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Manufacturing Output

91. Mr. Knox : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the most recent figure for output in manufacturing industry ; and what was the figure for the same month in 1973.

Mr. Norman Lamont : The August 1989 index of manufacturing output (based on 1985=100, seasonally adjusted) was 120.0, 8.1 per cent. higher than the level of 111.0 in August 1973. Figures for individual months can be erratic, however, and a more reliable comparison can generally be made on the basis of three-month on three-month changes. On this latter basis, in the three months to August 1989, manufacturing output was 7.3 per cent. higher than in the same period in 1973.

Government Data Network

Mr. Hunter : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a further statement on the development of the Government data network.

Mr. Ryder : In addition to the service provided to the initial four departments, Department of Social Security, Inland Revenue, Her Majesty's Customs and Excise and Home Office, access agreements to use the network have been made between Racal Data Networks Ltd. and Department of Employment, Department of Energy, General Register Office (Scotland), Her Majesty's Stationery Office, the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys, Her Majesty's Treasury and the Intervention Board for Agricultural Produce. Discussions with the contractor on development of the service, including its use to carry value added data services, are proceeding.

Public Expenditure

Mr. Ralph Howell : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the average yearly public expenditure as a percentage of gross domestic product from (a) 1970 to 1979 and (b) 1980 to 1988 as shown in table 2.3 of the Financial Statement and Budget Report 1989-90.

Mr. Norman Lamont [holding answer 27 October 1989] : The averages of the annual ratios of general Government expenditure (excluding privatisation proceeds) to GDP for the financial years 1970-71 to 1979-80 and 1980-81 to 1988-89 on a basis consistent with the figures given in table 2.3 of the 1989 FSBR are 43.75 and 44.5 per cent. respectively. In the earlier period the ratio peaked at 48.5 per cent. in 1975-76. The highest level in the later period was 46.75 per cent. in 1982-83 ; and ratio in 1988-89 was 39.5 per cent.

SCOTLAND

Exports

71. Mr. Salmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the level of Scottish exports in the latest year for which information is available ; and what was the comparable figure in the previous five years.


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72. Mrs. Margaret Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the level of exports from Scotland in the latest year for which information is available ; and what was the figure for each of the previous five years.

73. Mr. Sillars : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the level of exports from Scotland in the latest period for which information is available ; and what was the comparable figure in the previous five years.

74. Mr. Andrew Welsh : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the level of Scottish exports in the latest year for which information is available ; and what was the comparable figure in the previous five years.

Mr. Lang : There are no official figures for Scottish exports since overseas trade statistics are compiled on a United Kingdom basis only. This is because United Kingdom export statistics are collected at ports of exit and Scottish-produced goods can and do leave the country from ports throughout Britain. The Scottish Council (Development and Industry) carries out an annual survey of Scottish manufactured exports. This is a voluntary survey of manufactured exports only, and the preliminary results for 1988 indicate Scottish manufactured exports of £7,166 million. The comparable figures for the previous five years are set out in the table.


          |£ million          

------------------------------

1983      |4,254              

1984      |4,953              

1985      |5,522              

1986      |5,300              

1987      |6,393              

Birds (Isle of Islay)

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many birds, by species, were illegally killed by poisons on the Island of Islay for each of the last 10 years for which figures are available.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : A total of 17 birds were killed by the illegal use of pesticides on Islay, as confirmed by the wildlife incident investigation service, from 1979 to the current date. Details are as follows.

1979 Gyr Falcon

1980 --

1981 Buzzard

1982 Golden Eagle

1983 Crow

1984 --

1985 --

1986 Buzzard

1987 Buzzard ; Crows (5)

1988 Buzzard ; Raven ; Golden Eagles (2)

1989 Raven ; Buzzard

Correspondence

Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland why the Minister of State responsible for industry the hon. Member for Galloway and Upper Nithsdale, (Mr. Lang) has not replied to the letter on the Clyde port authority and the Rothesay dock in Clydebank from the hon. Member for Clydebank and Milngavie.

Mr. Lang : I regret that I have no record of having received the letter to which the hon. Member refers until he sent me a copy under cover of his letter of 3 October. I


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have arranged for the correspondence to be passed to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport who will send a reply.

Public Sector Rented Homes

Mr. Steel : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what financial help the Government propose to give to councils to build new public sector rented accommodation in areas where there is a shortage of such accommodation, including Tweeddale.

Mr. Rifkind : It is for individual housing authorities to determine their own policies and priorities, based on their own assessment of housing needs in their districts, and to programme capital expenditure accordingly within the resources made available. If councils identify a particular need for additional rented accommodation in the public sector then they should in the first instance include proposals for remedying any such housing shortage in the housing capital programme due to be submitted to the Scottish Development Department by Friday 3 November. Next year's capital allocations will be determined, as in previous years, in the light of the aggregate resources available and the competing requirements of all 56 housing authorities.

Rents to Mortgages Scheme

Mr. French : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has any plans to promote his rents to mortgages scheme ; and if he will make a statement.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland announced on 30 October that Scottish Homes is now able to consider applications to purchase under the rents to mortgages scheme. This is a pilot scheme scheduled to run for three years during which time its results will be monitored carefully to ensure that any promotional opportunities are quickly identified and acted upon.

Mr. French : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will estimate the amount a tenant, paying an average Scottish council home rent, would pay if the tenant participated in his Department's rents to mortgages scheme, showing the method of calculation.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The scheme introduced by Scottish Homes does not apply to tenants of local authorities. The method of calculation would follow that outlined in the Scottish Homes booklet on rents and mortgages placed in the Libraries of the House of Lords and House of Commons. However the calculation following demonstrates the notional financial arrangements which would apply to a tenant of a local authority house (rather than flat) paying rent at the level of the average council house tenant, whose discount entitlement is that of the average council house tenant and whose home has a market value of the sale of the average council house in Scotland.


                                              |Average                  

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Market Value of House                         |£23,975.00               

RTM Discount (Equivalent RTB discount less 15                           

  per cent. points)                           |36 per cent.             

Therefore Purchase Price                      |£15,344.00               

Weekly Rent<1>                                |£18.79                   

Sum Available for Mortgage Repayment (weekly)                           

  (Rent+10 per cent. less £5 per week)        |£15.67                   

Amount of Mortgage Supportable (Assumes                                 

  interest at 13.75 per cent.)                |£6,668.00                

Deferred Financial Commitment                 |£8,676.00                

<1> This is the average rent for all council homes in Scotland.         

Forensic Science

Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many scientifically qualified persons work in the forensic science departments of each Scottish police force.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Four police forces have forensic science laboratories in which the following numbers of scientifically qualified staff are employed :


            |Number       

--------------------------

Grampian    |7            

Lothian and               

  Borders   |8            

Strathclyde |25           

Tayside     |3            

The remaining four forces use these laboratories for forensic science services.

Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will increase the funding of the independent forensic unit of the department of forensic science at Strathclyde university in the light of the requirement on police forces to pay for forensic services.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Funding for the Strathclyde university department of forensic science as for universities generally is the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science.

Official Stationery

Mr. Menzies Campbell : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if any reimbursement to public funds has been made for his use of official Government stationery to write an undated letter to students of St. Andrew's university inviting them to consider joining the University Conservative Association ;

(2) what is his policy towards the use by Ministers in his department of official Government stationery for party political purposes ;

(3) what was the charge to public funds of his use of official Government stationery to write an undated letter to students of St. Andrew's university inviting them to consider joining the University Conservative Association.

Mr. Rifkind : I regret that, through inadvertence, a sheet of Government stationery was used for the issue from my office of a letter with this political purpose. This was contrary to normal practice and should not happen again. The cost of reimbursement would be disproportionate to the amount involved.


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Roads

Mrs. Margaret Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many (a) fatal and (b) serious road traffic accidents have occurred on the A98 Fochabers-Buckie road in each of the last five years, including 1989 to the latest available date.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The numbers of fatal and serious accidents requested for the Fochabers to Buckie stretches of the A98 are as follows :


A98 Fochabers to Buckie                

               |Fatal  |Serious        

---------------------------------------

1985           |2      |1              

1986           |0      |3              

1987           |0      |2              

1988           |0      |3              

1989 (to June) |1      |2              

I understand there has been a further fatal accident in October this year but the Scottish Development Department has yet to receive formal notification of it.

Mrs. Margaret Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many SDD funded road improvement schemes have been completed on the Fochaber-Buckie stretch of the A98 in each of the last five years ; how many proposals for SDD funded improvement schemes on that route are currently under consideration ; and if he will give the costs involved in each instance.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : There has been one improvement carried out in the last five years. This was at Tulloch Farm corner and was undertaken during the financial year 1988-89 at a cost of £108,000. Three further improvement schemes are planned for this section and will be started after completion of the statutory procedures and when available resources and other priorities permit. These are Portgordon crossroads, Arradoul to Barrhill road and Swiss Cottage corner and are estimated to cost £122,000, £238,000 and £650, 000 respectively.

Nurses

Mrs. Margaret Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list in the Official Report the total number of enrolled nurses who undertook bridging courses in each of the past two years, giving a breakdown per health board area.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : Only certain health boards offer such courses. The numbers for 1987-88 and 1988-89 are set out in the table.


Nurses Undertaking Bridging Courses           

                      |1987-88|1988-89        

----------------------------------------------

Argyll and Clyde      |5      |16             

Ayrshire and Arran    |10     |19             

Dumfries and Galloway |10     |4              

Fife                  |18     |32             

Forth Valley          |14     |13             

Grampian              |47     |49             

Greater Glasgow       |142    |152            

Highland              |3      |12             

Lanarkshire           |28     |38             

Lothian               |45     |36             

Tayside               |31     |21             

                      |---    |---            

Total                 |353    |392            



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Mortgage and Rent Arrears

Mr. Maxton : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish a table showing (a) the number of owner-occupiers whose homes were repossessed, (b) the number of owner-occupiers whose mortgages were six to 12 months in arrears and (c) the number of owner-occupiers whose mortgages were over 12 months in arrears for each year since 1979.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : This information is available only for building society loans, for the United Kingdom as a whole. The most recent figures were published by the Council of Mortgage Lenders in the 9 September issue of its newsletter "Mortgage Finance Monthly", a copy of which is in the Library.

Hospitals (Self-governing Status)

Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland by what method he intends to consult staff and patient representatives or local communities before awarding self-governing status to hospitals.

Mr. Michael Forsyth [holding answer 26 October 1989] : Our proposals are set out in the document "Self Governing Hospitals : An Initial Guide" which was issued when we debated the health service in the Scottish Grand Committee estimates debate on 25 July.

Hazardous Substances

Mr. Andrew Welsh : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what action he is taking this year to promote or publicise the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations ; and what estimates he has of the costs involved for the agricultural industry in complying with these regulations ;

(2) what estimates he has of the costs involved in implementing the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations for (a) industry and (b) small businesses in Scotland ; and what steps he is taking in the current year to promote or publicise these regulations for those sectors.

Mr. Nicholls : I have been asked to reply.

Where substances hazardous to health were adequately and reliably controlled and where there was full compliance with existing legislation, the costs of implementing the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations should be marginal ; they will arise mainly from reviewing and formalising existing arrangements. The Health and Safety Executive estimated in its cost-benefit analysis for the COSHH proposals that for a typical small firm, the additional costs arising would amount to no more than about one quarter of a percentage point of the firm's net output. This estimate included the costs of monitoring of exposure and health surveillance which apply to only a minority of firms. For most larger firms, the costs will be substantially smaller in relation to net output.

No special analysis for any particular geographical region, nor for any sector of activity, including agriculture, has been carried out. The Health and Safety Executive has promoted and publicised the regulations by a variety of means, including national and trade advertising and the distribution of some 3.5 million introductory leaflets. Many activities have been


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particularly geared to the need to reach small firms, including the provision of information to the principal small firms advisory organisations.

Standards Register

Mr. Andrew Welsh : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what finance was provided by or what participation the Scottish Office had in producing the United Kingdom standards register ; and what steps he is taking to promote it.

Mr. Nicholls : I have been asked to reply.

The publication "Standards significant to health and safety at work", launched by the Health and Safety Executive on 22 June 1989, updates a similar publication first produced in 1983. It is a list, published for information, of those standards to which frequent reference is made by HSE in its advisory and enforcement work. A press release was issued by HSE at the time of publication of the list and the British Standards Institute has co-operated with the publicity.

ENERGY

Plutonium

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy how much plutonium has been recovered from the uranium dioxide breeder fuel pins and pellets integral in the Dounreay prototype fast reactor core fuel sub- assemblies ; and if this matter was reprocessed with, or separately from, the uranium/plutonium dioxide fuel pellets incorporated into the same core sub-assemblies.

Mr. Michael Spicer : This is an operational matter for the UKAEA. I will ask the chairman to write to the hon. Member.

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy (1) if he will list the number of export licences granted for the export of plutonium to the Federal Republic of Germany for each year since 1959 ;

(2) if he will list the number of export licences granted for the export of plutonium to Japan for each year since 1959 ;

(3) if he will list the number of export licences granted for the export of plutonium to Canada for each year since 1959 ;

(4) if he will list the number of export licences granted for the export of plutonium to Belgium for each year since 1959 ; (5) if he will list the number of export licences granted for the export of plutonium to Italy for each year since 1959 ;

(6) if he will list the number of export licences granted for the export of plutonium to (a) Sweden, (b) the Netherlands, (c) Switzerland, (d) the United States of America and (e) Austria, for each year since exports of plutonium to each country began ; (7) if he will list the number of plutonium export licences granted for the export of plutonium to France for each year since 1985.

Mr. Michael Spicer : It has been the standard practice of successive Governments not to make public the number of export licences granted for the various categories of goods controlled.


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Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy whether, under existing arrangements one export licence for the export of plutonium is sufficient to cover more than one contract for the supply of plutonium, or more than one load of plutonium ; and what information is required to be supplied by the applicants for such an export licence to be granted.

Mr. Michael Spicer : Export licences for plutonium are issued for a specific quantity of material destined for a specific purpose. Multiple shipments can be made under an individual licence. Applications must be made on the Department of Trade and Industry's official export licence application form which calls for detailed information, including the end- use and user. Additional information may be requested in support of a particular application depending on the circumstances of the case.

Greenhouse Effect

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he has assessed the proposals contained in the two volume report "Energy Technologies for Reducing Emissions of Greenhouse Gases", from an experts' seminar at the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris in April.

Mr. Peter Morrison : A number of copies of the report have been received by my Department and the energy technology support unit. Members of the Department and the energy technology support unit attended the seminar, and subsequently have been assessing some of the more significant of the many technical papers that were then presented.

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he, any other Minister, or any official of his Department was present at, or presented a paper to, the seminar on the greenhouse effect at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers on 29 September.

Mr. Peter Morrison : Officials from this Department and the energy technology support unit (ETSU) attended the seminar. An official from the chief scientist's group within ETSU gave a short paper at the meeting.

Earthquakes (Nuclear Plants)

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make available to the state of California the expertise of the nuclear installations inspectorate team which evaluated the Calder hall and Wylfa nuclear plants in the United Kingdom after earthquakes, in order to assist in the assessment of the safety of nuclear plants in California following the earthquake on 17 October.

Mr. Michael Spicer : The Health and Safety Executive's nuclear installations inspectorate would, if asked, be willing to provide assistance.

Conservation

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make it his policy to evaluate the applicability to the United Kingdom of energy saving and energy efficiency proposals contained in the United States National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (1987).

Mr. Peter Morrison : As I stated in my reply to the hon. Member for Glanford and Scunthorpe (Mr. Morley) on 10


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July 1989 at column 378 , my energy efficiency office has already commissioned a study of domestic electrical appliances. The United States National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (1987) is among the matters to be examined in this study.

Solar Energy

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he, any departmental Minister or departmental official, was present at, or presented a paper to, the conference on energy policy and the environment at the Geological Society, London, on 9 October.

Mr. Peter Morrison : No Minister or official from this Department attended the meeting "Energy Policy and the Environment" organised by the United Kingdom section of the International Solar Energy Society on 9 October.

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if his Department, or the energy technology support unit at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment, Harwell, has studied the development of the Rheinische-Westfaelische Elektrizitaetswerke 340 kilowatt photovoltak solar power plant at Kober-Gondorf, to judge the applicability of this technology to the United Kingdom.

Mr. Peter Morrison : Preliminary results from the photovoltaic plant at Kober-Gondorf were presented at the ninth European Commission solar photovoltaic energy conference in September 1989. A representative of the energy technology support unit attended the conference. The 340 kW peak, array covering 15,000 square metres has just completed its first year of operation since commissioning in October 1988. It produced a little over 73,000 kWh against an expectation of 250,000 kWh when fully available.

A review of solar technologies is currently being undertaken within the United Kingdom renewable energy R & D programme and the results are expected to be published shortly.

World Energy Conference

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what Ministers and officials of his Department were present at the world energy conference held in Canada in September ; what papers his Department contributed ; and if he will make a statement on the beneficial outcome of the conference in regard to (a) the United Kingdom and (b) the European Community.

Mr. Wakeham : Three officials from my Department accompanied me to Canada last month where, inter alia, I addressed the World Energy Conference on "Sustainable energy development, possible or impossible?" The main purpose of my speech was to alert the conference to the need to adapt energy strategies to take account of environmental consequences, particularly in relation to climate change. I outlined some possible responses, in particular market-related measures and sought the world energy community's help in resolving the problems which I see as critical to increasing the well-being of all countries, particularly developing nations. My speech was distributed as a conference document. A copy has been placed in the Library of the House. The Department contributed no other papers.

The conference provided a valuable opportunity for scientists, engineers and industrialists from the western,


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eastern and developing nations to explore new ideas for meeting global energy needs in an environmentally responsible fashion.

Geothermal Energy Projects

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he has evaluated the research undertaken by the Federal German Ministry for research and technology since 1982, on geological research in Bavaria into hot dry rocks, in terms of its relevance for the United Kingdom geothermal energy projects.

Mr. Peter Morrison : The British geothermal hot dry rock research team is fully aware of the German research and assisted with the early experimental work. The Falkenberg project in north-east Bavaria was operated by the Federal Republic of Germany Ministry of Research and Technology between 1978 and 1987. Investigations were made into the hydraulic and heat-transfer properties of fractured granite at depths between 300 and 500 metres. The British team conducted comparable work at Rosemanowes quarry in Cornwall between 1977 and 1980 with similar results to those obtained later in Germany. The British team has of course gone on to more advanced work at greater depth in Cornwall.

Decommissioning Waste

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what volumes of decommissioning waste will be sent from Sellafield to that Federal Republic of Germany arising from section 2 (a) (iii) of the joint declaration between the United Kingdom and the Federal Republic on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, signed in Bonn on 25 July ; and how this will be calculated.

Mr. Michael Spicer : Contractual negotiations are still proceeding regarding the reprocessing in the United Kingdom of further quantities of German spent fuel. Therefore it is not possible to estimate the volume of waste which will be returned following reprocessing.

North-West Hutton Platform

Mr. Doran : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy at what time crew members were mustered to emergency or lifeboat stations during evacuation of the north-west Hutton production platform ; how many crew members were evacuated ; how many crew members were left on board after the evacuation ; and why these crew members were left on board.

Mr. Peter Morrison : At 10.38 hours on 3 September 1989 the crew were mustered to emergency stations ; 108 persons were evacuated as a precautionary measure. There was no immediate danger and 77 crew members remained on board to continue the well controlled operation.

Mr. Doran : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy whether during the drilling programme prior to the evacuation of the north-west Hutton production platform, full mud returns were recorded while setting the casing and cementing it into place ; whether a cement bond log was run after the casing was set ; what was the equivalent mud weight recorded during the formation integrity test ; what was (i) the expected and (ii) the actual formation pressure at the depth at which the kick or unexpected increase in pressure originated ; and what was (a) the programmed and (b) the actual mud density and weight.


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