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Written Answers to Questions

Friday 3 May 1991

EDUCATION AND SCIENCE

Students (Expenditure)

Mr. Andrew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science, further to his answer of 29 April in relation to expenditure on higher education in the form of mandatory awards, if he will provide the information on expenditure per student on fees and expenditure per student on maintenance in real terms with 1978-79=100.

Mr. Alan Howarth : The data requested are given below and cover expenditure made by local education authorities in England and Wales in bestowing mandatory awards under the Education (Mandatory Awards) Regulations.


             Expenditure per student            

             (real index)                       

Academic    |Fees       |Maintenance            

year                                            

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

1978-79     |100        |100                    

1979-80     |94         |104                    

1980-81     |101        |104                    

1981-82     |104        |98                     

1982-83     |57         |93                     

1983-84     |54         |91                     

1984-85     |52         |80                     

1985-86     |53         |73                     

1986-87     |52         |74                     

1987-88     |52         |73                     

1988-89     |51         |72                     

The real index has been calculated using the retail prices index. The 1982- 83 expenditure on fees is affected by a reduction in the rate set for first degrees and diplomas from £900 to £840 with compensating increases in the direct funds paid to institutions.

Education Support and Training

Mr. Anthony Coombs : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how much expenditure he intends to support in the 1992-93 grants for education support and training programme ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke : I propose a grants programme for 1992-93 supporting total spending by local education authorities of £377 million. This compares with a programme of £346 million in 1991-92. The proposed programme will target resources to help implement the Government's key education reforms. It includes over £80 million to improve school management and £146 million for the national curriculum. Within these areas, I propose to increase the level of support for key priorities compared with last year : there would be £10 million for governor support ; £14 million for teacher appraisal ; £15 million to help meet the equipment needs of schools implementing the national curriculum ; and £45 million for training and other support for national curriculum assessment.


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I am proposing a major new initiative for the inner cities. The most important new policy would be a scheme to raise standards in identified schools facing particularly severe problems. I am also proposing a pilot scheme in a number of inner city areas to improve access by local people to higher education. The new projects, costing £8.6 million, would be concentrated in areas covered by the Government's city action teams and inner city task forces, and would be drawn up in consultation with these bodies.

Another new activity will support the development of regional projects designed to meet the special needs of deaf-blind children. The programme will support a number of other priority areas, including teacher recruitment and induction of newly appointed teachers.

The package also includes support for schools wishing to introduce vocational qualifications in their sixth forms.

I am writing today to the local authority associations setting out my proposals in detail. I shall be issuing a draft circular shortly, in the light of any comments from the associations, inviting LEAs to bid for grant support.

The table lists my proposals in full.



Grants for education support and training                            

1992-93                                                              

Proposed programme                                                   

                                               | £ million           

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

School management and appraisal                                      

  School administration/management information                       

    systems                                    |37.5                 

  Governor training                            |10.0                 

  Central LMS implementation teams             |10.0                 

  School management training                   |11.0                 

  Appraisal of teachers                        |14.0                 

                                               |-------              

Total                                          |82.5                 

                                                                     

National curriculum and assessment                                   

  Books                                        |15.0                 

  Equipment                                    |15.0                 

  Primary maths/science designated courses     |11.0                 

  Other INSET and teacher support              |54.0                 

  Assessment                                   |45.0                 

  LEA inspection                               |6.0                  

                                               |-------              

Total                                          |146.0                

                                                                     

IT in schools                                  |30.0                 

                                                                     

Teacher supply                                                       

  Teacher recruitment                          |10.0                 

  Induction training                           |2.5                  

  Licensed teachers                            |10.1                 

  Articled teachers                            |11.0                 

  Teacher data transfer systems                |1.0                  

                                               |-------              

Total                                          |34.6                 

                                                                     

Special educational needs                                            

  Specialist SEN training                      |6.0                  

  Training for SEN in ordinary schools         |1.2                  

  Training of educational psychologists        |2.8                  

  Deaf/blind children                          |2.0                  

                                               |-------              

Total                                          |12.0                 

                                                                     

Vocational qualifications in schools           |3.0                  

                                                                     

Under-fives                                    |5.0                  

                                                                     

Management of training                         |20.0                 

                                                                     

Inner cities                                                         

  Raising standards in schools                 |6.6                  

  Pilot schemes for access to higher education |2.0                  

                                               |-------              

Total                                          |8.6                  

                                                                     

Youth and community                            |3.5                  

                                                                     

Health education                               |5.0                  

                                                                     

Further education                                                    

  College management                           |9.4                  

  National vocational qualifications           |7.0                  

  Initial training of FE teachers              |2.0                  

  SEN in FE                                    |0.9                  

                                               |-------              

Total                                          |19.3                 

                                                                     

Workers Educational Association                |1.3                  

                                                                     

Continuing education support grants programmes                       

  Difficult pupils                             |2.6                  

  Improving attendance                         |2.5                  

  Multi-ethnic schools                         |1.1                  

  Adult literacy                                                     

                                               |-------              

Total                                          |6.3                  

                                                                     

Total                                          |377.1                

ATTORNEY-GENERAL

Family Conciliation Services

Mr. Devlin : To ask the Attorney-General what assistance his Department gives to the Cleveland family conciliation service.

The Attorney-General : No direct or specific central Government funding is or has ever been available for Cleveland family conciliation service. Indirect help is provided through the courts, the probation service and the legal aid fund in some cases. The Government are reviewing the future of, and funding for, conciliation services as part of their consideration of proposals to reform the divorce law.

Mr. Devlin : To ask the Attorney-General what is the Government's policy on the funding of family conciliation services.

The Attorney-General : I refer the hon. Member for Stockton, South to the reply given to the question from my hon. Friend, the Member for Chislehurst (Mr. Sims) on 18 April 1991, at column 221.

Immigration Appeals

Mr. Fraser : To ask the Attorney-General what is the period which currently elapses between the lodging of an appeal against a refusal of leave to enter the United Kingdom which is lodged at an overseas diplomatic post and the time when the immigration appeals organisation at Thanet house notifies the appellant or its representative that the appeal has been lodged giving them a choice for an oral or written appeal ; and if he will provide this information in respect of each country from which such appeals are lodged.

The Attorney-General : The information requested is not available in respect of individual countries. However, it is estimated that the period which currently elapses


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between the lodging of an appeal against refusal of entry clearance to the United Kingdom at a diplomatic post overseas and its arrival at the Immigration Appellate Authorities, IAA, at Thanet house is on average one month for visit visa appeals and three months for settlement appeals.

Once the IAA has received an appeal, it is on average able to dispatch the case papers to the appellant or his representative in this country within one week for cases to be heard at Thanet house, and two to three weeks for cases to be heard at other hearing centres. At this stage, the IAA notifies the appellant or his representative that the appeal has been lodged and gives him a choice for an oral or written appeal.

ENVIRONMENT

Buildings (Security)

Mr. Allen McKay : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will discuss with representatives of the Association of Chief Police Officers and the secured by design group ways of raising standards and specifications in house and office buildings to make them more secure from illegal entry ;

(2) if he will now consider introducing higher specifications and standards in the construction of houses in order to ensure a greater level of security from illegal entry ;

(3) if he will discuss with representatives of British police authorities the standards of doors and windows fitted in new and existing houses and the vulnerability to illegal entry of such doors and windows.

Mr. Yeo : My Department is currently funding research into the effectiveness of security measures in buildings and the results will be made available to the British Standards Institution, which is the forum through which interested parties can contribute to the debate on the development of British standards and the United Kingdom's input to European standards.

Building Regulations

Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will make it his policy to broaden the definition of substantial demolition as part of the Building Regulations (part M) to cover (a) classification or determining the independence of an extension to a building, (b) that material alterations are taken into account and (c) that part M regulations cover the curtilage of the construction site so that concerns such as car parking space can be taken into account.

Mr. Yeo : My Department is conducting a review of part M of the Building Regulations as part of a wider review of the regulations as a whole. The issues raised by the hon. Member are being thoroughly considered by my Department and the building regulations advisory committee, together with other responses to the recent consultation exercise. I expect the revised guidance on part M to be published later this year.


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Press and Public Relations

Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the total expenditure by the Countryside Commission on press and public relations in 1979-80 and in each following year ; and what is his estimate for 1990-91 and budget for 1991-92.

Mr. Trippier : The following table gives the available information. No figures are available prior to 1 April 1982.


Year             |Expenditure on                   

                 |press and public                 

                 |relations                        

                 |£                                

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

1982-83          |24,644                           

1983-84          |72,264                           

1984-85          |171,668                          

1985-86          |159,318                          

1986-87          |162,164                          

1987-88          |147,628                          

1988-89          |176,543                          

1989-90          |225,138                          

1990-91          |<1>215,027                       

1991-92          |<2>256,000                       

<1> Estimated.                                     

<2> Budget.                                        

Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the total expenditure by Ordnance Survey on press and public relations in 1979- 80 and in each following year ; and what is his estimate for 1990-91 and budget for 1991-92.

Mr. Baldry : Records in sufficient detail to provide the information requested are held for seven years only. The available information is as follows :


Total expenditure on    

press and public        

relations               

        |£000           

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

1984-85 |696.2          

1985-86 |833.2          

1986-87 |751.3          

1987-88 |820.8          

1988-89 |737.1          

1989-90 |825.5          

1990-91 |1,119.4        

This 1991-92 budget for press and public relations activities is £1,320,500. The increase in expenditure in the years 1990-92 is attributable to additional publicity for the Ordnance Survey bicentenary in 1991.

Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the total expenditure by the Nature Conservancy Council on press and public relations in 1979-80 and in each following year ; and what is his estimate for 1990-91 and budget for 1991-92.

Mr. Trippier : Direct expenditure on information and publicity is listed in the table. For 1989-90 onwards the figures are net of receipts.


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(Nature Conservancy     

Council for England)    

        |£              

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

1979-80 |92,000         

1980-81 |120,000        

1981-82 |129,000        

1982-83 |135,000        

1983-84 |124,000        

1984-85 |166,000        

1985-86 |282,000        

1986-87 |460,000        

1987-88 |863,000        

1988-89 |849,000        

1989-90 |768,000        

1990-91 |748,000        

1991-92 |537,000        

Wellington House

Mr. Terry Davis : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether it is his intention to sell Wellington house following the closure of the Crown Suppliers ; and what is the latest valuation of Wellington house.

Mr. Yeo : No : it is not intended to sell Wellington house ; the building is to be used to house other Government Departments. The latest valuation of Wellington house is £24 million.

Local Authorities (Capping)

Mr. Ken Hargreaves : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what limits he has set, or plans to set, for authorities capped for 1991-92 ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Portillo : My right hon. Friend decided on 3 April to adopt principles for designating authorities for capping in 1991-92 which gave effect to the provisional criteria announced on 31 October 1990 by my right hon. Friend the Member for Bath (Mr. Patten). Applying these principles, he has designated authorities and proposed caps for them as set out in the table. Under the status these authorities had 28 days ending on 30 April in which they could either challenge or accept their proposed caps.

Six authorities--Somerset, Langbaurgh, Milton Keynes, Reading, Greenwich and Middlesbrough--accepted and my right hon. Friend has therefore in each case confirmed the caps for these authorities at the level he originally proposed.

Eight authorities--Basildon, Bristol, Ipswich, Lambeth, Norwich, Stoke-on- Trent, Warwickshire and Wirral--challenged their proposed caps and suggested alternatives as set out in the table. My right hon. Friend will consider their cases and all other relevant information before he decides on the level of the final caps, which may be the same as or different from the amounts he originally proposed.

My right hon. Friend will set out his final caps for challenging authorities in a draft order which he intends as soon as possible to lay before the House. If the House approves the draft he will set the final caps at levels specified in the order.


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Proposals for Caps                                                                                                                                            

                       |Original      |Budget                       |Capped        |Original      |Charge        |Capped        |Original                     

                       |budget        |reduction     |budget        |charge<1>     |reduction     |charge        |budget        |increase                     

                                                                                                                 |percentage    |over 1990                    

                                                                                                                 |over SSA                                    

                       |£ million     |£ million     |£ million     |£             |£             |£             |percentage                                  

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

Absolute excessiveness                                                                                                                                        

Basildon<4>            |26.8          |4.7           |22.1          |355           |39            |316           |121.2         |-                            

Bristol<4>             |59.4          |6.0           |53.4          |384           |20            |364           |44.5          |-                            

Ipswich<4>             |17.3          |1.3           |16.0          |324           |15            |309           |50.0          |-                            

Langbaurgh<3>          |16.2          |0.6           |15.6          |338           |6             |332           |36.3          |-                            

Middlesbrough<3>       |21.0          |0.8           |20.2          |317           |7             |310           |21.9          |-                            

Milton Keynes<3>       |22.3          |2.1           |20.2          |315           |16            |299           |24.6          |-                            

Norwich<4>             |16.5          |1.5           |15.0          |293           |16            |277           |25.1          |-                            

                                                                                                                                                              

Excessive increases                                                                                                                                           

Greenwich<3>           |215.5         |2.5           |213.0         |258           |16            |242           |-             |6.2 <5>(15.2)                

Lambeth<4>             |315.5         |8.3           |307.2         |450           |48            |402           |-             |10.7 <5>(6.5)                

Reading<3>             |18.7          |1.0           |17.7          |334           |10            |324           |-             |11.1 <5>(18.8)               

Somerset<3>            |274.7         |2.2           |272.5         |<2>246-275    |6             |240-269       |-             |9.9 <5>(3.0)                 

Stoke-on-Trent<4>      |28.0          |2.2           |25.8          |272           |11            |261           |-             |16.4 <5>(14.4)               

Warwickshire<4>        |278.3         |6.0           |272.3         |<2>269-366    |16            |253-320       |-             |11.4 <5>(4.8)                

Wirral<4>              |246.2         |11.1          |235.1         |336           |45            |291           |-             |20.0 <5>(4.8)                

<1>Original charges are after £140 general reduction in community charges.                                                                                    

<2>Indicates that charges vary between shire districts.                                                                                                       

<3>Langbaurgh, Middlesbrough, Milton Keynes, Greenwich, Reading and Somerset have accepted the proposed cap.                                                  

<4>Basildon, Bristol, Ipswich, Norwich, Lambeth, Warwickshire and Wirral have put forward an alternative at the level of their original budget;               

Stoke-on-Trent have put forward an alternative of £27.5 million.                                                                                              

<5>Figures in parentheses include percentage over SSA.                                                                                                        

Short-term Leases

Mr. David Martin : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he has any plans to change the financial arrangements for short- term leases acquired by local authorities.

Sir George Young : The Department has today issued a consultation paper to all local housing authorities on the future of short-term leasing. We believe that this form of accommodation has a useful role to play in helping homeless families. We are proposing that, from 1992-93, new leases acquired by local authorities for a term of three years or less should be accounted for outside the housing revenue account. This will put them on a common financial footing with other property used by housing authorities as temporary accommodation for the homeless, but in which they have no long- term interest.

Swimming Pools

Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the number of public swimming pools that have closed each year since 1979.

Mr. Atkins : I have been asked to reply.

This information is not held centrally. The overall number of public swimming pools has increased from just over 1,000 in the early 1980s to nearly 1,200 now.

PRIME MINISTER

Civil Defence

Mr. Bill Michie : To ask the Prime Minister what procedures he has established for co-ordination between the Ministry of Defence, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and agencies of the United States Government regarding the levels of attack preparedness and the length of warning times applicable to future civil defence provision in the United Kingdom.


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The Prime Minister : Procedures governing co-ordination on warning times and related matters involve many Government Departments and there are a number of arrangements to which the United Kingdom and the United States of America are party--the most important being those established with our NATO partners. All 16 NATO nations are currently discussing revisions to our mutual defence arrangements in the light of the substantial changes that have occurred in Europe.

As for the United Kingdom specifically, my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary will be making an announcement about changes in our arrangements, including the planning assumptions that will underlie civil defence planning, in the summer.

OVERSEAS DEVELOPMENT

Kurdish Refugees

Mr. John Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what has been the role of the Crown Agents in providing emergency relief for Kurdish refugees.

Mrs. Chalker : The Crown Agents are playing an important part in procuring and delivering relief supplies to the relief organisations working in the region. They are currently supplying blankets, tents, clothing and food to a total value of just under £1 million on behalf of the European Community, the Overseas Development Administration, the British Red Cross and other charitable organisations.

Press and Public Relations

Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what was the total expenditure by the ODA on press and public relations in 1979-80 and in each following year ; and what is his estimate for 1990-91 and budget for 1991-92.


Column 341

Mrs. Chalker : I refer the hon. Member to the reply he received from my hon. Friend the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on 30 April, column 140.

EC-Namibia Fisheries Agreement

Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what position Her Majesty's Government took on the suspension of negotiations for an EC-Namibia fisheries agreement ; and whether he is taking any action to promote a resumption of negotiations.

Mrs. Chalker : The matter was raised in a recent meeting of the Committee of Permanent Representatives of the European Community. Along with other partners, we sought an explanation from the Commission, which has subsequently informed the Namibian Government that the suspension was purely temporary. We look forward to the resumption of negotiations. I shall be taking this up at the ACP ministerial meeting in Brussels next week.

Medical Teams

Mr. Ian Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what arrangements his Department is making to send out to Turkey and Iran British volunteer medical teams.

Mrs. Chalker : We are sending out early on 6 May, 90 medical and other volunteer relief workers to help Iraqi refugees on the mountains in the Cukurca region of Turkey and as they move back to their homes in Iraq. These initial teams will be under the direct supervision of the ODA's humanitarian aid co-ordinator, and will work in close co-ordination with British and allied forces in Turkey and Iraq. The operation is being co- financed with the European Community, as part of the Community's emergency aid programme announced on 8 April.

The Iranian authorities have not requested medical volunteers. We are however financing the provision of two field health centres in West Azerbaijan province.

HOME DEPARTMENT

Press and Public Relations

Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the total expenditure by the Office of Data Protection Registrar on press and public relations in 1979-80 and in each following year ; and what is his estimate for 1990-91 and budget for 1991-92.

Mr. Kenneth Baker : The Data Protection Registrar was first appointed in September 1984. I understand that his office incurred no significant promotional expenditure until the financial year 1985-86. Expenditure on press and public relations is shown in the table :


        |£            

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

1985-86 |32,492       

1986-87 |50,212       

1987-88 |64,624       

1988-89 |44,780       

1989-90 |48,822       

1990-91 |54,163       

The estimated expenditure for 1991-92 is £65,000.


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Latchmere-Haslar Project

Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department for what reason he has decided to withdraw Home Office funding from the Latchmere-Haslar project for refugees.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : The Home Office has never provided core funding to the Latchmere-Haslar project. The payments made to it were exceptional and for one year and were intended to reflect the additional and transitional costs to the project arising from the transfer of detainees from Latchmere house to Haslar prison. The project's application last December for long- term core funding was turned down, on the grounds that the Government already make a substantial grant-in-aid to the United Kingdom Immigrants Advisory Service to provide advice and representation and that, with limited resources, departure from the established practice of funding a single organisation in this way was not justified. My right hon. Friend is considering that decision further in the light of a substantial number of representations which we have received.

Sunday Trading

Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will undertake to refund local authorities the cost of any compensation which they may be required to pay in consequence of injunctions obtained in regard to Sunday trading, pending final determination of the issue by the House of Lords in consequence of the decision of the Court of Appeal ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Kenneth Baker : No. Local authorities receive a substantial contribution to their costs generally through the revenue support grant system. We have no plan to increase this contribution specifically for their enforcement duties under the Shops Act 1950.

Mr. Paul Brown

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the error made by his Department in deporting the wrong Paul Brown to Kingston, Jamaica ; what steps he has made in contacting him and informing him of his Department's error ; what has been the result of the appeal made by the other Paul Brown ; and what steps he has made to ensure such an error cannot recur.

Mr. Peter Lloyd [holding answer 22 April 1991] : A Mr. Paul Brown was removed to Jamaica on 7 July 1989 in the mistaken belief that he was subject to a deportation order which had been made against another person of the same name. Both men were Jamaican, both had been convicted of offences, and both had been recommended for deportation by a court. The Paul Brown removed on 7 July 1989 made no representations against his removal. If he wished to return to the United Kingdom he would have to qualify for entry under the immigration rules. Those rules provide that where a passenger has been convicted of an offence included in the list of extradition crimes leave to enter is to be refused unless the immigration officer considers admission to be justified for strong compassionate reasons. Mr. Brown had been so convicted and no steps have been taken to trace him in Jamaica.


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The other Paul Brown was deported on 4 July 1990. He did not exercise his right of appeal to the higher court against his conviction or against the recommendation for deportation. The circumstances which led to the confusion of the two identities was most unusual and unlikely to recur. Nevertheless, magistrates courts have been asked to provide the person's date of birth and nationality when notifying my Department of a court recommendation. The Lord Chancellor's Department will be making similar arrangements for the Crown courts.

Asylum Seekers

Mr. Leighton : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action the Government are taking on asylum seekers ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Peter Lloyd [holding answer 23 April 1991] : In view of the increase in the number of people coming to the United Kingdom to seek asylum, the Government have been reviewing arrangements for dealing with asylum seekers. On 26 March, at columns 347-48, I announced the introduction of a visa requirement for Ugandan nationals, who account for a significant proportion of asylum applicants in the United Kingdom. On 26 April, at column 566, my right hon. Friend announced a nearly fivefold increase in staff resources for asylum determination and commensurate increase in other parts of the asylum system. The review is continuing and further announcements will be made as necessary.

DEFENCE

Chemical Defence Establishment, Nancekuke

Mr. Mudd : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the evidence that decontamination of the former chemical defence establishment at Nancekuke, Cornwall has not been wholly effective.


Column 344

Mr. Kenneth Carlisle : This is a matter for the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment, CBDE, under its framework document. I have therefore asked the chief executive of the CBDE, Dr. G. S. Pearson to reply direct to the hon. Member.

Resolution Class Submarines

Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many refits will be undergone by each Resolution class submarine.

Mr. Kenneth Carlisle : The future refit programme of resolution class submarines is classified.

Service Married Quarters

Mr. Brazier : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what information he has on the number of service married quarters which are illegally occupied by otherwise homeless service families.

Mr. Alan Clark : There were 1,672 service married quarters irregularly occupied as at 31 December 1990.

Armed Forces Personnel

Mr. Brazier : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence further to his answer of 29 April, Official Report , columns 35-36 , if he will list in the Official Report , for each of the armed forces, the number of (a) male officers, (b) female officers, (c) service men and (d) service women, who have taken premature voluntary release in each quarter since January 1989.

Mr. Kenneth Carlisle : No premature voluntary release, PVR, figures for females are available at present. The remainder of the information requested is as follows :


Column 343


                    Officers          Service men            

                   |RN/RM|Army |RAF  |RN/RM|Army |RAF        

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

1989                                                         

  January-March    |34   |103  |54   |560  |1,042|900        

  April-June       |56   |194  |101  |627  |1,051|981        

  July-September   |80   |238  |70   |724  |1,018|884        

  October-December |60   |138  |107  |633  |990  |757        

                                                             

1990                                                         

  January-March    |38   |142  |67   |670  |1,002|648        

  April-June       |79   |220  |103  |716  |963  |713        

  July-September   |69   |180  |74   |814  |1,020|785        

  October-December |56   |122  |57   |737  |755  |623        

Fuel Air Explosive Weapons

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the Government assessment of claims made by the Iraqi authorities at the Baghdad fair 1990 that they possessed fuel air explosive weapons.

Mr. Kenneth Carlisle : We are not aware of a "Baghdad fair" in 1990. However, the Iraqis displayed what they claimed were fuel air explosive weapons of Iraqi origin at the Baghdad international military production exhibition in 1989. We cannot comment further on this matter.


Column 344

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of defensive measures to protect soldiers under attack from fuel air explosive weapons.

Mr. Kenneth Carlisle : Fuel air weapons, FAE, are but one of a range of threats which are routinely examined when considering defensive measures for the British soldiers.


Column 345

Nuclear Vessels and Submarines

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many nuclear arms capable, or nuclear-powered vessels and submarines of the Royal Navy have been (i) completely scrapped, (ii) are in store or (iii) are in active service at the present time.

Mr. Kenneth Carlisle : It is not our practice to define Royal Navy ships as being nuclear-capable or non nuclear-capable. Four nuclear-powered submarines have been taken out of service, and are awaiting final disposal. Of these, one is stored afloat and three are being, or are about to be, decommissioned. There are currently 18 nuclear-powered submarines in service with the Royal Navy.

Nuclear Facilities

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many square metres of floorspace used for the storage or maintenance of Royal Navy nuclear facilities have been (i) completely decommissioned and ready for alternative use, (ii) are held in reserve or (iii) are in active service at the present time.

Mr. Kenneth Carlisle : The information requested is not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

NORTHERN IRELAND

Farm Machinery

Mr. William Ross : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what has been the investment in farm machinery in Northern Ireland in each of the last five years for which figures are available ; and what were the figures in 1980 and 1975, all figures in cash and in real terms taking 1975 as 100.

Mr. Hanley : The information requested is as follows :


Investment in farm machinery<1>                                             

                   |In cash prices                                          

                                      |(index                               

                                      |1973 = 100)                          

                   |£ million                                               

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

1975               |20                |100.0                                

1980               |33                |84.3                                 

1986               |43                |75.7                                 

1987               |42                |69.9                                 

1988               |52                |83.2                                 

1989               |58                |85.4                                 

<3>1990            |59                |79.7                                 

<1> Tractors, vehicles and equipment (including plant).                     

<2> Calculated by deflating by the retail prices index.                     

<3> Forecast.                                                               

Agriculture

Mr. William Ross : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what has been the gross value of the output of the agricultural industry in Northern Ireland in each of the last five years and in 1980 and 1975 in cash and real terms, taking 1975 as 100.

Mr. Hanley : The information requested is as follows :


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Value of gross output of agriculture                                

                 |In cash prices  |In real terms<1>                 

                 |£ million       |(index:                          

                                  |1975 = 100)                      

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1975             |286             |100.0                            

1980             |546             |97.6                             

1986             |752             |91.9                             

1987             |776             |91.0                             

1988             |817             |91.4                             

1989             |866             |89.8                             

<2>1990          |853             |80.7                             

<1> Calculated by deflating by the retail prices index.             

<2> Forecast.                                                       

Mr. William Ross : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) farmers (full-time), (b) farmers (part-time), (c) agricultural workers (full-time) and (d) agricultural workers (part-time), were engaged in agriculture in Northern Ireland in each of the last five years and in 1980 and 1975.

Mr. Hanley : The information requested is as follows :


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