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Student Loans

Mr. Andrew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what arrangements for repayment of loans under the proposed student loan scheme are to apply in the case of graduates no longer resident in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Jackson : Graduates living overseas will enjoy the same terms as those resident in the United Kingdom. Arrangements will be made for the recovery of outstanding payments from such students. It will be in the interests of all borrowers to repay their loans.

Disabled Students

Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will consult disability organisations on the review of discretionary payments to disabled students.

Mr. Jackson : Yes. In addition to my meetings with the all-party disablement group on 28 November and with a group of Members of this House on 9 November, meetings have been arranged between officials of the Department of Education and Science and representative groups.

Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether his Department monitors the administration of the disabled students allowance ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Jackson : The administration of the disabled students allowance, within the terms of the mandatory awards regulations, is a matter for local education authorities in pursuance of their duty to make awards. In monitoring authorities' spending on mandatory awards, the Department collects annually figures for the total assessments for the allowance made by each authority and the number of students for whom these are made. In its monitoring of the operation of the proposed student loan system the Government will pay particular attention to the position of disabled students.

Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether students with disabilities and terminal illnesses will be guaranteed a loan under his proposals for top-up loans for students.

Mr. Jackson : Yes. All students on a relevant course who meet the ordinary residence requirements will have access to the additional resources without regard to other personal circumstances.

Harrow Clinical Research Centre

Mr. Andrew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what action he intends to take regarding the proposed closure of the Harrow clinical


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research centre ; what discussions his Department has had with the Medical Research Council concerning the proposed closure ; what representations he has had concerning the proposed closure ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Jackson : In September my right hon. Friend received advice from the Advisory Board for the Research Councils on the Medical Research Council's clinical research initiative. The board recommended that the resources now invested in the clinical research centre should be redeployed with phased developments at a number of other centres. This proposal requires more detailed study and my right hon. Friend is expecting to receive further advice from the advisory board in the spring. The Department and the Health Department are to be kept informed of the progress of this work, particularly as regards capital costs, the redeployment of resources and the implications for NHS provision.

School Buildings

Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) how many temporary classrooms there are in schools in (a) Somerset, (b) Devon, (c) Dorset and (d) Wiltshire ; (2) what proportion of all primary and secondary schools were built before 1903 in (a) Somerset, (b) Devon, (c) Dorset and (d) Wiltshire ; and what is the average in England.

Mr. Alan Howarth : The information requested is not collected by the Department.

Governing Bodies

Mr. Fatchett : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he has agreed revised instruments of government for further education and higher education colleges under local education authority control, where the proposed size of the governing body in each college meets the maximum permitted by section 152 (1) of the Education Reform Act 1988 ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Jackson : To date, my right hon. Friend has approved 228 instruments of government proposed by local education authorities under section 151 of the Education Reform Act. The governing bodies provided for by these instruments range in size up to 23 members.

Mr. Fatchett : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will list those further education and higher education colleges, together with their local education authorities, which originally and initially submitted revised instruments of government in accord with the Education Reform Act 1988 and where the proposed size of the governing body of each college was in excess of 20 ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Jackson : This information can be supplied only at disproportionate cost.

Brighton City Technology College

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) if he will detail the annual revenue allocations to the Brighton city technology college between 1989-90 and 1995-96 and itemise the headings under which expenditure can and will be made ;


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(2) if he will give the details of the annual allocation for books and equipment for Brighton city technology college.

Mrs. Rumbold : Recurrent grant will be paid from the date of opening of the Brighton city technology college and will be comparable to spending on maintained schools in similar areas. Recurrent grant will cover all the school's normal running costs, including books and equipment.

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will give details of the teacher-pupil ratio established for Brighton city technology college.

Mrs. Rumbold : The teacher-pupil ratio in city technology colleges will be comparable to the ratio in maintained schools in similar areas. As yet, no firm teacher-pupil ratio has been determined for the Brighton city technology college.

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will provide a detailed breakdown of the proposed uses of the £2.5 million capital sum allocated to Brighton city technology college for 1989-90 and 1990-91 ; and if he will itemise future capital allocation to the school until 1995-96.

Mrs. Rumbold : To date the only capital payments for the establishment of the Brighton city technology college have been incurred on the purchase of the Woodingdean site. A detailed feasibility study is currently being undertaken which will give a clearer idea as to the capital requirements of the college.

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will provide details of the anticipated regime of inspections, auditor assessment and value for money scrutinies to verify the proper expenditure of public funds on Brighton's city technology college.

Mrs. Rumbold : The accounts of the Brighton City Technology College Trust will be fully audited as a condition of the funding agreement which my right hon. Friend intends to sign with the sponsors of the college. The agreement will define the terms under which grant will be made.

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will provide details of the likely annual expenditure by Brighton city technology college on new buildings, building repairs and building maintenance between 1989 and 1995-96.

Mrs. Rumbold : A detailed feasibility study is currently being carried out on the establishment of the Brighton city technology college. The study will give a clearer idea on expenditure needs and cashflow requirements.

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science on what criteria expenditure of public funds on Brighton city technology college was assessed as a higher priority than an increase to East Sussex county council education allocation for capital spending on new buildings, classroom replacement, repairs and maintenance and new equipment.

Mrs. Rumbold : The CTC programme dos not compete for funds with LEA capital allocations. It is funded from resources that would not otherwise be available to


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education. It is an investment we are prepared to make because the best practice developed at CTCs will permeate the whole education service. The programme has also generated an unprecedented response from industry ; already over £43 million has been given.

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps have been taken by his Department to ensure that (a) Greenleaf Planters Ltd., (b) South Weald Properties Ltd. and (c) other private sector investors in the Brighton city technology college will be able to meet the percentage of the private sector investment that the Government currently expect them to find.

Mrs. Rumbold : As a prelude to the funding agreement I intend to sign with all principal sponsors of city technology colleges, there has been an exchange of letters with the sponsors of the Brighton CTC setting out their commitments and the conditions under which their sponsorship has been accepted.

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what were the dates and locations of meetings between his departmental officials, representatives of the Michael Faraday Trust, Brighton Steiner school and East Sussex county council officials.

Mrs. Rumbold : There has been no single meeting including all the parties listed by the hon. Member. However, the chairman of the CTC Trust and representatives of the sponsors for the Brighton CTC met elected members and officials of East Sussex county council in July in London. In addition officials of my Department have had a number of routine meetings with representatives of the sponsors and the Michael Faraday Trust, in London and Brighton.

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science when officials from his Department first made contact with the Michael Faraday Trust and representatives of the Brighton Steiner school to discuss locating a city technology college in Woodingdean, Brighton.

Mrs. Rumbold : The first meeting of officials and sponsors wishing to establish a city technology college in Brighton was held on 19 May. Since then, the sponsors have set up the Michael Faraday Trust.

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science when sanction was first given and by whom for the authorisation of public expenditure commitments for the setting up of the Brighton city technology college.

Mrs. Rumbold : My right hon. Friend the then Secretary of State for Education and Science authorised negotiations to begin on the setting up of the Brighton CTC in May this year.

Craft and Design

Dr. Reid : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if it is his intention to bring craft and design education into the curriculum for Scottish schools ; and whether he will draw up plans to ensure that design and technical subjects are part of the curriculum by 1992.

Mr. Lang : I have been asked to reply.


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Craft and design technical subjects already feature in the curriculum of Scottish schools. Courses are available leading to awards at the ordinary, standard and higher grades of the Scottish Certificate of Education. A review of the primary and early secondary curriculum is currently under way to identify and give guidance on good practice. Craft and design and technical subjects will be covered in this review.

OVERSEAS DEVELOPMENT

Vietnam

Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has about non-Government organisations which are providing development assistance to Vietnam, and the amounts of assistance in each case.

Mrs. Chalker : A number of British NGOs are active in Vietnam. They are independent agencies and receive no Government funding for their programmes there. Consequently, the Government do not maintain records of their activities in Vietnam. The agencies would no doubt be willing to make this information available to the hon. Member.

Ethiopia

Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what further plans he has to facilitate transportation of food supplies to famine-striken areas of Ethiopia.

Mrs. Chalker : The £2 million tranche of emergency aid for Ethiopia, which I announced on 27 November is being channelled through British voluntary agencies largely for the purchase of trucks for food transport.

Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) whether he has considered the use of Royal Air Force helicopters to drop food supplies to famine-stricken areas of Ethiopia ; and if he will make a statement ;

(2) whether he will consider repeating the successful Operation Bushell undertaken in 1984, using Royal Air Force Hercules aircraft, to air drop supplies to famine-stricken areas of Ethiopia.

Mrs. Chalker : Within Government-held areas supplies are at present being delivered by road. As for areas in northern Ethiopia not held by the Government, there are at present no agreed arrangements for delivery, either by road or by air, of food supplies from the Government side. If such access were agreed road transport would be by far the most effective means of moving supplies in the volumes required. The UN operated an extremely effective airlift into Tigray in 1984-85 and again in 1987-88. If airlift operations proved necessary, the UN has funds to hand, some of which we contributed, for this purpose.

India

Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many Westland helicopters have been supplied to India in the British Government's aid package ; and if he will make a statement as to the effectiveness of this package.


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Mrs. Chalker : The British aid programme grant funded the supply of 21 Westland WH30 helicopters, together with spares, at a cost of £65 million. The helicopters were delivered on schedule at the agreed cost. They are operating mainly in the Indian oil and natural gas industry.

FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

Anglo-Australian Understanding

Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will support the proposed exhibition in the Upper Waiting Hall in the week commencing 15 January on the theme of Anglo- Australian understanding.

Mr. Sainsbury : We understand that, under procedures agreed by the Services Committee, arrangements have been made with the authorities of the House for this exhibition to be held in the Upper Waiting Hall for a week from 15 January 1990.

Falkland Islands

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what consideration has been given to the development of windpower farms, oil exploration and the possibility of radioactive waste disposal on the Falkland Islands.

Mr. Sainsbury : There have been no proposals to use the islands for the disposal of radioactive waste.

Wind power generation was examined in Lord Shackleton's reports of 1976 and 1982 but considered to be inadequate for the islands' needs. Experiments on the islands have not yet shown that wind power generation will be an economical proposition. However, the Falkland Islands development corporation is recommending soon that a proper study of the wind regime in the islands be undertaken.

No decisions have yet been taken on a possible regime to control exploration and development of mineral resources.

Tamil Community

Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what meetings have been held by Her Majesty's high commission in Sri Lanka with representatives of the Tamil community.

Mr. Sainsbury : The high commission is regularly in contact with members of all communities in Sri Lanka.

Antarctica

Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what meetings have been held with environmental organisations since the Paris convention in October concerning the future of Antarctica ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Sainsbury : FCO officials frequently meet representatives of wildlife link to discuss Antarctica matters. The last meeting was in September. No request for a further meeting has been received since then.


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Diego Garcia

Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what meetings have been held with

representatives of the people of Diego Garcia ; if there are plans to allow full resettlement of the island ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Waldegrave : The commissioner for the British Indian ocean territory, who was in Mauritius for other purposes, saw a delegation of former plantation workers from the Chagos Islands at their request on 20 September. Those concerned are increasingly integrated into the Mauritian community. There are no plans for resettlement of the islands.

Television Films

Mr. Fisher : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what sums his Department has paid to the Fox network and the Discovery channel in the United States for (a) the production and (b) the screening of a series of television films on Britain.

Mr. Sainsbury : "Focus on Britain" is a series of programmes for American television produced by the British consulate general in Los Angeles in association with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The series is designed to help promote British interests--principally exports and services--in the United States. Seventy-five per cent. of production and other costs are met by sponsorship from British companies and organisations. Twenty-five per cent. is paid for by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.


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No money has been paid to either Fox Television or the Discovery Channel for production costs. Fox Television was paid a total of $252,525 for airtime in 1988 and $121,175 in 1987. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office's 25 per cent. share of these amounts was $92, 425.

The Discovery Channel (a cable network seen in over 40 million United States homes) paid to show "Focus" programmes in 1989 and payment has also been received for in-flight showings from Virgin Atlantic Airlines.

Indian Immigrants

Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how long people are waiting on average for (a) interviews and (b) second interviews in queues 1, 2, 3 and 4 at each British post on the Indian sub-continent ; what were the comparable figures for 1988, 1987 and 1986 ; and what are the projected waiting times in 1990.

Mr. Sainsbury : Waiting times to first interview for settlement applications in the month of October in the four years 1986 to 1989, which are given in the table, show a reduction in waiting times. Few applicants in the queues require a further interview. The waiting times between first and second interviews vary considerably depending upon how quickly the applicant returns with the additional documentation requested.

I cannot, at this stage, anticipate what waiting times will be in 1990.


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Queue lengths for settlement applications                                                                     

           October                                                                                            

                     1986                1987                1988                1989                         

Post      |Queue    |Actual   |Estimated|Actual   |Estimated|Actual   |Estimated|Actual   |Estimated          

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

New Delhi |1        |2        |2        |0        |0        |0        |0        |0        |0                  

          |2        |4        |4        |3        |3        |4        |3        |4        |3                  

          |3        |8        |8        |8        |7        |6        |5        |6        |5                  

          |4        |12       |11       |10       |10       |11       |9        |9        |8                  

                                                                                                              

Bombay    |1        |3        |3        |3        |2        |2        |2        |1        |1                  

          |2        |6        |7        |6        |6        |6        |6        |6        |6                  

          |3        |9        |10       |9        |9        |9        |9        |9        |9                  

          |4        |10       |12       |10       |10       |10       |10       |10       |10                 

                                                                                                              

Dhaka     |1        |3        |3        |3        |3        |3        |3        |3        |3                  

          |2        |8        |8        |7        |7        |7        |7        |3        |3                  

          |3        |8        |8        |7        |7        |7        |7        |3        |3                  

          |4        |22       |20       |21       |21       |23       |23       |11       |9                  

                                                                                                              

Islamabad |1        |3        |3        |3        |3        |4        |3        |3        |2                  

          |2        |7        |9        |8        |9        |11       |12       |4        |5                  

          |3        |13       |14       |17       |16       |20       |18       |14       |9                  

          |4        |15       |16       |18       |26       |20       |29       |23       |13                 

                                                                                                              

Karachi   |1        |3        |3        |2        |2        |2        |1        |1        |1                  

          |2        |6        |6        |5        |5        |5        |3        |2        |2                  

          |3        |11       |11       |10       |10       |10       |7        |2        |2                  

          |4        |13       |13       |13       |13       |13       |13       |4        |4                  

Settlement queues are organised as follows:                                                                   

Q1 Persons with a claim to the right of abode, dependent relatives over 70 years, special compassionate       

cases.                                                                                                        

Q2 All spouses, and all children under 18 years.                                                              

Q3 Fiance(e)s and other applying for the first time for settlement.                                           

Q4 Re-applicants.                                                                                             

The estimated waiting time is the time given to an applicant as an indication of the time he or she must wait


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before their interview. Actual waiting time is the time an applicant will have waited since lodging his or her application.


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Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will take steps to improve the arrangements at the British High Commission in Dhaka for interviewing those applying for settlement in the United Kingdom ; and if he will arrange for security glass to be removed from interviewing booths.

Mr. Sainsbury : The arrangement for interviewing settlement applicants in Bangladesh are satisfactory and we have no plans to change them. Glass screens are provided for the security of interviewers and interpreters. They are no different from those in many public and commercial offices in this country and will not be removed.

DNA Testing

Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what arrangements he is making for blood samples, needed for DNA testing purposes to be collected in Sylhet.

Mr. Sainsbury : We have no plans to make arrangements for blood samples to be taken in Sylhet.

Contras Demobilisation

Mr. Wray : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what co-operation Her Majesty's Government will give to the United Nations in order to make the agreed process of demobilisation of the Contras effective.

Mr. Sainsbury : The United Nations has not sought our assistance in this matter.

SCOTLAND

Fisheries

Mr. Malcolm Bruce : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he is taking to eliminate the illegal use of monofilament gill nets in Scottish waters.

Mr. Lang : Orders prohibiting (a) the use of all gill nets for fishing for salmon and sea trout within half a mile of the shore and (b) the carriage of monofilament gill nets in British fishing boats within six miles of the Scottish coast came into force in 1986. This and earlier legislation is enforced by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland by means of boardings and inspection of vessels and surveillance both at sea and from the air. In addition any such nets found unattended are confiscated.

Poultry

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the number of premises requiring inspection under the provisions of the Testing of Poultry Flocks Orders in Scotland.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : It is estimated that as at June 1989 there were 4,623 flocks in Scotland falling within the various categories described in the poultry flock orders.

Accountancy Firms

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many outside accountancy firms are employed by his Department ; whether such employment is


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subject to any guidelines ; and whether he takes steps before employing an accountancy firm to discover whether that firm has been censured by Department of Trade and Industry inspectors in their inquiries under the Companies Act.

Mr. Rifkind : In 1989, my Department has employed five firms for the provision of accountancy-related services. In commissioning such work, steps are taken in accordance with departmental guidelines and account is taken of the best evidence available about the competence of firms, both at the time of invitation to tender and of appointment.

Health Service

Mr. Galbraith : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what are the estimated increases in (a) personnel and (b) finance to implement the proposals in the White Paper "Working for Patients," for the years 1989-90, 1990-91, 1991-92 and 1992-93.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : An additional £3.95 million has been allocated to the NHS in Scotland for 1989-90 to assist in the early stages of implementing the White Paper proposals. For 1990-91, my right hon. and learned Friend announced on 6 December that the provision for spending on health in Scotland is planned to increase by £220 million over the current year. This will bring the provision to over £3 billion (£3,041 million) for the first time. By 1992-93, total health expenditure will be fully £500 million higher than in the current year. In accordance with normal practice, allocations to health boards for 1990-91--including recognition of White Paper initiatives--will be determined and notified to boards in the early part of next year. It will be for boards to decide on their personnel requirements in the light of local circumstances. We fully expect that the initial extra costs will be outweighed in the longer term by improvements in the operation of services and the better management of resources.

Mr. Robin Cook : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the key aspects of health authorities' environmental policy and practices which he monitors.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : In Scotland the lead responsibility for environmental matters rests with the departments of environmental health of district and islands councils.

Health boards are responsible for monitoring their own environmental health policies and practices and for issuing medical advice as necessary. There are regular meetings between representatives of local authorities, health boards and the Scottish Office to discuss environmental health issues.

Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) how many students will be enrolled at colleges under his budgetary control in the years 1989-90, 1990-91, 1991-92 and 1992-93 ; (2) what are the projected student numbers for all the Scottish central institutions in the years 1989-90, 1990-91, 1991-92 and 1992-93.

Mr. Lang : The projected student numbers at the colleges in receipt of grant-in-aid will be set out in the Scottish commentary on public expenditure to 1992-93, which will be published in the new year.


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Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what are the existing and projected academic staff numbers for all the Scottish central institutions in the years 1989-90, 1990-91, 1991-92 and 1992-93.

Mr. Lang : The results of the 1989 census of academic staff in colleges of further and higher education in Scotland are not yet available. Projections of academic staff numbers are not made centrally.


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