|Previous Section||Home Page|
Mr. David Hunt : Section 3(1)(a) of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 provides that the adjudicator is to consult such representatives of local government and such organisations appearing to him to represent employees in local government as he considers appropriate. The choice of persons and organisations to be consulted is therefore for the adjudicator.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether, in assessing his response to London zoo's request for more of Regent's park, he has considered the levels of salmonella at the zoo ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Trippier : Salmonella is endemic in a wide range of bird species and has been identified in some birds in London zoo. The zoo has taken proper health and hygiene precautions and there is absolutely no risk to any member of the public. The position would not be changed by the zoo's development proposals.
Sir John Farr : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will give encouragement in the form of Government advice to local authorities to permit the renovation of derelict properties or the building of at least one new dwelling in forestry unit areas.
Mr. Moynihan : My right hon. Friend will shortly be issuing for consultation a draft of new planning guidance for the countryside. This will include advice on the re-use and restoration of rural buildings and on the provision of housing needed by farm and forestry workers.
Sir John Farr : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he intends to act upon the recommendations contained in the broadsheet "Common Sense" published by the Royal Society for Nature Conservation, a copy of which has recently been sent to him.
Mr. Trippier : The Government announced in 1987 that they accept the case for legislation based broadly on the Common Land Forum's report and intends to introduce legislation at a suitable opportunity when parliamentary time permits. The proposals in the broadsheet "Common Sense" are broadly in line with the forum's recommendations, and are being studied in conjunction with those recommendations, the earlier responses to the Government's consultation paper issued in 1987, and the subsequent representations received. My right hon. Friend expects to make a further statement within the next few months on the Government's intentions on common land legislation.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the housing investment programme allocation paid or payable to the London borough of Waltham Forest in 1979-80 and in each year since 1986 -87 in (i) cash and (ii) real terms expressed in 1979-80 prices.
Mr. Chope [holding answer 24 November 1989] : Allocations since 1981-82 are not directly comparable with earlier years because since that date authorities have been able to augment their allocations with a proportion of their capital receipts. Nevertheless, the information requested is as follows :
£ million |HIP |1979-80 |allocations|prices ------------------------------------------------ 1979-80 |17.046 |17.046 1986-87 |7.716 |4.626 1987-88 |7.205 |4.113 1988-89 |7.391 |3.934 1989-90 |6.214 |3.135 Waltham Forest's estimated capital expenditure on housing in 1989-90 is £29.5 million.
Mr. Chope [holding answer 27 November 1989] : Safety requirements enlarged the scope of the work carried out by the Parliamentary Works Office to extend the use of the range to include pistol shooting, and it was not completed until 13 November 1989. I understand that a recent safety inspection proved satisfactory and that the range has now been approved for use.
Dr. Kim Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will outline, in constant prices, the total annual Government spending on urban development policy in the period 1979 to 1989 inclusive, on an annual basis and broken down into its constituent sub-headings, so as to include amounts allocated to the urban development corporations, urban programmes, urban development grants, derelict land grants, enterprise zone allowances and similar.
Urban regeneration (£ million)-expenditure at constant prices 1988-89 Enterprise Zones |Urban |Urban |City Grant |Derelict Land|Rates Relief |Capital |Development |Programme | UDG/URG | Grant |Corporations ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1979-80 |- |348 |- |40 |- |- 1980-81 |- |321 |- |48 |- |- 1981-82 |55 |312 |- |44 |5 |20 1982-83 |84 |399 |- |82 |12 |20 1983-84 |121 |391 |10 |87 |13 |20 1984-85 |108 |376 |20 |84 |19 |30 1985-86 |100 |344 |28 |84 |26 |70 1986-87 |101 |325 |27 |90 |37 |90 1987-88 |143 |319 |29 |84 |n.a. |n.a. 1988-89 |234 |284 |34 |77 |n.a. |n.a. 1989-90 |411 |243 |33 |63 |n.a. |n.a. Notes: 1. Urban Programme includes contributions from DES, DH and DTp. 2. Urban Development Grant and Urban Regeneration Grant were replaced by City Grant in May 1988. 3. Enterprise Zone rates relief figures show revenue foregone. 4. Enterprise Zone capital figures show an assessment of tax foregone to the nearest £10 million, including Scotland and Wales. Separate data for England is not available.
Mr. Nellist : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his estimate of the numbers of adult residents in each district council area of the west midlands likely to be entitled to the maximum rebate during the first
Column 88year of operation of the community charge in England and Wales ; and if he will express these figures as a proportion of the estimated population of each local authority liable to community charge.
Column 89The information requested is not available.
(2) what aid his Department supplied to the Government of Malawi either directly or through other agencies since 1979.
United Kingdom Aid to Malawi 1979-1988 Year |Gross Bilateral |Estimated United |Public Expenditure|Kingdom share of |multilateral aid |£ thousand<1> |£ thousand ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1979 |15,937 |n/a 1980 |11,531 |3,400 1981 |14,263 |3,000 1982 |13,615 |3,700 1983 |11,544 |4,000 1984 |12,211 |8,300 1985 |21,081 |3,800 1986 |13,370 |5,500 1987 |19,587 |5,800 1988 |30,761 |n/a <1> Excludes Commonwealth Development Corporation and includes some aid granted via Non-Governmental Organisations. Source: British Aid Statistics.
Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Prime Minister when she will be replying to the letter sent to her by the right hon. Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe on 25 October about the urgent need for an out-of-court settlement of the compensation claims of people with haemophilia who, in the course of National Health Service treatment, were infected with the AIDS virus.
However, my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Health announced on 23 November that we have offered an additional £19 million to the Macfarlane trust, again on an entirely ex-gratia basis. For the details I refer the right hon. Member to that reply.
The Prime Minister : I regret that for reasons of practicality and security it is difficult for me to travel by rail on official business. I do so when a suitable opportunity arises. I last travelled by train to an official function on 31 August 1989.
The Prime Minister : No. I understand that the Department of Transport has traced papers which indicate that there was no formal report and that this was made clear when Sir Ivan Stedeford's advisory group was set up. ( Official Report, 13 April 1960 at column 1345.)
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Prime Minister why, in her answer, Official Report, 15 November, relating to representations received by the Cabinet Secretariat relating to events at the Kincora boys home, she underlined the word "such".
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many accountancy firms criticised by the Department of Trade and Industry or sued by the Government since 1979 for negligence have advised on privatisations or authenticated privatisation prospectuses ; how many have supplied inspectors for Department of Trade and Industry investigations ; and how many have been permitted to make audit policy through their representations on the Auditing Practices Committee or its working parties.
Mr. Redwood : Eight inspectors have been appointed from four firms of accountants that were previously criticised in inspectors' reports published since 1979, and one of those firms has since been appointed by the Government for privatisation work. I am not aware that any inspector has been appointed from a firm after it was sued by the Government or that such a firm has been appointed by the Government for privatisation work.
The voting members of the Auditing Practices Committee (APC) are nominated on a personal basis by their professional body and appointed by the Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies, which has stipulated that they shall not regard themselves as delegates of sectional interests but shall be guided by the need to act in the general interests of the community and of the accountancy profession as a whole. Members of its working parties are appointed by the APC itself.
Column 91Companies Acts since June 1979 and the number of reports published in the same period, clearly distinguishing between those relating to investigations approved in the pre-June 1979 and the post -June 1979 periods.
Mr. Redwood : Inspections into 56 companies, some of which are linked, have begun since June 1979. During that same period, 32 reports have been published dealing with 46 different companies. Of the 32 published reports, 13 dealing with 16 different companies relate to inspections begun after 1 June 1979.
Mr. Irvine : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement about the proposal to extend the European Community's generalised system of preferences scheme to Poland and Hungary.
Mr. Redwood : The proposal to extend the EC's generalised scheme of references benefits to Hungary and Poland is part of a wider package of measures that has been under consideration in the Community as a contribution to a programme of western assistance to these two countries.
The proposal was considered at the EC's Foreign Affairs Council on 6 November and approved in principle. This was on the understanding that textiles and some agricultural products were excluded from the package of benefits and would be considered further with a view to their inclusion of being approved at the FAC on 27 November. I regret that because of the late stage at which firm proposals were received, a decision had to be taken before the scrutiny process was complete. A refusal on our part to endorse the proposals on 6 November would not have been understood by our EC partners or by Hungary and Poland.
Mr. Irvine : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the adoption of the European Community trade, commercial and economic co-operation agreement with Poland.
Mr. Redwood : In order to encourage the reform process in Poland the Foreign Affairs Council on 3 October adopted a trade and economic co- operation agreement between the European Community and Poland. In the light of the current international focus of attention on Poland and the wish expressed at the Paris summit to find ways of encouraging the reform process in Poland it was clear that the agreement needed to be implemented as soon as possible. The Government therefore agreed to the adoption of the proposal even though our own parliamentary scrutiny procedures has not been completed. A delay on our part would have hindered the ratification process and would have been misunderstood by Poland and our EC partners.
I regret that the normal parliamentary procedures were not followed on this occasion.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what was the number of reports made available to professional bodies, regulatory bodies and other non-governmental bodies since June 1979.
Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what information he has on inquiries into whether the sale of Delta Te immune support therapy is in breach of the Trades Description Act ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood : It is the responsibility of the Securities and Investments Board to ensure that self-regulating organisations, including FIMBRA, continue to comply with the requirements for recognition under the Financial Services Act 1986.
Mr. Forth : The then Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster announced on 20 April that the Post Office Board had accepted a conditional offer from the Alliance and Leicester Building Society for Girobank. The Post Office and the Alliance and Leicester are engaged in detailed negotiations with a view to completing the sale as soon as practicable.
The regulatory authorities will need to be satisfied and my consent will be required before the sale can take place.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) if he will meet the Director General of Telecommunications to discuss the priority to be given to the protection of the public and the consumer when controls are set for telephone chat-lines ; (2) whether he will introduce legislation to require that access to chat-lines and other premium charge telephone calls shall be subject to a fail-safe mechanism, such as connection via an operator, in order to ensure that accidental connection to high-cost calls is ruled out.
Column 93Telecommunications, Sir Bryan Carsberg, announced new controls on multiline and one-to-one services provided over British Telecom's network. From 8 December, when the controls come into effect, such services can be provided only in accordance with a code of practice acceptable to the Director General or if granted a specific exemption. No such codes have yet been recognised for these purposes.
In the light of this announcement, I have no intention of meeting the Director General or of considering the introduction of legislation on this subject.
Mr. Corbett : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will (a) review the availability and allocation of the broadcasting spectrum for television and radio in the United Kingdom and (b) detail the European Community and other constraints upon such review.
Mr. Forth [holding answer 24 November 1989] : The Government have a series of rolling reviews of the radio spectrum in progress, which will facilitate decisions on allocation of spectrum to broadcasters (and other users) in the coming years. The most recent review was of the civil spectrum between 470 and 3400 MHz, which was carried out in 1988-89 in consultation with all interested parties. Consideration will be given to a similar review of higher frequencies.
An essential part of the spectrum allocation process, if interference with other users is to be avoided, is international co-ordination. The United Kingdom is therefore an active participant in the International Telecommunication Union and the Conferenceof European Postal and Telecommunications Administrations, which are the key international spectrum co-ordination bodies.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the annual import and export statistics for trade between Britain and Iraq and break the figure down between visibles and invisibles for each year since 1979.
£ million |Imports|Exports -------------------------------- 1979 |451 |201 1980 |556 |322 1981 |103 |624 1982 |171 |874 1983 |96 |400 1984 |77 |343 1985 |293 |445 1986 |250 |444 1987 |324 |272 1988 |176 |412 1989<1> |63 |343 <1> To 30 September 1989. Source: Overseas Trade Statistics of the United Kingdom.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he has responded to the European Economic Community consultative document on the imports of footwear from Korea and Taiwan ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood [holding answer 24 November 1989] : No. We shall consider how to respond after the options put forward by the Commission have been discussed with the British Footwear Manufacturers' Federation early next week.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he has made any assessment of the implications for the United Kingdom life insurance industry if the current bid for the Pearl Group by Australian Mutual Provident is allowed to proceed.
Mr. Redwood [holding answer 24 November 1989] : On 13 November my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced his decision not to refer the proposed acquisition of Pearl Group plc by AMP (UK) PLC to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission for investigation. Under the merger control provision of the Fair Trading Act 1973 each merger is considered on its own merits. My right hon. Friend's decision in this case was taken after full consideration of all relevant issues and was in accordance with the advice of the Director General of Fair Trading.
Mr. Roger King : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will consider making illegal the conditional selling of some building societies who offer special deals only if the endowment or pension plan is written with them.
Mr. Ryder : I have been asked to reply. Since January 1988 building societies have followed a code of practice which precludes them from making it a condition of an offer of a first mortgage advance that the borrower uses other services, required by the borrower in connection with the making of the advance, provided by the society. The Government agreed with societies in July 1986 that section 35 of the Building Societies Act 1986, which makes such linking of services an offence, would not be implemented if such a code was adopted. Neither section 35 nor the code seek to prevent cross-subsidy because there can be legitimate commercial reasons for it, and it may be to the advantage of the borrower.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list the number of (a) farms, (b) sheep and (c) acres in Northern Ireland currently under restriction owing to the radioactive contamination following the Chernobyl accident.
|Number ------------------------------------ Number of farms |123 Number of sheep |19,570 Area of land |<1>21,612 <1> acres.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what expenditure he has incurred in compensation for farmers in Northern Ireland as a result of the Chernobyl accident for each year since 1986.
|£ ------------------------- 1987-88 |12,658 1988-89 |29,084 <1>1989-90 |18,313 <1> (to date).
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assistance the Northern Ireland Office is providing to Coats Viyella for its operations in Northern Ireland ; and what assistance has been given specifically for the transfer of work from the Van Heusen production facilities in St. Austell to Northern Ireland.
Mr. Needham [holding answer 24 November 1989] : Coats Viyella has 10 manufacturing plants within the textiles and clothing sector in Northern Ireland employing 3,600 people. In the 1988-89 financial year financial assistance totalling £5,556,670 was paid to the CV group.
No assistance has been either offered or given for the transfer of work from the Van Heusen production facilities in St. Austell to Northern Ireland.
Mr. Butcher : To ask the Attorney-General whether he will conduct a review of the possibilities of prejudice to a criminal trial of individuals named in a Companies Act investigation when those individuals are, in advance of their trial, publicly disciplined by a self-regulatory organisation established under the Financial Services Act.
Mr. Hurd : We maintain our full support for the early implementation of Security Council resolution 598 in its entirety. We applaud the efforts of the Secretary-General and of his special representative, Mr. Jan Eliasson, to
Column 96achieve progress in the negotiations. We are glad that the recent visit to the area by Mr. Eliasson has confirmed that the ceasefire is holding and that further talks may take place in New York in December. Movement is urgently needed. It is now over two years since the resolution was passed and 15 months since the ceasefire took effect. We urge the parties to work imaginatively and energetically to bring permanent peace to the region through early and successful negotiations under the Secretary-General's auspices. We will continue to do everything possible to help achieve this aim.
Mr. Latham : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent protests have been conveyed by his Department to representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organisation regarding the Palestinian Arabs killed by other Palestinians since the disturbances began in the West Bank and Gaza two years ago ; and what reply has been received.
Mr. Latham : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will make a statement on the guidelines followed by (a) diplomatic staff of the consulate general in Jerusalem and (b) diplomatic staff of the Embassy in Tel Aviv regarding visits to areas under Israeli military administration since June 1967 ; what specific guidelines exist regarding visits to communities under curfew or declared to be closed by the Israeli military administration ; and what guidelines exist regarding East Jerusalem, as annexed by Israel in 1967.
Mr. Waldegrave : Diplomatic and consular staff in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are free to move throughout the occupied territories, including that part of Jerusalem which Israel illegally annexed de facto in 1967, while having regard to any restrictions imposed by the Israeli authorities in accordance with Israel's responsibilities as a military occupier of these territories under international law, in particular the fourth Geneva convention of 1949.
Mr. Latham : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will make a statement on the recent visit of Her Majesty's consul-general in Jerusalem to Beit Sahour ; and what discussions have been held with the Government of Israel regarding the circumstances surrounding the visit.
Mr. Waldegrave : Her Majesty's consul-general visited Beit Sahour on 12 October in the light of reports that the Israeli authorities were conducting punitive tax-collecting raids on the inhabitants. We have assured the Israelis that there was no impropriety in his doing so. We await a reply to our representations to the Israeli authorities about their action in Beit Sahour.
Mr. Macdonald : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is Her Majesty's Government's policy towards negotiations on short-range nuclear forces after the conclusion of a global ban on chemical weapons.
Mr. Waldegrave : Although a global ban on chemical weapons is an arms control goal of the Alliance, NATO's policy on negotiations on short- range nuclear missiles, as expressed in the comprehensive concept, is not linked to the conclusion of such a ban.
Mr. Macdonald : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is Her Majesty's Government's policy towards negotiations on short-range nuclear forces after a conventional forces in Europe agreement has been concluded and reductions are under way.