eight countries to accede to the non- proliferation treaty were Kiribati (succeeded on 18 April 1985), Malawi (acceded on 18 February 1986), Colombia (ratified on 8 April 1986), Trinidad and Tobago (ratified on 30 October 1986), Spain (acceded on 5 November 1987), Saudi Arabia (acceded on 3 October 1988), Bahrain (acceded on 3 November 1988) and Qatar (acceded on 3 April 1989).
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will set out the respective dates on which (a) Libya, (b) Iraq, (c) Iran, (d) Syria and (e) Egypt signed the 1968 nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
Mr. Waldegrave : Libya ratified the nuclear non-proliferation treaty on 26 May 1975, Iraq ratified the treaty on 29 October 1969, Iran ratified on 2 February 1970, Syria on 24 September 1969 and Egypt on 26 February 1981.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will set out the terms of signature communicated to Her Majesty's Government, or to the other depository states for the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, by the Republic of South Africa, before South Africa will sign the non-proliferation treaty.
Mr. Waldegrave : The South African Government have not set out terms to us, or, so far as we are aware, to either of the other depository Governments. On 16 August 1988, after consultations between the depository powers and South Africa had been held in Vienna, the South African Foreign Ministry stated publicly that it would sign the NPT if assured of full participation in the treaty.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if the Government of India have indicated to the United Kingdom, or to the other two depository states for the nuclear non- proliferation treaty, the terms on which India would sign the nuclear non- proliferation treaty ; and what attempts have been made by Her Majesty's Government to persuade India to sign the treaty.
Mr. Waldegrave : To the best of our knowledge the Government of India have not indicated terms on which India would accede to the non- proliferation treaty (NPT). However, our views on the value of the NPT are well known to the Indian Government, and we make our position clear to them whenever suitable opportunities arise.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if, during the meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Ministers in Brussels on 29 and 30 May, and the visit of the United State Administration executive officers to the United Kingdom on 31 May to 2 June, he raised with the United States Secretaries of Defence or State the fourth review conference of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty to be held in the summer of 1990.
Column 33Jaruzelski of Poland on 10 and 11 June, he discussed the forthcoming nuclear non-proliferation treaty fourth review conference, to be held in 1990, with members of the Polish governmental delegation.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the depository states for the 1968 nuclear non- proliferation treaty last held trilateral discussions on progress of the treaty.
Mr. Waldegrave : The non-proliferation treaty depository powers-- USA, USSR, United Kingdom--last discussed the non-proliferation treaty at the first preparatory committee, held in New York from 1 to 5 May.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if, during the visit of General Jaruzelski and other Polish Government officials on 10 and 11 June, he discussed (a) the prospects of nuclear reactor and nuclear fuel cycle service sales to Poland, (b) the possibility of the sale of industrial air pollution control technology and fuel gas desulpherisation technology to Poland and (c) the possibility of the sale of combined cycle coal-gas pebble bed power plant technology to Poland.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is Her Majesty's Government's policy towards the possession of nuclear weapons by the Soviet Union, the People's Republic of China, France and the United States of America.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what new policy initiatives were put forward by the United Kingdom ambassador to the chemical weapons disarmament negotiations when they resumed on 13 June in Geneva.
Mr. Waldegrave : I visited the conference on disarmament in Geneva on 15 June. As well as delivering a speech giving an overview of British policy, I tabled a paper on the United Kingdom's innovative work on "challenge inspections", a crucial part of the verification regime for a chemical weapons convention. This work involves a comprehensive programme of trial inspections at military facilities and is designed to test the concept of challenge inspection in practice to enable effective provisions to be elaborated. As far as we are aware, the United Kingdom is the first country to carry out such work which reflects the Government's practical, problem-solving approach to the achievement of a comprehensive and effectively verifiable, global ban on chemical weapons.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the United Kingdom, United States and Soviet Union, as the depository states for the 1963 partial nuclear test ban treaty, last held trilateral discussions on progress of the treaty ; and if he will make a statement on the future of the treaty.
Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if Her Majesty's Government have made representations to the Iraqi embassy on the subject of the deportation of Kurds within Iraq.
Mr. Waldegrave : I discussed the issue most recently with the Iraqi ambassador on Wednesday 14 June. I told the ambassador that we viewed with concern the latest allegations about a policy of mass resettlement of Kurds, and pressed him to allow diplomats and journalists to visit the area in question to see for themselves what the truth is.
Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he has discussed with his partners in the European Community the question of deportations of Kurds within Iraq ; and what action the European Community intends to take.
Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he has received a report compiled by the 12 European Community ambassadors in Baghdad on the subject of the deportation of Kurds within Iraq ; and if he will make a statement.
Session |Number of EDMs. ------------------------------------------------ 1970-71 |717 1971-72 |474 1972-73 |432 1973-74 |174 1974 |245 1974-75 |759 1975-76 |701 1976-77 |473 1977-78 |607 1978-79 |354 1979-80 |907 1980-81 |631 1981-82 |716 1982-83 |502 1983-84 |1,060 1984-85 |979 1985-86 |1,262 1986-87 |1,000 1987-88 |1,601 1988-89 |984 (to date)
Mr. Rowe : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he has any plans to withdraw the guidance given to regional health authorities in circular HC(81)15 to refuse appointment to community health councils of people over 70 years of age.
Mr. Mellor : Members of community health councils are appointed mostly by local authorities and voluntary organisations. Only one sixth are appointed by regional health authorities. Guidance in circular HC(81)15 is that appointing bodies should not appoint people over the age of 70 unless there is a special reason--such as where the appointing organisation is concerned mainly with elderly people. We have no plans to change that guidance.
Mr. Mellor : Priorities for screening depend upon the risk for given disorders of identifiable groups in the population. We have established two programmes to screen women regularly for breast and cervical cancers. Women aged between 20 and 64 will be invited for a cervical smear test at least every five years and women 50 and 64 years for breast X-ray (mammogram) every three years ; breast screening will also be available to women aged 65 and over on request.
Besides routine antenatal care, screening may be offered, for example, to pregnant women for foetal neural tube defects and chromosomal abnormalities (in older mothers) and, for women from certain ethnic groups, the haemoglobinopathies. There are continuing programmes for systematic screening of infants and children for sensory, physical and mental impairments. In addition, screening for single gene disorders may be appropriate for certain families. New opportunities for worthwhile screening will undoubtedly arise as a result of the development of new technologies in for example genetics and ultra sound. We also support the cancer screening evaluation unit which provides advice on existing and possible future schemes of screening for cancer.
Screening, of course, is not the only method by which ill health can be prevented.
Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what has been the amount of financial help given by his Department towards the cost of the salary regrading of midwives ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Mellor : A total of £731 million was made available by the Government to meet the cost of the nurses, midwives and health visitors regrading exercise in 1988-89 in England. Including the extra £98 million announced on 21 October, this met the extra cost in full. Health authorities' own estimates provided the basis of the costing, but these were not required to be broken down between nurses, midwives and health visitors on a national basis. We do not therefore hold this information centrally.
Mr. Sheerman : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he has any plans to fund secure accommodation for remanded juveniles from Doncaster and neighbouring areas awaiting their court appearance who because of their behaviour are unsuitable for living in normal open local authority children's homes.
Mr. Mellor : Self-governing trusts will not opt out but will remain fully within the NHS. Subject to the passing of the necessary legislation, decisions on applications will rest with the Secretary of State. The application process will follow the outline in the White Paper "Working for Patients". We are issuing information about the process in connection with a national conference on self-governing hospitals on 20 June.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what involvement NML Presentations Ltd. had in identifying doctors who favoured the proposals in the Government's National Health Service review and putting the news media in contact with them at the time of the original launch.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he assessed the success of the contributions made by NML Presentations Ltd. to the original launch of the National Health Service review before awarding them the contract for the current stage of the programme.
Column 37withdraw from benzodiazepines in drug and alcohol treatment centres in the last year for which figures are available ; and what was the cost of this.
Mr. Fearn : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make an estimate of the cost to the United Kingdom economy, in terms of lost production and sick pay, through people addicted to benzodiazepines.
Mr. Fearn : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information he has on attempts made by the pharmaceutical industry to assist people addicted to benzodiazepines to withdraw from the drug and as to whether any compensation scheme is being considered by the industry.
It must be for the pharmaceutical industry to decide whether it wishes to set up its own no-fault compensation scheme.
Mr. Win Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to overcome the national shortage of qualified social workers highlighted in the social services employment survey 1988 published by the Association of Directors of Social Services and the Local Authority Conditions of Service Advisory Board.
The report of the national work force survey conducted by the Local Authority Conditions of Service Advisory Board and ADSS will be given full consideration when received. The response by local authorities to our two training support programmes targeted at staff working with elderly people and those working in the field of child care, indicates that many social service departments will be enabled to increase significantly the number of their staff seconded to social work qualifying courses.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will bring forward proposals to give financial assistance to local authorities in London to enable them to recruit social work staff ; (2) what action he is taking to deal with the nationwide shortage of 2,200 social workers identified in the recent Association of Directors of Social Services national work force survey, a copy of which he has been sent ;
(3) what action he is taking to encourage people re-entering the work force to undertake professional social work training ; (4) what action he is taking to respond to the need for an additional 800 per annum social work training places
Column 38identified by the Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work in its 1987-88 annual report, a copy of which has been sent to him ;
(5) what initiatives he is taking to deal with the particular problems arising in the London area as a result of the inability to recruit basic grade social workers.
The Government and the Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work are taking a number of initiatives to improve the present system of social work qualifying training which will help to ensure that social work continues to attract suitable people of different ages and domestic circumstances and from a variety of social backgrounds.
The availability of places on social work courses is a matter which is currently being examined by the Department in connection with the Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work. Our two training support programmes targeted at staff working with elderly people and those working in the field of child care have enabled many social services departments to increase significantly the number of their staff seconded to social work qualifying courses.
Mr. Mellor : We understand that information is contained in the report of the national work force survey conducted by the Local Authority Conditions of Service Advisory Board and the Association of Directors of Social Services. We have not yet had an opportunity to study a copy of the full report.
(2) if he has any plans to increase finance for encouraging the recruitment of social services staff in London local authorities ; (3) what information he has about the shortage of mainstream social services professionals in London local authorities ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Mellor [holding answer 16 June 1989] : A survey of the London social services work force was carried out by the London branch of the Association of Directors of Social Services (ADSS) with the assistance of the social services inspectorate. The results were published in April 1988. A new national work force survey, conducted by the Local Authority Conditions of Service Advisory Board and ADSS was published on 12 June 1989. Officials of the Department of Health have not had the opportunity to study the full copy of the report. We are aware of the problems faced by some local authorities in London in attracting and retaining suitably qualified staff and of the steps they, as employers, are taking to improve the position. It is of course for individual authorities to decide how much to spend on social services from within total resources available. Financial pressures on local authority social services, such as the need to encourage recruitment of social services staff, are taken into account in setting the overall level of
Column 39central Government support to local authorities. The Government are currently considering the local authority associations' report on additional financial needs for social services departments in 1990-91 in which this issue is identified. This report, along with similar reports for other local authority services, is being discussed through the normal consultation channels under the Consultative Council on Local Government Finance.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action he is taking to deal with the nationwide shortage of 250 occupational therapists identified in the recent Association of Directors of Social Services national work force survey, a copy of which has been sent to him.
Mr. Mellor : We have taken a number of measures to overcome the shortage of occupational therapists which affects local authorities and the NHS. We are on course to increase the annual intake of occupational therapy students for three-year diploma courses by at least 100 by 1990-91. The Department is also assisting in funding shortened two-year courses for graduates in related disciplines to qualify as occupational therapists. We have also commissioned a review of the manpower, skill mix and structures within local authority and NHS occupational therapy departments, and a report is expected in August.
We are in communication with local authority representatives to encourage local authorities to make a greater contribution to the cost of training occupational therapists. We are also aware that a number of local authorities are pursuing their own local strategies to overcome staff shortages.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will state the number of occupational therapists employed by London local authorities in each of the last three years ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Mellor [holding answer 16 June 1989] : The numbers of qualified occupational therapists employed by local authorities in London for 1985-87 (the last three years for which information is available) expressed as whole-time equivalents is given in the table. These figures reflect an increase of 24 per cent. in whole-time equivalent staff employed.
Qualified occupational therapists employed by local authority social services departments in London, 1985-87 As at 30 September |Whole-time equivalents --------------------------------------------------------------------- 1985 |256.5 1986 |272.1 1987 |317.6 Note: Figures for 1986 and 1987 are provisional and subject to revision.
Mr. Fearn : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) when each of the eight additional dairies referred to by him in Official Report, column 703, 13 June, were first informed that their products were part of the investigations by his Department into the botulism outbreak ;
(2) how many environmental health officers are employed by each of the public health authorities for the areas where the additional dairies mentioned in Official Report, column 703, 13 June, are located ; and whether each number represents the full complement ; (3) if he will state the date, time and how the public health authorities for the areas where the additional dairies he referred to in Official Report, column 703, 13 June, are located, were first contacted about the botulism outbreak and informed about the connection with Young Fruits Ltd. and the dairy in their area ; (4) if he will state the day and date that environmental officers visited each of the eight dairies mentioned in Official Report, column 703, 13 June, to arrange for the imediate withdrawal of hazelnut yoghurt manufactured by them ;
(5) what his Department's procedures are for keeping the proprietor of Young Fruits Ltd., the 10 dairies concerned and the public informed about each stage of the investigation into suspected botulism ; and if all relevant persons are immediately and fully informed of any findings.