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Mr. Major : The Delors report suggests a three-stage process leading to economic and monetary union. The Government's acceptance of stage I, which will start on 1 July 1990, was reported by the Prime Minister in her statement on 29 June, Official Report, columns 1107-22. I have today laid before Parliament, and placed in the Library of the House and in the Vote Office, copies of a paper entitled "An Evolutionary Approach to Economic and Monetary Union". This paper sets out the Government's views on an alternative approach to stages II and III as described in the report by the Delors committee, and will be a contribution to discussion at Ecofin on 13 November.
Mr. McLeish : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate (a) the impact of every 1 per cent. rise in interest rate on the costs to industry, (b) the estimated extra costs likely to have been incurred by industry in the period May 1989 to October 1989 as a result of interest rates rises and (c) the estimated costs to industry of the present interest rate level continuing for a period of three months, six months and 12 months.
Mr. Lilley [holding answer 26 October 1989] : The estimated direct cost to industrial and commercial companies of a one percentage point increase in United Kingdom bank base rates is about £0.5 billion in the first year after the change, based on industrial and commercial companies' current holdings of assets and liabilities with variable rates of interest linked to United Kingdom bank base rates. The estimate takes no account of possible changes in net borrowing following a change in interest rates or of consequential changes in tax liabilities.
By comparison a one percentage point interest rate increase costs industrial and commercial companies far less than a one percentage point rise in pay settlements.
It is not possible to answer parts (b) and (c) without making assumptions about the actual responses to interest
Column 285rates and changes in borrowing for any other reason. But the key point is that industry would suffer much more from a general rise in inflation than from interest rate increases.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans or programmes he has for publicising schemes for voluntary giving, such as Work Aid, and other similar statutory arrangements ; and what funds have been allocated from what votes for what specific purposes.
Mr. Lilley [holding answer 17 October 1989] : It is primarily for the voluntary sector to promote voluntary giving. Leaflets are available from the Inland Revenue explaining the tax reliefs for charitable giving. My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary has made a grant of £25,000 to the Payroll Giving Association to support its work on promoting the payroll giving scheme. The grant is on a matching pound-for- pound basis. A further grant of up to £25,000 may be made on the same basis. The payroll giving scheme is available to all civil servants and to Members of Parliament. This opportunity has been publicised.
Mr. Teddy Taylor : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make it his policy to permit sterling to establish its value in the exchange markets without intervention directed to any particular exchange rates with other major currencies.
Mr. Ryder [holding answer 31 October 1989] : Foreign exchange intervention will continue to be used as necessary to check undue fluctuations in the exchange rate.
Mr. Teddy Taylor : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his latest estimate of the net contribution to the EEC in 1989.
Mr. Ryder [holding answer 31 October 1989] : The Government's latest published estimate of the United Kingdom's net contribution to the Community budget in 1989 is £1,966 million. A new estimate of the United Kingdom's net payments to European Community institutions for the financial year 1989-90 will be published in the Autumn Statement.
Mr. Gordon Brown : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what amount has been allocated from the contingency reserve so far in the current financial year ; and whether he will list the amount by Department.
Mr. Norman Lamont [holding answer 1 November 1989] : The Autumn Statement will show the estimated outturn for the 1989-90 planning total by Department, along with changes from the plans in the 1989 public expenditure White Paper.
Mr. Win Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he has made any estimate of the extra resources needed to enable children with special needs to participate fully in the national curriculum.
Mr. Wyn Roberts : The cost of implementing the national curriculum will be met from the redirection of existing resources. However, the Government are making specific grants available to local education authorities to support the introduction of the national curriculum. In Wales, in this financial year, there is support for almost £7 million expenditure.
It is for authorities to decide how much to spend within this total to enable children with special educational needs to participate fully in the national curriculum where appropriate.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will ask health authorities in Wales to review their adherence to WHSC(IS)117 and report back.
Mr. Grist : The 1989 manpower resource planning exercise currently being undertaken in the NHS in Wales includes an assessment by district health authorities of the demand for and availability of staff who are able to practise through the medium of Welsh. We will also be reviewing the guidance contained in WHSC(IS)117 "The Health Service and the Welsh Language" in the light of the Welsh Language Board's strategy document and proposals for the public sector.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will take steps to ensure that those patients whose first choice of language is Welsh are adequately provided for.
Mr. Grist : The quality of service provided to all those who come into contact with the Health Service is of paramount importance. The Department recognises that there must be appropriate arrangements for those who are more fluent in Welsh than in English, and for many years the Health Service has been encouraged to adopt a language policy through guidance contained in WHSC(IS)117 "The Health Service and the Welsh Language". We will be reviewing that guidance in the light of the Welsh Language Board's strategy document and proposals for the public sector.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what provision is proposed for the professions allied to medicine, speech therapy and psychology to receive training in the Welsh language for those whose first language is Welsh, and if he will support the proposed establishment of a centre for health studies in University College of North Wales to develop such training.
Mr. Grist : The future extent, format and location of training provision for these professions in Wales and the proposal to establish a centre for health studies in north Wales are currently being considered in the light of the manpower resource planning exercise being undertaken within the NHS in Wales, the implications of the proposals contained in the White paper "Working for Patients" and the recommendations contained in the report of a review of the role of the combined training institute at Cardiff.
Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on his Department's role in the radioactivity, research and environmental monitoring committee since its inception.
Mr. Grist : The Department has been represented on the committee since its inception in 1986 by a scientific adviser who reports to me its activities relevant to the Welsh environment.
Mr. French : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he has any plans to promote his rents into mortgages scheme and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Grist : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has already written to every tenant of the Development Board for Rural Wales to explain the basis of flexi-ownership and the Department will be announcing the formal start of the scheme very soon.
Mr. French : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will estimate the amount a tenant, paying an average Welsh council home rent, would pay if he participated in his Department's rents into mortgages scheme, showing the method of calculation.
Mr. Grist : The Development Board for Rural Wales will make two adjustments to rents when calculating how much tenants will need to pay when buying their homes under flexi-ownership. First, 10 per cent. will be added to the rent to reflct the greater benefit deriving from home ownership, then £5 (£7.50 in the case of flats) will be deducted as a notional allowance for insurance and maintenance costs. So, for example, if the rent was £21.84 (which is the current Welsh average council house rent) adding 10 per cent. and deducting £5 would give a figure of £19.02 per week. The amount of low start mortgage which this figure would buy is the amount the tenant would have to pay initially to buy his house under flexi-ownership. The balance between this amount and the market value of the home would be met by discount and deferred payment. Discounts will be 15 per cent. less than the right-to-buy discount entitlement.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what are the total numbers of (a) male and (b) female workers in (1) Gwent and (2) the rest of Wales who are in receipt of wages below the wages council's recommended levels.
Mr. Peter Walker : The information is not available in the form requested. In 1988, wages inspectors identified 897 workers in Wales who had been paid less than the statutory minimum due. Inspectorate records do not identify whether workers are male or female. Statistics are not compiled for areas smaller than Wales as a whole.
Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many copies of the Environment in Trust leaflets and brochures were published by Her Majesty's Government ; how many have been distributed in Wales since May ; and if he will list all the titles of Environment in Trust literature published to date.
Mr. Grist : A total of 36,000 sets of the leaflets have been printed and about 700 sets have been distributed in Wales since March. Information on numbers issued since May is not available. The titles are as follows :
Column 288Environment in Trust
Radioactive Waste Management--A Safe Solution
Pollution Control Systems
A further leaflet in the series entitled "One World" has recently been published and will be distributed in the near future.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make it his policy that the land holdings of Welsh Water plc shall be transferred into a public trust prior to the sale of shares and that the trustees be obliged to oversee such land for the benefit of the people of Wales.
Mr. Grist : The hon. Gentleman no doubt welcomed the announcement made by Welsh Water on Tuesday that a charitable trust has been set up to care for approximately 43,000 acres of its landholdings in the Elan valley. Much of the land remaining in the ownership of Welsh Water is in national parks, areas of outstanding natural beauty or other areas of special scientific interest which are safeguarded by the provisions of the Water Act 1989.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make it his policy that Welsh Water plc shall concentrate on providing high -quality wholesome water and an efficient sewerage service to the people of Wales.
Mr. Grist : The duties of water and sewerage undertakers are set out in the Water Act 1989. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has taken steps to ensure that these will be carried out by appointing Dwr Cymru Cyfyngedig to be the water and sewerage undertakers for the area of the former Welsh water authority.
Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the names, occupations and salaries of the board members of Welsh Water.
Mr. Ian Grist : The information requested concerning appointments to the Welsh Water plc is set out in the following table : 1. Executive Directors :
John Elfed Jones--Group Chairman (£43,860)
David Abbot Jeffrey--Group Managing Director
Graham Alfred Hawker--Group Finance Director
2. Non-executive Directors :
John Mansel James--(£5,375). Appointed group managing director of Laura Ashley Holdings in 1981 and promoted to chief executive and vice- chairman in 1988. He is also a non-executive director of Control Techniques.
David Grant Hawkins--(£5,375). Chairman of Target Computer Group where he has been a director since 1980. Prior to this he was, for three years, finance director of Sterling Credit Holdings, a company in the Sterling Credit Group.
Iain Richard Evans--(£5,375). A founding partner of the LEK partnership and is currently the senior partner in their London office.
Timothy Knowles--(£5,375). He is a chartered accountant and was, until recently, group managing director of the HTV Group.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether he will make it his policy that food regulations affecting Wales shall take into account the operational needs of small bakeries and family bakers in Wales.
Mr. Grist : Consultations have recently been conducted with a number of interested organisations on draft amendments to the food hygiene regulations. The proposed amendments involve particularly extending temperature controls to certain foods for retail sale in order to safeguard public health. It is proposed there should be certain exemptions for bakery products, including pies, pasties and sausage rolls which are for sale within 24 hours of preparation. The comments which have been received in these consultations are currently receiving consideration.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) if he will list for Wales tables showing (a) the total amount bid for schools' capital expenditure by local education authorities, (b) the total amount allocated by his Department, and (c) the percentage of (b) over (a) , broken down by (i) county and voluntary-controlled schools, (ii) voluntary- aided schools, and (iii) all maintained schools for each financial year from 1974-75, and in constant and current prices, and showing the percentage of each year's allocation represented by (i) basic needs and (ii) re-organisations ;
Column 290(2) if he will list in the Official Report tables showing the capital allocation for each local education authority in Wales made by his Department for capital expenditure for (a) county and voluntary-controlled schools, (b) voluntary-aided schools and (c) all maintained schools, the amount of the bid in respect of each such allocation, and the percentage which each allocation bears to its respective bid, in current prices and in constant prices for each year from 1984-85 to 1989-90.
Mr Wyn Roberts : The information is not available in the form requested as the system of capital allocations to local education authorities is formula rather than bid based. Capital allocations since 1984-85 are unhypothe-cated between services. The public expenditure provisions for education capital at an all-Wales level for those years is shown in table I.
The system of allocation to voluntary-aided schools falls outside local authority block allocations. Table 2 shows allocations to voluntary-aided schools for new build, alterations and works of repair and maintenance. These figures are shown from 1982-83, which is the earliest year for which they are available, and can be given only on an all-Wales basis. Figures for earlier years and an analysis by local education authority could be provided only at
Bids are required for major new build and alteration work only at voluntary aided schools. The total of those bids since 1982-83 are set out in table 3.
Table 1 Public Expenditure figures for Education Capital £ million |1981-82|1982-83|1983-84|1984-85|1985-86|1986-87|1987-88|1988-89|1989-90 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cash |30 |34 |35 |34 |29 |40 |50 |49 |51 Constant Prices 1988-89 |43 |46 |45 |42 |34 |45 |54 |49 |48
Table 2 Capital Allocations to Voluntary Schools £ million |1982-83|1983-84|1984-85|1985-86|1986-87|1987-88|1988-89|1989-90 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cash |1.00 |1.10 |1.20 |1.30 |1.60 |2.50 |2.10 |2.70 Constant Prices |1.35 |1.42 |1.47 |1.51 |1.81 |2.68 |2.10 |2.56
X Table 3 Capital Bids for New Starts at Voluntary Schools £ million |1982-83|1983-84|1984-85|1985-86|1986-87|1987-88|1988-89|1989-90 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cash |0.87 |1.38 |2.96 |<1> |6.05 |4.00 |5.00 |7.00 Constant prices |1.17 |1.78 |3.64 |<2> |6.83 |4.29 |5.00 |6.64 <1> No bids required as levels of outstanding commitment pre-empted available resources. <2> Constant prices revalued to 1988-89 prices using GDP.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the total spending per head on the National Health Service for Wales for the most recent 10 years.
Mr. Grist : The information requested is set out in the following table :
National Health Service Expenditure per Capita (£) Year |Amount ---------------------- 1979-80 |171 1980-81 |220 1981-82 |251 1982-83 |277 1983-84 |294 1984-85 |318 1985-86 |339 1986-87 |363 1987-88 |401 1988-89 |445
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on his proposals for the implementation of the community charge transitional relief scheme.
Mr. Peter Walker : I am completing my talks with local authorities.
Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will withdraw United Kingdom recognition from any Cambodian delegation at the United Nations which derives support from the Khmer Rouge ; and if he will make a further statement on United Kingdom policy towards Cambodian representation at the United Nations.
Mr. Maude : I refer my hon. Friend to the reply that my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Stockton, South (Mr. Devlin) on 25 October.
Mr. Wareing : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is Her Majesty's Government's policy towards the various factions contesting for power in Cambodia.
Mr. Maude : We support the non-Communist factions of the Cambodian resistance. We do not support the Khmer Rouge and have made clear our abhorrence of Pol Pot. Neither do we have dealings with the Phnom Penh regime. Our aim is a comprehensive political settlement in which the Cambodian people can elect a Government of their choice.
Mr. Pawsey : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information his Department has on the length of time taken to respond to letters from hon. Members.
Mr. Maude : As a general rule, letters from hon. Members should receive a substantive reply within a three-week period. In practice, the large majority of letters will receive a reply within two weeks. Exceptionally, replies to some letters about complicated immigration cases or matters receiving considerable public attention at the time of writing, may be delayed until a substantive reply can be sent. In most cases the delay should be no longer than four weeks.
Mr. Martyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make it his policy to implement those provisions of (a) the Genocide Act 1969, (b) the Geneva Convention Act 1957, (c) the Nuremberg principles, (d) the Geneva protocal 1977 and (e) all other customary and conventional law which would make it an offence to use, or to plan to use, weapons of mass murder ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Waldegrave : While the use of certain weapons of mass destruction is controlled or prohibited by international treaty, there is no treaty dealing specifically with the use of nuclear weapons. However, any such use would be governed by the applicable laws of war, as is the case with other weapons. Since the use of nuclear weapons would, according to the circumstances, be lawful, so the deterrent threat of their legitimate use is similarly lawful. The enforcement of the Acts of Parliament referred to is a matter for the Director of Public Prosecutions. Mr. Martyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will support the proposed referral of the question of the legality of the deployment of nuclear weapons to the International Court of Justice through the United Nations ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Waldegrave : We are not aware of any proposed referral of this question to the International Court of Justice.
Mr. Martyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if his Department was represented at (a) the International Congress of Scientists in London in April ; (b) the conference in Brighton in September of the International Peace Bureau ; and (c) the conference in The Hague in September of the International Associations of Lawyers against nuclear arms ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Batiste : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the members of the Commonwealth that have not ratified the international convention on human rights.
Mr. Maude : Thirty Commonwealth countries have not yet acceded to or ratified the international covenant on civil and political rights or the international covenant on economic, social an cultural rights : Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belize, Botswana, Brunei, Dominica, Ghana, Grenada, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Nauru, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Swaziland, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Western Samoa and Zimbabwe. The Solomon Islands and Uganda have ratified the international covenant on economic, social and cultural rights but not the international covenant on civil and political rights.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he intends to publish the report on the verification of a conventional forces treaty in Europe, commissioned jointly from the Verification Technology Information Centre and the United Kingdom Council for Arms Control, and delivered to his Department on 29 September ; how many copies of the report will be printed ; and to which organisations and bodies he intends to circulate the report.
Mr. Waldegrave : The report was commissioned by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on a classified basis,
Column 293for use by British officials in formulating policy, both nationally and in consultation with our allies, on the verification of a conventional arms control agreement. The authors are aware that should they wish to produce an unclassified version of the report, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office would be prepared to publish it.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what involvement Ministers and officials of his Department have had in the conference on environmental protection in Sofia in October organised by the conference on security and co-operation in Europe ; what papers were presented on behalf of the United Kingdom ; and if any official United Kingdom representatives at the conference have had any meeting with the unofficial Ecoglasnost Bulgarian environmentalist organisations.
Mr. Waldegrave : We have sent a delegation to the CSCE meeting in Sofia on the protection of the environment which includes officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department of the Environment and the Health and Safety Executive. A member of the Green Alliance was also in the delegation. Our delegation has not itself submitted any proposals to the meeting, but has played an active part in the processing of ideas advanced during the meeting. It has co-sponsored a proposal drawing attention to the role of independent organisations and individuals in the field of the environment.
Members of the delegation have had a number of contacts with representatives of Bulgarian non-governmental organisations interested in the environment, including Ecoglasnost. Her Majesty's ambassador in Sofia and the head of the United Kingdom delegation jointly hosted a reception at the embassy on 25 October which was attended by representatives of these organisations.
Mr. Sean Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment has been made of the prospect for further talks on the reduction of conventional forces in Europe after the conclusion of the current round of negotiations on conventional forces being held in Vienna.
Mr. Waldegrave : The third round of the negotiations on conventional armed forces in Europe (CFE) concluded on 19 October. Progress to date has been encouraging and there is a good prospect of a treaty being achieved by the end of next year.
Q51. Dr. Godman : To ask the Prime Minister if, following the recent interim injunction of the European Court of Justice, Her Majesty's Government have any proposals to repeal section 14 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1988, relating to the registration of British fishing vessels ; and if she will make a statement.
The Prime Minister : An Order in Council was made yesterday to give effect to the interim order of the president
Column 294of the European Court of Justice on 10 October 1989. This Order in Council removes the British citizenship requirements (but not the residence and domicile requirements) of section 14 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1989, so far as they relate to fishing vessels which were fishing under the British flag up to 31 March 1988 and were owned by nationals of member states of the European Communities.
Q97. Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Prime Minister if she will make a statement on recent initiatives by the Government to protect the environment.
The Prime Minister : The Government have taken a wide range of initiatives to protect the environment. Nationally this includes the creation of the National Rivers Authority to control water pollution and approval of a major programme of investment by the water industry over the next 10 years. We have recently submitted to the EC a programme for full compliance with the EC bathing waters directive in the 1990s costing £1.1 billion. We have now one of the largest programmes in Europe to control airborne pollution by sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides.