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Mr. Waldegrave : Our policy is as set out in the comprehensive concept adopted by NATO Heads of State and Government at their summit in May, namely that, once the implementation of an agreement on conventional arms is under way,
"the United States, in consultation with the Allies concerned, is prepared to enter into negotiations to achieve a partial reduction of American and Soviet land-based nuclear missiles of shorter range to equal and verifiable levels."
The comprehensive concept also makes it clear that negotiated reductions should not take place until a CFE agreement has been implemented.
Mr. Macdonald : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation's current proposed ceiling on combat aircraft in the region from the Atlantic to the Urals ; and what is the present level of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation combat aircraft in this region.
Mr. Waldegrave : At the NATO summit in May, the Allies decided to expand their proposal at the negotiations in Vienna on conventional forces in Europe, so as to include reductions by each side to equal ceilings in all land-based combat aircraft at the level 15 per cent. below current Alliance holdings. This has subsequently been amplified into a specific proposal for an equal ceiling of 5,700 such aircraft.
Mr. Waldegrave : Thirty-one British Government employees are currently based in Malawi. Sixteen are employed at the British high commission in Lilongwe in normal diplomatic service duties. Fifteen are employed at the office of the British development division in southern Africa, also in Lilongwe, which manages our aid programmes in Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
There are also 13 technical co-operation officers, employed by the British Government, who are on loan to the Government of Malawi.
Mr. Waldegrave : British diplomats themselves are not involved in any fund-raising activities in Malawi. The Association of Diplomatic Women in Lilongwe, which represents all wives and women staff in the diplomatic community there, organises fund-raising events and gives the proceeds to private charities in Malawi. Members of British diplomatic families have taken part in these events, in particular an annual fair.
Mr. Waldegrave : The Government of Malawi are fully aware of our views on human rights, which have been made known on a number of occasions in various fora, including the United Nations. My right hon. Friend the then Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs raised the issue in Malawi during her visit there in 1987. We are aware of recent developments and are monitoring them closely.
Mr. Steel : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations Her Majesty's Government have made concerning the violations of human rights by the Government and Indian forces in Sri Lanka.
Mr. Sainsbury : We have made our concern about human rights abuses clearly known to the Sri Lankan Government. Most recently, our high commissioner in Colombo raised the subject on 27 October. We welcome President Premadasa's invitation to the International Committee of the Red Cross to monitor the situation and report their findings.
Mr. Freeman : The increased level of grant aid to Cruse, from 1 April 1990, will be determined in the light of the increase in the organisation's headquarters administrative costs arising from increased demand for its services.
Column 99Mr. Corbett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health on what date he received an application from Cruse for a one-off grant of £150,000 in 1990 and for a total of £710,000 for the years 1990 to 1993 ; and when he expects to announce a decision upon it.
Mr. Freeman : The application was received in the Department on 10 November and is under consideration. Ministers expect to announce decisions on new and renewal grants to voluntary bodies in good time before the commencement date of 1 April 1990.
Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) why there is no national screening programme for babies with neuroblastoma ; and what is his estimate of the average cost to the National Health Service of treating cases of neuroblastoma ; (2) what study his Department has made of the routine screening of babies for neuroblastoma in other countries.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : It has yet to be demonstrated that a screening service reduces mortality from neuroblastoma. The Department keeps research and development in this field at home and abroad under regular review. Comprehensive information on the costs of treatment for this condition is not available, but it has been estimated that in one region these are about £45,000 per case.
Miss Hoey : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to monitor the length of time from call-out to arrival of substitute police and army vehicles used as ambulances in the London area.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The London ambulance service with the help of the police control room at New Scotland Yard and army and police emergency crews has established a system which allows response times to be monitored.
Mr. Andrew Welsh : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action the Government intend to take following the publication of the Wigtoft report on the emission of diseases through the extraction fans in broiler sheds which are used on chicken farms.
Mr. Freeman : Medical practitioners may offer complementary therapies within the NHS if they feel competent to do so. The Department of Health has commissioned no research into the cost effectiveness of complementary therapies. However, the Medical Research Council, in conjunction with the British Chiropractic
Column 100Association, are funding a study, at Northwick Park hospital into the treatment of back pain using chiropractic and orthodox techniques.
Mr. Freeman : The Government Actuary's mid 1988-based population projections indicate that the number of males aged 16-19 in the United Kingdom is projected to fall from 1.718 million in mid 1989 to 1.413 million in mid 1993, a decrease of 18 per cent.
Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what guidance on (a) methods of abortion, (b) possible complications after an abortion, (c) causes of death in abortions to the unborn baby and (d) characteristics and development of the unborn baby, he makes available to mothers considering abortion after 18 weeks' gestation ;
(2) what guidelines he has issued to abortionists concerning the matters that should be mentioned to mothers considering abortion after 18 weeks' gestation.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The Department does not give direct advice to women seeking abortion. Circular HC(77)26 issued to health authorities and all places in the private sector which carry out abortions, deals with the general arrangements for the provision of counselling services to these women. The circular endorses the Lane committee's view that as part of the counselling process a women seeking abortion should be told of the nature of the operation ; and of the likelihood of complete recovery from it or possible resultant morbidity. A copy of the circular is in the Library.
Mr. Grylls : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether all product licence applications for medicines distributed in the United Kingdom have included the submission of a full product specification.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : All product licence applications for medicinal products used in the United Kingdom are submitted in accordance with the Medicines Act 1968 and the relevant EC directives. These currently include the requirement that licence application must be supported either with or by reference to full data on the product particulars.
Sir John Farr : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the average waiting time for an appointment in the Leicester area for a patient waiting to be seen by an orthopaedic specialist ; and what was the waiting time one year ago and five years ago.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : We do not collect information on out- patient waiting times centrally. My hon. Friend may wish to write to the chairman of Leicester district health authority who could supply the information he seeks.
Human isolates of salmonella confirmed by the Department of Enteric Pathogens, PHLS 1989 |Number ------------------------ March |1,213 April |1,106 May |1,364 June |2,854 July |3,303 August |4,586 September |4,684 October |3,556
Mr. Steel : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received regarding April 1991 as the implementation date of the recommendations of the Griffiths report as not being a sufficient period in which local authorities can prepare for their new responsibilities.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : We have received no representations to date which have suggested that local authorities will not be able to prepare to discharge their new responsibilities adequately by April 1991.
Mr. Freeman : Our intention which we set out in the White Paper "Caring for People", is that from 1 April 1991 local authorities will become responsible for a single unified budget to cover the costs of social care in residential care and nursing homes. The new arrangements will not apply to people already resident in homes before April 1991. The Registered Homes Act 1984 places a duty on local authorities and district health authorities to register and inspect residential care homes and nursing homes respectively. We have no plans to alter these arrangements.
Mr. Steel : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he will make new funds available to finance the additional expenditure which will be incurred by local authorities in implementing the new community care packages, whilst still retaining responsibility for funding those already within residential care as at April 1991.
Mr. Freeman : As we have made clear in recent statements and in our White Paper "Caring for People : Community Care in the Next Decade and Beyond" (published on 16 November) we recognise that local authorities will require adequate resources to enable them to discharge their new responsibilities. This will involve a switch of resources from social security and the aggregate amount of transferred resources will allow for the projected growth in the numbers of people needing support, taking account of demographic factors. Final decisions will be taken in the public expenditure survey in 1990, following discussions with the local authority associations which are currently underway.
Mr. Freeman : In 1987, 83 patients were referred from the Irish Republic for treatment in NHS hospitals in the United Kingdom under the European Community regulations. Figures for referrals to private hospitals are not held centrally.
Mr. Freeman : In 1987, one NHS patient was referred from the United Kingdom for treatment in the Irish Republic under the European Community regulations. Figures for referrals between private hospitals are not held centrally.
Mr. John Patten : The efficiency scrutiny of Government funding of the voluntary sector which was announced on 16 May has delivered its report. We are considering the report, and the question of publication, with colleagues in other Government Departments who have an interest in its findings.
Mr John Patten : The Crown court has unlimited powers to impose fines. The maximum penalties for offences tried in magistrates courts are determined in legislation and are related to the seriousness of each offence. Maximum penalties are reviewed as necessary. Sentencing in individual cases is a matter for the courts.
Mr. Corbett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the current levels of remuneration and allowances paid to each member of the Independent Broadcasting Authority by name, including
Column 104the chairman and deputy chairman ; what were the levels before they were last increased ; and whether he proposes to increase them.
|Current Level |Previous Level |£ |£ -------------------------------------------------------------- Chairman |39,200 |37,335 Deputy Chairman |10,085 |9,605 National Members |7,545 |7,185 Other Members |5,030 |4,790
The current levels incorporate this year's Top Salaries Review Body's recommended increase of 5 per cent.
Mr. Corbett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the current levels of remuneration and allowances paid to each member of the Broadcasting Complaints Commission, including the chairman and deputy chairman ; what were the levels before they were last increased ; and what proposals he has for increasing them.
|Chairman |Member ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- With effect from |£23,875 for 3 days |£4,790 for 1 day per 1 October 1988 | per week |week With effect from |£25,070 for 3 days |£7,545 for days per week 1 April 1989 | per week |per week
There is no deputy chairman of the BCC. We have no plans at this stage to increase these salary levels. They are subject to review by the Top Salaries Review Body.
Mr. Corbett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has yet received an assessment of the technical feasibility of a sixth ultra high frequency channel ; and whether he will make a statement.
"Paragraph 5.7 of the Government's White Paper Broadcasting in the '90s : Competition, Choice and Quality stated :
In the longer term, a sixth network at UHF covering up to 50 per cent. of the population might be feasible. But this has not yet been studied in detail, and the cost and interference implications could be significant. Further study is also needed of the implications for existing users of the spectrum involved. The Government has put these studies in hand.'
After careful consideration of the results of the technical feasibility studies carried out so far, the Government have decided not to pursue the studies further for the foreseeable future. The studies show that the best prospects of achieving a sixth terrestrial UHF television network (Channel 6) lie in making a more intensive use of the 44 channels currently used to provide the four existing UHF services. However, if off-air reception of the four existing UHF services is to remain intact, Channel 6 would be unable to achieve more than about 17 per cent. coverage of United Kingdom households and there would, for example, be no coverage at all of the London area. The technical studies have shown that it might be possible to extend Channel 6 coverage to as much as 40 per cent. of United Kingdom households ; but the price would be that perhaps 20, 000 viewers in up to 10 areas (mainly in London and the North West) would lose the ability to receive off-air one of the four existing UHF services. The Channel 6 franchisee could of course be required to restore the lost service by cable or some other means to those viewers, who would also generally be unable to recive off-air either Channel 5 or Channel 6.
There would however be other adverse consequences. These would include the virtual abandonment of the programme to instal some 200 further relay transmitters to bring the four existing UHF services to many of the 350,000 people who are still unable to receive them. Additionally, because the BBC and the independent television programme companies currently make as much use as they can of the remaining spare capacity' within the 44 channels to accommodate some of their programme-making requirements, the loss of this capacity to Channel 6 would create a major problem in finding suitable alternative spectrum for the programme-making activities (including outside broadcasts) of the broadcasters, at a time when spectrum for these purposes is at a premium to meet the needs of the new wave of satellite and other broadcasters. A further disadvantage is that most viewers would need to instal a third UHF aerial to receive Channel 6.
Substantial further study would now be needed to take this work further forward. The Government have taken the view on a careful analysis of the studies so far that the very considerable costs and penalties attached to TV6 on this basis are simply not justified by such a limited result, especially at a time when there is the promise of a considerable proliferation of new television networks--satellite, local cable/MVDS, and Channel 5. If we wished to preserve the options on Channel 6 until the picture on other new services has become clearer, the present moratorium on the building of additional relay transmitters, which has now been in force for some 18 months, would need to be extended for perhaps several more years. This would almost certainly spell the end of the programme to extend progressively the UHF network to cover those who are at present unserved, or inadequately served, by it. We do not regard this as an acceptable consequence, and we have agreed that the moratorium should now be lifted.
Mr. Darling : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the DNA testing scheme will become fully available to applicants wishing to join their families in the United Kingdom ; what will be the cost of each test ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The results of privately commissioned DNA tests have been accepted as proof of relationship in immigration cases for some time. The Government's intention to introduce DNA testing into the entry clearance process was announced earlier this year. It was made clear that the DNA scheme will not be centrally funded, but also that we will seek to avoid imposing too great a burden on individual applicants. We will make a further announcement about the implementation of the Government scheme when the necessary arrangements have been completed.
Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make it his policy to require shops wishing to sell pornography to obtain a licence from a local authority in a process open to representations from the general public.
Mr. Waddington : I refer the hon. Member to section 2 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982, which enables a local authority to adopt the provisions of schedule 3 to the Act for the control in its area of sex cinemas and sex shops.
Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if his Department or any organisation responsible to him monitors the contents of pornographic material available in the United Kingdom ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Waddington : The Department keeps closely in touch with the Metropolitan police's obscene publications branch, the Crown prosecution service, and Her Majesty's Customs and Excise, all of which have information on pornographic material. The British Board of Film Classification, whose officers have responsibilities under the Video Recordings Act 1984, and the Broadcasting Standards Council are other sources of information.
Mr. Lawrence : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how long the waiting list is of applications to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board ; and what has been the length of the waiting list in each of the past five years ;
(2) how many applications are currently before the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board ; and what has been the figure over each of the past five years.
Mr. John Patten : The number of applications awaiting resolution at 31 October 1989 was 95,294. The number of applications awaiting resolution at the end of each of the last five financial years is given in the table.
|Number ---------------------- 1984-85 |41,800 1985-86 |51,500 1986-87 |64,000 1987-88 |78,000 1988-89 |82,000
Mr. Lawrence : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many cases have been decided within 12 months by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board in each of the past five years ; and whether, in dealing with such cases any distinction is made between cases which are straightforward and cases which are not.
Mr. John Patten : The board does not keep information on the number of cases resolved within 12 months of receipt. The board's annual reports record the percentage of cases submitted to a single member of the board within time bands of registration. The percentage of cases dealt with in this way within 12 months of registration is given in the table for each of the last five years.
Each application is dealt with on its own merits. The time taken to resolve a claim will normally depend on the seriousness of the injury, the prognosis and the number and nature of inquiries necessary to assess compensation. Priority is given to claims from the bereaved, the elderly, the young and cases of severe injury.
Percentage of cases submitted to a single member within 12 months of registration Year |Per cent. ------------------------------ 1984-85 |74.5 1985-86 |69.6 1986-87 |49.8 1987-88 |30.8 1988-89 |26.9
Mr. Lawrence : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the total financial resource allocated to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board in each of the past five years ; what is the average expenditure on an inquiry ; whether he has any plans to increase the funding ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. John Patten : The average cost of resolving a claim at single member stage on the papers is £152, and by oral hearing £537. Total expenditure on the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board in each of the last five years in given in the table.
Year |Expenditure |(£ million) ------------------------------------ 1984-85 |39.5 1985-86 |45.8 1986-87 |52.9 1987-88 |58.9 1988-89 |77.5
The Government's expenditure plans for future years will be published in the next public expenditure White Paper.
Ms. Harman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) in what proportion of the cases brought under the Litter Act, during the most recent period for which statistics are available, the prosecution was successful ;
(2) what was the average fine imposed under the Litter Act during the most recent period for which statistics are available.