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Mr. Lilley : I keep fully up to date with developments on the Inland Revenue's proposals to relocate some 2,000 headquarters posts to Nottingham.

HMSO

Mr. Wood : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what financial target he has set Her Majesty's Stationery Office for 1990.

Mr. Ryder : I have today laid a further Treasury minute setting HMSO the financial target for 1990 of achieving a profit after interest in current cost accounting terms of £2.9 million. This compares with the target for 1989 of a profit after interest in current cost accounting terms of £1.7 million.

Public Servants

Mr. Wood : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will make a statement about the Government's policy of abating the pensions of retired public servants who are re-employed in the public service.

Mr. Ryder : The Government have been reviewing the current abatement policy and has decided upon a change. In future, the pay or pension of retired public servants will no longer generally be subject to abatement if they are re-employed in a different public service after retirement. However, those who retire early may continue to be subject to abatement until they reach the normal retirement age in the public service from which they first retired. The administrative arrangements to give effect to the change will be made as soon as possible.

Abatement will continue to apply for those who are re-employed in the same public service from which they draw pension. The review of this arrangement is not yet complete. I will make a further statement in due course.

Departmental Staff

Mr. Wood : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the number of staff in post in central Government Departments at 1 October.

Mr. Norman Lamont : On 1 October 1989 there were 565,075 staff in post in central Government Departments. Of these 497,294 were non- industrials and 67,781 were industrials. The figures for 1 April 1990 will be published next, when available.

Non-domestic Construction (VAT)

Mr. Nicholas Brown : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much revenue has been raised to date due to the ending of zero-rating on non- domestic construction.

Mr. Ryder : Details of the revenue raised in the year to date as a result of the ending of zero rating on non-domestic construction are not available.

Charities

Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he has any plans to legislate for the removal of taxation on charitable fund raising by appeals like that


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for Children In Need or to make compensatory ex-gratia payments to such appeals of equivalent amounts to any taxation deducted.

Mr. Major [holding answer 20 December 1989] : Donations to charitable appeals are not liable to income tax, corporation tax or VAT, provided the donors receive no benefit in return. One-off fund-raising events held by charities are exempt from VAT, and non-charitable bodies can also obtain VAT exemption when organising one-off events as agents of an appeal fund which has charitable status. Income tax or corporation tax may be payable where the fund-raising activities amount to trading but, by concession, the Inland Revenue does not charge tax on the profits where certain conditions are satisfied. Full details of the concession (C4) are contained in the Inland Revenue leaflet IR1 1988.

Building Societies

Mr. Beith : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what action the Building Societies Commission has taken with regard to full distribution by the Guardian building society to its members ; (2) what advice the Building Societies Commission gave to the Guardian building society and the Cheltenham and Gloucester building society in respect of prudential matters relating to the proposed merger of the two societies ;

(3) why the Building Societies Commission's advice to the Guardian building society in regard to the proposed merger with the Cheltenham and Gloucester building society had excluded the need for the Guardian building society to obtain an up-to-date valuation of its gross assets, including freehold property.

Mr. Ryder [holding answer 19 December 1989] : I refer the hon. Member to the reply to two previous questions on this matter on 11 December 1989 at column 448.


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The discussions between the building societies concerned and the Building Societies Commission are confidential. Interested parties will have an opportunity to put their representations to the hearing now scheduled by the Commission for 15 February 1990, if the special investors' and borrowers' resolutions are passed.

Cigarettes

Mr. Pendry : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer by how much the burden of excise duty and value-added tax on cigarettes has outstripped the all items retail prices index since 1979.

Mr. Ryder [holding answer 20 December 1989] : The combined excise duty and value added tax levied on a typical packet of 20 king-size cigarettes increased by 32 per cent. more than the retail prices index in the 10 years between October 1979 and October 1989.

HEALTH

Working for Patients"

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Heath (1) what is the distribution by National Health Service region, by spending head, and by spending head within each National Health Service region of the sums so far announced for the implementation of the proposals in "Working for Patients" for the financial year 1989-90 ;

(2) if he will publish a table showing the distribution between functions and National Health Service regions of the extra resources to implement "Working for Patients" including sums available for medical audit and information technology training.

Mr. Freeman : The £73 million available to the hospital and community health services in 1989-90 has been distributed as shown in the table.


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Distribution of £73 million available to the Hospital and Community Health Services to implement the proposals in the White Paper                                       

Working for Patients in 1989-90                                                                                                                                         

£ million                                                                                                                                                               

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

Northern          |0.366    |0.634    |0.015    |0.865    |0.051    |-        |0.053    |1.472    |0.080    |0.255    |0.072    |0.025    |0.397    |4.255              

Yorkshire         |0.411    |0.711    |0.042    |0.920    |0.053    |-        |0.016    |1.794    |0.113    |0.000    |0.054    |0.025    |0.307    |4.446              

Trent             |0.512    |0.887    |0.028    |0.946    |0.064    |-        |0.043    |1.260    |0.410    |0.225    |0.054    |0.050    |0.124    |4.603              

East Anglian      |0.220    |0.381    |0.032    |0.460    |0.031    |-        |0.020    |0.300    |0.000    |0.000    |0.054    |0.994    |0.112    |2.604              

North West Thames |0.427    |0.739    |0.021    |0.865    |0.051    |-        |0.107    |0.027    |0.000    |0.000    |0.072    |0.050    |0.119    |2.478              

North East Thames |0.526    |0.910    |0.030    |1.062    |0.063    |-        |0.030    |0.000    |0.000    |0.000    |0.036    |0.000    |0.171    |2.828              

South East Thames |0.463    |0.801    |0.030    |0.959    |0.060    |-        |0.084    |1.455    |0.392    |0.225    |0.054    |0.085    |0.200    |4.808              

South West Thames |0.374    |0.648    |0.018    |0.800    |0.044    |-        |0.070    |0.000    |0.000    |0.000    |0.036    |0.025    |0.162    |2.177              

Wessex            |0.307    |0.532    |0.006    |0.643    |0.042    |-        |0.032    |0.332    |0.050    |0.000    |0.036    |0.062    |0.333    |2.375              

Oxford            |0.247    |0.427    |0.112    |0.518    |0.048    |0.090    |0.040    |0.960    |0.060    |0.000    |0.036    |0.000    |0.100    |2.638              

South Western     |0.364    |0.631    |0.033    |0.738    |0.044    |-        |0.054    |0.005    |0.000    |0.000    |0.054    |0.302    |0.265    |2.490              

West Midlands     |0.587    |1.016    |0.029    |1.288    |0.077    |-        |0.017    |0.686    |0.050    |0.000    |0.072    |0.040    |0.162    |4.024              

Mersey            |0.294    |0.509    |0.041    |0.601    |0.036    |-        |0.059    |1.115    |0.060    |0.000    |0.036    |0.025    |0.138    |2.914              

North Western     |0.502    |0.869    |0.045    |1.108    |0.067    |-        |0.026    |1.044    |0.070    |0.000    |0.054    |0.000    |0.348    |4.133              

                  |------   |------   |------   |------   |------   |------   |------   |------   |------   |------   |------   |------   |------   |------             

RHAs Total        |5.600    |9.695    |0.482    |11.773   |0.731    |0.090    |0.651    |10.450   |1.285    |0.675    |0.720    |1.683    |2.938    |46.773             

Others<3>         |0.100    |0.174    |0.100    |0.227    |0.019    |0.120    |0.065    |0.453    |0.000    |0.650    |0.500    |0.000    |0.100    |2.508              

                  |------   |------   |------   |------   |------   |------   |------   |------   |------   |------   |------   |------   |------   |------             

Grant Total       |5.700    |9.869    |0.582    |12.000   |0.750    |0.210    |0.716    |10.903   |1.285    |1.325    |1.220    |1.683    |3.038    |<2>49.281          

<1> Includes RMI training.                                                                                                                                              

<2> Excludes RMI training.                                                                                                                                              

<3> Includes London post-graduate SHAs and NHSTA.                                                                                                                       

<4> A further £23.757 remains to be allocated.                                                                                                                          


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Sight Tests

Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people in the Durham area have had eye tests since April 1989 ; and what was the figure for the same period in 1988.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Statistics relating to private sight tests have not been gathered since April 1989. It is not therefore possible to supply directly comparable figures for the periods in question.

Miss Widdecombe : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to monitor the volume of private sight tests.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State is instituting a survey covering Great Britain which will begin next month. The results should be available in the early spring.

Miscarriages

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information he has concerning the number of miscarriages caused by pregnant women coming into contact with chlorydiosis infected sheep.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : We have assumed that the question was intended to refer to sheep infected with chlamydia psittaci. The information available for the years since 1984 is shown in the table :


Chlamydia B/Chlamydia Psittaci 1984-88                      

Laboratory reports to PHLS CDSC of miscarriage/abortions in 

cases of known contact with aborting sheep or who had ovine 

infections.                                                 

Year           |Total lab     |<2>Miscarriage               

               |reports       |/Abortions                   

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

1984           |410           |1                            

1986           |326           |2                            

<1>1989        |568           |2                            

               |-----         |--                           

Total          |2,516         |<2>5                         

<1>Provisional.                                             

<2>Evidence for ovine origin is difficult to determine.     

HIV-positive Children

Miss Lestor : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidelines have been issued to establishments under his control about the admission of children who are HIV positive.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The Department manages two youth treatment centres which look after adolescent boys and girls. Testing for HIV antibodies is not carried out routinely.

The centres have been advised that a young person infected with HIV antibodies could be managed satisfactorily and in the normal way until or unless the need for specialised medical treatment or nursing care became necessary. They have been further advised that the best protection for people working and living there is to adhere scrupulously to sensible and basic standards of hygiene, to ensure the close supervision of the young residents and to provide them with planned sex education curricula within their broader health education. In addition, the centres have been asked to provide staff training directed towards the understanding of infections such as AIDS and hepatitis B and their prevention.


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Adoptions

Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children from overseas countries have been adopted by British citizens during each of the last five years ; and, of this number, how many were from countries which do not operate similar adoption procedures to the United Kingdom.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : This information is not available.

Airports (Public Health)

Mr. Wilshire : To ask the Secretary of State for Heath what steps are being taken to strengthen public health regulations at Britain's international airports to reduce the risk of diseases being brought into the United Kingdom on aircraft ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Freeman : The Public Health (Aircraft) Regulations 1979 relate to incoming and outgoing aircraft and authorise measures to be taken to prevent danger to public health and the spread of infection. They are being considered within the review of the law on infectious disease control in England and Wales currently being conducted by the Department as I announced on 24 October 1989 in a reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Chelmsford (Mr. Burns) at columns 411-12.

Doctors

Mr. Galbraith : To ask the Secretary of State for Heath if he will give for each year since 1959 the number of doctors employed by the National Health Service, with each year also expressed as a percentage change of the previous year.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Comparable data are not available prior to 1971. Informtion from 1971 is as shown in the table. Prior to 1975 comparable community health service medical staff figures are not available and are therefore not included.


Year           |All doctors<1>|Percentage                   

                              |change                       

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

1971           |44,950                                      

1972           |46,498        |3.4                          

1973           |48,110        |3.5                          

1974           |49,107        |2.1                          

1975           |55,629                                      

1976           |57,167        |2.8                          

1977           |58,502        |2.3                          

1978           |60,001        |2.6                          

1979           |61,554        |2.6                          

1980           |63,130        |2.6                          

1981           |64,612        |2.3                          

1982           |65,591        |1.5                          

1983           |66,910        |2.0                          

1984           |67,282        |0.6                          

1985           |68,194        |1.4                          

1986           |68,839        |0.9                          

1987           |69,532        |1.0                          

1988           |<2>70,995     |2.1                          

<1> Includes permanent paid and honorary staff; excludes    

locum staff, hospital practitioners and clinical assistants 

in the hospital and community health services. Includes     

general medical practitioners.                              

<2> Includes 129 additional posts not shown in the main     

census, which have been returned late by regions.           


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Abortion

Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many representations he has received from (a) men and (b) women regarding abortion, in the past six months ; how many of each of those categories were (i) for and (ii) against ; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : It is not always possible to tell from a signature who wrote the letters or to distinguish between those in favour of a lower time limit or against abortion.

Research Data

Mr. John Townend : To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he will make an assessment as to the ownership of anonymised data for research purposes produced by general practitioners on computers provided by third parties.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Torridge and Devon, West (Miss Nicholson) on 13 December at column 681.

Amniocentesis Tests

Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information he has as to the rate of miscarriage in pregnant women as a result of receiving an amniocentesis ; and if he will give the source of his information.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : A recent report from the Royal College of Physicians states that the best studies suggest a 1 per cent. excess risk of spontaneous abortion following amniocentesis. (Source : Prenatal diagnosis and genetic screening. Royal College of Physicians, September 1989, paragraphs 2.33-2.35.)

Conductive Education

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much money the Government have put into Peto clinic-style rehabilitation in each of the years since 1979 at constant prices ; and what additional funding his Department has put aside for local authorities to assist such treatment over the same period.

Mr. Freeman : Information is not available in the form requested. Health authorities provide a wide range of treatment and rehabilitation services for disabled children. It is for individual authorities to allocate resources to these services in the light of their own circumstances.

Hospices

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will obtain a copy of the proceedings of the annual conference of "Help the Hospices" regarding current funding for his departmental library.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Yes.

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what funding his Department gives to the Nottingham hospice of 384 Woodborough road, Nottingham NG3 4JF.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : None. I understand that the project is funded by a trust and a contribution from local finance.


Column 376

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to bring funding arrangements for hospices in England into line with those in Scotland.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Banbury (Mr. Baldry) on 15 December at columns 846-47.

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has had from (a) the Nottingham hospice and (b) the Nottingham district health authority regarding the funding of the hospice ; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : We have received no representations from the Nottingham hospice and the district health authority regarding funding of the hospice. I understand that the health authority provides some 25 hospice beds and has given the Nottinghamshire hospice some funds until April 1990.

Midwives

Mr. Alexander : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received about the grading of those post- registration midwives whose courses began prior to 1 April 1988 ; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : We have received a number of representations since the staff and management sides of the Nursing and Midwifery Staffs Negotiating Council agreed in October 1988 on a new provision for staff who entered training after 1 April 1988. The Government have made their position clear in their response to the fourth report from the Social Services Committee 1988-89 "Resourcing the National Health Service : Midwives' Regrading 1988-89".

Elderly People

Mr. Tom Clarke : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information is available to him on services currently being provided under section 45 of the Health Services and Public Health Act 1968 which could not be provided under other legislation ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Freeman : We do not collect information in this form.

Ambulance Dispute

Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the cost of (a) board and lodgings for military personnel, (b) use of military petrol and vehicles, (c) police overtime, (d) payments to St. John Ambulance and (e) payments to the Red Cross Society so far incurred in the ambulance dispute.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Information is not available centrally of the costs of police overtime or of payments to St. John Ambulance and the Red Cross Society incurred so far in the ambulance dispute. It is understood that extra costs have been incurred by the armed forces of £0.792 million up to 30 November 1989.

Arts and Design

Mr. Fisher : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what expenditure was made by his Department on (a) the arts and (b) design in the last financial year.


Column 377

Mr. Freeman : Information is not available in the form requested.

Emergency Calls

Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many ambulance personnel have been (a) killed, (b) seriously injured and (c) slightly injured in each of the past 10 years (i) in accidents while proceeding to an emergency call and (ii) while at the scene of an emergency call.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : This information is not held centrally.

Vaccination Leaflet

Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health why the Health Education Authority has with-drawn the leaflet MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccination reference 1D19 ISBNI 85448 050 2 printed by Graphoprint 8/88 and replaced it with an edition which is identical save for the photograph of the child on the cover ; how many copies were printed of the 1988 edition ; how many remained in stock at the time of its replacement by the 1989 edition ; how many copies of the 1989 edition have been printed ; what was the reason for the replacement of the original photograph by the new one on the front of the 1989 edition ; what was the cost of the 1988 and 1989 editions ; and what was the cost of changing the photograph.

Mr. Freeman : A new edition of the MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccination leaflet (ID19) was produced only after all stocks of the original leaflet were used. A new photograph was used after Health Education Authority research indicated that the original had limited appeal.

The original leaflet cost £16,198 for 1,279,000 copies, and a reprint cost £6,095 for a further 400,000 leaflets. The new printing cost £9,785 for 850,000 leaflets, plus £400 for the new photograph.


Column 378

Self-governing Hospitals

Mr. Wareing : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what central funding is being made available for feasibility studies by hospitals considering self-governing status.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : No central funds have been allocated specifically for work on feasibility studies by hospitals which have expressed an interest in NHS trust status.

AIDS

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list (i) the numbers of HIV positive persons, (ii) the numbers of AIDS patients and (iii) the number of deaths from AIDS, in each standard region and in the United Kingdom since the AIDS epidemic began ; and if he will show (a) the numbers of haemophiliacs so affected and (b) the numbers of non-haemophiliacs so affected as a consequence of infected blood products.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley [holding answer 29 November 1989] : The table shows the total numbers of HIV positive reports, AIDS cases and deaths of people with AIDS reported to the communicable disease surveillance centre and the communicable diseases (Scotland) unit to the end of September 1989, the numbers of those who were haemophiliacs, and the numbers of non-haemophiliacs thought to have been infected through receipt of blood or blood products in the United Kingdom or abroad.

The regional breakdown is by regional health authority rather than standard regions as requested. All numbers in the tables which are fewer than 10 are represented by an asterisk to safeguard confidentiality, in line with the procedure followed in reports under the AIDS (Control) Act.


Column 377


Region                   All                                                                     Haemophiliacs                                                           Non-Haemophiliac Recipients of                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                                        |blood or blood products                                                                        

                        |HIV+                   |AIDS                   |AIDS                   |HIV+                   |AIDS                   |AIDS                   |HIV+AIDS               |AIDS                                                                   

(i)                     |cases                  |deaths                 |(iv)                   |cases                  |deaths                 |(vii)                  |cases                  |deaths                                                                 

                                                |(ii)                   |(iii)                                          |(v)                    |(vi)                                           |(viii)                 |(ix)                                           

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

Northern                |305                    |54                     |33                     |89                     |17                     |13                     |*                      |*                      |*                                              

Yorkshire               |323                    |66                     |37                     |65                     |19                     |10                     |*                      |*                      |*                                              

Trent                   |283                    |51                     |27                     |63                     |*                      |*                      |*                      |0                      |0                                              

East Anglia             |171                    |32                     |18                     |39                     |*                      |*                      |*                      |0                      |0                                              

North West Thames       |3,089                  |1,063                  |499                    |33                     |*                      |*                      |17                     |*                      |*                                              

North East Thames       |2,048                  |497                    |265                    |163                    |27                     |18                     |29                     |*                      |*                                              

South East Thames       |979                    |271                    |154                    |113                    |19                     |*                      |*                      |*                      |*                                              

South West Thames       |303                    |92                     |54                     |22                     |*                      |*                      |10                     |*                      |*                                              

Wessex                  |251                    |57                     |32                     |27                     |*                      |*                      |*                      |*                      |0                                              

Oxford                  |349                    |52                     |30                     |115                    |14                     |*                      |*                      |*                      |*                                              

South Western           |259                    |55                     |31                     |36                     |*                      |*                      |*                      |*                      |*                                              

West Midlands           |375                    |56                     |27                     |147                    |*                      |*                      |*                      |0                      |0                                              

Mersey                  |162                    |34                     |24                     |46                     |*                      |*                      |*                      |*                      |*                                              

North Western           |388                    |93                     |59                     |28                     |*                      |*                      |*                      |*                      |*                                              

Channel Islands         |20                     |*                      |*                      |*                      |0                      |0                      |0                      |0                      |0                                              

Wales                   |144                    |43                     |29                     |18                     |*                      |*                      |*                      |*                      |*                                              

Northern Ireland        |62                     |13                     |*                      |16                     |0                      |0                      |0                      |0                      |0                                              

Scotland                |1,707                  |118                    |58                     |76                     |*                      |*                      |12                     |*                      |*                                              

                        |-----                  |-----                  |-----                  |-----                  |-----                  |-----                  |-----                  |-----                  |-----                                          

Total                   |11,218                 |2,649                  |1,388                  |1,097                  |161                    |102                    |110                    |44                     |32                                             


Column 379

Speech Therapists

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will list the independent experts which have been called in to advise at the Department of Health--National Health Service manpower planning advisory group on the recruitment and retention of speech therapists ;

(2) on what dates discussions have taken place on recruitment and retention rates of speech therapists at the Department of Health--National Health Service manpower planning advisory group ; (3) over what period and in which authorities area data collection took place to inform the Department of Health--National Health Service manpower planning advisory group on recruitment and retention rates of speech therapists ;

(4) when the Department of Health--National Health Service manpower planning advisory group decided to study recruitment and retention rates of speech therapists ;

(5) which areas of speech therapy have been examined in the Department of Health--National Health Service manpower planning advisory group on recruitment and retention patterns of speech therapists.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley [holding answer 29 November 1989] : Work on the recruitment and retention of speech therapists is being undertaken as part of the national professional manpower initiative. This is a joint initiative launched in December 1987 between the Departments of Health, the manpower planning advisory group and the professional bodies concerned. The aim is to improve the quality and flow of information between the service, the professions and the Health Departments. This will enable the more informed analysis of, for example, recruitment and retention issues. For those staff groups covered by the pay review body for the professions allied to medicine, the aim is also to provide improved manpower information for the review body. The initiative covers all health authorities. The initiative has been discussed with representatives of speech therapy including a nominee from the College of Speech Therapists acting as the formal link between the college and the Department.

Benzodiazepines

Mr. Fearn : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to promote alternatives to treatment by benzodiazepine drugs in future.

Mr. Freeman [holding answer 19 December 1989] : That some patients can become addicted to benzodiazepine drugs is well known in the medical profession. This is one of the factors that doctors bear in mind when considering alternative treatment possibilities for their patients, such as counselling. What form of treatment will be more effective for particular patients is a matter for the clinical judgment of their doctors. Ministers would not wish to seek to promote particular forms of treatment, either generally or for particular groups of patients.


Column 380

DEFENCE

Nuclear Test Veterans

Mr. Haynes : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent representations he has received about providing compensation for ex-service personnel who took part in the nuclear testing programme.

Mr. Archie Hamilton : A number of representations have been made by right hon. and hon. Members and by others regarding compensation for participants in the United Kingdom's nuclear weapons test programme. As the Government have made clear on many occasions, we would be ready to pay compensation wherever the Crown's legal liability was established and where there was firm evidence to show that, on a balance of probabilities, ex- service personnel had suffered ill health as a result of exposure to radiation during the course of their duties as members of the armed forces.

British Forces, Germany

Mr. Harry Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether there are any proposals to change the level of British armed forces based in Germany.

Mr. Archie Hamilton : Conventional arms control discussions underway in Vienna concern certain categories of equipment held by the British armed forces. It is too early, however, to assess the impact of a CFE agreement on British forces in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the current manpower of (a) the Berlin Brigade, (b) the Royal Air Force in Germany and (c) the British Army of the Rhine.

Mr. Archie Hamilton : The current peacetime establishment figures are as follows :

(a) Berlin Brigade--a little under 3,000

(b) the Royal Air Force in Germany--12,182 and

(c) the British Army of the Rhine--55,200.

Low Flying

Mr. Pike : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will review the amount of low flying carried out by the Royal Air Force.

Mr. Archie Hamilton : My right hon. Friend has no plans to do so.

Defence Establishments (Security)

Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what measures he is taking to improve security at his Department's establishments in West Germany ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Archie Hamilton : It would not be appropriate to comment on individual security measures. However, a wide range of new security measures have been implemented recently in West Germany and further major measures are in prospect. Close liaison is also maintained with the Federal Republic of Germany authorities, which have primary responsibility for the prevention of terrorist crimes outside United Kingdom bases.


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