|Previous Section||Home Page|
Mr. Beggs : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will take steps to ensure that women are made less vulnerable to crimes of violence through a review of the present framework of legislation and its application in order to sustain a more appropriate relationship between the damage done to victims and the penalties awarded to convicted criminals.
Mr. Cope : The criminal law is reviewed on a continuous basis, but the application of the legislation concerned is a matter for the courts to determine, taking into account all the circumstances of each individual case. The hon. Gentleman will be aware that the maximum penalty in Northern Ireland for attempted rape has recently been
Column 14increased to life imprisonment, and that any sentence regarded by the Attorney-General as too lenient can now be the subject of a reference to the Court of Appeal.
Dr. Mawhinney : To negotiate the remuneration and terms and conditions of service of teachers in recognised schools in Northern Ireland. It is also the vehicle for consultation by the Department of Education on matters relating to teachers' superannuation.
Mr. McNamara : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) how many strip searches were made on female prisoners in Her Majesty's prison, Maghaberry monthly since July, giving the number of persons involved and the number of times each person was searched ; if any prison contraband, smuggled item or illegal correspondence was discovered in any search, indicating which items ; in how many cases prisoners refused to be searched and had to be restrained while the search was being conducted ; and what were the reasons for the search ;
(2) how many strip searches were made on female prisoners in Her Majesty's prison, Maghaberry, monthly since July ; giving the number of persons involved and the number of times each person was searched ; if any prison contraband, smuggled item or illegal correspondence was discovered in any search, indicating which items ; on how many cases prisoners refused to be searched and had to be restrained while the search was being conducted ; and what were the reasons for the search.
Mr. Cope : Details of the numbers of and reasons for strip-searches made of female prisoners in Her Majesty's prison Maghaberry from March 1989 to June 1989 have already been provided-- Official Report, 28 July 1989. Details from July 1989 to November 1989 are as follows :
1989 |July |August |September|October |November --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Number of searches Total number of searches carried out |19 |56 |40 |53 |32 Total number of inmates searched |15 |31 |24 |25 |22 Number of prisoners searched once |11 |17 |15 |15 |16 Number of prisoners searched twice |4 |12 |8 |7 |5 Number of prisoners searched more than twice |- |2 |1 |3 |1 Reasons for search First admission on remand/awaiting trial |4 |9 |9 |17 |11 First admission on sentence/final discharge |9 |24 |19 |12 |9 Attending remand court |- |- |- |- |- Attending trial |- |- |- |- |- Inter-prison visits |1 |1 |- |- |2 Pre-release home leave |5 |20 |9 |6 |3 Compassionate home leave |- |- |- |4 |2 Visits to outside hospital |- |- |- |- |- Returning from bail application |- |- |- |- |- Attendance at court for bail |- |- |1 |2 |1 Fines paid |- |- |- |- |- Working out scheme |- |2 |2 |12 |4
No prohibited article was found during these searches and no prisoner refused to be searched.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will include in the relevant code of practice a requirement for the provision of drinks to prisoners on remand or in custody, additional to the existing statutory right to have three meals in any 24-hour period.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The term "meals" in the code of practice is always interpreted as including drinks, and the custody officer will respond to reasonable requests for drinks between meals. This will be clarified in the revised code which we are now preparing.
(2) what percentage of offenders involved in theft of, or thefts from, motor vehicles are apprehended ; what percentage are convicted ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. John Patten : The available published information can be found in the annual Command Paper, "Criminal Statistics, England and Wales" : the latest issue, for 1988, is Cm. 847, and a copy is available in the Library. In 1988 about one quarter of all notifiable crimes recorded by the police were thefts of, or from, motor vehicles, and about a quarter of these offences were cleared up. The number of persons prosecuted and found guilty of thefts of or from motor vehicles in 1988 is given in the following table :
Persons proceeded against and found guilty of thefts of and from motor vehicles-England and Wales 1988 |Total |Total found|Percentage |proceeded |guilty |found |against |guilty ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Theft of motor vehicles |6.111 |4,080 |67 Theft from motor vehicles |10,796 |8,316 |77
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many representations he has received concerning the implementation of British summer time throughout the year ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Following the publication in June of the Green Paper "Summer Time--A Consultation Document" (Cm. 722) a total of 30, 797 representations have been received to date. We hope to have completed an assessment of them in the near future.
Mr. McNamara : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give details of the number of body searches, cell searches and cell changes and strip searches carried out on each of the category A prisoners being held at Her Majesty's Prison, Durham monthly, since July, if any prison contraband, smuggled item or illegal correspondence was discovered in any search, indicating which items ; in how many cases prisoners refused to be searched and had to be restrained while the search was being conducted ; and what were the reasons for the search.
Mr. Mellor : Records are not kept of the occasions when rub down searching or "frisking" is carried out in prisons and it is not the practice to disclose detailed information about security arrangements such as that requested about the frequency of cell searches and cell changes.
Establishments are not required to record all strip searches and comprehensive records are available only in respect of category A women prisoners, of whom there were four in Durham prison between 1 July and 30 November. The number of occasions on which each was strip searched in each month during this period is shown in the following table :
Prisoner |A|B|C|D -------------------- July |-|-|2|- August |1|1|-|1 September |1|3|1|4 October |-|4|4|3 November |2|2|2|2
No unauthorised article was found. On no occasion did the prisoners refuse to be strip-searched.
Strip-searching is a routine security measure to which all inmates--male and female--are subject, both for its deterrent effect and as a means of discovering unauthorised articles.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many Chilean nationals resident in the United Kingdom have (a) permanent residence, (b) student visas (c) occupational leave and (d) refugee status.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Information is not directly available in the form requested. Annual figures of the number of Chileans accepted for settlement in the United Kingdom, and of the number admitted to the United Kingdom as students, are published each year in "Control of Immigration : Statistics United Kingdom" (most recently in tables 22 and 1, respectively, of the 1988 volume, Cm. 726). Annual figures of the number of Chileans granted refugee status in the United Kingdom, or exceptional leave, are published in the Home Office statistical bulletin "Refugee Statistics, United Kingdom" (most recently in tables 7 and 8 of the 1988 volume, Issue 25/89). Copies of both these publications are in the Library.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many Jamaican nationals have (a) been interviewed and (b) refused entry to the United Kingdom for each month since January 1989 ; and what are the annual figures for each year since 1979.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The available information is given in the table. All Jamaican citizens are interviewed on admission. Figures for those subjected to further examination are not available centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Jamaican citizens admitted to, and refused leave to enter and removed from, the United Kingdom Year/month |Total |Total refused |admitted<1> |leave to enter |and removed ------------------------------------------------------------ 1979 |35,000 |48 1980 |31,000 |82 1981 |31,000 |54 1982 |30,000 |63 1983 |30,200 |60 1984 |28,600 |44 1985 |29,700 |69 1986 |30,500 |131 1987 |31,600 |269 1988 |30,600 |424 1989 January |2,600 |75 February |1,700 |79 March |2,000 |82 April |2,200 |71 May |2,300 |59 June |3,800 |65 July |4,500 |75 August |3,900 |55 September |3,300 |72 October |n.y.a. |58 <1> The 1989 figures are provisional. n.y.a. Not yet available.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many officers of the west midlands serious crime squad have been suspended ; how many of these were involved in the preparation of evidence that led to the prosecution of the Birmingham Six ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : I understand from the chief constable of the West Midlands that five officers who have previously been members of the serious crime squad are currently suspended from duty, and that none of these was involved in interviewing those convicted of the Birmingham pub bombings.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many times, and under what powers, officers of the Metropolitan police have interviewed either Paul Hill or Gerard Conlon since their acquittal on charges arising from the Guildford and Woolwich public house bombings.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : I understand from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis that Metropolitan police officers have stopped Paul Hill once since his acquittal. The examination was part of routine checks at Heathrow airport under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1989.
Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has any plans to reduce the level of support currently available to civil defence community volunteers ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. John Patten : The Government maintain their commitment to community volunteers and support such activity through civil defence grant aid, but expenditure incurred by local authorities on volunteer arrangements must be balanced against that on other statutory civil defence functions. It is the aim of a current review of community volunteer schemes to ensure that effective and realistic arrangements are in place.
Column 19district councils in England and Wales which do not conform to regulations in respect of emergency control centres in accordance with the Civil Defence (General Local Authority Functions) Regulations 1983.
Mr. John Patten : Statistics in connection with the provision of local authority emergency centres were given in "A report on implementation of the Civil Defence (General Local Authority Functions) Regulations 1983 in England and Wales at October 1988" which was published in January 1989 and a copy of which is in the Library. Advances on the position shown in that report are now being considered in the light of more recent information provided by local authorities.
Mr. Mellor : We have received representations from right hon. and hon. Members and others on behalf of viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing, requesting subtitling or use of sign language in news, current affairs and parliamentary programmes. The Broadcasting Bill contains provisions to encourage more subtitling in programmes generally.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis on the reasons behind the decision to have police video cameras present at Thames magistrates court on 12 September ; and as to what use will be made of the video produced.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : I understand from the Commissioner that there was considered to have been a significant possibility that a demonstration outside the court on that day would result in disorder. It was decided to video the demonstration to provide contemporaneous evidence to support any prosecutions which might have ensued. In the event the demonstration passed off quietly and it was not necessary to retain the video tape for evidental or any other purposes.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis on the action being taken by the Metropolitan police at Forest Gate, London E7, to return the £960 belonging to Mr. Leroy Russell of 90 Gwendoline avenue, London E13.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : I understand from the Commissioner that this money was seized from Mr. Russell's home by officers of the Metropolitan police following his arrest there on 25 July 1988. The police will retain the money for as long as the matter remains sub-judice.
Police Authority Area |Average age, |Constable rank as at |31 December 1988<1> ------------------------------------------------------------------ Avon and Somerset |33 Bedfordshire |32 Cambridgeshire |33 Cheshire |33 Cleveland |33 Cumbria |32 Derbyshire |33 Devon and Cornwall |34 Dorset |34 Durham |32 Dyfed Powys |33 Essex |33 Gloucestershire |34 Greater Manchester |32 Gwent |32 Hampshire |35 Hertfordshire |32 Humberside |33 Kent |33 Lancashire |34 Leicestershire |32 Lincolnshire |34 London, City of |33 Merseyside |33 Metropolitan Police |31 Norfolk |35 Northamptonshire |32 Northumbria |34 North Wales |33 North Yorkshire |33 Nottinghamshire |31 South Wales |33 South Yorkshire |32 Staffordshire |32 Suffolk |33 Surrey |33 Sussex |34 Thames Valley |32 Warwickshire |35 West Mercia |33 West Midlands |32 West Yorkshire |32 Wiltshire |33 <1>This is the latest date for which analysis of age and rank is available. An analysis of England and Wales for all ranks can be found in Appendix 12 of HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary's Annual Report 1988, a copy of which can be found in the Library.
111. Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assistance his Department gives to Britain's mining engineering industry in its efforts to improve its export performance.
Mr. Redwood : The DTI and FCO provide a wide range of information, advice and services to firms involved in exporting from the United Kingdom and these are available to the mining engineering industry where appropriate. The DTI's projects and export policy division provides particular support for British companies bidding for major overseas projects.
Mr. Oppenheim : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what was the total net cost or contribution of the nationalised industries within his responsibility in the period of 1974 to 1979 ; and what was the net contribution of these industries in the period 1979 to the latest available year, taking account of both corporation tax and receipts from privatisation.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The way in which the expenditure plans and financing requirements of the nationalised industries was recorded changed in 1976-77 when the concept of an external financing requirement was introduced. Before that published figures concentrated on the capital requirements of the industries, whether or not they could be financed from internal resources or required Government or market funding. Figures for the two periods 1974-75 to 1978-79 and 1979-80 to 1987-88 are therefore not available on a comparable basis.
The following figures show, for the nationalised industries for which the Secretary of State had responsibility in these periods, outturn capital expenditure for 1974-75 and for later years the net effect on the public expenditure totals, taking account of net privatisation receipts. Corporation tax payments do not affect the public expenditure total. Information on tax paid is available in the published report and accounts of the relevant nationalised industries and has not been included in the following totals.
For 1974-75 and 1975-76 outturn capital expenditure was £2,925 million.
For 1976-77 to 1978-79 the net effect was an addition of £2,616 million to the public expenditure total.
For 1979-80 to 1987-88, the last year for which outturn figures are available, the net effect was an addition of £591 million. The industries covered by this answer are British Aerospace, British Shipbuilders, British Steel Corporation, Post Office (including Telecommunications and National Girobank until separation), British Telecom and Girobank, the receipts from the sale of shares in British Aerospace and British Telecom are included in the figures, but the sale of shares in British Steel took place after 1987-88. Sources : White Papers for the Government's public expenditure plans for the period 1975 to 1988, Command numbers 6721-II, 7439, 7841, 8175, 8494, I and II, 8789 II, 9143 II, 9428 II, 9702 II, Cm. 56 II, Cm. 288 I, Cm. 605,Cm. 621.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The outturn financing requirements of all nationalised industries in 1978-79 were published in the "Government's Expenditure Plans 1980-81 to 1983-84", Cm. 7841, in March 1980. The net effect on the public expenditure totals of the requirements for British Shipbuilders, British Aerospace, British Steel Corporation, and the Post Office (including figures for Telecommunications and Girobank) was an addition of £845 million.
Mr. Oppenheim : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what was the net cost or contribution of those industries within his responsibility which are still nationalised or companies which were state owned in 1988, or the last available year.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The latest available outturn figures for contributions to the public expenditure total for nationalised industries and wholly Government-owned companies within the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry were published in January 1989 in chapters 5 and 21 of "The Government's Expenditure Plans 1989-90 to 1991- 92" Cm. 605 and 621. The net effect in 1987-88 of British Shipbuilders, British Steel Corporation, Post Office and Girobank taken together was a reduction of £271 million.
Sir Dudley Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what efforts he is making to ensure that patent protection obtainable from the European patent office by smaller firms and academic institutions in England and Wales is as comprehensive and effective as that available to other applicants in other parts of the world and particularly the United States of America.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : We believe that all applicants, including small firms and academic institutions, can obtain patent protection from the European patent office which is already as comprehensive and effective as that available in other parts of the world including the United States of America. Differences do however exist between the national patent laws of different countries and we are actively involved in international negotations to minimise them.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what contracts, including those relating to privatisations, the Government have awarded since June 1979 to accountancy firms held to be lacking the necessary professional conduct, efficiency and competence by the disciplinary committees of the accountancy profession.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the firms criticised by the joint disciplinary scheme run by the accountancy bodies ; and whether any firms or their successors criticised by the joint disciplinary scheme have subsequently supplied personnel for the joint disciplinary scheme committees hearing allegations of unprofessional conduct by other firms.
Mr. Redwood : I refer the hon. Member to the annual reports of the joint disciplinary scheme, copies of which are in the Library. Membership of the scheme's committees is a matter for its executive committee.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) how many seats on the auditing practices committee have been held by individuals from accountancy firms sued by the Government for negligence, criticised by his Department's inspectors in their reports and criticised by the joint disciplinary scheme ; (2) whether any accountancy firms reprimanded by the joint disciplinary scheme have subsequently been allowed to have representatives on the accounting standards committee, the auditing practices committee or any of the working parties.
Column 23Mr. Redwood : As I explained in the replies I gave on 27 November at column 92-93 and 13 December at column 702 to questions by the hon. Member, membership of the auditing practices committee and the accounting standards committee is a matter for the consultative committee of Accountancy Bodies. Members of working parties are appointed by the relevant committees.
Mr. Ridley : Based on the findings of the Kemp review of future status options for ECGD businesses, that the Cardiff-based insurance services (covering exports on short-term credit) and the London-based project group (handling exports of projects for capital goods on medium- term credit) should be split and run as separate organisations, the Government's intention is that insurance services be converted into a company and that private capital should be introduced quickly thereafter. These changes are being made to enable ECGD to take advantage of the opportunities offered by 1992 and to meet the increased competition which will arise. They will also ensure that its intra-Community business is maintained. Equalising the legal and economic framework for credit insurance in Europe, with private sector capital, is a necessary condition for fostering United Kingdom trade within the Community.
The company will follow the normal practice of credit insurance companies operating in the commercial market in the use of reinsurance. The Government's aim is that this should be obtained from the private market. However, I recognise that in relation to certain of the political risks currently covered by insurance services there is at present insufficient private market capacity. Thus, in order to maintain facilities for exporters, the Government are prepared to see a transitional period of up to three years from the date of the introduction of private capital during which a reinsurance arrangement will be in place between Her Majesty's Government and the company. During this period the company will work to complete adequate reinsurance arrangements with the private market with the aim of phasing out residual Government reinsurance. When the new company is formed the intention is that staff who transfer to the company should do so on broadly comparable terms to those which they presently enjoy as Crown servants. ECGD staff will be asked whether they wish to remain within the Civil Service, or to transfer to the new company. ECGD will use its best endeavours to meet their wishes where these are consistent with the business needs of ECGD and the company.
These changes will require legisation at the earliest opportunity. It is the intention that the new company be established on 1 April 1991. Advisors will be appointed shortly to assist ECGD in carrying out necessary preparatory work.
Over the last three years, ECGD's insurance services have introduced major improvements to the range and quality of its services. It has developed a unique underwriting system and rapid credit limit service designed to meet the needs of its customers in the 1990s, particularly in the single European market. The changes I have
Column 24outlined for the insurance services group are vital to enable it to meet the challenges which will be thrown up by the single European market and so ensure that we develop further what is a significant national asset for our exporters. I am confident that the changes I am proposing are the best way to secure jobs for the future. In relation to ECGD's project group, the Government have decided that export credit and financing support should continue to be provided.
The ECGD's project support activities will remain within the Government, but the precise form of ECGD's organisation--whether it should remain a Department or acquire agency status--will be decided as soon as possible.
The Government are anxious to reduce the costs which have been associated with ECGD support for project exports in recent years. It will, therefore, continue to press hard internationally, for multilateral agreement aimed at eliminating subsidies which distort export credit and aid. In addition, to reduce the risk of losses in the future, radical new methods for managing ECGD's political risk portfolio will be introduced. Substantial premium increases for project business will be necessary, especially for business in the higher risk markets to ensure that ECGD premiums are better matched to risk. I believe that exporters will accept the need for this and will regard it as preferable to the withdrawal of facilities. The changes I have outlined are essential if ECGD is to be able to maintain and improve the quality of support it currently provides to United Kingdom exporters. The overwhelming majority of the representations which have been made by interested outside parties have fully supported these changes. I commend them to the House.
Mr. Ingram : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what are his current projections on the expected job losses at the National Engineering Laboratory and the date by which those reductions in staffing will be achieved.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The business plan for NEL and the resources it will need, is being prepared. Current projections are that the laboratory will require about 400 staff in total and the necessary staff reductions will take place during 1990.
Mr. Ingram : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) if he has received and appraised the projected business plan for the National Engineering Laboratory, East Kilbride ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) when he proposes to announce his intentions arising from the projected business plan on the future of the National Engineering Laboratory.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : I have not yet seen the business plan for the National Engineering Laboratory, but I will see it in due course. The contents of the plan will be commercially confidential and I do not intend to make an announcement about it.
Mr. Oppenheim : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much (a) excise duty and (b) import duty is levied on a one litre bottle of whisky containing 40 per cent. alcohol imported into the United Kingdom from Japan.
Column 25Mr. Redwood : The excise duty levied on a one litre bottle of whisky containing 40 per cent. alcohol imported into the United Kingdom from Japan is £6.31. The import duty is 14p.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what submissions he has made to the European Commission, whether via normal interdepartmental channels or directly to the European Commission, to seek continuation of the present level of funding plus allowance for inflation for women's employment and workshop schemes ; and what response has been received.
109. Mr. Wallace : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what further plans he has for decentralising the Civil Service establishment from London to the regions of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Mr. Ryder : As announced by right hon. Friend, the then Paymaster General, on 31 March 1988 (column 610-11 ), the Government's policy for relocating Civil Service work does not involve targets set by the centre. Departments review the location of their work in accordance with central guidelines, and their Ministers announce their decisions. Since the beginning of 1988, plans to locate or relocate over 14,000 posts away from London and the south-east have been announced, and further announcements are expected in due course.
110. Mr. Harry Barnes To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will ensure that in any future privatisation of parts of the Civil Service, staff will be given the option of transferring and remaining within the Civil Service.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will publish in the Official Report an estimate of the increase in real disposable incomes as a result of the separate taxation of husbands and wives at current rates of income, taxation and inflation ; and what proportion of the total is expected to accrue to those in the upper and lower quarters and tenths.
Mr. Lilley : The decrease in income tax liabilities in 1990-91 due to the introduction of independent taxation is provisionally estimated to be about £950 million. That would lead to an increase in real disposable income of less than half a per cent. Estimates of its distribution are not available in the form requested, but about a third of the benefit would be to individuals with incomes of less than £5,000 a year.
Those estimates make no allowance for possible behavioural effects. The effect of independent taxation on the composite rate of tax on bank and building society interest will be taken into account in the rate set for the year 1991-92.
Mr. Prescott : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will set out general Government expenditure by the Department of Transport for the years 1974-75 to 1983-84, in cash and real terms, consistent with the figures for 1984-85 to 1992-93 that are set out in tables 3 and 4 of the 1989 Autumn Statement.
Mr. Norman Lamont : Tables 3 and 4 of the 1989 Autumn Statement public expenditure press notice set out figures for central Government's own expenditure, by Department. Figures for central Government's own expenditure by the Department of Transport in the years 1978-79 to 1983-84 consistent with those given in the 1989 Autumn Statement are as follows :
£ billion |1978-79|1979-80|1980-81|1981-82|1982-83|1983-84 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cash figures |0.5 |0.6 |0.7 |0.9 |1.1 |1.0 Real terms figures (1988-89 prices) |1.0 |1.1 |1.2 |1.3 |1.4 |1.3
Corresponding figures for earlier years are not readily available.