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European Community

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Prime Minister what benefits have been brought to (a) Doncaster and (b) South Yorkshire from membership of the European Community.

The Prime Minister : The European regional development fund has made grants during the last four years of some £53 million to South Yorkshire, of which about £11 million went to Doncaster. Low interest loans worth £750,000 for Doncaster and £13 million for South Yorkshire have been obtained from the European Coal and Steel Community. In the last three years the European social fund made grants of some £1.65 million to Doncaster, within £11.4 million for South Yorkshire as a whole.


Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to her answer of 20 June Official Report, column 78, when she returned from Zimbabwe ; when the articles were deposited with Her Majesty's Customs and Excise ; whether an import licence under CITES was applied for in respect of these items ; when she decided that they should be retained by Her Majesty's Customs and Excise ; on what date and by what means she informed Her Majesty's Customs and Excise of her decision ; if she will describe the three items of silver and ivory jewellery and state a valuation of each item ; and whether she took any steps to determine the origin and the legality of the ivory contained in the ivory jewellery.

The Prime Minister : I returned from Africa on 2 April 1989. I deposited the articles with Her Majesty's Customs

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and Excise as soon as I was informed that the requirements for importation had not been completed. I have nothing further to add to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member on 20 June.


Mr. Marlow : To ask the Prime Minister whether at her recent meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister she asked him whether he accepted Security Council restriction 242.

The Prime Minister : During my talks with Mr. Shamir, I stressed that, to be successful, negotiations on a middle east settlement must be held on the basis of territory for peace as called for in resolution 242. Mr. Shamir has not so far given any commitment on this point.


Miss. Lestor : To ask the Prime Minister who indicated on behalf of Her Majesty's Government that they would consider a request from the Malaysian Government for overseas aid, contained in correspondence concerning the sale of arms to Malaysia that preceded the signing of the memorandum of understanding in 1988 ; and what period of time elapsed before Her Majesty's Government stated that it would not be acceptable to link aid with the defence sales package.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 22 June 1989] : The Government made clear to the Malaysian Government on a number of occasions in 1988 that we were most willing to consider Malaysian requests for aid. However, as indicated in the answer given to the hon. Member on 13 June by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence Procurement, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence made it clear in his letter to the Malaysian Finance Minister of 28 June 1988 that the provision of overseas aid as an integral part of a negotiated agreement on the defence package was not possible.



Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what advice he has received concerning the cost of a recommended diet for people with AIDS or HIV infection ; and if he will make a statement ;

(2) what is his estimate of the current underprovision of benefit for a person on income support who has been recommended a diet for someone with AIDS or HIV infection who (a) does and (b) does not qualify for a disability premium ;

(3) what is his estimate of the double provision a person on supplementary benefit before April 1988 would have received if he had been awarded the full cost of a recommended diet for someone with AIDS or HIV infection ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Scott : The supplementary benefit scale rates did not include a specific amount for food. It was for individuals to decide how best to spend their money in the light of their own needs and preferences. The same is true of income support. The estimates requested cannot therefore be made.

I am aware that people with AIDS are frequently advised to follow a high protein, high calorie diet. I have

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been advised that a diet giving 150 per cent. of normal protein and calorie requirements can be devised to meet the needs of individual patients. Such a diet was costed at £14.19 per week (1986 prices) in an article by MacDonald and Forsythe from St. James' university hospital, Leeds, which was published in "Human Nutrition : Applied Nutrition" in 1986.

I am also aware that people with HIV infection, but who are otherwise healthy, are advised to follow a healthy eating plan which is simply a normal balanced diet. Such a diet was costed by Macdonald and Forsythe in their article at £9.46 for a moderately active man.

State Pensions

Mr. Marlow : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the normal level of state pension available to (a) a single male and (b) a married couple in each European Community country for those aged 60, 65, 70, 75 and 80 years who have no private resources or pension including social security payments unrelated to living condition, but related to age subsequent to the increases in benefit about to be made available.

Mr. Lloyd : I refer my hon. Friend to the Department's publication "Tables of Social Benefit Systems in the European Communities (Position at 1 January 1988)", a copy of which is in the Library. These tables set out the levels of pension in the national currencies together with the sterling equivalent converted according to the OECD's purchasing power parity figures as shown in the introduction to the tables.

Community Care Grants

Ms. Harman : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the success rate in obtaining community care grants in the offices covering the Peckham constituency for applicants (a) assisted and (b) not assisted by an advice worker.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : I regret that the information requested is not available.

Social Fund

Ms. Harman : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security why the budget for social fund loans and grants in the offices covering the Peckham constituency was not increased in the current financial year.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : A note explaining the basis of allocation of social fund budgets to local offices for 1989-90 is in the Library. The allocation formula was applied in exactly the same way to all local offices.


NHS Beds (Occupation)

Mr. Rowe : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of National Health Service beds are occupied by people over 70 years of age.

Mr. Freeman : The information available centrally is that in 1987- 88, 53 per cent. of NHS beds were occupied by patients aged 65 years and over, and 34 per cent. by patients aged 75 years and over.

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Bristol Channel (Bathing Waters)

Mr. Speller : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information he has received about illness caused to individuals from bathing in coastal waters on either side of the Bristol channel.

Mr. Freeman : I am not aware at present of any reports of any adverse effects to health caused by bathing in coastal waters in the Bristol channel.

Liver and Kidney Transplants

Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the latest position in relation to the shortage of blood for liver and kidney transplants.

Mr. Freeman : There was a temporary shortage of blood following the late May bank holiday. There has now been an excellent response from donors, and national stocks are again sufficient for all operations to go ahead.


Mr. Amess : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he has any plans to instigate any new studies into the nature and incidence of post- abortion syndrome ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Freeman : We await the report of a joint Royal College of General Practitioners/Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists study "Attitudes to Pregnancy". A large body of data from this United Kingdom study, which was funded by the Department, is currently undergoing careful analysis. I understand that the report should be available later this year.

Mr. Amess : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the number of non-National Health Service abortions performed in each gestational week according to licensed clinic in 1987 and 1988.

Mr. Freeman : The table shows the readily available data. Details relating to numbers performed by individual licensed clinics cannot be released for reasons of confidentiality.

Number of abortions performed in non-NHS premises by gestation          

week to usual residents of England and Wales, 1987 and 1988             

Gestation   |1987       |<1>Of which|1988       |<1>Of which            


Under 9     |38,879     |2,283      |42,387     |2,709                  

 9-12       |35,637     |4,346      |42,544     |5,096                  

13-14       |4,493      |539        |4,940      |597                    

15-16       |2,430      |258        |2,795      |277                    

17-18       |2,659      |384        |3,237      |436                    

19-20       |1,446      |189        |1,766      |196                    

21-22       |779        |31         |1,007      |27                     

23-24       |413        |9          |510        |15                     

25+         |2          |-          |-          |-                      

Not stated  |11         |2          |9          |4                      

            |---        |---        |---        |---                    

Total       |86,749     |8,041      |99,195     |9,357                  

<1> These figures represent the operations carried out in the private   

sector on NHS patients.                                                 

Mr. Amess : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what advice his Department gives to women about the risks of abortion to their mental and physical health ; and if he will make a statement.

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Mr. Freeman : This is a matter for the clinical judgment of the medical staff involved in the light of all the relevant facts about the woman's condition.

Mr. Amess : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the latest medical evidence available to him as to the earliest gestation age at which an unborn child may be capable of being born alive ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Freeman : The 22nd gestational week is considered by doctors to be the earliest time that there is the slightest possibility of a foetus being born alive, since before then the lungs are not mature enough to function even if ventilated. Between the 22nd and 24th week of gestation the chance of being born alive and the chance of surviving afterwards increase, but up to 24 weeks both are rare. Whether or not any particular foetus is capable of being born alive must be a matter for the clinical judgment of the doctor concerned in the full knowledge of the circumstances of the particular case.

Mr. Amess : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the procedure adopted by his Department in checking and approving abortion notification forms.

Mr. Freeman : All operating doctors are required to notify the chief medical officer, within seven days, of each abortion they perform. The detailed information in these forms is scrutinised by staff authorised by the chief medical officer to ensure that they do not indicate any contravention of the abortion law.

Mr. Amess : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he received in 1987 and 1988, respectively, on (a) abortion and (b) human embryo experimentation ; how many were hostile to each of these practices ; and what percentage the latter represents of the former.

Mr. Freeman : In 1987 and 1988 we received some 9,000 representations about abortion issues and 500 about human embryo experimentation. Most were from members of the public and the views expressed varied widely. Any analysis on the lines requested would involve disproportionate cost.

Blood Transfusion Service

Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement concerning the circumstances in the national blood transfusion service that has caused the recent cancellation of operations and on the action he is now taking to prevent a repetition of such circumstances.

Mr. Freeman : The recent shortage of blood which led to the postponement of a small number of operations in some regions arose primarily because blood donors were not coming forward in sufficient numbers to maintain supplies.

The fine weather, bank holidays, and transport striked contributed to the fall in numbers of donations.

The national directorate of the blood transfusion service will be improving its monitoring of blood stocks

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and donor attendances so that timely steps can be taken to encourage donors to attend blood donor sessions in the future. The temporary shortage of blood following the late May bank holiday has now been corrected.

SERCO/Capita plc

Mrs. Mahon : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he or his Department have had any representations from, or meetings with, SERCO plc ; and if he will make a statement ;

(2) what recent meetings he or his Department had with Capita plc ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Freeman : The director of NHS procurement, Mr. Tom Critchley, has had two meetings in March and May with the director of Capita Health Care group to discuss the services which that company, in collaboration with SERCO plc, is prepared to offer by way of facilities management or technical and non-clinical support services to the NHS. The meetings were part of a wider series of meetings which Mr. Critchley and officials from the NHS procurement directorate have had with a number of service companies able and ready to bid for NHS site management contracts covering a range of different support services. By way of explanation I refer the hon. Member to paragraph 9.11 of the White Paper "Working for Patients".

Venereal Disease

Sir Michael McNair-Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will give the latest figures for venereal disease as a total and then disease by disease ; and if he will give an indication of the trends in this group of diseases.

Mr. Freeman : The available information is given in the table. This relates to new cases seen at NHS genito-urinary medicine clinics over the last 10 years. Not all patients seen at clinics have conditions which are sexually transmitted, and some do not require treatment. Some patients have more than one condition, and are counted under each condition found. Discernible trends over the last ten years are :

(a) The total number of new cases seen in clinics has been increasing steadily in recent years until 1987, when it fell by over 25,00 compared with 1986. This was the first time since 1962 that the number had declined. The main components of the increase were non-specific genital infection, herpes, wart virus, and candidiosis in women. However, cases of syphilis and gonorrhoea have been declining.

(b) Since 1977 the incidence of syphilis has declined by 64 per cent. and gonorrhoea by 57 per cent. Gonorrhoea has been declining more rapidly, particularly among males aged 35 to 44, since about 1982, but there was a very marked fall in both male and female cases between 1986 and 1987. This is probably due to changes in sexual behaviour following the publicity about AIDS.

(c) The number of new cases of herpes increased rapidly until 1985, but declined slightly in 1986 and again in 1987.

(d) The number of new cases of genital warts has continued to increase at a rapid rate and now accounts for 12 per cent. of all new cases seen.

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New cases seen at NHS genito urinary medicine clinics, England, 1977 to 1987, 1987-88                                                                 

                                              |1977   |1978   |1979   |1980   |1981   |1982   |1983   |1984   |1985   |1986   |1987   |1987-88        


Syphilis                                      |4,266  |4,375  |4,001  |4,059  |3,810  |3,564  |3,327  |2,933  |2,404  |1,932  |1,538  |1,463          

Gonorrhoea                                    |58,734 |56,673 |55,062 |54,433 |52,200 |52,156 |48,393 |47,662 |46,314 |40,705 |25,265 |22,884         

Chancroid                                     |43     |52     |42     |54     |91     |125    |80     |40     |61     |47     |39     |44             


  venereum                                    |34     |26     |30     |28     |40     |30     |36     |30     |30     |42     |15     |16             

Granuloma inguinale                           |17     |11     |30     |20     |25     |15     |21     |19     |17     |20     |27     |22             

Non specific genital                                                                                                                                  

  infection                                   |95,491 |98,390 |102,390|114,306|120,018|128,197|134,079|139,352|149,524|157,792|131,383|125,973        

Non specific genital infection with arthritis |496    |457    |456    |544    |583    |501    |462    |428    |487    |504    |533    |571            

Trichomoniasis                                |20,051 |19,781 |19,511 |20,641 |20,224 |20,162 |18,274 |16,751 |15,381 |14,041 |10,658 |9,889          

Candidiasis                                   |38,090 |39,564 |39,700 |44,604 |46,947 |52,404 |57,876 |59,668 |60,517 |63,108 |59,768 |58,817         

Scabies                                       |2,185  |2,186  |2,076  |2,288  |2,145  |2,044  |2,192  |2,043  |2,015  |1,742  |1,365  |1,224          

Pubic lice                                    |6,058  |6,778  |7,478  |7,966  |8,718  |9,799  |9,093  |10,183 |9,859  |9,333  |6,920  |6,628          

Herpes simplex                                |7,722  |8,406  |8,854  |10,043 |11,147 |13,653 |16,534 |18,301 |18,935 |18,800 |16,699 |16,510         

Warts                                         |22,766 |24,136 |24,490 |28,176 |29,704 |33,343 |37,899 |44,050 |52,177 |67,068 |74,542 |74,655         

Molluscum contagiosum                         |930    |964    |968    |1,153  |1,212  |1,378  |1,574  |1,928  |2,195  |2,820  |3,228  |3,140          

Other treponemal diseases                     |1,107  |1,080  |1,086  |923    |878    |833    |745    |658    |592    |526    |532    |471            

Other conditions requiring                                                                                                                            

  treatment                                   |42,437 |46,431 |49,555 |59,963 |67,842 |79,019 |90,817 |100,213|109,318|119,460|111,667|108,172        

Other conditions not                                                                                                                                  

  requiring treatment                         |95,537 |99,268 |99,813 |107,123|111,407|117,127|121,900|120,951|130,162|143,092|168,556|155,527        

Other conditions referred                                                                                                                             

  elsewhere                                   |1,749  |2,133  |2,242  |2,655  |2,933  |3,318  |4,135  |4,718  |5,318  |6,327  |7,531  |7,719          


Grand total, all conditions                   |397,713|410,711|417,784|458,979|479,924|517,668|547,437|569,928|605,306|647,359|620,266|593,725        


Social Measures (EC)

Mr. Teddy Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment, pursuant to the reply to the hon. Member for Southend, East on 14 June, Official Report, column 909, if he will list the issues which the Commission proposes to deal with in social measures related to the European Economics Community and the draft directives issued to date ; and if he will seek the guidance of the Commission on what social issues it will be presenting directives on the basis of majority voting.

Mr. Cope [holding answer 21 June 1989] : The European Commission has put forward a preliminary draft proposal for a "Community charter of fundamental social rights", which it proposes should be adopted as a solemn declaration of the 12 heads of state and Government. The preliminary draft proposal invites the Commission to draw up a programme of work by June 1990. A copy of the preliminary draft has been deposited in the Library, and an explanatory memorandum has been provided to the Select Committee on European Legislation. The preliminary draft is not based on any article of the treaty and is proposed as a political statement.

The following draft legislation proposals, which have not yet been agreed, have been issued to date :

draft directive on procedures for informing and consulting employees in complex undertakings ;

draft directive concerning temporary work ;

draft directive on voluntary part-time work ;

draft recommendation on the reduction and reorganisation of working time ;

draft directive on parental leave and leave for family reasons ;

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draft directive on the burden of proof in the area of equal pay and equal treatment for men and women ;

draft directive amending directive 68/360/EEC on the abolition of restrictions on movement and residence within the Community for workers of member states and their families.

draft directive concerning the minimum health and safety requirements for work with visual display units.

Whether the voting arrangements for specific proposals are based on simple majority, qualified majority or unanimity depends on the subject matter and the article(s) of the treaty of Rome on which they are based. The proposed treaty base is indicated on draft legislation.

In addition, in the area of health and safety at work, there are : draft directive concerning the minimum health and safety requirements for the workplace ;

draft directive on the approximation of the laws of the member states relating to machinery ;

draft directive on the approximation of the laws of the member states relating to personal protective equipment ;

draft directive on the minimum health and safety requirements for handling heavy loads when there is a risk of back injury for workers.


Type 23 Frigate

Mr. Duffy : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on progress on the new command system for the type 23 frigate programme.

Mr. Sainsbury : I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. and learned Member for Fife, North-East (Mr. Campbell) on 6 June at column 124.


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