Home Page

Column 891

Written Answers to Questions

Friday 26 January 1990


Haberdashers' Aske's Schools

Ms. Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will take steps to ensure that pupils registered at the five north Lewisham sixth form consortium schools, who begin the study of any of their A-level courses at the Haberdashers' Aske's school in September, will be able to complete the second year of those courses without interruption or disruption due to the conversion of the Aske's schools to a city technology college in September 1991.

Mrs. Rumbold : The Haberdashers' Company has repeatedly stated its wish that the Haberdashers' Aske's city technology college, once established, should remain within the north Lewisham sixth form consortium. How this is achieved will be a matter for the governing body of the CTC and for the London borough of Lewisham.

Governing Bodies, Humberside

Mr. Cran : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he expects to be able to reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Beverley of 19 September 1989 regarding local education authority representatives on school governing bodies in Humberside.

Mrs. Rumbold : I wrote to my hon. Friend on 22 January explaining the current position.

Departmental Circulars

Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will list the title and numbers of all his Department's circulars issued since June 1979 ; and what action has been taken to ensure that they have been implemented.

Mrs. Rumbold : Following is a list of the titles and numbers of all circulars issued since June 1979. Circulars give guidance on the implementation of Government policy on education matters and progress is kept under review in a number of ways.

Circular                                                 |Date                                                    |Title                                                                                                            



Circulars 1979                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

 1/79                                                    |24 January                                              |Rate Support Grant Settlement 1979-80                                                                            

 2/79                                                    |29 March                                                |The Government's Expenditure Plans                                                                               

                                                                                                                  |  (Cmnd. 7439): Implications for Local                                                                           

                                                                                                                  |  Authority Expenditure 1979-83                                                                                  

 3/79                                                    |27 March                                                |Tuition Fees in Further Education                                                                                

                                                                                                                  |  1979-80                                                                                                        

 4/79                                                    | 9 July                                                 |Local Authority Expenditure in 1979-80                                                                           

 5/79                                                    |12 July                                                 |Tuition Fees and Admissions to Further                                                                           

  Education Establishments and Awards                                                                                                                                                                                               

  1979-80: Race Relations Act 1976                                                                                                                                                                                                  


Amendments to Circulars                                                                                                                                                                                                             

                                                         |31 October                                              |Circular 295 (Amendment No. 22)                                                                                  

                                                                                                                  |Education Grants for Service Children                                                                            

                                                                                                                  |[Circular 295 Issued 8 November 1955]                                                                            


Circulars 1980                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

 1/80                                                    | 2 May                                                  |Education Act 1980                                                                                               

 2/80                                                    |14 July                                                 |Procedure affecting proposals made under                                                                         

                                                                                                                  |Sections 12-16 of The Education Act                                                                              



Amendments to Circulars                                                                                                                                                                                                             

                                                         |10 June                                                 |Circular 295 (Amendment No. 23)                                                                                  

                                                                                                                  |Education Grants for Service Children                                                                            

                                                                                                                  |[Circular 295 issued 8 November 1955]                                                                            

                                                         |10 October                                              |Circular 295 (Amendment No. 24)                                                                                  

                                                                                                                  |Education Grants for Service Children                                                                            

                                                                                                                  |[Circular 295 issued 8 November 1955]                                                                            


Circulars 1981                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

 1/81                                                    | 5 March                                                |Education Act 1980:                                                                                              

                                                                                                                  |Admission to Schools, Appeals,                                                                                   

                                                                                                                  |Publication of Information and School                                                                            

                                                                                                                  |Attendance Orders (Sections 6-11 and Schedule 2)                                                                 

 2/81                                                    |16 June                                                 |Falling Rolls and Surplus Places                                                                                 

 3/81                                                    |23 June                                                 |Boarding Education for Service Children                                                                          

 4/81                                                    |30 June                                                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                  |School Government                                                                                                

 5/81                                                    |31 July                                                 |Directive of the Council of the European                                                                         

                                                                                                                  |Community on the Education of the                                                                                

                                                                                                                  |Children of Migrant Workers                                                                                      

 6/81                                                    | 1 October                                              |The School Curriculum                                                                                            

 7/81                                                    |21 October                                                                                                                                                                

                                                                                                                  |Sections 27 and 33(3): Regulations                                                                               

 8/81                                                    | 7 December                                             |Education Act 1981                                                                                               


Circulars 1982                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

 1/82                                                    | 9 February                                             |Approval of Advanced Further                                                                                     

                                                                                                                  |Education Courses in England                                                                                     

 2/82                                                    |   April                                                |RE: Disabled Persons Act 1981                                                                                    

 3/82                                                    |27 May                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                                                                  |Discontinuance of Maintained Special Schools                                                                     

 4/82                                                    | 8June                                                  |Statutory Proposals for Secondary                                                                                

                                                                                                                  |Schools and Falling Rolls                                                                                        

 5/82                                                    |25 June                                                 |Approval of Advanced Further Education                                                                           

                                                                                                                  |Courses in England: Revised Arrangements                                                                         

 6/82                                                    | 8 Sepember                                             |The Youth Training Scheme: Implication                                                                           

                                                                                                                  |for the Education Service                                                                                        

 7/82                                                    |15 October                                              |Education Act 1980, Sections 27 and                                                                              

                                                                                                                  |33(3): Regulations: Teachers                                                                                     


Circulars 1983                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

 1/83                                                    |31 January                                              |Assessments and Statements of Special                                                                            

                                                                                                                  |Educational Needs                                                                                                

 2/83                                                    |18 February                                             |The Initial Training and Qualification for                                                                       

                                                                                                                  |Teaching of Holders of Certain Specialist Qualifications                                                         

 3/83                                                    |31 March                                                |The In-Service Teacher Training Grants Scheme                                                                    

 4/83                                                    |14 July                                                 |Arrangements for The Approval of Advanced                                                                        

                                                                                                                  |Further Education Courses in England                                                                             

 5/83                                                    |22 July                                                 |Reduction of Teaching Posts in Advanced                                                                          

                                                                                                                  |Further Education: Redundancy Compensation                                                                       

 6/83                                                    | 2 November                                             |The Approval of Special Schools                                                                                  

 7/83                                                    | 6 December                                             |Education Act 1980: Application of                                                                               

                                                                                                                  |Section 2 to Maintained Special School                                                                           

 8/83                                                    | 8 December                                             |The School Curriculum                                                                                            


Circulars 1984                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

.1/84                                                    |30 January                                              |Crime Prevention                                                                                                 

 2/84                                                    |29 March                                                |Certification of Local Authority Claims                                                                          

                                                                                                                  |for Exchequer Grants and Subsidies                                                                               

 3/84                                                    |13 April                                                |Initial Teacher Training: Approval of                                                                            


 4/84                                                    |4 May                                                   |The In-Service Teacher Training Grants                                                                           


 5/84                                                    |10 July                                                 |Arrangements for the Approval of                                                                                 

                                                                                                                  |Advanced Further Education Courses in England, 1985-86                                                           

 6/84                                                    |18 July                                                 |Education Support Grants                                                                                         

 7/84                                                    |15 October                                              |Education Act 1980: Application of                                                                               

                                                                                                                  |Sections 2 and 3 to all maintained schools                                                                       


Circulars 1985                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

1/85                                                     |26 March                                                |Youth Service                                                                                                    

2/85                                                     |16 April                                                |Arrangements for the Approval of                                                                                 

                                                                                                                  |Advanced Further Education Courses                                                                               

                                                                                                                  |in England, 1986-87                                                                                              

3/85                                                     |5 June                                                  |The In-service Teacher Training Grants                                                                           


4/85                                                     |28 June                                                 |The Future of one-year Certificate in                                                                            

                                                                                                                  |Education Courses for Secondary                                                                                  

                                                                                                                  |Teachers of Business Studies and of                                                                              

                                                                                                                  |Craft, Design and Technology                                                                                     

5/85                                                     |7 August                                                |Education Support Grants                                                                                         

5/85                                                     |Addendum                                                |Education Support Grants: Midday                                                                                 

                                                         |20 December                                             |Supervision in Schools                                                                                           

6/85                                                     |16 September                                            |The Further Education Act 1985:                                                                                  

                                                                                                                  |Commercial Activities in Further                                                                                 



Circulars 1986                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

1/86                                                     |2 January                                               |The In-Service Teacher Training Grants                                                                           

                                                                                                                  |Scheme: Arrangements for the                                                                                     

                                                                                                                  |Academic Year 1986-87 and Revised                                                                                

                                                                                                                  |Arrangements to Support GCSE                                                                                     

                                                                                                                  |Training in the Academic Year 1985-86                                                                            

2/86                                                     |10 February                                             |School Attendance and Education                                                                                  

                                                                                                                  |Welfare Services                                                                                                 

3/86                                                     |21 April                                                |Arrangements for the Approval of                                                                                 

                                                                                                                  |Advanced Further Education Courses                                                                               

                                                                                                                  |in England, 1986-87 and 1987-88                                                                                  

4/86                                                     |17 July                                                 |Protection of Children: Disclosure of                                                                            

                                                                                                                  |Criminal Background of those with                                                                                

                                                                                                                  |Access to Children                                                                                               

5/86                                                     |25 June                                                 |Education Support Grants                                                                                         

6/86                                                     |29 August                                               |Local Education Authority Training                                                                               

                                                                                                                  |Grants Scheme: Financial Year 1987-88                                                                            

7/86                                                     |29 August                                               |Approval of Courses of Further Training                                                                          

                                                                                                                  |for School and Further Education                                                                                 

                                                                                                                  |Teachers in England 1987-88 and                                                                                  

                                                                                                                  |Notification of Intended Arrangements                                                                            

                                                                                                                  |for 1988-89                                                                                                      

8/86                                                     |19 December                                             |Education (No. 2) Act 1986                                                                                       


Circulars 1987                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

1/87                                                     |18 February                                             |Follow up to HMI Reports                                                                                         

2/87                                                     |17 March                                                |Education (Publication of Proposals to                                                                           

                                                                                                                  |Change Status of a Controlled School)                                                                            

                                                                                                                  |Regulations 1987                                                                                                 

3/87                                                     | 6 May                                                  |Providing for Quality: The Pattern of                                                                            

                                                                                                                  |Organisation to Age 19                                                                                           

4/87                                                     |13 May                                                  |Arrangements for the approval of                                                                                 

                                                                                                                  |Advanced Further Education Courses                                                                               

                                                                                                                  |in England, 1977-78 and 1988-89                                                                                  

5/87                                                     |15 May                                                  |School Teachers' Pay and Conditions of                                                                           


6/87                                                     |24 July                                                 |Education (No. 2) Act 1986; Regulations                                                                          

                                                                                                                  |made under Sections 51, 61, and 62 and                                                                           

                                                                                                                  |3rd Commencement Order                                                                                           

7/87                                                     | 7 August                                               |Education (No. 2) Act 1986: Further                                                                              


8/87                                                     |11 August                                               |School Teachers' Pay and Conditions of                                                                           


9/87                                                     |26 August                                               |Local Education Authority Training                                                                               

                                                                                                                  |Grants Scheme: Financial Year                                                                                    


10/87                                                    |26 August                                               |Approval for Courses of Further Training                                                                         

                                                                                                                  |for School and Further Education                                                                                 

                                                                                                                  |Teachers in England 1988-89                                                                                      

11/87                                                    |25 September                                            |Sex Education at School                                                                                          


Circulars 1988                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

1/88                                                     |22 January                                              |Physical and Mental Fitness to Teach of                                                                          

                                                                                                                  |Teachers and of Entrants to Teacher                                                                              


2/88                                                     |1 February                                              |Disabled Persons (Services Consultation                                                                          

                                                                                                                  |and Representation) Act 1986-                                                                                    

                                                                                                                  |Implementation Section 5 and 6 LAC                                                                               


3/88                                                     |16 June                                                 |School Teachers Pay and Conditions of                                                                            


4/88                                                     |6 July                                                  |Working Together for the Protecton of                                                                            

                                                                                                                  |Children from Abuse: Procedures                                                                                  

                                                                                                                  |within the Education Service                                                                                     

5/88                                                     |15 August                                               |Local Education Authority Training                                                                               

                                                                                                                  |Grants Scheme: Finance Year 1989-90                                                                              

6/88                                                     |18 August                                               |The Transfer of Responsibility for                                                                               

                                                                                                                  |Education in Inner London                                                                                        

7/88                                                     |6 September                                             |Education Reform Act: Local                                                                                      

                                                                                                                  |Management of Schools                                                                                            

8/88                                                     |12 September                                            |Education Reform Act 1988: Governance                                                                            

                                                                                                                  |of Maintained Further Education                                                                                  


9/88                                                     |13 September                                            |Education Reform Act 1988: Local                                                                                 

                                                                                                                  |Management of Further and Higher                                                                                 

                                                                                                                  |Education Colleges: Planning and                                                                                 

                                                                                                                  |Delegation Schemes and Articles of                                                                               


10/88                                                    |14 October                                              |Education Act 1988: Grant Maintained                                                                             


11/88                                                    |20 October                                              |Admission of Pupils to County and                                                                                

                                                                                                                  |Voluntary schools                                                                                                

12/88                                                    |9 December                                              |Joint Circular Home Office/Department                                                                            

                                                                                                                  |of Education and Science/Department                                                                              

                                                                                                                  |of Health and Welsh Office-Protection                                                                            

                                                                                                                  |of Children: Disclosure of Criminal                                                                              

                                                                                                                  |Background of those with Access to                                                                               



Circulars 1989                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

1/89                                                     |9 January                                               |Education Reform Act 1988:                                                                                       

                                                                                                                  |Local Arrangements for the                                                                                       

                                                                                                                  |Consideration of Complaints                                                                                      

2/89                                                     |12 January                                              |Education Reform Act 1988:                                                                                       

                                                                                                                  |Charges for School Activities                                                                                    

3/89                                                     |20 January                                              |Education Reform Act 1988:                                                                                       

                                                                                                                  |Religious Education and Collective                                                                               


4/89                                                     |20 February                                             |Alcohol Misuse                                                                                                   

5/89                                                     |22 February                                             |Education Reform Act 1988:                                                                                       

                                                                                                                  |The School Curriculum and Assessment                                                                             

6/89                                                     |7 March                                                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                  |National Curriculum: Mathematics                                                                                 

                                                                                                                  |and Science Orders under Section 4                                                                               

7/89                                                     |22 March                                                |The Teachers (Compensation for                                                                                   

                                                                                                                  |Redundancy and Premature                                                                                         

                                                                                                                  |Retirement) Regulations 1989                                                                                     

8/89                                                     |4 April                                                 |Ethnically-based Statistics on School                                                                            


9/89                                                     |19 May                                                  |Education Reform Act 1988:                                                                                       

                                                                                                                  |Modern Foreign Languages in the                                                                                  

                                                                                                                  |National Curriculum                                                                                              

10/89                                                    |31 May                                                  |Education Reform Act 1988:                                                                                       

                                                                                                                  |National Curriculum: English Key                                                                                 

                                                                                                                  |Stage One Order under Section 4                                                                                  

11/89                                                    |31 May                                                  |Education Reform Act 1988:                                                                                       

                                                                                                                  |Statutory Approval of Qualifications                                                                             

                                                                                                                  |under Section 5                                                                                                  

12/89                                                    |30 May                                                  |School Teachers Pay and Conditions of                                                                            


13/89                                                    |9 June                                                  |Local Management of Schools and                                                                                  

                                                                                                                  |Further and Higher Education                                                                                     

                                                                                                                  |Colleges: Order Under Section 222 of                                                                             

                                                                                                                  |the Education Reform Act 1988                                                                                    

14/89                                                    |12 June                                                 |Education (School Curriculum and                                                                                 

                                                                                                                  |Related Information) Regulations 1989                                                                            

15/89                                                    |11 July                                                 |Education Reform Act 1988: Temporary                                                                             

                                                                                                                  |Exceptions from the National Curriculum                                                                          

16/89                                                    |25 July                                                 |Ethnically-based Statistics on School                                                                            


17/89                                                    |27 July                                                 |The Education (School Records)                                                                                   

                                                                                                                  |Regulations 1989                                                                                                 

18/89                                                    |16 August                                               |The Education (Teachers) Regulations                                                                             


19/89                                                    |17 August                                               |Adult Continuing Education and the                                                                               

                                                                                                                  |Education Reform Act 1988: Planning                                                                              

                                                                                                                  |and Delegation Schemes                                                                                           

20/89                                                    |18 August                                               |Local Education Authority Training                                                                               

                                                                                                                  |Grants Scheme: Financial Year 1990-91                                                                            

21/89                                                    |23 August                                               |Grant-Maintained Schools: Financial                                                                              


22/89                                                    |29 September                                            |Assessments and Statements of Special                                                                            

                                                                                                                  |Educational Needs: Procedures within                                                                             

                                                                                                                  |the Education, Health and Social                                                                                 


23/89                                                    |8 November                                              |Special Schools for Pupils with Emotional                                                                        

                                                                                                                  |and Behavioural Difficulties                                                                                     

24/89                                                    |10 November                                             |Initial Teacher Training: Approval of                                                                            


National Union of Teachers

Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on proposals to restore negotiation rights to the National Union of Teachers.

Mrs. Rumbold : My right hon. Friend held a series of meetings with the teacher unions, including the National Union of Teachers, in October and November last year to discuss new pay determination arrangements. He is considering carefully the points made to him then. Further meetings will take place in due course.

Collective Worship

Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on the representations he has received concerning collective worship in schools.

Mrs. Rumbold : My right hon. Friend has received various representations concerning collective worship in schools.

National Curriculum

Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the cost to the Exchequer of implementing the national curriculum.

Mrs. Rumbold : The cost of delivering the national curriculum will be met largely by the redirection of existing resources. However, we are giving local education authorities specific grant support to help with implementation. In this financial year, some £70 million will be available from the Exchequer through education support grants and LEA training grants to support some £100

Column 896

million LEA expenditure for this purpose. This is in addition to general rate support grant which local authorities may use to implement the national curriculum.

Some £20 million of Exchequer funds will additionally be deployed on central expenditure on the national curriculum, including the running costs of the National Curriculum Council and the School Examinations and Assessment Council and the costs of developing standard assessment tasks.


Ms. Armstrong : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what submissions the committee examining the education of the under -fives has received ; and if he will place copies in the Library.

Mrs. Rumbold : The organisations and individuals listed in the table have submitted written evidence to the committee. Most organisations have made their submissions public, but the committee does not feel free to make the views of individuals more widely available. In these circumstances it does not propose to place copies of the evidence in the Library.

Association of Metropolitan Authorities

British Association for Early Childhood Education

Children's Theatre Association

Community Education Development Centre

Early Years Curriculum Lobby and National Campaign for Nursery Education (Joint Submission)

Geographical Association

National Association for Gifted Children Ltd.

National Childminding Association

National Curriculum Council

National Association of Head Teachers

Northamptonshire Early Childhood Centre

Rachel McMillan Nursery School

Pre-School Playgroups Association

Save the Children

Society of Education Officers

Sheffield Metropolitan Division of the National Union of Teachers Trades Union Congress

Universities Council for the Education of Teachers

University of Warwick Department of Education

Voluntary Organisation Liaison Council for under Fives Mr. C. Blyth and Mr. F. Wallace

Mrs. J. M. Burns

Mr. M. Hiscox

Ms. Beryl Johnson

Mrs. Carolyn A. Jones

Ms. Jane Kirby

Ms. M. Lally

Mrs. M. Lewis

Ms. Caroline Matusiak

Mrs. Janet Morris

Marjorie Ouvry

Mrs. Mary Richardson

Ms. Christine Stevenson

Mr. J. Thackray and Ms. F. Sturt

Jay Trevis

Ms. H. Waddup and Ms. M. Randell

Ms. Sylvia Walker

Ms. Dorothy Wedge


Mr. Patrick Thompson : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what conclusion he has reached on the proposals for the future for the computer board for the universities and research councils, issued for consultation on 15 September 1989 ; and if he will make a statement.

Column 897

Mr. MacGregor : The computer board is, like the former University Grants Committee, a non-statutory and strictly advisory body. The consultation proposals were for re-establishment of the board's functions with a new executive character within the Universities Funding Council (UFC) ; and for the relocation of the board's secretariat from London to Bristol, alongside the two higher education funding councils in 1991.

In the light of responses to the consultation exercise, particularly from the board and the UFC, I now confirm these proposals. Detailed arrangements will now be made to secure the change of status as soon as is practicable and, in any case, by not later than the date of the move to Bristol. As part of these arrangements, lead responsibility for supercomputing matters will, as recommended by the Advisory Board for the Research Councils, be transferred to the research councils.

I pay tribute to the achievements of the board to date in relation to not only universities but the wider academic and research community. These proposals recognise that success and, against the background of changes in computing generally and the development of university funding arrangements under the Education Reform Act 1988, pave the way for this to be carried forward into the 1990s.

Column 898

Grant-maintained Schools

Mr. Ian Bruce : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science when letters will be sent to grant-maintained schools setting out their capital allocations for the financial year 1990-91.

Mrs. Rumbold : Letters are being sent today to existing grant- maintained schools and those approved as grant-maintained schools from April 1990 setting out allocations of capital grant totalling £6.6 million for the financial year 1990-91. A further sum of up to £1.9 million is available to meet commitments and contingencies, including the needs of schools coming into the sector after 1 April 1990.

Following bids from the schools, £5.8 million of the £6.6 million is allocated to named projects and £0.3 million is for committed expenditure resulting from projects in progress before the schools became grant-maintained.

The remaining £0.5 million is being allocated through a small formula- based capital allocation for each grant-maintained school. Governing bodies will be able to use this allocation for items of capital equipment and small capital works which, because of their relatively small size, were outside the scope of the capital bidding system adopted for grant- maintained schools.

Priority in the allocations has been given to schools' most pressing needs, including projects related to the health and safety of pupils. The allocations will also help with the introduction of the national curriculum.

The following is a list of the allocations :

Column 897

Capital allocations for grant-maintained schools in 1990-91                     

All figures are in £000s                                                        

Roof repair                                                                     

Column 901


Overseas Development Natural Resources Unit

Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what consultations he had with the users and clients of the overseas development natural resources unit, Chatham, prior to his decision to turn it into a statutory agency ; if he will summarise any responses ; and if he will state the effects on payments to and the nature of services profferred arising out of the change of status.

Mrs. Chalker : The decision to accord agency status to the Overseas Development Natural Resources Institute (ODNRI) on 1 April 1990 was based on careful study of the needs of ODA customer departments, which are the institute's main source of income, and of the likely demand for its services from other aid donors. The broad conclusion was that ODNRI had a continuing and important role to play in the sustainable development of natural resources across the developing world.

ODNRI's principal objectives as an agency will be to maintain its international reputation and comparative advantage as a source of multidisciplinary, problem-solving expertise ; to reflect in its work the particular needs of the British aid programme ; to undertake work for other aid donors ; and to extend and strengthen links with scientific institutions and universities in Britain and overseas. ODNRI will remain part of the ODA. Payments for its services will be based on the full economic costs of providing them. The institute's skill base and the services that it offers will depend, as now, on the demands of its customers, acting on behalf of the ultimate beneficiaries of its work in developing countries. The institute will be free to expand if demand for its expertise justifies this.


Planning Applications

Mr. Mallon : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on how many occasions, for each year since 1980, applications for planning permission were refused by the Department of the Environment town and country planning division on the grounds of unsuitable road access ; and if he will give details for each district council area.

Mr. Needham [holding answer 19 January 1990] : This information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.


Hong Kong

Mr. Parry : To ask the Prime Minister if she will make a statement on her recent meeting with Dame Lydia Dunn and Mr. Allen Lee concerning the future of Hong Kong.

The Prime Minister : I had a useful meeting with Dame Lydia Dunn and Mr. Allen Lee, the two Senior Members of the Office of the Members of the Executive and Legislative Councils, on 23 January. I listened very carefully to what they had to say about Hong Kong's

Column 902

constitutional development. I assured them that we would take their views into account in taking our decisions about this important matter.


Mr. Fearn : To ask the Prime Minister if, pursuant to the answers given to the hon. Member for Christchurch (Mr. Adley) in the Official Report, 27 November 1989, column 92, and to the hon. Member for Gordon (Mr. Bruce) in the Official Report, 1 December 1989, column 446, she will list those occasions since 1 January 1987 when she has travelled on official business on a British Rail train.

The Prime Minister : I have nothing further to add to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Christchurch (Mr. Adley) on 27 November at column 92.


Power Generation

Mr. Benn : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy on how many occasions since May 1979 he or Ministers of his Department stated (a) in Parliament and (b) outside Parliament that

nuclear-generated power is cheaper than coal-generated power.

Mr. Wakeham : Such statements are not recorded centrally, and the information requested could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. However, I draw the right hon. Member's attention to my statement to the House on 9 November 1989, when I stated that "The Government have for some time recognised that our nuclear power is more costly than power from fossil-fuelled generating stations".--[ Official Report, 9 November 1989 ; Vol. 159, c. 1175.]

Cash Limits

Mr. Quentin Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy whether any changes will be made to his Department's cash limits or running costs limits for 1989-90.

Mr. Wakeham : Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary Supplementary Estimates, the following changes will be made. The cash limit for class VI, vote 3 will be increased by £1,210,000 from £37,889,000 to £39,099,000. The increase is sought because of higher than forecast costs of staff, including some additional staff, and certain supporting services, partially offset by savings and increased appropriations in aid. For the same reasons, the limit on the Department's running costs in the vote is also increased by £1, 225,000 from £38,122,000 to £39,347,000.

The increase in cash limit for class VI, vote 3 will be fully offset by a reduction of £2,100,000 in the cash limit for class VI, vote 2 from £289,488,000 to £287,388,000 and will not, therefore, add to the planned total of public expenditure.

Office of Electricity Regulation

Mr. Boswell : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy whether any changes will be made to the Office of Electricity Regulation's (OFFER) cash limit or running costs limit for 1989-90.

Column 903

Mr. Wakeham : I understand that a Supplementary Estimate will be submitted by the Director General of the Office of Electricity Regulation, who is accountable for the vote. The following changes will be made.

The cash limit for class VI, vote 7 relating to expenditure by the Office of Electricity Regulation has been reduced by £1,499,000 from £7,796,000 to £6,297,000. The running costs limit has been reduced by £2,653,000 from £6,320,000 to £3,667,000.



Mr. Waller : To ask the Attorney-General when he expects the review of the law of defamation to be completed.

The Attorney-General : Good progress has been made with the review and my noble and learned Friend the Lord Chancellor hopes that it will be completed fairly soon.


Accountancy Firms

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the accountancy firms which act as auditors to public bodies sponsored by his Department.

Mr. Redwood : The following accountancy firms audit nationalised industries and executive non-departmental public bodies for which my Department is responsible :

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many of Britain's top 100 companies are audited by accountancy firms criticised by his Department's inspectors.

Mr. Redwood : This information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Insider Dealing

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether any of the individuals prosecuted in 1988 and 1989 in connection with insider dealings are accountants ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Redwood : Three of the individuals who were tried for insider dealing offences in 1988 and 1989 are known to have a professional accountancy qualification. In one other case where a prosecution was begun in 1989 the defendant has an accountancy qualification.

Column 904

Company Prosecutions

Ms. Mowlam : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Redcar of 16 January, Official Report, column 187, how many of the 113 successful prosecutions completed since 1 January 1979 were commenced before that date.

Mr. Redwood : It is not possible to provide the information requested by the hon. Member within the time limit imposed on costs. The figure given includes prosecutions carried out not only by my Department but by other prosecution authorities, for example, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Serious Fraud Office and the police and full records for these are not maintained within the Department.


Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he expects to receive the Monopolies and Mergers Commission report on the supply of petrol.

Mr. Redwood : The Monopolies and Mergers Commission report on the supply of petrol was received on 20 December 1989. It will be published as soon as possible.

Office of Telecommunications

Mr. Roger King : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he proposes to make any changes to the running costs limit for the Office of Telecommunications for 1989-90.

Mr. Forth : The running costs limit will be reduced by £37,000 from £4,196,000 to £4,159,000 to compensate for an overspend in 1988-89.

Next Section

  Home Page