Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list all exercises involving operations of B52 aircraft from bases in the United Kingdom that have taken place, or are scheduled to take place, during 1989, including exercise names, duration of each exercise, bases used and which units the aircraft are from.
Date |Exercise |Station |Unit --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 17-21 April |Busy Warrior |RAF Fairford |42 Bomb Wing, |Loring AFB, |Maine. 21-30 June |Joint Maritime|RAF Mildenhall|42, Bomb |Course |Wing, Loring |AFB, Maine.
A further deployment to RAF Fairford of B52 aircraft participating in a Busy Warrior exercise is planned to take place from 31 August to 20 September 1989.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will list those aircraft types that are currently in operational service with the United States Air Force at bases in the United Kingdom which are not classed as combat aircraft ;
(2) if he will list those aircraft types that are currently in operational service with the United States Air Force at bases in the United Kingdom which are classed as combat aircraft ;
(3) if he will list those aircraft types that are currently in operational service with the Royal Air Force which are classed as combat aircraft ;
(4) what assessment he has made of the effect on the Royal Air Force of the proposed reductions in the number of land-based combat aircraft in the Atlantic-to-Urals zone announced at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit of 29-30 May if dual-capable aircraft were not included ;
(5) what assessment he has made of the effect on the Royal Air Force and the Army Air Corps of the proposed reductions in the numbers of helicopters and land-based combat aircraft in the Atlantic-to-Urals zone announced at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit of 29-30 May.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : Details of numbers and types of combat aircraft belonging to NATO and Warsaw pact forces will be found on paper 27 -28 of NATO's publication "Conventional Forces in Europe : The Facts", a copy of which is in the Library of the House. NATO is now in the process of refining this information for use in the conventional armed forces in Europe (CFE) negotiations in Vienna. It is too early to say what might be the effect on the United Kingdom's armed forces of any reductions in combat aircraft and helicopters agreed at the CFE talks. The national contributions towards such reductions, in these as in other areas, would be a matter for collective NATO decisions.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the exercise of F111 aircraft of the United States Air Force, normally based at Cannon air force base, New Mexico, at Boscombe Down airfield, Wiltshire, including exercise name, duration, number of aircraft involved and details of similar exercises in 1980, 1983 and 1986.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if his answers regarding deterioration of safety margins and reduced manoeuvrability of F111 aircraft on take off from RAF Upper Heyford apply to the EF-111 aircraft stationed there.
Mr. Neubert : Concern about declining safety margins which led to the change of flight paths at RAF Upper Heyford in June 1988 arose in relation to the F111E aircraft stationed at the base. However, for reasons of safety and air traffic control, all aircraft at the base now use the modified take-off pattern.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what are the current locations of the reactor and the reactor compartment from HMS Dreadnought ; and how long they have been at their present locations.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions his Department had about the possibility of purchasing intellectual property rights associated with the improved United Kingdom air defence ground environment ; and if he will summarise the details of these discussions including the price asked for those rights by their current holders.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is his current assumption of the date upon which the improved United Kingdom air defence ground environment will be fully operational in service.
Mr. Sainsbury : The latest estimate of the likely annual software maintenance cost of IUKADGE, when the system is fully operational, is £5 million to £6 million. Much of the maintenance of this software will be carried out by the Royal Air Force using in-service resources.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether any decision has been made to go ahead with either TRIAD or a deep integration solution in respect of IUKADGE-ICCS ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Sainsbury : Studies into alternative ways of integrating new data-link systems into IUKADGE are not yet complete. Once the final results have been received they will require extensive evaluation before decisions can be taken.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether (a) the Hughes Corporation, (b) Plessey, (c) Marconi, (d) IUKADGE Systems Ltd. or (e) any other private interest retains intellectual property rights in connection with IUKADGE ; and if he will make a statement.
Miss Lestor : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, further to the reply of 13 June, Official Report, column 400, what was the date of the first correspondence from Her Majesty's Government dealing with the Malaysian arms sales package that also mentioned overseas aid.
Mr. Sainsbury : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence first wrote to the Malaysian Finance Minister on 28 June 1988 advising him that it would not be acceptable to Her Majesty's Government to link overseas aid to the arms package.
Mr. Nellist : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the estimated cost of answering each of the questions from the hon. Member for Coventry South-East, due for answer on 17 May and not given a substantive answer on 3 July, Official Report, column 31 ; if he will outline the detailed investigations undertaken ; what was the cost of answering each of the previous questions from the hon. Member for Coventry South-East of a similar nature to those at column 31 ; and if he will make a statement.
nuclear-capable ships to each other's ports, following a similar arrangement between the United States navy and the Soviet navy.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : The Government welcome exchange visits by Royal Navy and Soviet warships as part of an increasing programme of United Kingdom-Soviet contacts. The choice of vessel must, however, depend upon a number of factors, in particular ship availability at the time of any projected visit.
Mr. George Howarth : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many women aged 60 years currently have been excluded from receiving a full retirement pension because their years of work between the ages of 14 and 16 were not taken into account ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 305retirement pension if they had paid national insurance contributions between 14 and 16 years of age. Prior to 1948, under the National Health Insurance and Contributory Pensions Acts, the earliest date from which an employee could be compulsorily insured for pension purposes was from the date of his/her 16th birthday. Prior to age 16, contributions were payable only for medical cover.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security on what basis he estimates that 9,000,000 people will be eligible to receive poll tax rebates ; what action he intends for a take-up campaign to encourage those who believe they are eligible for rebates to apply ; and how the campaign will be funded.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The estimates of the numbers of people expected to receive community charge rebate that were published last summer were based on the benefit rates then current and the then most recent forecasts of community charge levels, and took account of the best demographic and financial information available at the time. Revised estimates will be published in due course when more up-to-date information is available. The Government have already made available publicity on rebates in the form of free leaflets and booklets, and are taking every opportunity to publicise the need to claim. The need for additional publicity is being kept under close review. The normal arrangements for the funding of Government information apply. In addition, it is expected that publicity campaigns will be mounted by local authorities and by certain other bodies.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what action he is taking to inform people that the onus is on the individuals who believe they are eligible for poll tax rebates to apply for rebates ; and in what languages this advice will be issued.
Mr. Peter Lloyd Local authorities in England and Wales will be able to treat people who are already receiving housing benefit as having claimed community charge benefit. The Department will write to everyone on income support who has not claimed housing benefit with a community charge benefit claim form. The Government are issuing publicity material, in English, drawing attention to the need to claim community charge benefit. In Wales this publicity material is being issued also in Welsh. The leaflet "Which Benefit?", which refers to community charge rebates in Scotland and to community charge benefit, is now being translated into seven Asian languages, and these will be available soon. The pamphlets and leaflets issued by the Department of the Environment, which include advice on claiming community charge benefit, are also being translated into other languages. Local authorities are also expected to publicise the need to claim community charge benefit, and are well placed to assess the need in their area for publicity material in languages other than English.
Mr. Hannam : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether he has any plans to change the rule that attendance allowance is to be disregarded by local authorities when assessing a person's ability to pay home help charges, as stated in DHSS circular 53/71.
Column 306The guidance in circular 53/71 on charging for home help services was issued in relation to the legislation then current governing the powers to local health authorities to make such charges. These powers are now contained in section 17 of the Health and Social Services and Social Security Adjudication Act 1983 which permits local social services authorities to make such charges (if any) as they consider reasonable, subject to the right of the client to satisfy the authority that he should not pay more than it is reasonably practicable for him to pay. Guidance on the use of these powers was given in circular LAC(84)7 a copy of which is in the Library.
(i) decide all transfers of differentiated payment appropriations in the Commission's section of the budget ;
(ii) decide transfers between chapters 29 (export refunds in connection with food aid) and 92 (food aid) of part IIIB of the budget ;
(iii) implement all of the Community's rights and obligations in ecu ;
(iv) prescribe implementing rules to impose penalties, in the form of interest payments, following advances and other payments from the Community Budget which fall to be repaid ; and take decisions on the reuse of such advances ;
(v) reuse the proceeds of the sale of buildings ;
(vi) decide, under implementing rules and after consulting all other institutions, on various monetary amounts connected with contracts (amounts hitherto specified in the financial regulation) ; (vii) prescribe implementing rules for the use of electronic management and accounting systems ;
(viii) prescribe implementing rules applicable to the accounting officer and assistant accounting officers ;
(ix) prescribe implementing rules relating to the award of contracts, the keeping of inventories, the system of accounts and imprest accounting, all in connection with Community staff serving outside the Community.
Mr. Teddy Taylor : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement explaining the operation of the proposals made by the European Commission to empower offices of the Commission to impose penalties on member states for the misuse of EEC funds ; and if Her Majesty's Government will seek to secure a procedure of independent appeal to consider complaints against such decisions taken and such fines imposed by the Commission.
Mr. Brooke [holding answer 19 June 1989] : The Commission already has powers under which it can reclaim from member states certain payments which have been incorrectly made. If my hon. Friend has in mind a particular legislative proposal involving the imposition of penalties by the Commission, I should be happy to provide, or arrange for, a more specific answer.
Mr. Lilley : The exchange equalisation account holds the United Kingdom's official reserves, figures for which are published in table 17.1 of the Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin and in table 10.3 of Financial Statistics . Information on reserves changes is also published each month by the Treasury as part of the reserves press notice. Historical material relating to the exchange equalisation account is released in accordance with the Public Records Acts 1958 and 1967.
Mr. Jack : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when an order will be laid bringing into effect his proposal to increase from £100 to £150 the maximum monthly savings limit on an individual employee's contributions under an approved savings-related share option scheme.
Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received about the introduction of Business Watch crime prevention schemes ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. John Patten : None. We are pleased that local busines communities are now joining the police and other local agencies to help make business premises and industrial estates less vulnerable to crime. We are quite sure that visible efforts to reduce crime can help bring back confidence and create a climate sympathetic to enterprise.
Mr. French : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has received any representations on the length of time it takes to process the applications of prison officers to buy the homes provided with their service.
Column 308have been received and nearly 3,000 properties have been sold. Although extra staff were provided to deal with these applications, the sheer volume caused some delays, particularly in the conveyancing of the properties, and a number of representations have been received about these.
Mr. Cartwright : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 13 June, Official Report, columns 367 -8, to the hon. Member for Woolwich, when he will have finished considering the report of the efficiency scrutiny of the section 11 grant scheme under the Local Government Act 1986 ; and when he will be publishing the report.
The report contains a number of recommendations to improve the effectiveness of section 11 grant. We are considering further those recommendations with a view to improving the important service that the grant provides in enabling Britain's ethnic minorities to overcome barriers to their full involvement in the mainstream of national life.
Mr. Renton : There are no present plans to do so. As I indicated on 14 June in reply to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, North-West (Dr. Hampson) at column 462, we shall be reviewing the location and number of the regional passport offices later this year.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will take a decision on the application made by Mrs. Sakina Jan, passport No. C813895, visa No. A/G106164, Heathrow reference JE/289/632 on 25 September 1987 to be allowed to remain in the United Kingdom ; and why applications for permanent stay made by her representative dated 25 September 1987, 20 December 1988 and 19 May 1989 have, to date, not been answered.
Mr. Renton : I regret that owing to administrative errors, the correspondence relating to Mrs. Sakina Jan's application was misfiled and action was not taken. The correspondence has now been traced and the immigration department is writing to Mrs. Jan's solicitors. The case will be given priority and dealt with as quickly as possible.
Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the policy of his Department towards allowing the wives and children of the Chinese students now studying in the United Kingdom to be granted a visa to join them during their studies ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Renton : Under the immigration rules the wife and children under 18 of a student should be given leave to enter for the period of his authorised stay if they can be maintained and accommodated without recourse to public funds. Applications should be made overseas for prior entry clearance, and each case will be looked at in the light of its particular circumstances.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make it his policy to grant to Chinese students who obtain extension of stay in the United Kingdom temporary work permits to enable them to support themselves and any dependants.
Mr. Butcher : In March 1989, the Department launched the video "Schoolwatch". Total costs to the Department, up to the end of June 1989, to make, distribute and market the video were £75,600. Municipal Mutual Insurance contributed a further £40,000 to this joint venture.
There is an additional ongoing cost to the Department in meeting the cost of CFL Vision making the video available to borrowers on a free loan basis. To the end of June 1989 the cost of financing free borrowings of the video was £6,300.
On 6 July 1989, Building Bulletin 69 "Crime prevention in schools : specification, installation and maintenance of intruder alarm systems" was published by HMSO. The cost to the Department of buying in copies to distribute to local education authorities is £2,100.
Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what discussions his Department had with the teachers' unions on how information as to attainment targets within the national curriculum are to be made available to teachers responsible for the implementation of the national curriculum ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Rumbold : The Department has distributed free copies of the statutory orders for mathematics, science and English in sufficient numbers to allow one for each teacher in primary and special schools, and for each subject specialist in secondary schools. LEAs were invited to estimate the numbers they required on this basis. An advance instalment was sent direct to each school ; the remaining copies were delivered to LEAs for them to