Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what accidents with nuclear weapons involving United States military forces, aircraft or ships and submarines afforded operational rights on United Kingdom territory have taken place on United Kingdom territory or in United Kingdom territorial waters since 1979.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many low-flying sorties by military jet aircraft of the NATO air forces, were carried out for the last year for which he has figures ; and what were the figures for (a) five years and (b) 10 years ago ;
(2) how many low-flying sorties by military jet aircraft of the Royal Air Force were carried out for the last year for which he has figures ; and what was the figure (a) five years and (b) 10 years ago.
Mr. Neubert : Central records are not held in a form which would allow the information requested to be readily provided. Of the total number of low-flying sorties carried out in the United Kingdom low flying system in 1988, 84 per cent. were carried out by British military aircraft, 15 per cent. by United States aircraft based in the United Kingdom and under 2 per cent. by other NATO aircraft and others by special agreement.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what are (a) the minimum and (b) the maximum heights authorised by his Department for low-flying sorties by military jet aircraft over the United Kingdom.
Mr. Neubert : Low-flying training by military jet aircraft in the United Kingdom low flying system normally take place between the heights of 2,000 ft and 250 ft. A limited amount of training by military jet aircraft is also authorised down to 100 ft in three specially designated areas in northern Scotland, central Wales and the Borders.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what are the criteria laid down by his Department for low-flying sorties by military jet aircraft over the United Kingdom, carried out by (a) the Royal Air Force and (b) other NATO air forces.
Mr. Neubert : The United Kingdom low flying system is primarily reserved for low-flying training by British military and United Kingdom- based United States air force aircraft. Other NATO air forces carry out some limited low-flying training in the United Kingdom,
Column 586normally associated with exercises or on an exchange basis, but this element accounts for under 2 per cent. of the total low-flying activity in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Amos : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether there has been any increase in the amount of low-flying activity over the Hexham constituency during the past year and during the past five years ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Neubert : Central records are not held in a form which would allow the information requested to be provided. The overall amount of low- flying activity in the United Kingdom did, however, increase in the years up to 1986, largely as a result of the introduction into service of the Tornado GR1 aircraft, but has been reasonably constant since then. I have no reason to believe that this position was not reflected in the Hexham constituency.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : A copy of the report by independent consultants has today been placed in the Library of the House. The report was commissioned by the MOD after a survey had revealed that only 1.1 per cent. of recruits to the armed forces during 1987-88 came from the ethnic minorities. My hon. Friend the Member for Kettering (Mr. Freeman) made clear at the time his wish to see more members of the ethnic minorities joining the services and asked the consultants to advise on why comparatively few applied to the services, why their applications were less likely to succeed and how the situation could be improved.
The report falls into three parts. The first deals with the results of research designed to establish attitudes towards employment generally and towards employment in the armed forces in particular. The results suggest that in most respects the attitudes of young people from the ethnic minorites are not markedly different from those of their white counterparts. However, they are less likely to consider a career in the armed forces for a number of reasons, including in many cases the fear that they will encounter racial discrimination.
The second part of the report reviews the services' existing recruitment criteria and practices as they affect the ethnic minorities. It concludes that the selection process is thorough and objective, conforming generally to the Commission for Racial Equality's code of practice and the Institute of Personnel Management's equal opportunities code. However, the report identifies scope for building upon existing good management practice and also some possible areas where indirect discrimination could arise, though there was no evidence that this was happening.
The third part of the report suggests ways in which the situation might be improved. It proposes a long-term marketing strategy to encourage a more positive attitude towards the services by young people from the ethnic minorities ; a short-term marketing strategy to target recruiting efforts more effectively towards members of the ethnic minorities who are interested in a career in the services ; an internal strategy for improving selection procedures ; and some organisational changes intended to
Column 587achieve a more co-ordinated and effective implementation of these strategies. In all the report contains 23 separate recomendations. We welcome the report and have accepted all but two of the recommendations. We intend to adopt a policy of giving positive encouragement to applications from members of the ethnic minorities. This will involve, among other things, projecting a more positive message in our advertising, making recruiting offices more welcoming, special training for recruiting staff, greater use of recruiters from the ethnic minorities in selected areas and the building up of more contact between the services and young people from the ethnic minorities. In addition, we will be introducing a more detailed form of ethnic monitoring of applicants to help us identify where special difficulties are being encountered during the selection process and we shall be looking critically at a number of the selection tests employed to ensure that any possibility of indirect discrimination is eliminated.
We are concerned at the finding that fear of racial discrimination deters members of the ethnic minorities from applying to join the services. The services are equal opportunity employers, under the terms of the Race Relations Act, and we will continue to make it clear that no form of racial discrimination will be tolerated and that all complaints will be properly investigated. Many service men and service women from the ethnic minorities are already pursuing successful careers in all three services : we intend to give greater publicity to their achievements as an encouragement to others. Implementation of the report will be closely monitored by Ministers, who attach great importance to increasing the number of recruits from the ethnic minorities, while recognising, as does the report, that a sustained effort will be required if attitudes are to be changed and that dramatic increases in the number of ethnic minority recruits are unlikely in the short term.
This last point is confirmed by the provisional results of the 1988-89 survey of applicants by ethnic origins, which show very little change from the 1987-88 results : 1.6 per cent. of applicants and 1.1 per cent. of successful recruits identified themselves as belonging to the ethnic minorities.
Copies of the final results of the 1987-88 survey and the provisional results of the 1988-89 survey have been placed in the Library of the House. As last year, the provisional 1988-89 results will be published in the Statement on the Defence Estimates.
Column 588Kevin Taylor, formerly of Wood Road lane, Summerseat, Bury, by Greater Manchester police ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list by nationality the numbers of people who have immigrated to the United Kingdom during the last 12 months for which he has figures.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The number of people accepted for settlement in the United Kingdom in 1988, analysed by individual nationality, is published in table 2 of the Home Office volume, "Control of Immigration : Statistics United Kingdom 1988" (Cmd 726). An analysis by geographical and nationality group of those accepted in the 12 months ending 30 September 1989 is published in table 1 of Home Office Statistical Bulletin, Issue 45/89, "Control of Immigration : Statistics--Third Quarter 1989". A copy of both these publications is in the Library.
Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list, in the Official Report, the total number of immigrants accepted for settlement in the United Kingdom for each year since 1974 inclusive, specifying how many in each were dependants of immigrants already settled in the United Kingdom from (a) the new Commonwealth, (b) Pakistan and (c) United Kingdom colonies.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The available information for the groups requested is shown in the following table. The figures of acceptances of spouses and dependants relate to the nationality of the spouse or dependant, not of the sponsor. They include spouses and dependants of sponsors born in the United Kingdom as well as of those who were themselves accepted for settlement, either at an earlier stage, or at the same time as the spouse or dependants. Information on spouses and children from Pakistan, along with those from India and Bangladesh, distinguishing those where the sponsor was born in the United Kingdom and those where he or she has earlier been accepted for settlement, is published in tables 3, 7 and 10 of Home Office Statistical Bulletin, Issue 44/89, "Immigration from the Indian Sub- Continent 1988", a copy of which is in the Library. However, corresponding information is not available for the other nationality groups requested.
Acceptances for settlement in total, and for spouses and dependants of certain nationalities Numbers of acceptances Total Acceptances of spouses and dependants |acceptances (all New Commonwealth<1> Pakistan Hong Kong BDTCs<2> |nationalities)|Spouses and |Elderly and |Spouses and |Elderly and |children |other |children |other |children |other |dependants |dependants |dependants --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1974 |68,880 |14,690 |<3>- |n/a |<3>- |1,140 |<3>- 1975 |82,410 |24,940 |<3>- |n/a |<3>- |1,610 |<3>- 1976 |80,740 |25,940 |<3>- |n/a |<3>- |1,500 |<3>- 1977 |69,310 |16,760 |<3>- |n/a |<3>- |1,090 |<3>- 1978 |72,330 |18,870 |<3>- |n/a |<3>- |880 |<3>- 1979 |69,670 |17,210 |<3>- |n/a |<3>- |1,040 |<3>- 1980 |69,750 |16,490 |<3>- |n/a |<3>- |1,160 |<3>- 1981 |59,060 |14,440 |<3>- |n/a |<3>- |980 |<3>- 1982 |53,870 |14,260 |<3>- |n/a |<3>- |680 |<3>- 1983 |53,460 |13,430 |<3>- |5,830 |<3>- |680 |<3>- 1984 |50,950 |13,050 |<3>- |4,910 |<3>- |790 |<3>- 1985 |55,360 |14,160 |<3>- |5,970 |<3>- |700 |<3>- 1986 |47,820 |11,460 |<3>- |4,800 |<3>- |520 |<3>- 1987 |45,980 |11,220 |<3>- |3,330 |<3>- |550 |<3>- 1988 |49,280 |11,900 |1,750 |3,610 |450 |660 |120 <1> excluding Hong Kong. <2> British Dependent Territory Citizens. <3> Figures for elderly and other dependents are shown for 1988, but for earlier years could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. n/a = not available.
Mr. John Patten : In 1988, the latest year for which figures are available, there were 1,760 prosecutions for litter offences in England and Wales. Information on prosecutions in 1989 will not be available until autumn 1990.
Mr. Tim Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) whether he has reached a decision on an inquiry into racing finances ; how the review of betting shop hours of opening, announced by the Department of Trade and Industry on 21 December 1989, fits into the general inquiry ; and what is the likely timetable of this review ;
(2) whether he is still considering the Lloyds bank report on the privatisation of the horserace totalisator board ; and when he proposes to start an inquiry into opening hours of betting shops ; and whether he will mount a wide-ranging inquiry into every aspect of racing finances.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : As to an inquiry into the financing of horse racing and greyhound racing, and the deregulation review of the opening hours of licensed betting offices, I refer my hon. Friend to my reply on 17 January to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Langbaurgh (Mr. Holt). Advice from Lloyds merchant bank on the feasibility of privatising the horserace totalisator board remains under consideration.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Controls on imitation firearms are contained in the Firearms Act 1982. The 1982 Act provides that any imitation firearm which has the appearance of being a firearm to which section 1 of the Firearms Act 1968 applies and is so constructed as to be readily convertible to
Column 590fire live ammunition, is subject to the same controls as those imposed on actual firearms by the Firearms Act 1968.
Under the 1982 Act, the test of whether an imitation firearm is readily convertible to fire live ammunition is whether it can be so converted without special skill on the part of the person converting it and the work involved does not require tools or equipment other than such as are in common use by persons carrying out construction and maintenance works in their homes.
Mr. Waddington : I refer my hon. Friend to the reply that I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Dumfries (Sir H. Monro) on 14 November at column 208, which set out proposals to amend the criteria applied to gun clubs approved by the Secretary of State under section 15 of the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988. I said that before reaching a final decision on the proposed new controls I would ask the firearms consultative committee for its views. I have now received and carefully considered the advice of the committee.
As I originally proposed, I have decided on the grounds of public safety that any club which operates a scheme of uncontrolled day or temporary membership shall no longer be approved by me. However, in response to representations which have been made to me, by the committee and by many members of the shooting community, I accept that some provision should be made to ensure that the continued recruitment of new members to gun clubs is adequately safeguarded. I shall therefore permit novice members to receive instruction in an approved club in the safe handling of firearms, but without access to ammunition, on no more than four occasions a year. Such arrangements for a novice must be made by the club secretary at least 48 hours in advance. Approved clubs will also be allowed to hold guest days, on no more than four occasions per year, when limited numbers of people known to the club may be invited to visit the club by its secretary. On these limited occasions guest members would, under constant personal supervision, be allowed to
Column 591handle firearms and ammunition. Clubs will be required to give reasonable prior notice to the local police of when they intend to hold such guest days. The police have statutory powers of inspection of approved clubs under the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988. I have also decided to implement my proposals, which the committee fully endorsed, that probationary members of approved clubs, when in possession of firearms or ammunition, must be under constant personal supervision by a range master or by a full member of the club who holds a firearm certificate, and that they should undergo a probationary period of not less than six months, during which they should receive a course of instruction on the safe handling and use of firearms. The committee will be providing further advice to me on the nature and standards of such instruction. I have also decided to implement my proposal that the number of probationary members of a club should not exceed the number of full members. Full members of approved gun clubs will continue to be allowed to become members of other approved clubs.
I have also decided that probationary members should be sponsored by one current full member of the club and one person who knows the applicant personally.
In considering individual applications by clubs for my approval, variations from these criteria may be permitted in exceptional circumstances, but considerations of public safety will always remain paramount.
I am satisfied that these new criteria for club approvals are justified in the interests of public safety.
The new criteria will be implemented with immediate effect in respect of any new applications for approval. Clubs currently approved will be advised of the changes and permitted a reasonable time in which to comply with the revised criteria.
I understand that my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland will adopt the same policy for his approval of clubs.
Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many searches of the national joint unit records were undertaken following a request by police officers at ports of entry in each year from 1980 to 1989, inclusive.
Mr. Waddington [holding answer 17 January 1990] : The information requested is not recorded separately. The number of searches of national joint unit records following requests from police officers either at ports of entry or elsewhere was as follows :
|Number ------------------------ 1980 |48,090 1981 |50,687 1982 |44,696 1983 |44,906 1984 |47,779 1985 |55,328 1986 |59,481 1987 |81,060 1988 |77,472 1989 |101,766
It is thought that the majority of these searches were carried out in response to requests by police officers at ports.
The Prime Minister : I have received a number of representations, all of which have welcomed the end of Ceausescu's tyranny and the prospect of democracy in Romania. My right hon. Friend the Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, recently visited that country. The Government have donated 1.8 tonnes of medical supplies and have so far contributed £1.42 million towards food and medium-term economic aid to Romania through the European Community.
Column 593the misuse of drugs in the latest available year in terms of (a) education support grant and (b) in-service training programmes.
Mr. Alan Howarth : Allocations to local education authorities under the new education support grant for preventive health education, and the associated LEA training grants scheme national priority area, both of which give priority to education about drugs, are as follows :
Allocations to Local Education Authorities for Preventive Health Education in 1990-91 |Education |LEA Training |Support |Grant Scheme |Grant -------------------------------------------------------------- London Boroughs |£'000 |£'000 Barking and Dagenham |16.8 |10.0 Barnet |25.0 |17.0 Bexley |25.0 |14.0 Brent |25.0 |14.0 Bromley |25.0 |15.0 Camden |25.0 |8.0 Croydon |25.0 |18.0 Ealing |26.2 |15.0 Enfield |28.5 |16.0 Greenwich |23.0 |14.0 Hackney |25.0 |10.0 Hammersmith & Fulham |23.0 |7.0 Haringey |25.0 |11.0 Harrow |25.0 |13.0 Havering |20.0 |15.0 Hillingdon |25.0 |13.0 Hounslow |32.7 |13.0 Islington |25.0 |9.0 Kensington and Chelsea |25.0 |5.0 Kingston-upon-Thames |30.8 |8.0 Lambeth |26.6 |11.0 Lewisham |25.0 |13.0 Merton |25.0 |9.0 Newham |53.1 |15.0 Redbridge |25.0 |13.0 Richmond-upon-Thames |25.0 |7.0 Southwark |38.0 |12.0 Sutton |18.9 |10.0 Tower Hamlets |25.0 |10.0 Waltham Forest |25.0 |13.0 Wandsworth |25.0 |11.0 Westminster |25.0 |7.0 Metropolitan Districts Barnsley |25.0 |14.0 Birmingham |140.9 |72.0 Bolton |25.0 |19.0 Bradford |45.9 |35.0 Bury |24.2 |11.0 Calderdale |25.0 |14.0 Coventry |27.0 |21.0 Doncaster |27.2 |21.0 Dudley |25.0 |20.0 Gateshead |25.0 |12.0 Kirklees |32.0 |26.0 Knowsley |72.0 |11.0 Leeds |59.7 |44.0 Liverpool |44.0 |33.0 Manchester |38.8 |31.0 Newcastle upon Tyne |29.8 |17.0 North Tyneside |25.0 |13.0 Oldham |26.2 |16.0 Rochdale |25.0 |15.0 Rotherham |25.0 |18.0 St. Helens |25.0 |14.0 Salford |25.0 |15.0 Sandwell |25.0 |21.0 Sefton |32.7 |19.0 Sheffield |44.2 |31.0 Solihull |23.6 |14.0 South Tyneside |25.0 |11.0 Stockport |25.6 |19.0 Sunderland |23.0 |21.0 Tameside |25.0 |15.0 Trafford |25.0 |13.0 Wakefield |27.4 |20.0 Walsall |25.0 |19.0 Wigan |29.4 |23.0 Wirral |51.0 |22.0 Wolverhampton |- |17.0 Shire Counties Isles of Scilly |0.5 |- Avon |80.0 |57.0 Bedfordshire |42.7 |36.0 Berkshire |54.3 |47.0 Buckinghamshire |52.5 |39.0 Cambridgeshire |54.6 |41.0 Cheshire |51.0 |66.0 Cleveland |32.5 |41.0 Cornwall |33.8 |29.0 Cumbria |42.0 |32.0 Derbyshire |48.4 |59.0 Devon |75.0 |58.0 Dorset |46.3 |35.0 Durham |42.0 |40.0 East Sussex |40.0 |35.0 Essex |61.5 |97.0 Gloucestershire |42.9 |34.0 Hampshire |90.7 |94.0 Hereford and Worcester |54.9 |43.0 Hertfordshire |58.0 |65.0 Humberside |62.6 |58.0 Isle of Wight |25.0 |8.0 Kent |74.5 |95.0 Lancashire |100.0 |94.0 Leicestershire |43.4 |59.0 Lincolnshire |40.0 |36.0 Norfolk |58.6 |45.0 North Yorkshire |35.9 |43.0 Northamptonshire |42.6 |40.0 Northumberland |18.4 |20.0 Nottinghamshire |48.5 |64.0 Oxfordshire |41.5 |32.0 Shropshire |33.5 |27.0 Somerset |36.1 |29.0 Staffordshire |66.5 |69.0 Suffolk |51.4 |39.0 Surrey |44.1 |53.0 Warwickshire |40.0 |32.0 West Sussex |51.8 |39.0 Wiltshire |44.9 |36.0 |----- |----- Total |4,000 |3,000
Mr. Hannam : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is his Department's estimate of (a) the average and (b) the maximum amount payable from the access funds ; and whether any such estimates were taken into account when calculating the amount of money allocated to the funds.
Mr. Jackson : The amount payable to individual students will be at the discretion of the higher and further education institutions which will be administering the access funds from this autumn. It is not therefore possible to make estimates of the sort requested. The overall provision for the funds reflects the Government's judgment of what is affordable and appropriate to meet the funds' objectives.
Mr. Hannam : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what percentage of the disabled students listed in his answer to the hon. Member for Exeter of 16 November, Official Report, columns 382-83, received no disabled students' allowance because they were in receipt of minimum grant.
In 1987-88, the latest year for which figures are available, 25 per cent. of all mandatory award holders received no maintenance payments from their local education authorities because their parents', their spouses' or their own assessed contribution was sufficient to cover the entire grant entitlement. It is not known whether the same proportion applies to students qualifying for the disabled students allowance.
In the academic years 1985-86 to 1987-88, the latest year for which figures are available, amounts assessed in respect of the disabled students allowance were as follows (cash prices) :
|£ ------------------------ 1985-86 |106,036 1986-87 |192,123 1987-88 |157,586
The sums actually paid by LEAs will be less than this because parental, spouses' and students' own contribution to the grant will in some cases be sufficient to cover a proportion of the assessed disabled students allowance.
Mr. Jackson : The access funds are intended to help students who are in financial difficulties in spite of the availability of top-up loans, not because of them. A total of £1.4 million has been allocated to the Scottish Education Department for distribution to students at non- university higher and further education institutions in Scotland. Universities in Scotland will receive an allocation for their students from the Universities Funding Council. The council's total allocation is £5.6 million and it is for it to decide how much to allocate to individual universities.
Mr. Fatchett : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he expects to set up the national curriculum working parties in (a) music, (b) art and (c) physical education ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Straw : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what assessment he has made of the sufficiency and adequacy of supply of books and equipment appropriate to deliver the national curriculum.
Mr. MacGregor : Since the national curriculum builds on current best practice, large-scale replacement of books and equipment should be unnecessary. The adequacy of current stocks for the national curriculum will vary between LEAs and schools. The Government are using the education support grant mechanism to support expenditure on books and equipment for this purpose. Otherwise, it is for each local education authority to determine how to deploy the total resources available to it in order to meet the requirements of the national curriculum, including for books.
Ms. Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is his policy on the payment of capital costs in respect of the establishment of a Haberdashers' Aske's city technology college in Deptford while it remains open to the governors of the present Haberdashers' Aske's schools to withdraw the notices to discontinue these schools.
Mrs. Rumbold : No capital grant payments have yet been made by my right hon. Friend for the establishment of a Haberdashers' Aske's city technology college. The timing of payments, and what capital costs they meet, will depend on a number of factors including the power of the governing body of the schools to withdraw notice to discontinue the schools.
Column 597Mr. MacGregor : The Government are aware that many parents are willing to contribute additional financial support to schools, and welcome that. But my Department does not collect data on the scale of such contributions, or the uses to which they are put. Her Majesty's inspectorate collects some information as part of its routine inspection of schools, but not on a systematic basis. Its most recent assessment is set out in paragraph 56 of the senior chief inspector's first annual report, "Standards in Education 1987-88". A copy is available in the Library.