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The Prime Minister : This morning I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in this House, I shall be having further meetings later today. This evening, I hope to have my regular audience of Her Majesty the Queen.
(2) what representations she has made concerning human rights in South Korea ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Wallace : To ask the Prime Minister whether she made any representations to the President of South Korea during his recent visit regarding the alleged ill-treatment of dogs and cats prior to their killing for human consumption ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Wyn Roberts : The responsibility of the Government is to ensure that there are sufficient qualified teachers from whom LEAs can recruit. This year, total recruitment to the public sector initial teacher training institutions in Wales exceeded recruitment targets by over 17 per cent.
Our education support grant programme to assist teacher recruitment urges LEAs to encourage flexible
Column 147working practices, including part-time working. This should stimulate the employment of supply teachers. However, the employment and deployment of teachers is a matter for LEAs and schools. It is for them to decide how many supply teachers to appoint. They also have discretion to pay teachers on short-notice contracts at rates they consider appropriate in order to recruit and retain the teachers they need.
Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will indicate the date on which he plans to publish rules for implementation of local management schemes for schools in each of the Welsh county councils.
Column 148prepare and submit to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State, for his approval schemes for financing county and voluntary schools maintained by them. Advice on the introduction and implementation of the schemes is contained in Welsh Office circular 36/88, a copy of which is in the library.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will state for the latest available financial year for (a) primary schools and (b) secondary schools (i) expenditure on books in Wales in total and by local education authority and (ii) average expenditure per pupil on books in Wales and by education authority.
Expenditure on books Expenditure per pupil and equipment<1> on books and equipment<1> |Nursery/ |Secondary |Nursery/ |Secondary Primary<2> |Primary<2> |£ |£ |£ |£ --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Clwyd |708,931 |1,275,590 |19.8 |44.5 Dyfed |728,939 |1,658,103 |24.0 |69.3 Gwent |962,194 |1,842,706 |24.1 |60.4 Gwynedd |457,647 |1,121,762 |23.6 |65.0 Mid Glamorgan |1,212,483 |2,291,762 |22.8 |58.1 Powys |298,725 |482,177 |30.1 |58.7 South Glamorgan |811,907 |1,445,203 |23.6 |53.0 West Glamorgan |950,516 |1,475,811 |28.7 |61.5 Wales |6,131,342 |<1>1,593,114|23.9 |58.2 <1> Expenditure on books only is not available. <2> Data in respect of primary schools cannot be separately identified.
Mr. Grist : Between 2 October 1979 and 1 October 1987, 188 general medical practitioners left the general medical service for reasons other than death, retirement or to enter hospital service. During the same period, 97 practitioners were readmitted to the service. Information on the resignations of consultants and senior registrars in the hospital service will take some time to extract ; I will reply to the hon. Gentleman as soon as possible and place a copy of my reply in the Library of the House.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many water supplies in Wales have aluminium in excess of the terms of the European drinking water directive ; and how much investment is currently made to water treatment facilities in Wales.
Mr. Grist : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has accepted undertakings under section 20(5)(b) of the Water Act 1989 and granted relaxations under regulations 4(1)(c) and 4(2) of the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 1989 in respect of aluminium standards at 89 of Dwr Cymru's treatment works. The Prospectus on the Water Share offers, a copy of which has been placed in the Library, shows Dwr Cymru's current estimates of the expenditure required by the K investment programme in
Column 148the period to 31 March 2000. The estimated expenditure on water treatment (at November 1989 prices) is £265 million.
(2) how many Welsh patients needing lithotripter machine treatment travel to English centres ; if he will list those centres ; and if he will make a statement ;
(3) what plans there are to install lithotripter machines in hospitals in Wales ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Grist : There are at present no lithotripter machines in National Health Service hospitals in Wales. Information on the number of Welsh patients referred to centres in England for lithotripter treatment is not held centrally. South Glamorgan health authority has been invited by the Welsh Office to prepare, in association with other health authorities in Wales, a detailed statement of need, appraisal of location options and specification for a lithotripter.
Sir Michael McNair-Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the actuarial basis on which war widows' pensions are calculated ; whether they are in any way contributory ; and whether they represent a percentage of the husband/service man's salary.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : War widows' pensions are not paid by the Ministry of Defence. Provided, however, that they are eligible, service widows may receive special rates of pension under the terms of the armed forces pension scheme if their husband's death is attributable to his service. The special rates are on scales related to the rank held by the husband at the date his service ended. They approximate to 90 per cent. of the pension which he would have earned had he completed the maximum period of reckonable service required for a full career pension, less an adjustment to reflect the difference between the standard rate of war widow's pension and the normal rate of national insurance widow's pension. No direct contributions are paid to secure the benefits of the armed forces scheme, but an adjustment is made by the Armed Forces Pay Review Body, taking into account the value of those benefits as part of the total remuneration package, in determining recommended rates of pay for the armed forces.
Mr. Nellist : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will call for a report on the suspension and returning to barracks of the staff sergeant acting on 23 November, as Army liaison officer in the control room of the ambulance headquarters at Welwyn Garden City following a fatal road traffic accident on the A505 between Letchworth and Royston ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : As indicated by my right hon. Friend the Member for Ayr (Mr. Younger) in his statement on 30 January, we have considered the matter in detail and have decided not to retain a resident infantry battalion in Gibraltar after March 1991, when the current tour of the 3rd battalion Royal Green Jackets ends. Some of the tasks currently undertaken by the resident battalion, including ceremonial duties, will in future be performed by the Gibraltar Regiment, the permanent cadre of which will be more than doubled. The establishment of a part-time company and home service force company will allow the regiment to reorganise into an all-infantry force of three rifle companies with the appropriate command and support elements. The Artillery Battery and Air Defence Troop will no longer be required, although the personnel in these units will be given the opportunity to remain in the restructured regiment. The Gibraltar Regiment Corps of
Column 150Drums will be retained, and in addition a military band will be provided for certain important occasions. Separately, we are also reviewing the arrangements in Gibraltar for logistics support, and for command and control with a view to establishing a joint force headquarters.
Mr. Barry Field : To ask the Chairman of the Public Accounts Commission what was the total sum paid by the National Audit Office to outside auditors involved in producing the report on the sale of Austin Rover.
Sir Peter Hordern : Under the National Audit Act 1983 the operations of the National Audit Office are entirely a matter for the C. and A. G. The Commission does not have any powers in this respect. However I understand that, for the purposes of its examination of the Rover Group sale, the National Audit Office did not use outside auditors. As indicated in paragraph 1.12 of the C. and A. G.'s report, it obtained specialist advice on taxation matters from chartered accountants (Touche Ross) and on the value of surplus sites from chartered surveyors (G. L. Hearn and Partners). It also sought comments on the draft report from an expert on the motor industry (Professor Garel Rhys of the University of Wales).
Mr. Flannery : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he expects British manufacturing trade to be in balance with (a) West Germany and (b) the rest of the European Economic Community.
Mr. Redwood : The Government are committed to free trade as being in the best interests of the United Kingdom. We cannot expect this to produce a trade balance with every partner ; nevertheless, the Government recognise the importance of continuing to encourage and support exports through, inter alia, the activities of the British Overseas Trade Board and ECGD.
Mr. Redwood : In the first nine months of 1989 imports of manufactures into the United Kingdom consigned from the Federal Republic of Germany exceeded United Kingdom exports to that country by £7.4 billion.
Column 151Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will give the growth in imports in manufacturing goods from West Germany since 1979.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the countries in the European Community with which the United Kingdom has a trade deficit, giving the amounts in each case.
Manufacturing trade: January to September 1989 ---------------------------------------------- France |-933 Belgium/Luxembourg |-621 Netherlands |-1,705 Federal Republic of Germany |-7,411 Italy |-1,595 Denmark |-153 Portugal |-53
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is the deficit or surplus in (a) manufacturing and trade and (b) invisibles in each of the last 10 years with (i) West Germany, (ii) Japan and(iii) the United States of America.
Mr. Redwood : The crude balance of visible trade in manufactured goods and total visible trade for the identified countries is given in the following table. Information on invisible trade is not available.
West Germany Japan United States of America |Manufactured |Total visible|Manufactured |Total visible|Manufactured |Total visible |goods |trade |goods |trade |goods |trade |£ million |£ million |£ million |£ million |£ million |£ million ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1979 |-2,523 |-1,560 |-960 |-882 |-541 |-881 1980 |-2,002 |-587 |-1,185 |-1,110 |-1,422 |-1,465 1981 |-2,152 |-425 |-1,657 |-1,586 |-1,107 |210 1982 |-3,314 |-1,994 |-2,045 |-1,978 |-1,262 |210 1983 |-4,926 |-3,597 |-2,653 |-2,556 |-950 |989 1984 |-5,070 |-3,604 |-2,913 |-2,845 |-1,214 |791 1985 |-5,833 |-3,689 |-3,205 |-3,103 |-310 |1,593 1986 |-6,713 |-5,589 |-3,918 |-3,743 |1,024 |1,899 1987 |-7,455 |-6,379 |-4,165 |-3,969 |928 |1,878 1988 |-8,671 |-8,145 |-5,373 |-4,766 |-518 |-224 Source: Overseas Trade Statistics of the United Kingdom.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what are the figures for exports and imports for each of the last five years between the United Kingdom and (a) Poland, (b) East Germany, (c) Czechoslovakia and (d) Hungary.
1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 |Export |Import |Export |Import |Export |Import |Export |Import |Export |Import |£ million|£ million|£ million|£ million|£ million|£ million|£ million|£ million|£ million|£ million ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Poland |170 |267 |184 |322 |167 |309 |181 |304 |176 |328 East Germany |92 |198 |64 |204 |82 |195 |81 |180 |113 |153 Czechoslovakia |78 |117 |100 |120 |109 |126 |114 |141 |130 |148 Hungary |101 |76 |107 |84 |102 |78 |101 |83 |131 |98 Source: Overseas Trade Statistics of the United Kingdom.
Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what detailed surveys of the level of imported textile and clothing goods on sale in major high street stores in the United Kingdom he is planning to undertake ;
(2) what is his estimate of the level of imported textile and clothing goods on sale in major high street stores in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Latham : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations he has received from the hosiery and knitwear industry in the east midlands regarding the current state of trade ; what reply he has sent ; and what action he intends to take in this matter.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The Department takes a close interest in matters of concern to the knitwear industry and has taken into consideration the many letters and representations received over the past year. My right hon. and noble Friend the Minister for Trade met the Knitting Industries Federation on 11 September and more recently the Apparel, Knitting and Textiles Alliance on 4 October to discuss current issues.
Column 153The Government will continue to act to defend the knitwear and hosiery industry on trade issues where it is in the United Kingdom's overall economic interest and within the constraints of our EC and GATT obligations.
Mr. Redwood : The Council reached agreement on the abolition of the Community transit advice note (TAN), on the reduction of frontier controls for transport (subject to a United Kingdom parliamentary scrutiny reserve) on a "new approach" directive on standards for certain weighing machines, and on the third motor liability insurance directive.
Important progress was also made on the proposed EC merger regulation. The main outstanding issue is a German proposal to allow certain cases to pass to national competition authorities. The Council will discuss the regulation further at the Internal Market Council on 21 December. I refer the hon. Member to the previous answers that I gave on this subject on 24 November 1989 at columns 41-42 and on 29 November at column 291.
The Council discussed proposed directives on public procurement (excluded sectors), rights of residence, gas appliances and life insurance services and made useful progress. All will be discussed again at the December Internal Market Council. The question of tax exemption for temporarily imported vehicles was also discussed, but was not agreed, following concerns expressed by a number of member states.
The Commission reported that it would bring forward specific recommendations based on its analysis of barriers to takeovers in member states by the end of March 1990.
Mr. Douglas Hogg [holding answer 4 December 1989] : My Department took professional advice on the sale of its shareholdings in the Rover Group from Baring Brothers and Slaughter and May. The privatisation of Royal Ordnance plc is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence.
Sir Dudley Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he is satisfied that the European Patent Office is in a fully competitive position with the United States of America and other parts of the world.
Mr. Forth [holding answer 30 November 1989] : The European Patent Office is not in competition with the United States patent and trade mark office and patent offices in other parts of the world. In order to obtain a patent in a state which is a member of the European Patent Organisation (13 European states including the United Kingdom), an application must be made either to the EPO or to the national patent office of the state concerned.
Column 154The EPO is very successful and last year attracted more than 50,000 applications--far more than predicted when the office was established in 1977.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make it his policy to use trade sanctions in respect of trade in animal products to bring pressure on the Government of Korea to end the inhumane treatment of dogs and cats intended for human consumption in that country.
Mr. Redwood [holding answer 30 November 1989] : I condemn the inhumane treatment of animals wherever it occurs, and I view with concern reports that dogs and cats are being treated inhumanely in Korea. I do not believe, however, that trade sanctions are the proper response.
My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary drew the attention of the Korean Foreign Minister to the strong concern which many people in this country feel about this matter during the recent visit to Britain of the president of the Republic of Korea.
Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list, by region, the maximum level of fees for private nursing home care, funded by his Department ; and if he will indicate which specific regions have the largest and smallest budgets for such care.
Mr. Andrew Bowden : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will present the data in the answer to the hon. Member for Birkenhead (Mr. Field) on 15 November, Official Report, columns 313-15, for single pensioner households and two person pensioner households.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : Because the equivalence scale does not distinguish between pensioners and other adults, the information requested is the same as that provided in tables 2 and 3 (for one adult and married couple households respectively) of the answer to the hon. Member for Birkenhead on 15 November, columns 313-15. Tables 2 to 6 of that answer illustrate the value that the equivalised average would represent for different households at each level of the income distribution and therefore contain the same information, as fixed multiples of each other, in accordance with the different values assigned to different household sizes by the Department's
Column 155equivalence scale. They do not, of course, contain information about actual income changes for the household types shown.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether ME sufferers are entitled to be awarded attendance allowance by his Department under the terms of page 61 of his Department's handbook to delegated practitioners.
Mr. Scott : As the Attendance Allowance Board's "Handbook for Delegated Medical Practitioners" makes clear, entitlement to an attendance allowance depends entirely on the need for frequent attention, continual supervision or watching over arising from severe disability. Anyone whose attendance needs satisfy these criteria will qualify for an allowance, irrespective of the precise nature of their illness or disabling condition.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, further to the oral reply to the hon. Member for Torfaen (Mr. Murphy) of 27 November, Official Report, column 420, if he will indicate the nature and scale of the difficulties faced by 16 and 17-year-olds in claiming benefit and give the numbers of those affected and refused.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : Our monitoring has confirmed that our policy operates without difficulty for the vast majority of 16 and 17-year-olds. Such isolated difficulties as have arisen range from a possible misunderstanding of procedures by local office staff to lack of knowledge of the benefit provisions on the part of some young people. To overcome these, we have introduced the administrative changes which I announced on 27 November.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many social security offices have had their benefit records transferred to Glasgow ; what is his estimate of the cost/benefit of the transfer ; and how mistakes discovered in the records will be rectified.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : Two London offices, Ealing and Southall, have so far transferred their income support benefit records to the social security centre in Glasgow. Relocation of the income support work of Acton office commenced on 4 December.
Overall the current estimate gives a cost benefit of some £16 million over 20 years for the three social security centres. The fundamental reason for relocation, however, is to improve service to the public.
Benefit records are rigorously examined for accuracy when they are received at the social security centre in preparation for loading onto the income support computer system. Where errors in payment have been made, they will be rectified and arrears due will be paid promptly.
Mr. Scott : Guidance on money advice forms an integral part of the internal training provided for social fund officers, and there is no separate budget allocated to that part of the training programme. Money advice training occupies two days in the total training period of three weeks and comprises : the role of the social fund officer in helping clients with financial problems ; identification of priority debts ; giving advice on budgeting and financial expenditure ; interviewing skills relevant to money advice interviews.
Mr. Home Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the total value of retirement pensions being paid during the current year, or the most recent year for which figures are available, to people resident overseas who emigrated from the United Kingdom and stopped paying national insurance contributions in the United Kingdom before 1960 ; and what is the total value of the national insurance contributions which were paid by those people.
Mr. Nicholas Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will estimate the cost of paying fully uprated state retirement pensions to all British pensioners overseas who are currently not covered by a reciprocal social security agreement to this effect.