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Mr. Mellor : The computerisation of the central register due in 1990 should speed up the transfer of records. In addition, where necessary, special arrangements can be made by telephone between family practitioner committees and general practitioners for records to be transferred urgently. We attach importance to speedy transfers.
Mr. Ian Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will now make a statement about the recommendations from the Social Services Committee on midwives grading ; and if he will provide a date for their implementation.
Mr. Amos : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will meet the chief executive of the Tobacco Advisory Council to discuss its recent distribution of literature to hon. Members on 13 June ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Mellor : We are aware of the literature concerning environmental tobacco smoke which the Tobacco Advisory Council has sent to hon. Members, but we do not feel that a meeting with the chief executive is necessary. The Government accept the finding of the independent scientific committee on smoking and health concerning environmental tobacco smoke, that there is a 10-30 per cent. increased risk of lung cancer among non-smokers exposed to environmental tobacco smoke through most of their lives than for non- smokers not so exposed. This increase could account for several hundred deaths per year. The Tobacco Advisory Council's literature reflects the fact that it disputes this position, but the council, like all other representative organisations, is entitled to draw attention to its own viewpoint.
Mr. Mellor : The Tobacco Advisory Council has recently made written representations on the draft EC recommendation on banning smoking in public places (which was adopted as a mixed resolution at the Council of Ministers on 16 May), and on the draft EC directive on the advertising of tobacco products. In addition to this, officials have had meetings with the Tobacco Advisory Council at which a range of tobacco-related issues have been discussed.
Mr. Robin Cook : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is his estimate of what would be the allocation of resources to each regional health authority in the current year if it was done on the basis of the formula proposed in the White Paper "Working for Patients".
Column 220notional regional allocations for the current year. Such notional figures would in any event have little meaning since the application of the new formula will be carefuly phased in and will not take full effect until 1992-93.
Mr. Jack : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will publish in the Official Report details of (a) the numbers of general practitioners employed, (b) the numbers of patients registered and (c) the cost of the general practitioners service, in the area covered by the West Lancashire family practitioner committee for 1979 and 1988 respectively.
|Date |Figures -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Numbers of unrestricted principals |October 1978|578 |October 1987|673 Numbers of patients registered |October 1978|1,395,862 |October 1987|1,434,464 Cost of the service |1978-79 |£10,543,000 |1987-88 |£38,328,000
This represents an increase in real terms of £16,690,000, a rise of 78 per cent.
Mr. Mellor [holding answer 19 June 1989] : General guidance for chairmen, members and staff of family practitioner committees is issued as and when necessary in order to enable them to discharge the varied responsibilities placed upon them. The guidance takes many forms. The Department customarily invites newly appointed chairmen to a specially arranged seminar for this purpose.
Mr. Frank Field : To ask the Attorney-General what were the reasons for the Director of Public Prosecutions' decision not to institute criminal charges against the officers involved in the prosecution of Mr. Roc Sandford for possession of drugs in October 1985.
The Attorney-General : After careful consideration of the evidence the Director of Public Prosecutions concluded that it was insufficient to justify criminal proceedings against any of the officers concerned.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Attorney-General what is his policy on prosecuting under the Official Secrets Act unauthorised disclosures of personal data from police computers ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Attorney-General if he will publish in full in the Official Report, the recent correspondence between the Treasury solicitors department and immigration adjudicators concerning the application of the immigration rules in appeals tribunals.
Mr. Cran : To ask the Attorney-General what information he has concerning the level of enforcement of Sunday trading laws by local authorities ; and whether he has any plans to issue guidance to local authorities on the enforcement of such laws.
Solicitor-General on 14 November 1988 at column 738 : and to my answer on 17 April 1989 at column 26 which I have drawn to the attention of a number of local authorities.
Mr. Livingstone : To ask the Attorney-General how many applications have been made to him in each of the past 10 years for his fiat ; in respect of what proceedings such applications were made ; and in how many and what percentage of such cases in each such category he granted and withheld his consent, respectively.
The Attorney-General : Records are no longer available for the entire period. In so far as records are available, the task of collating them so as to provide the information sought by the hon. Member could be undertaken only at disproportionate cost to the taxpayer.
Q14. Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Prime Minister whether she will raise during the course of her next meeting with Sir Leon Brittan, Vice-President of the European Commission, the implications for the treatment of sensitive documents pertaining to financial affairs of companies transmitted by Her Majesty's Government to the European Commission in the light of the recently revised Cabinet Office guidance on Government Information.
The Prime Minister : When I met General Jaruzelski on 10 June, I told him that we welcomed the holding of the elections in Poland, and the confirmation by the Polish authorities that they would stand by the results.
The Prime Minister : The Government frequently receive representations about the common agricultural policy. Reform of the CAP is well under way. The measures agreed at the February 1988 European Council, particularly those dealing with budgetary discipline and stabilisation of agricultural production and expenditure, represent the most significant steps to date. The Government's policy is to build on those major reforms in EC negotiations, and to work with our GATT partners to fulfil the commitment to achieve progressive and substantial reductions in agricultural support and protection.
Column 223and application of the community charge has been admirably explained in the leaflets published by the Department of the Environment and the Welsh Office.
The Prime Minister : The European Council in Madrid is likely to discuss monetary co-operation ; social issues ; progress on the single market ; frontiers ; the environment ; external issues and other current Community subjects.
The Prime Minister : This morning I presided at a meeting of the Cabinet and had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in the House I shall be having further meetings later today, including attendance at the plenary session of the Australian-United Kingdom conference on trade and investment.
2. Mr. Mullin : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what complaints have been received about alleged violence by members of the security forces in the Ballymurphy area during the second half of May.
Mr. Ian Stewart : The Royal Ulster Constabulary is currently investigating three complaints concerning the behaviour of soldiers in the Ballymurphy area of west Belfast. No complaints were made against the police.
9. Mr. Colvin : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what representations he has received about the Licensing (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 224councils, church bodies and trade organisations. The majority of respondents strongly supported the proposals and in particular the proposed extension of the ban on off-sales of alcohol after 9 pm. The Federation of the Retail Licensed Trade and other trade interests opposed the extension and suggested several other changes to the licensing laws.
The Government will consider very carefully all the views expressed in finalising the contents of the draft order to be laid before Parliament.
15. Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent meetings he has had with groups seeking a repeal of the payments for Debt (Emergency Provisions) Act (Northern Ireland) 1971.
Mr. Ian Stewart : There are no current plans to repeal the Act and there have been no meetings on this subject recently. The need for the legislation is kept under review in the light of prevailing circumstances.
Ms. Mowlam : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people were subject to deductions from (a) wages and (b) welfare benefits under the Payment for Debt (Emergency Provisions) Act (Northern Ireland) 1971 in the years 1979 to 1989 inclusive.
(a) The number of people from whom deductions from salaries have been made in the last two years under the Payments for Debt Act is approximately as follows :
|Numbers ------------------------ 1987-88 |1,862 1988-89 |1,809
These figures are the total numbers of people from whom deductions from wages or salaries have been made on behalf of Northern Ireland Electricity, the Northern Ireland gas undertakings, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and the rating division of the DOE (NI). Figures for 1983-84 to 1986-87 are contained in the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Member for Tonbridge and Malling (Sir J. Stanley) on 2 November 1987 ( Official Report, column 612 ). Equivalent information for the years prior to 1983 could be produced only at disproportionate cost.
(b) Information in relation to deductions from welfare payments is not available.
Ms. Mowlam : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what total levels of debt existed in each of the years from 1979 to 1989, inclusive, in each category for which deductions were made from debtors in those years under the Payment for Debt (Emergency Provisions) Act (Northern Ireland) 1971.
Column 225Friend the Member for Tonbridge and Malling (Sir J. Stanley) on 12 February 1988 at column. 396. Comparable information for 1987-88 and 1988-89 is as follows :
£ million |1987-88|1988-89 ------------------------------------------------------------- NIHE (Rent, Rates, District Heating) |16.8 |18.2 NIE (Electricity) |6.5 |6.0 Rating Division |8.5 |8.1 Belfast Gas |2.2 |1.9
Mr. Ian Stewart : My right hon. Friend and I regularly meet various bodies with an interest in prison matters. The last such occasion when prison matters were raised was during a meeting between myself and NIACRO on 12 May 1989. I have also recently invited comments on proposals to improve conditions and facilities for visitors to prisoners.
14. Mr. McGrady : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the proposed degree of parental consultation on current proposals for the reorganisation of state education in certain areas of Northern Ireland.
Dr. Mawhinney : There are statutory development procedures for school reorganisation proposals. These provide an opportunity for all interested parties--including parents--to make representation to the Department of Education. School authorities would normally consult parents before publishing a proposal.
Column 226proposals by the South Eastern education and library board to amalgamate Castlewellan Quoile and Killyleagh secondary high schools with Down high school, thereby removing grammar school status from Down high.
Dr. Mawhinney : No. Article 14 of the Education and Libraries (Northern Ireland) Order 1986 places a statutory obligation on the Department of Education to consider all proposals submitted by an education and library board.
19. Mr. Ashdown : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much terrorist activity has cost in terms of damage to buildings and to businesses, investment and jobs in the last year ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Ian Stewart : In the financial year ended 31 March 1989 the total cost of compensation for property damaged by terrorist activity was £18.7 million. This includes £9.4 million for damage to buildings, the balance including compensation for stock and contents, consequential loss, expenses and vehicles. These figures do not include damage to property held by the Crown or other public bodies who bear their own costs. The precise information which the right hon. Member seeks on the effects of terrorism on businesses, investment and jobs is not available, but terrorist activity cannot improve the perception of Northern Ireland as a location for investment which would reduce unemployment.
23. Mr. Gow : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what discussions he has had with Ministers in the Government of the Republic of Ireland about granting to the police and armed forces of the Republic and of the United Kingdom reciprocal rights to enter the territory of the other in pursuit of suspected terrorists.
Mr. Tom King : Within the framework of the Intergovernmental Conference both Governments have regular discussions about ways of improving the effectiveness of security co-operation. My hon. Friend will understand why it is not possible to go into detail on the content of those discussions.
Column 227the seasonally adjusted level of unemployment in the Province stood at 107,200, which is its lowest level for almost six years.
21. Mr. Maginnis : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he has any proposals to change the composition, and if he has assessed the level of commitment, of the Police Authority for Northern Ireland.
Mr. Tom King : I have no plans to change the composition of the Police Authority for Northern Ireland. I meet members of the authority on a regular basis and appreciate the commitment and courage of its members in fulfilling their responsibilities in relation to the police force in Northern Ireland.