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Mr. Maclean : So far as I am aware, no incumbent Minister has had such a meeting. However, in February 1988 my right hon. Friend the then Minister of State met company representatives to discuss matters relating to the licensing of veterinary medicines. There are no plans for further meetings.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he last met a representative from Monsanto ; what matters were discussed ; if he plans any further meetings ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maclean : So far as I am aware, neither my right hon. Friend nor his predecessors have had such a meeting. However, my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary met company representatives on 15 November to discuss matters relating to the licensing of veterinary medicines. There are no plans for further meetings.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the risk to consumers of using microwave for primary heating of food products if the manufacturer's instructions are followed.
Mr. Maclean : My Department's primary concern has been with the performance of microwave ovens in reheating already cooked food. As far as cooking from raw is concerned, the Ministry has not undertaken an assessment of oven performance compared with manufacturers' instructions but users can apply exactly the same tests to ensure that food is fully cooked as they do when using other means of cooking.
Mr. Curry : I assume that the question refers to the European Community's surplus food scheme. This requires member states to distribute surplus stocks of certain foods to the most needy in the community (defined in the United Kingdom as those on income support or family credit or people living in welfare hostels or of no fixed abode), not simply to the elderly.
The United Kingdom has some 3,000 tonnes of butter and 3,000 tonnes of beef available for distribution under the scheme, and all of this produce has been released from intervention stores. Distributions to eligible recipients have been taking place for some time now and I expect that most of the produce will have been distributed before the end of 1989, but the timing of distribution is a matter for the designated organisations to decide according to local needs and their own capacity.
Mr. Home Robertson : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the names and locations of all Government veterinary laboratories closed in the last 10 years, together with their date of closure.
Location |Date of closure ------------------------------------------------------------ Weybridge |31 December 1980<1> Cardiff | 4 April 1986 Chester | 4 April 1986 Gloucester |30 June 1986<1> Leeds |30 June 1986 Northants |30 June 1986 <1>Veterinary investigation centre only.
The laboratories at Lasswade and Liverpool transferred to Roslin and Barton Hall in April 1986 and October 1986 respectively.
Mr. Burt : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will give details of expenditure in 1988-89 and 1989-90 by the Intervention Board for Agricultural Produce and the Agriculture Departments on market regulation under the common agricultural policy.
Column 169Mr. Gummer : Details are given in the table of the outturn for 1988-89 and the latest forecast of outturn for 1989-90.
£ million |1988-89 |1989-90 |(Actual |(Forecast |Outturn) |Outturn) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (i) Expenditure by the Intervention Board for Agricultural Produce Cereals |210.1 |87.9 Oilseeds |177.8 |193.8 Sugar |118.8 |96.7 Beef and Veal |149.5 |59.2 Sheepmeat |133.2 |98.1 Pigmeat |0.3 |1.4 Milk products |48.9 |81.0 Processed goods |45.6 |38.1 Others |27.2 |49.1 |------ |------ Total |911.4 |705.3 |------ |------ (ii) Expenditure by the Agriculture Departments Repayment of cereals levies |2.2 |46.5 Suckler cow premium scheme |37.7 |55.2 Annual premium on ewes |130.7 |117.0 Payments to producers giving up some milk production |74.1 |64.2 Beef special premium scheme (Northern Ireland) |- |10.1 |------ |------ Total |244.6 |292.8 |------ |------ Grand Total |1,156.0 |998.1
Some of the expenditure shown benefits consumers and trade interests rather than United Kingdom producers.
The figures for the Intervention Board for Agricultural Produce are net of various receipts treated as negative expenditure. Receipts from levies on the production and storage of sugar and isoglucose and on third country exports, which are regarded as Community own resources, are excluded.
Of the estimated outturn for 1989-90, £1,292.8 million is expected to be financed from the European agricultural guidance and guarantee fund (EAGGF) ; in 1988-89, £1,506.0 million was thus financed. However, because the United Kingdom is a net contributor to the European Community budget, the whole of this expenditure is attributable to the Exchequer. Receipts from the European Community do not always relate to expenditure in the period.
The individual figures may not add up to the totals due to roundings.
Mr. Burt : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will give details of expenditure in 1988-89 and 1989-90 by the Agriculture Department on agricultural grants and subsidies excluding market regulation under the common agricultural policy.
£ million |1988-89 |1989-90 |(Actual |(Forecast |outturn) |outturn) ------------------------------------------------------------------ Price guarantees Potatoes |- |- Wool |0.1 |2.0 Assistance to the egg industry |2.9 |- |------ |------ Total |3.1 |2.0 Support for capital and other improvements Farm and conservation grant scheme (EC) |- |3.0 Agriculture improvement scheme (EC) |25.9 |22.8 Agriculture and horticulture development scheme |21.6 |15.6 Farm structures |0.4 |0.3 Agriculture and horticulture grant scheme |1.0 |0.4 Agriculture improvement scheme (national) |7.1 |3.6 Northern Ireland agricultural development programme |1.1 |3.7 Farm woodland scheme |- |0.6 Farm and conservation grant scheme (national) |- |15.2 Guidance premiums |1.0 |0.3 Farm accounts |0.4 |0.3 Environmentally sensitive areas |6.8 |9.9 Others |0.2 |0.3 |------ |------ Total |65.6 |75.8 Support for agriculture in special areas Hill livestock compensatory allowances |112.6 |121.4 Additional benefit under AHDS, NIADP, AHGS, AIS (EC), AIS (national), FCGS (EC) and FCGS (national) |19.6 |19.4 Others |4.9 |10.2 |------ |------ Total |137.1 |151.0 Other payments Set-aside scheme |- |10.7 Milk outgoers scheme |11.4 |6.4 Crofting building grants and loans (net) |3.1 |3.2 Sheep compensation scheme 1986 |0.9 |0.9 Storm damage recovery scheme 1987 |0.2 |1.0 Co-operation grants |1.2 |1.5 Farm diversification: Capital grants |0.5 |3.4 Marketing and feasibility grants |- |0.6 Others |0.8 |1.0 |------ |------ Total |18.2 |28.5 |------ |------ Grand total |224.0 |257.4 Some of this expenditure attracts contributions from the European Community. These are mainly received in the following year. In 1989-90, £66.3 million is expected to be received from the Fund compared with £44.9 million in 1988-89. The individual figures may not add up to the totals shown due to roundings.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the numbers of inmates of British gaols who were transferred to psychiatric units or mental hospitals in each of the past five years.
Column 171Mr. John Patten : Sentenced and unsentenced prisoners in England and Wales may be transferred to psychiatric hospitals for treatment under sections 47 and 48 of the Mental Health Act 1983 respectively. The numbers transferred to hospital under those provisions between 1984 and 1988 were as follows :
|1984|1985|1986|1987|1988 ------------------------------------ s. 47 |108 |100 |107 |130 |120 s. 48 |47 |41 |53 |77 |85 |----|----|----|----|---- Total |155 |141 |160 |207 |205
Mr. Waddington : The law needs to be strengthened to punish more effectively the organisers of such events. It is already an offence to provide music and dancing as a public entertainment or, if the relevant statutory provision has been adopted by the local authority, at a private entertainment promoted for private gain without a licence obtained in advance from the local authority, or in breach of any terms, conditions or restrictions to which such a licence is subject. But the penalties for these offences are so light in comparison to the profits to be made from acid house parties that the organisers can afford to ignore the law.
I have therefore concluded that magistrates should in future be empowered to impose fines of up to £20,000 or imprisonment for up to six months, or both, on people convicted of these offences. This will require changes to the London Government Act 1963, the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 and the Private Places of Entertainment (Licensing) Act 1967. In addition, my right hon. Friend intends to give magistrates power to order the confiscation of profits made by those convicted of organising illegal parties or allowing their land or premises to be used for them.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment is today announcing the forthcoming provision of guidance to local authorities to tackle effectively the problem of noise nuisance at such events.
representations from members of the public and Members of Parliament, including the hon. Member, about a "skeleton car key set" being offered for sale by Westway Locksmiths, formerly MB Locksmiths. As the hon. Member is aware, criminal proceedings against MB Locksmiths are in progress and, in the circumstances, it would not be appropriate to comment further.
Mr. Andrew Welsh : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has received any representations from Scottish broadcasting or community organisations about quality measurements of television franchise bidders arising from his most recent proposals for reform of broadcasting.
Mr. Salmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has received any representations from Scottish broadcasting and community organisations about quality measurement of television franchise bidders arising from his most recent proposals for reform of broadcasting.
Mrs. Margaret Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has received any representations from Scottish broadcasting and community organisations about quality measurement of television franchise bidders arising from his most recent proposals for reform of broadcasting.
Mr. Sillars : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has received any representations from Scottish broadcasting and community organisations about quality measurement of television franchise bidders arising from his most recent proposals for reform of broadcasting.
Mr. Mellor : A number of the responses to the broadcasting White Paper made by the Scottish ITV companies and by Scottish local and regional authorities have commented on the safeguards for quality contained in our proposals for allocating Channel 3 licences.
Mr. John Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to ensure the continuation of a regional framework for Independent Television ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Mellor : As the Broadcasting White Paper made clear, the Government are committed to maintaining a regionally-structured Channel 3 (or ITV). We are proposing that there should be statutory requirements on regional Channel 3 licensees to provide regional programmes, some of which must be produced within the region, and regional news. The precise geographical structure of the Channel 3 regions will be a matter for the Independent Television Commission to determine, but the Government have noted the statement of the chairman designate of the ITC that he would see advantages in retaining the existing regions.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners were discharged from prison without permanent accommodation in which to live during the last year for which figures are available.
Mr. John Patten : This information is not collected centrally. The prison and probation services promote various initiatives to provide accommodation for homeless discharged prisoners. The Home Office allocates £5 million a year to provide 4,500 bedspaces in some 350 accommodation schemes.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many officers of the West Midlands serious crime squad who were recently transferred to non-operation duties were involved in the Birmingham pub bombing investigation.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : On 26 October in response to a question from the hon. Member for Halifax (Mrs. Mahon) my right hon. Friend the Member for Witney (Mr. Hurd) replied that one member of the serious crime squad, which was disbanded in the summer, was involved in the investigation. I regret that this was incorrect. Further inquiry has established that a total of four officers who were members of the serious crime squad when it was disbanded had been involved in interviewing those convicted of the Birmingham pub bombing.
Force |Population per | police officer<1> ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Avon and Somerset |460 Bedfordshire |508 Cambridgeshire |544 Cheshire |512 Cleveland |371 Cumbria |423 Derbyshire |515 Devon and Cornwall |521 Dorset |522 Durham |434 Dyfed-Powys |495 Essex |521 Gloucestershire |453 Greater Manchester |369 Gwent |442 Hampshire |531 Hertfordshire |508 Humberside |427 Kent |512 Lancashire |436 Leicestershire |503 Lincolnshire |493 Merseyside |308 Norfolk |546 Northamptonshire |508 Northumbria |408 North Wales |486 North Yorkshire |516 Nottinghamshire |435 South Wales |415 South Yorkshire |434 Staffordshire |472 Suffolk |539 Surrey |452 Sussex |482 Thames Valley |540 Warwickshire |489 West Mercia |538 West Midlands |383 West Yorkshire |391 Wiltshire |513 Average provincial forces (excluding the City of London) |452 City of London |5 Metropolitan |253 Average England and Wales |404 <1>The figures are calculated on the basis of mid-1988 population figures and authorised establishments of forces at 1 April 1989.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : On 31 October there were 2,944 officers on the strength of the South Yorkshire police. This is 384 more than when the Government took office 10 years ago. My right hon. and learned Friend has approved a further 20 police posts for the force establishment, raising it from 2,978 to 2,998, subject to the police authority's confirmation that it is prepared to meet its share of the costs.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : It is not the practice for us routinely to discuss with the levy board the allocation of its income in pursuance of its statutory duties. The purposes for any additional levy income featured in the submissions on the 28th levy scheme which my right hon. Friend the Member for Witney (Mr. Hurd) discussed with representatives of the Board and the Bookmakers' Committee on 14 February. My right hon. and learned Friend plans to meet the chairman of the board on 6 December, when the general question of the financing of racing is likely to be discussed.
Mr. John Patten : Measures to prevent these offences include tougher maximum penalties for violent offences (carrying firearms and knives) ; increases in police manpower ; targeting of high crime areas by police ; measures to deal with alcohol-related disorder ; education, research and crime prevention. Further action, including
Column 175new measures to tackle domestic violence, are being taken forward by the ministerial groups on crime prevention and on women's issues. Some of the recorded increase in violent crime and sexual offences is due to increased reporting by the public and recording by the police.
Mr. John Patten : The results of a recent ad hoc survey of offences of violence recorded by the police indicated that one in eight offences of violence against the person involved domestic violence. Some results from this study are published in Home Office Research Bulletin No. 27, a copy of which is available in the Library.
Mr. Mellor : Drugs education in schools is the responsibility of local education authorities and of the schools. We encourage police forces to develop a wide programme of police/schools liaison in consultation with the local education authorities and with individual schools. This may include contributing to education about drugs as part of personal and social education in schools.
Mr. Sheerman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give the full costs of the drugs raid on Broadwater Farm, including the full time costs of the officers employed, the processing costs of dealing with the prisoners, the opportunity costs and the administrative on-costs.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : As I stated in answer to the hon. Member on 6 November 1989 at column 429, the additional overtime costs were about £42,500. Full costs are not available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Burns : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many seizures of illicit drugs have been made by police and customs in 1989 to date ; and what is the estimated value of drugs seized.
Mr. Mellor : In the period 1 January to 6 November 1989 Customs report a provisional total of 6,830 seizures of controlled drugs. It is estimated that these would have had an equivalent street value of some £230 million. Comprehensive figures are not yet available for police seizures in 1989 ; the latest information is for 1988 when police made 32,947 seizures and customs 5,288 seizures of controlled drugs.
Mr. Mellor : The Health Department's final plans for the next phase of the national drug prevention publicity campaign will be considered at the next meeting of the ministerial group on the misuse of drugs. The campaign is
Column 176planned to start early in the new year. In addition my right hon. and learned Friend has announced the setting up of drug prevention teams from April 1990, initially in nine local areas, to stimulate and harness community involvement in the prevention of drug misuse.
Mr. Mellor : Information is not available in the form requested by my hon. Friend. But up to 14 November, some 3,000 finds of substances believed to be drugs had been reported by prison establishments in England and Wales during 1989. Some 92 per cent. of these involved cannabis.
Mr. Sumberg : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many cities in the north west of England are covered by his Department's safer cities initiative ; and what plans he has to extend the programme.
Mr. John Patten : Of the 16 projects established in the first two years of the safer cities programme, three are located in the north-west of England--at Rochdale, Salford and Wirral. We plan to set up four more projects in the financial year 1990-91, but the areas have not yet been selected.
Mr. A. MacKay : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is his policy towards the call of the Association of Chief Officers of Probation for a review of social security provisions to ensure that benefits policy supports criminal justice aims.
Mr. John Patten : The Government continue to monitor the effects of the recent changes in social security provision. As part of this monitoring the Home Office maintains close liaison with the Department of Social Security. We are also considering carefully the findings of the recent research carried out for the Association of Chief Officers of Probation by the university of Lancaster. As a result of the monitoring arrangements my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Social Security recently announced (27 November 1989 at columns 420-21 ) a number of procedural improvements which are designed to ensure that claims for income support from young people, including young offenders, are dealt with more effectively and sympathetically. These changes demonstrate the Government's willingness to act when areas of genuine difficulty are identified.
The Home Office has already issued guidance to the probation service on the effects of the Social Security Acts 1988 and 1989. Further guidance is being prepared to explain what benefits are available to offenders and ex- offenders.
Column 177Mr. Peter Lloyd : Consideration is being given by my right hon. and learned Friend to the implementation of the new tighter controls on gun clubs in the light of advice received from the firearms consultative committee.
Mr. Favell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what further steps are proposed, in the light of recent incidents in Greater Manchester and elsewhere, to impose tighter controls on gun clubs.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : As my right hon. and learned Friend the Home Secretary announced recently, he is minded that in future his approval will not be granted to any club operating a "day membership" scheme or offering any form of temporary membership facility. Visiting membership for full members of other approved clubs will be permitted. An applicant for probationary membership will have to be sponsored by two full members of the club, both of whom are themselves firearm certificate holders. Probationary members must be constantly supervised when in possession of a firearm or ammunition, either by the range master or by a full member of the club who personally holds a firearm certificate. Probationary members must be given a course of instruction in the safe and proper use of firearms. The number of probationary members of an approved club must not exceed the number of full members. The police will be able to use their powers under section 15(5) of the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988 to enter and inspect club premises to ensure that clubs are complying with the provisions of the Secretary of State's approval. We will continue to make clear to clubs that the exemption under section 15 of the 1988 Act from the requirement to hold a firearm certificate covers only target practice and does not extend to competition. Consideration is being given by my right hon. and learned Friend, to the implementation of these proposals in the light of advice received from the Firearms Consultative Committee.
Mr. John Patten : Ministers and officials have frequent discussions with a range of individuals and groups about Government support to charities and other matters affecting the voluntary sector. On 17 October my right hon. and noble Friend the Earl Ferrers, my noble Friend the Paymaster General and I met members of the Council for Charitable Support to discuss a number of issues relating to charity.
Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many children have been allowed into the United Kingdom, for adoption by United Kingdom citizens, from each of the countries which do not have the same laws and procedures on adoption as exist in the United Kingdom, during each of the past five years ; and what is the average length of time it takes for inquiries to be carried out into prospective adoptive children from such countries.
Column 178admissions do not separately identify children who come to the United Kingdom for adoption. However, the available information is shown in the table. Corresponding information for 1984 and 1985 could be produced only at disproportionate cost.
Adoption orders made by the courts in certain designated countries are recognised as valid for the purposes of United Kingdom law. Some 63 countries are designated for this purpose under the Adoption (Designation of Overseas Adoptions) Order 1973. There is no provision in the immigration rules for the admission of children adopted in non-designated countries. However the Secretary of State may exceptionally exercise discretion to allow a child to come here for adoption if he is satisfied that this is appropriate in the particular case.
Information on the average length of time required for inquiries to be carried out into prospective adoption cases is not available ; the time varies according to the circumstances of the particular case.
Acceptances for settlement in the United Kingdom on grounds of adoption, after initial admission for a limited period, of children from countries not designated in the Adoption (Designation of Overseas Adoptions) Order 1973<1> NationalNumber of children of each nationality |1986 |1987<2>|1988 ----------------------------------------------------------------- India |7 |7 |8 Pakistan |5 |7 |8 Brazil |7 |1 |0 El Salvador |4 |1 |3 Colombia |5 |1 |1 Philippines |4 |2 |1 Thailand |3 |2 |1 Peru |2 |1 |1 Korea |1 |2 |0 Poland |0 |1 |2 Bolivia |1 |1 |1 Sierra Leone |0 |0 |2 Sudan |0 |2 |0 Burma, Hungary<3> |0 |0 |1 Chile, Egypt, Morocco, Paraguay, Venezuela<3> |0 |1 |0 Ecuador |1 |0 |1 Bangladesh, China, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Panama, Yemen Arab Republic<3> |1 |0 |0 |--- |--- |--- Total |46 |33 |37 <1> This order designates those countries whose adoption orders are recognised as valid for the purposes of United Kingdom law. <2> 1987 figures may not be entirely complete. <3> Number from each country in these year(s)
Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if, since the opening of the borders of East Germany, any East German citizens have applied for entry to the United Kingdom as residents ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Citizens of the German Democratic Republic require visas to enter the United Kingdom and neither of the British posts in Berlin has received any applications for visas for settlement in this country since the opening of the border between east and west Berlin on 9 November. There have been no reports from any other quarter of any East German citizens seeking entry to reside in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the number of civilian employees from the ethnic minority community in the employ of the Greater Manchester police authority.
Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the number of police officers recruited from the ethnic minority community in the Greater Manchester police force ; what has been the number of applications from ethnic minorites during each of the past five years ; and how many ethnic minority police officers have left the force during the same periods of time.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : On 27 November 1989, 102 members of the ethnic minorities were serving as police officers in the Greater Manchester police. The other information requested is given in the following table :
4 |Applications|Left |for |the |appointment |force ---------------------------------------------------- 1985 |128 |4 1986 |90 |4 1987 |142 |2 1988 |90 |6 <1>1989 |100 |8 <1>To date.
Mr. Faulds : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department for what reason an identity card was removed by United Kingdom immigration authorities when Navaratnasingham Vathanan was ordered back to Sri Lanka, having applied for entry to the United Kingdom as a political refugee.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : I understand that Mr. Vathanan's identity card was taken in order to obtain a travel document for him from the Sri Lanka High Commission. I regret the fact that it was lost. Pages had been removed from the passport on which he had arrived.
Mr. Sheerman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many prisoners are currently beyond parole eligibility date awaiting a decision ; and what has been the number in each of the last 12 months ;
(2) what has been the average delay beyond parole eligibility date for each of the four prison department regions in each of the last six months.