The Prime Minister : According to the EEC treaty (article 237), any European state may apply to become a member of the Community. However, we agree with the general view within the Community that--until at least 1993- -the emphasis must be on consolidation, not enlargement. The Community's priority must be completion of the single market.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Prime Minister if she will be raising the issue of the European Commission's proposed appointment of a European mouse care expert at the forthcoming European summit ; and what assessment she has made of the value of the Commission's encouragement of inter-community trade in mice and rats.
The Prime Minister : There is no such proposal. I assume that the hon. Member is referring to a proposal for a Council regulation on animal health conditions governing trade in rodents. These proposals are of real concern as they are relevant to Her Majesty's Government's fight against rabies. The Government's assessment of it was set out in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food's explanatory memorandum 9715/89 of 27 November 1989, a copy of which is in the Library of the House.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Prime Minister what split of responsibilities has been decided between the Department of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food regarding areas of overlap in responsibility for problems relating to food poisoning.
Column 364food safety regulations are jointly signed by the Secretary of State for Health and the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. The Department of Health leads on food hygiene and microbiological contamination except in respect of milk production and distribution, hygiene of meat and meat products, and eggs, where the lead is with MAFF. The Department of Health also operates a hazard warning system to deal with emergencies when unfit food poses an immediate hazard to health. MAFF leads on emergency measures under the Food and Environment Protection Act when a pollution incident threatens the food supply and leads on chemical contamination but takes advice on health risks from the Department of Health. There is close liaison between both Departments and consultation with relevant outside interests.
The Prime Minister : For reasons of practicality and security it is difficult for me to travel by public transport on official business. I do so when a suitable opportunity arises. Information on miles travelled in a motor vehicle is not available.
Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the policy of his Department on the provision of future fixed-link improvements in communications infrastructure from (a) public funds and (b) the private sector.
Mr. Portillo : In deciding what public funds are to be spent on transport infrastructure, the Government take account of the demands of other areas of Government expenditure ; but will increase capital investment where this is justified. The amount of public expenditure provided for investment in rail and national road schemes over the next three years is over 60 per cent. higher in real terms than in the three years up to the end of 1989-90.
Column 365Although the public sector will for the foreseeable future account for the majority of infrastructure funding, as indicated in "New Roads by New Means", I am always looking to secure the benefits which the private sector can bring in terms of innovation, enterprise and management efficiency. Road infrastructure measures are judged on their individual merits. For example, the M25 Dartford-Thurrock crossing and the Channel tunnel are projects at the construction stage which show how the private sector can make a valuable contribution towards the provision of transport infrastructure.
Mr. Haselhurst : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the reasons for maintaining the air traffic distribution rules which determine priority between classes of air transport carrier using airports in the London area.
Mr. McLoughlin : The 1985 White Paper, "Airports Policy", noted that as airports become busier the need may arise for a form of regulation to distribute traffic rationally between the airports of a single system. The present traffic distribution rules for airports serving the London area were made in 1986, following advice from the Civil Aviation Authority. Last July, in response to a request for fresh advice on London air traffic distribution policy, the authority recommended only minor modifications to the existing rules. My right hon. Friend decided not to make those modifications, and awaits the authority's further and more wide-ranging advice, due this summer, on the adequacy of United Kingdom airport capacity in the longer term.
Mr. Haselhurst : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether his Department has had access to independent legal opinion on the legality under United Kingdom and European Economic Community law of any future rule designed to give preference in slot allocation at Gatwick to scheduled traffic at the expense of charter traffic ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Portillo : My right hon. Friend has received a number of such representations. The opening or re-opening of stations or railway lines to passenger services is for the British Railways Board to decide, in the light of the objectives set for it by the Government.
Mr. Barry Field : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to announce a decision on the charges imposed on the use of pilotage exemption certificates at Portsmouth, following the inspector's report conducted by Mr. James Fitzpatrick.
Mr. McLoughlin : The inspector has submitted his report to the Secretary of State following the public inquiry held on 17 October 1989. This is now being considered and a decision will be announced as soon as possible.
Mr. Fearn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the implications of the recently announced £12 billion road building programme for (a) atmospheric pollution levels, (b) the greenhouse effect, (c) existing sites of special scientific interest, (d) existing areas of outstanding natural beauty and (e) populations of native flora and fauna ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Atkins : The Government's road building programme will contribute to reducing pollution and CO emissions from vehicles by cutting down on congestion and removing traffic from unsuitable roads and communities.
Wherever possible, roads are kept away from protected areas such as sites of special scientific interest and areas of outstanding natural beauty. When there is a risk that a proposed scheme will affect such an area it is examined with particular care to establish that a new or improved road is needed, and that the route has been chosen to do as little damage to the environment as possible. Every effort is made to blend the road into the landscape and to take all reasonable measures to minimise any adverse effects, including appropriate measures to preserve flora and fauna.
Mr. Atkins : Forecasts of traffic demand are an important, but not the only, factor in considering road schemes and programmes. There have always been cases where traffic demand could not be met for economic or environmental reasons. This was set out clearly in "Roads for Prosperity" (Cm. 693, May 1989), which stated in paragraph 27 that
"it is not possible or economic to remove all congestion". The need for substantial investment on the major inter-urban network remains. This is the basis on which the expanded programme was drawn up. It remains the Government's judgment of what needs to be done.
Column 367Mr. Ryder : Assessments of the fiscal position of major trading partners and the consequences for the United Kingdom economy are made routinely as background to the Industry Act forecast.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what percentage of gross domestic product are the trade deficits of the United States of America and of each of the European Community countries, in descending order, for the latest year for which figures are available.
Mr. Ryder : Data on trade balances and nominal gross domestic product for the United States and each of the European Community countries are published in the IMF's international financial statistics each month.
Mr. Parry : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the incidence of taxation of tobacco products in the United Kingdom and in other Economic Community member states ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Ryder [holding answer 31 January 1990] : The table shows the combined burden of excise duty and VAT on cigarettes in each of the EC member states. Cigarettes represent over 90 per cent. of the Community market in tobacco products. Information on the incidence of taxation on the other tobacco products (cigars, smoking and chewing tobacco) is not readily available.
Cigarettes Total tax burden on most popular brand Country |ECUs per 1,000 |cigarettes<1> --------------------------------------------- Denmark |137.89 Ireland |95.19 United Kingdom |90.84 France |51.34 Netherlands |50.99 Belgium |50.17 Italy |44.77 Luxembourg |36.84 Portugal |32.51 Spain |22.79 Greece |21.74 <1> Source: EC Commission; as at 1 April 1989.
Mr. Lilley [holding answer 1 February 1990] : The latest forecast of receipts from stamp duties for 1989-90 was given in the reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Richmond and Barnes (Mr. Hanley) on 30 November 1989, ( Official Report, column 431-32 ). The cost of collection is expected to be around 0.3 per cent. of those receipts.
Mr. Lilley [holding answer 1 February 1990] : The latest available forecast of receipts from capital gains tax for 1989-90 was given in the reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Cambridgeshire, South-East (Mr. Paice) on 23 January 1990, Official Report, column 622. The cost of collection is expected to be around 1.4 per cent. of those receipts.
Mr. Luce : The current year's provision for the building and maintenance programmes at the national museums and galleries which I sponsor is £48 million. This represents a real terms increase of 50 per cent. since 1979-80 and an increase of £3 million on the previous year's allocation.
I announced on 16 November 1989 that this provision will rise to some £64 million in 1992-93. This will bring the total provision for building and maintenance over the next three years to over £180 million.
(2) what was the total cost of (a) setting up the admission charging system in equipment and staff and (b) running the admission charging system between October 1988 and October 1989 at the Kensington site of the science museum ;
(3) what were the admission figures at the Kensington site of the science museum for the periods (a) October 1987 to October 1988, (b) October 1986 to October 1987, (c) October 1985 to October 1986, (d) October 1984 to October 1985 and (e) October 1983 to October 1984 ;
(4) what were the admission figures for the Kensington site of the science museum for the period October 1988 to October 1989 (a) in total, (b) for those paying the full admission price and (c) for each exempt or partially exempt category.
Column 369Mr. Luce [holding answer 29 January 1990] : I am advised that the estimated number of admissions at the science museum, including outstations, for the years 1983 to 1989 are as follows :
Year |Admissions --------------------------------- 1983 |4,784,000 1984 |4,510,103 1985 |4,607,852 1986 |4,824,906 1987 |4,732,784 1988 |3,861,433 1989 |2,607,724
The staffing and administration of the arrangements for the collection of admission charges at the science museum are matters for the museum's trustees. I understand, however, that not only has the science museum generated a substantial income of just over £1 million from the introduction of admission charges, but has done so with the museum being free of charge, or accessible at reduced rates, to 65 per cent. of all visitors.
I also understand that the science museum intends to invest its admissions income in improved visitor facilities.
I shall ask the director of the science museum to write to the hon. Member about the other points raised.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will identify the relevant costs per head for employment training trainees participating in the programme through training managers that operate nationally and locally in the voluntary sector.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what changes in supplementary grants to local training managers and those that negotiate their supplementary grants with their area office occurred in 1989-90.
Mr. Wyn Roberts : In 1989-90 there has been no change in the range of supplementary grants available to training managers, local or national. Each training manager's level of supplementary grant was reviewed and agreed in contracts for 1989-90.
Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will give details of the (a) bids and (b) allocations for capital expenditure in respect of school building for each Welsh local education authority since 1974.
Capital allocations since 1984-85 are unhypothecated between services. The public expendidure provisions for education capital at an all-Wales level for those years are shown in the table. Figures for previous years were not produced on a comparable basis.
|Constant |1988-89 |prices --------------------------- 1984-85 |37 1985-86 |37 1986-87 |38 1987-88 |44 1988-89 |46 1989-90 |48
Mr. Livsey : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the present number of school students that are currently educated through the medium of the Welsh language, in each county education authority in Wales both primary and secondary.
|Primary<1> |Secondary<2> ------------------------------------------------------- Clwyd |6,674 |2,871 Dyfed |15,102 |4,629 Gwent |704 |52 Gwynedd |18,817 |11,785 Mid Glamorgan |6,319 |3,178 Powys |1,292 |1,287 South Glamorgan |2,621 |986 West Glamorgan |3,029 |1,198 <1> Includes full-time and part-time pupils in classes taught solely through the medium of Welsh or in classes where some of the teaching is through the medium of Welsh. <2> Includes pupils in Welsh-speaking secondary schools as defined in section 3(7) of the Education Reform Act 1988.
Mr. Livsey : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether he will make it a statutory requirement for all Welsh principal local authorities to publish notices and forms bilingually.
Mr. Livsey : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether the Welsh Office will carry out a detailed study of possible radiation hot spots along the north Wales coast as a matter of urgency ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Grist : No. Recent reports that hot spots of radioactivity were detected in north Wales have been investigated by Government scientists and the tests showed that the radiation dose rates were not above background levels.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) if he will place copies in the Library of agreements he reached with Welsh Water in relation to the allocation of unforseeable costs arising from the achievement of new or unexpected water quality standards within the artificial lake to be created by the proposed Cardiff bay barrage, via the K factor, the cost pass-through formula to customers, as distinct from the shareholders ;
(2) what agreement he has reached with Welsh Water in respect of the K factor, cost pass-through mechanism, for
Column 371any costs involved in meeting new or enhanced water quality standards within the artificial lake created by the proposed Cardiff bay barrage, that are not met by the Cardiff Bay Development Corporation ; and if he will publish details ;
(3) what agreements he reached with Welsh Water Cyf, or Welsh Water Authority prior to its privatisation to allocate all unforseeable costs related to water quality standards in the inland lake created by the proposed Cardiff bay barrage to Welsh Water customers through the K factor, the cost pass-through mechanism and not to its shareholders ;
(4) when he reached agreement with Welsh Water Authority or Welsh Water Cyf to allocate any unforseeable costs related to the achievement of new or unexpected water quality standards within the lake to be created by the proposed Cardiff bay barrage to the customers of Welsh Water, through the K factor, the cost pass-through mechanism and not to its shareholders.
Mr. Grist : The Cardiff Bay Barrage Bill currently before the House seeks to ensure that any reasonable costs incurred by organisations or individuals as a result of the construction of the barrage that would not otherwise occur are met by the promoters of the Bill. The Bill therefore provides that the costs of carrying out necessary works or operations outside the inland bay to maintain prescribed water quality standards in the inland bay will be met by the promoters in the 20-year period following the commencement of impoundment. The period is in line with all other such undertakings in the Bill.
The cost of works undertaken within the inland bay to maintain water quality will be the responsibility of the promoters. These provisions were fully recognised and made known at the time of flotation of Welsh Water. The prospectus set out that expenditure arising from changes to discharge consents resulting from the construction of the barrage to the extent not covered by the promoters would be eligible for consideration by the Director General of Water Services for specific K adjustment in the normal way. These arrangements are described in section 9 of the prospectus, a copy of which was placed in the Library in November 1989.
Part IV of condition B of the licence appointing water and sewerage undertakers, a copy of which is also in the Library, fully sets out the mechanism by which K may be adjusted.
Mr. Grist : The information is not available in the form requested. The latest available figures are for 1988-89, when in the Welsh Water Authority's water supply area a total of 1,249 domestic and non-domestic customers were disconnected.
The figures do not reflect the new procedures that each water undertaker is required to follow before disconnecting domestic customers under their conditions of appointment, which came into force on 1 September 1989.
Mr. Wray : To ask the hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed, as representing the House of Commons Commission, what was the total funds made available by the Commission for overseas travel by Select Committees in the financial year 1989-90 ; how much of this was specifically for European travel ; and what are the corresponding figures, for the financial year 1990-91.
Mr. Beith : The total funds made available for overseas Select Committee travel in the financial year 1989-90 was £495,980 of which £60,000 was earmarked exclusively for visits to Community countries. The equivalent figure for the financial year 1990-91 is £505,400 of which £100,000 is set aside for travel to Community countries.
Sir Geoffrey Howe : I have recently received an undertaking from the Chairman of the Accommodation and Administration Sub-Committee that once the Procedure Committee's study of matters affecting the Order Paper is completed and any recommendations for change agreed, the Sub-Committee is prepared to conduct a comprehensive examination of the Vote bundle itself.
Mr. Wareing : To ask the Lord President of the Council what is his estimate of the cost to Parliament of the introduction and passage of the Football Spectators Act 1989 ; and if he will give a breakdown of these costs.
Sir John Stanley : To ask the Lord President of the Council whether he will give consideration to the establishment of non-smoking areas in the Westminster Hall canteen, the Strangers Cafeteria, the Harcourt Room and the Strangers Dining Room.
Sir Geoffrey Howe [holding answer 1 February 1990] : The upper part of the Westminster Hall Cafeteria has for some time been designated as a no-smoking area. The crowded nature of the Strangers Cafeteria does not lend itself to the establishment of a no-smoking section. There are no areas in the Harcourt Room or the Strangers Dining Room reserved for non-smokers, but notices displayed in both rooms request diners to refrain from smoking before 1.30 pm at lunchtime and before 9 pm in the evening. No-smoking areas have also been identified for the catering facilities to be established in phase 1 of the new parliamentary buildings. It remains the Catering Sub-Committee's policy to increase the number of no -smoking areas in all its outlets as further opportunities arise.
Mr. Tony Lloyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give details of research his Department has commissioned into the minimum wage proposals of the social charter ; and if he will place the findings in the Library.
Mr. Howard : My Department has commissioned no external research into the minimum wage proposals of the social charter. Officials in the Department have carried out work to estimate the costs of imposing a national minimum wage in Britain. A note explaining the method used has been placed in the Library.
Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how much has been allocated since 1987 by the European social fund to each of the Manpower Services Commission and Training Agency training and employment measures ; what proportion these allocations represented of total Great Britain European social fund allocations ; and what sums have been applied for in 1990, for each individual Training Agency programme.