The Council discussed the abolition of fiscal frontiers, where outline agreement was reached on a number of technical issues to pave the way for the removal of frontier controls related to VAT, in particular the importance of retaining the destination principle. There will be a further discussion at the November Ecofin. The taxation of savings was also discussed, and it was agreed that the Commission should bring forward draft outline proposals on measures to strengthen mutual assistance and to combat tax fraud, for discussion at the meeting of Ecofin in November. It was agreed to send a letter to the European investment bank inviting it to make loan finance available to Poland and Hungary under the bank's normal criteria for lending from its own resources. The Commission's proposals for borrowing under the new Community instrument and through Euratom were also discussed, but no agreement was reached.
Mr. Ryder : Zero-rating already exists for new dwellings and so insulation materials are relieved when they are installed in the course of construction by a VAT-registered builder. VAT-registered owners of new or existing commercial buildings can normally reclaim, under the normal input tax rules, any tax they are charged for insulation work or materials. Even if the cost of a general relief were acceptable in terms of revenue forgone and additional administration, any such relief would not be permissible under the EC sixth VAT directive. Thus the Government have no plans for a general relief for the insulation of existing dwellings either by contractors or on a DIY basis.
Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will set out the powers and responsibilities of customs officers when questioning United Kingdom citizens arriving at ports of entry.
Column 286Act 1979. Under section 78 of that Act an officer may require a passenger to produce for examination his baggage and anything contained therein and to answer questions in respect of such items. Customs officers must also have regard to the relevant provisions of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and its codes of practice.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will tabulate the investment made by British institutions in manufacturing industry outside the United Kingdom during 1988 together with the comparable amounts of inward investment including for each case the respective geographical areas and manufacturing sectors.
Mr. Norman Lamont [holding answer 17 October 1989] : The available information relates to United Kingdom net direct investment overseas in manufacturing industry and overseas net direct investment in United Kingdom manufacturing industry and was published in tables 1.6 and 2.6 of "Business Monitor MA4 1987, Overseas Transactions", a copy of which is in the Library. Comparable information for 1988 should become available next spring. No information is available on overseas portfolio investment by country or by industry.
Mr. Lilley [holding answer 19 October 1989] : The main trade in elephant products is in ivory. Currently, trade in both new and worked ivory is identified in the Overseas Trade Statistics. Trade is not normally allowed in Indian elephant ivory under the convention on international trade in endangered species of fauna and flora (CITES). Similar strict controls will now apply to African elephant ivory following agreement this week at the CITES conference.
In the United Kingdom, strict controls were introduced on imports of ivory from 9 June 1989. From 17 August 1989, these controls have been applied in the European Community under Commission Regulation 2496/89.
Figures relating to trade in goods included under CITES are published by the European Commission.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is now in a position to give details regarding the five consignments of raw ivory which were being held at Heathrow airport when he replied to the hon. Member for Newham, North-West on 6 June, Official Report, column 118.
Column 287Most seizures, often involving small quantities, are made locally without reference to Customs HQ. Statistical information is compiled only periodically. Up-to-date details could be obtained only at disproportionate expense.
Column 288France, (d) Holland, (e) the Federal Republic of Germany, (f) Japan, (g) the United States of America and (h) Sweden for each year since 1979.
Mr. Ryder [holding answer 18 October 1989] : The average levels of inflation since 1979 for Denmark, Canada, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Japan, the United States and Sweden are given in "OECD Economic Outlook June 1989", a copy of which is available in the House of Commons Library. The information requested on interest rates is as follows :
Short-term Interest Rates Year United SJapan Germany France Canada Denmark Netherlands Sweden -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1979 |11.2 |6.2 |6.7 |9.5 |<1>11.2|12.6 |9.0 |8.2 1981 |13.1 |10.9 |9.5 |12.2 |12.6 |16.9 |10.1 |12.2 1982 |15.9 |7.6 |12.1 |15.3 |18.3 |14.8 |11.0 |14.4 1983 |9.1 |6.7 |5.8 |12.5 |9.4 |12.0 |5.3 |10.9 1984 |10.4 |6.5 |6.0 |11.7 |11.0 |11.5 |5.8 |11.8 1985 |8.1 |6.6 |5.4 |10.0 |9.5 |10.0 |6.3 |13.9 1986 |6.5 |5.1 |4.6 |7.7 |9.2 |9.1 |5.8 |10.2 1987 |6.9 |4.2 |4.0 |8.3 |8.3 |9.9 |5.2 |9.2 1988 |7.7 |4.5 |4.3 |7.9 |9.5 |8.2 |4.5 |10.1 <1>1979 not same series. Source: IMF and national sources.
Mr. Warren : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which Minister in his Department is responsible for day-to-day management of his Department's information technology strategy ; and what proportion of his time was spent on this matter in the month up to Friday 13 October.
Mr. Ryder [holding answer 19 October 1989] : The Minister responsible for oversight of Her Majesty's Treasury's information technology strategy is the Paymaster General. Officials are responsible for the day-to-day management of the strategy. No strategic issue required the attention of the Paymaster General in the month up to Friday 13 October.
Mr. Meacher : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the annual percentage growth each year since 1979 in (a) real incomes, (b) the stock of consumer debt outstanding in real terms, (c) consumer spending and (d) output in the economy.
Mr. Ryder [holding answer 19 October 1989] : The 1989 edition of "United Kingdom National Accounts"--otherwise known as the CSO Blue Book --gives annual estimates of real personal disposable income (Table 4.1), consumers' expenditure at constant prices (Table 4.6) and of United Kingdom output (Table 2.4). A copy is available in the Library. Figures of the annual percentage growth of the stock of consumer credit, expressed in real terms, are as follows :
|Growth --------------------- 1979 |7.9 1980 |3.2 1981 |9.4 1982 |-6.6 1983 |12.3 1984 |12.2 1985 |11.7 1986 |12.3 1987 |15.5 1988 |10.9
Mr. Wray : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will instruct all Government Departments concerned to review the present pay structures of low-paid workers within their responsibilities with a view to giving them a parity with police and armed forces personnel.
Mr. Denzil Davies : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the total cost to the United Kingdom's balance of payments in pounds sterling in the latest available year of the purchase by the Central Electricity Generating Board of electricity from France.
The provisional value (on a cost, insurance and freight basis) of imports of electricity from France to the United Kingdom in 1988 was £268 million.
Source : Digest of United Kingdom Energy Statistics, Table 71.
Mr. William Powell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what has been the cost in each month since January for the special protection measures taken on behalf of Mr. Salman Rushdie.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Since 1979 the trend in Metropolitan police manpower has been steadily upwards. At the end of August 1989 the strength of the force was 28,240--25 per cent. higher than at the end of 1979. In addition, there are now some 1,300 more civil staff supporting the Metropolitan police than there were at the end of 1979 ; and civilianisation has released more than 300 police officers for operational duty over the last three years, and is expected to release a further 200 in 1989-90. This steady increase in manpower reflects our sustained commitment to building up the strength and efficiency of the police.
Mr. John Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information he has as to how many people were arrested during the 1988-89 season at the grounds of each of the clubs playing in each of the four divisions of the Football League ; and what are the comparable statistics for the previous two seasons.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) collate the number of arrests made at Football League matches in England and Wales. The table shows ACPO's figures for arrests at home games of league clubs according to their division in the 1988-89 season. The figures do not distinguish between arrests of home or away spectators. Such figures are not collated centrally, nor are any relating to the outcome of these arrests.
Division 1 |1988-89|1987-88|1986-87 ---------------------------------------------------- Arsenal |167 |153 |79 Aston Villa |344 |308 |202 Charlton Athletic |47 |14 |33 Coventry City |190 |194 |96 Derby County |132 |86 |61 Everton |80 |24 |67 Liverpool |132 |33 |86 Luton Town |7 |1 |- Manchester United |60 |38 |25 Middlesbrough |86 |110 |14 Millwall |160 |44 |20 Newcastle United |166 |149 |136 Norwich City |86 |32 |66 Notts Forest |66 |130 |98 Queens Park Rangers |95 |91 |127 Sheffield Wednesday |80 |90 |101 Southampton |146 |208 |85 Tottenham Hotspur |127 |74 |80 West Ham United |201 |149 |144 Wimbledon |17 |49 |35
Division 2 |1988-89|1987-88|1986-87 ----------------------------------------------------- Barnsley |21 |55 |76 Birmingham City |65 |101 |66 Blackburn Rovers |37 |79 |80 Bournemouth |35 |149 |28 Bradford City |85 |197 |115 Brighton |47 |34 |5 Chelsea |304 |271 |222 Crystal Palace |71 |78 |61 Hull City |18 |38 |51 Ipswich Town |31 |99 |45 Leeds United |159 |184 |182 Leicester City |95 |31 |197 Manchester City |39 |35 |23 Oldham Athletic |12 |19 |13 Oxford United |36 |105 |88 Portsmouth |162 |282 |65 Plymouth Argyle |19 |29 |49 Shrewsbury |37 |68 |41 Stoke City |44 |57 |73 Sunderland |49 |80 |140 Swindon Town |44 |67 |48 Walsall |148 |47 |95 Watford |44 |43 |18 West Bromwich Albion |145 |132 |142
Division 3 |1988-89|1987-88|1986-87 -------------------------------------------------- Aldershot |65 |39 |29 Blackpool |66 |36 |104 Bolton Wanderers |40 |21 |20 Brentford |50 |72 |11 Bristol City |73 |21 |46 Bristol Rovers |67 |18 |7 Bury |27 |5 |11 Cardiff |16 |43 |27 Chester |20 |22 |49 Chesterfield |44 |21 |17 Fulham |126 |99 |41 Gillingham |23 |32 |9 Huddersfield |34 |126 |100 Mansfield |40 |21 |31 Northampton |3 |11 |57 Notts County |49 |56 |13 Port Vale |79 |22 |54 Preston North End |51 |20 |66 Reading |25 |20 |114 Sheffield United |50 |60 |53 Southend |30 |3 |- Swansea |51 |10 |14 Wigan |4 |4 |24 Wolverhampton |192 |132 |117
Division 4 |1988-89|1987-88|1986-87 ------------------------------------------------------------- Burnley |47 |90 |22 Cambridge |17 |29 |49 Carlisle |17 |27 |24 Colchester |7 |- |8 Crewe |30 |21 |41 Darlington |26 |5 |101 Doncaster |20 |28 |35 Exeter |12 |83 |61 Grimsby |79 |66 |156 Halifax |62 |38 |19 Hartlepool |21 |21 |29 Hereford |28 |28 |53 Leyton Orient |8 |8 |15 Lincoln |19 |- |9 Peterborough |14 |15 |28 Rochdale |47 |32 |59 Rotherham |31 |47 |54 Scarborough |51 |146 |- Scunthorpe |55 |46 |49 Stockport |53 |17 |- Torquay |16 |21 |94 Tranmere |20 |53 |7 Wrexham |12 |17 |25 York |132 |62 |37 Newport County (no longer in the Football League) |- |35 |53
Mr. Shersby : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has recently reviewed the present legislation governing the conduct of lotteries ; if he has any proposals for the amendment of the law ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Shersby : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to address the development of technology which makes possible on-line betting with the use of pre-purchase or credit cards and a television receiver ; what consideration he is giving to the transmission of such facilities to Britain via satellite television, and if he has any proposals to amend the law.
Mr. John Patten : Both credit and cash betting are already regulated by the current law. Similarly, television coverage of those sporting events on which punters most usually bet is already established. We would expect any technological developments in bookmaking to be designed to comply with the current law ; and we have received no proposals for changes in the law to accommodate any such development which, if it were introduced, might at present be unlawful.
Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidelines exist for the emergency services which may come into contact with blood after an accident ; and if he will seek to ensure that a standard procedure is followed at all times to protect personnel regardless of the personal circumstances of victims involved.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Contact with blood after an accident may expose members of the emergency services to the risk of contracting one of the blood-borne infectious diseases. Guidance on the operational safety precautions which should be taken to reduce this risk is given in the circulars which the Home Office has issued to police forces and fire brigades on AIDS and hepatitis B. Guidance for the ambulance services is a matter for my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Health.
Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, in light of evidence that HIV is spreading now faster among heterosexuals than homosexuals and to avoid possible distress to relatives, he will ensure that messages sent to emergency services after
Column 292accidents or similar disasters do not refer to victims' sexuality as a reason for taking additional precautions because of a fear of AIDS.
Mr. Mullin : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from the chief constable of the West Midlands as to whether any former members of the serious crime squad recently transferred to non-operational duties have since been involved in criminal investigations.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : No. The actions of the former serious crime squad are being investigated under the supervision of the Police Complaints Authority by Mr. Shaw, assistant chief constable of the West Yorkshire police, to whom all matters of concern should be reported. On 14 August the chief constable of the West Midlands stated publicly that all officers who had served on the serious crime squad in the period 1 January 1986 to 31 December 1988 would be moved out of the CID to non-operational duty. The term "non-operational duty" covers all manner of duty other than the arrest of persons for crime or the interrogation of persons in respect of offences for which they have or may have to answer before a court. I have no evidence to suggest that the criteria outlined have been breached.
Mr. Mullin : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from the chief constable of the West Midlands listing the members of the serious crime squad at the time it was disbanded and the dates on which they joined the squad.
Mr. Mullin : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will call for a report from the chief constable of the West Midlands as to how many members of the serious crime squad who were recently transferred to non-operational duties are currently on sick leave ;
(2) if he will call for a report from the chief constable of the West Midlands as to the date on which Detective Sergeant Michael Honby went on sick leave and on the prospects for his return to duty.
Mr. Ian Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to ensure that moneys recovered from illegal drug operations under the provisions of the Drug Trafficking Offences Act 1986 are allocated explicitly for the purpose of combating the use and distribution of illicit drugs.
Mr. John Patten : Ministers are considering the detailed arrangements whereby a proportion of the sums confiscated from drug traffickers as a result of international agreements might be used to strengthen the United Kingdom's enforcement and other efforts to curb drug abuse.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Prime Minister if she will discuss during her next meeting with President Gorbachev compensation for the economic damage done to upland farming by the radioactive fall-out from the Chernobyl accident.
My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister did not raise this issue when she met President Gorbachev last month. The position with regard to compensation remains as stated in the reply to the hon. Member for Merionnydd Nant Conwy (Dr. Thomas) of 21 July 1986 at column 5.
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the progress of negotiations on liability protocols in relation to the Antarctic treaty at the Paris meeting.
Mr. Sainsbury : It was agreed in Paris last week that a meeting should be held next year to explore all proposals relating to the liability protocol required under article 8(7) of the Antarctic minerals convention.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Minister for the Civil Service what guidelines exist for the granting of specific civil servants of attributable interviews to newspapers and radio containing policy statements determined by Ministers ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Luce [holding answer 20 October 1989] : The principles governing civil servants' contacts with the media are set out in chapter 6, sections 2 and 4, of the personnel management handbook. Copies of the handbook are available in the House Libraries. Advice on specific cases is given by departmental information officers.
Mr. Luce : As I reported to the House last November, Phase 1A of the new British Library at St. Pancras is currently under construction, and is to be built within a cost target in cash of £300 million. Additionally, a completion state which is at present being designed, has been budgeted at £90 million at second quarter 1988 prices.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what policy initiatives have been taken by his Department to increase the level of recycling materials in the United Kingdom ; and if he has met the Association of County Councils, the metropolitan authorities or the relevant trades unions to discuss policy options in the recycling field.
Mr. Forth : I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Dalyell) on 17 October at column 12. The Association of County Councils, the Association of Metropolitan Authorities, the Association of District Councils, and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities are members of the advisory group referred to in that reply.
Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will publish in the form of a table the number of bottle banks in each west European country for the most recent date for which figures are available.
Mr. Forth [holding answer 19 October 1989] : No figures are kept for the number of bottle banks in each west European country. However, in the United Kingdom there are currently 3,830 bottle banks. Source : British Glass Manufacturers Confederation.
Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will publish in the form of a table (a) the amount of metal recovered from cans by each west European country in 1988 and (b) the amount of metal recovered as a percentage of the total amount of metal consumed in cans for each country.
Mr. Forth [holding answer 19 October 1989] : Accurate statistics for the amount of metal cans recycled in each west European country in 1988 are not available. However, in 1988 in the United Kingdom an estimated 950 million steel cans were recycled, equivalent to 8 per cent. of production, and 470 tonnes of aluminium cans were recycled, equivalent to 1 per cent. of production.
Mr. Forth : The DTI has a programme of reviews in progress to examine the scope for relocating activities away from London and the south- east. Decisions have already been made to move the Patent Office to south Wales and parts of the insolvency service to Birmingham. The import licensing branch of my Department is one of a number of further areas included in the programme of reviews.
Mr. William Powell : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will take action under the Companies Acts to investigate the roles of, and relationship between, Mr. Julian Hodgson of Henderson Crosthwaite and Mr. Ian Kennedy of Govett Strategic Investment Trust in relation to the bids for DRG plc by
Column 295Pembridge Investments of Bermuda and for Tilbury plc by FJC Lilley plc, and in relation to the Govett Strategic Investment Trust stakes in Marley plc and London International Group plc ; and whether he will make a statement.
Mr. Denzil Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what percentage of imports into the European Economic Community comprised products and goods imported from the German Democratic Republic in the latest available year.
Mr. Foulkes : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what information he has about the operation of the investors compensation scheme to date, as to how many failures it has dealt with and as to what the current situation is in each ; and if he will make a statement on the speed and fairness of the compensation paid or offered to date.
Mr. Redwood : To date the Investors Compensation Scheme Ltd. has made payments amounting to £2.049 million to investors in five companies. Questions relating to the operation of the scheme are a matter for the scheme itself and the Securities and Investments Board.
Mr. Denzil Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what percentage of the total amount of electricity sold by the Central Electricity Generating Board in its last available accounting year came from (a) power stations owned and operated by the board and (b) electricity purchased from France.
Mr. Michael Spicer : The information requested by the right hon. Member is contained in the Central Electricity Generating Board's 1987-88 annual report and accounts, a copy of which is in the Library of the House. In 1987-88, 95 per cent. of electricity sold by the CEGB was produced by its own power stations and 5 per cent. was imported from France.
Mr. Jack : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy (1) if he will make a statement detailing the criteria that will be employed to determine the future operating life for each of the remaining Magnox power stations ;
(2) what discussions he has had with National Power about the future policies that will be used to determine the operating plans for the remaining Magnox power stations ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Michael Spicer : The Government are still considering the future arrangements for the Magnox stations and no decisions on the detailed implementation of our policy have been taken. As my right hon. Friend the then Secretary of State for Energy said in his statement to the House on 24 July, we will give the House a full opportunity to debate our detailed proposals when they are available.