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Mr. Jim Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what guidelines he has issued to police forces regarding the disposal of traffic videos to private companies ; (2) if he will make a statement regarding the sale and disposal of police videos ;
(3) what representations he has received about the disposal of traffic videos to private companies and their subsequent resale.
The supply of police video material is an operational matter for individual chief officers of police. I understand though that the traffic committee of the Association of Chief Policer Offices is to consider the matter.
Mr. Andrew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many detainees at Campsfield House have been subjected to forced feeding ; under what powers such action is taken ; and what safeguards there are for the human rights of those concerned.
Mr. Andrew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what factors were taken into account in determining the level of security measures installed at Campsfield House detention centre.
Mr. Charles Wardle : The security measures at Campsfield house are designed to allow as much freedom of movement as possible within the centre, but to take account also of the needs to maintain good order and prevent detainees from absconding.
(2) in how many prisons there have been incidents of illegal drug use in each of the past seven years ; and what proportion they are of the total numbers of prisons.
Letter from A. J. Butler to Mr. Paul Flynn, dated 21 March 1994 :
The Home Secretary has asked me, in the absence of the Director General, Mr. Derek Lewis, from the office, to reply to your two Parliamentary Questions about incidents of illegal drug use in each of the past seven years in Prison Service establishments. The available information is for the period up to 1992 and for charges proved at adjudication of the offence of possession or selling or delivering controlled drugs (including any proved charges of attempt, incite or assist). This information is published annually for each establishment in Statistics of Offences Against Prison Discipline and Punishments England and Wales. Copies are available in the library of the House of Commons. In each of the years 1986 to 1992 some 80 per cent. to 90 per cent. of establishments have had one or more cases of drugs offences.
Mr. Maclean : As drug trafficking is a clandestine activity, it is not possible to estimate the numbers of people engaged full-time in the trafficking of illegal drugs. However, information on the number of persons convicted or cautioned for drugs trafficking offences is contained in table 3.3 of the Home Office statistical bulletin "Statistics of drugs seizures and offenders dealt with, United Kingdom, 1992" a copy of which is in the Library.
Mr. Winnick : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make it the practice that when the hon. Member for Walsall, North is making written representations to a Minister in his Department on behalf of a constituent he will not be telephoned by a chief immigration officer to try to persuade him to drop the representation.
Mr. Charles Wardle : Written representations submitted to Ministers which the Immigration Service has not had the opportunity to consider are sent first to the port concerned for consideration. It is not the practice of the Immigration Service to try to persuade an hon. Member not to pursue his representations.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) teaching and (b) non-teaching posts, by full-time equivalent, were funded by section 11 money in (a) 1992-93, (b) 1993-94 and (c) proposed for 1994-95, by each local education authority.
Column 34relate to (a) posts designated to be filled by qualified teachers, and (b) other posts, eligible for funding under section 11.
Local education Posts as at Posts as at Posts as at authority 1 April 1992 1 April 1993 1 April 1994 |Teachers|Others |Teachers|Others |Teachers|Others -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Avon |38.9 |5 |38.6 |5 |38.6 |5 Barking and Dagenham* |13.6 |4.2 |13.6 |4.2 |13.6 |3 Barnet* |47.54 |32.16 |47.54 |11.756 |47.54 |11.765 Bedfordshire |165.9 |63.7 |165.4 |59.2 |165.4 |58.5 Berkshire* |73.5 |17.8 |73.5 |17 |73.5 |17 Bexley |7.04 |3.61 |6.327 |1.08 |6.327 |1.08 Birmingham* |251 |343 |250.15 |223 |243.79 |221.23 Bolton |40.2 |23.0 |40.2 |23.2 |40.2 |23.2 Bradford |260.1 |182.17 |260.1 |151.35 |260.01 |151.35 Brent |119.2 |26.9 |115 |1.9 |90.5 |1.9 Buckinghamshire* |91 |48.67 |86.4 |47.67 |81.1 |44.67 Bury |23.3 |12.35 |23.3 |12.35 |23.3 |12.35 Calderdale |50.5 |33.04 |50.5 |33.04 |50.5 |33.04 Cambridgeshire |64 |29.1 |64 |16 |64 |16 Camden* |76.4 |16.3 |76.4 |12.6 |76.4 |12.6 Cheshire |5 |2 |5 |2 |5 |2 Cleveland |31 |13.5 |30 |14.5 |29.4 |15.1 Coventry City** |114 |56.46 |141 |44.22 |141 |44.22 Croydon* |63.4 |23.55 |63.4 |17.75 |63.2 |18.5 Derbyshire** |96 |12 |96 |12 |96 |12 Devon |1 |0 |1 |0 |1 |0 Doncaster |8 |5.2 |8 |2.95 |8 |2.95 Dudley |64 |18 |64 |7 |64 |6.6 Ealing |172.4 |64.1 |172.4 |57.6 |172.4 |57.6 East Sussex |10 |1.6 |10 |1.6 |10 |1.6 Enfield* |64 |24.25 |64 |5.5 |64 |5.5 Essex* |2 |- |2 |- |2 |- Gateshead |2 |2.2 |2 |0 |2 |0 Greenwich** |86 |34 |86 |32 |86 |32 Gwent |14 |7 |14 |7 |14 |7 Hackney |226 |25.5 |226 |2.5 |226 |2.5 Hammersmith |41 |9.85 |41 |7 |41 |7 Hampshire |39 |13.9 |39 |13.9 |39 |13.9 Haringey** |181.05 |51.68 |181.05 |36.88 |172.73 |38.55 Harrow** |36 |14.3 |36 |1 |36 |1 Havering |3 |- |3 |- |3 |- Hertfordshire |114.5 |33.86 |114.5 |17.4 |114.5 |17.4 Hereford and Worcester |24 |0 |24 |0 |24 |0 Hillingdon |12 |15.95 |12 |11.35 |12 |11.35 Hounslow |91.4 |8 |91.4 |8 |91.4 |8 Humberside |18.2 |5.2 |18.2 |5.2 |18.2 |5.2 Islington |102 |4.95 |102 |- |102 |- Kensington and Chelsea |58 |3.3 |58 |1 |58 |1 Kent |59.16 |31.59 |57.79 |30.72 |57.79 |30.72 Kingston |7.08 |1 |7.08 |1 |7.08 |1 Kirklees |149.5 |80.72 |149.5 |65.92 |149.5 |65.92 Lambeth |61.2 |- |61.2 |- |61.2 |- Lancashire |265.7 |192.4 |265.7 |192.4 |265.7 |192.4 Leeds |8 |180.46 |7.03 |153.98 |5.03 |151.01 Leicestershire |214.7 |75.25 |214.7 |68.95 |214.7 |68.95 Lewisham |98.5 |12.95 |98.5 |12.95 |98.5 |12.95 Lincolnshire |4.5 |- |4.5 |- |4.5 |- Liverpool |7.2 |9.5 |7.2 |9.5 |7.2 |9.5 Manchester |110 |78.42 |110 |68.38 |110 |68.38 Merton |28 |6.28 |28 |6.28 |28 |6.28 Newcastle |19 |5 |19 |2 |19 |2 Newham |130.8 |37.6 |127.8 |14 |127.8 |14 Norfolk |4.9 |0.75 |4.9 |0.75 |4.9 |0.75 Northamptonshire |45 |24.01 |43 |7.91 |43 |7.91 North Tyneside |8.8 |0.9 |8.8 |0.9 |8.8 |0.9 North Yorkshire |4 |0 |4 |0 |4 |0 Nottinghamshire |93 |22.1 |91 |8.9 |91 |8.9 Oldham |123.45 |41.9 |125.7 |42.7 |125.7 |36.95 Oxfordshire |44.1 |14.3 |44.1 |14.3 |44.1 |14.3 Redbridge |56.8 |5.97 |56.8 |5.97 |55.2 |5.97 Redditch |1 |0.67 |1 |0.67 |1 |0.67 Richmond |4 |0.5 |4 |0.5 |4 |0.5 Rochdale |69 |27.7 |68 |25.7 |67 |25.7 Rotherham |19.5 |16.15 |19.5 |13.4 |19.5 |13.4 Salford |2.0 |4.5 |2.0 |4.5 |2.0 |4.5 Sandwell** |91.0 |16.5 |91.0 |16.5 |91.0 |11.5 Sheffield |113.5 |42.5 |105.5 |16.0 |105.5 |16.0 Shropshire |6.0 |1.0 |6.0 |1.0 |6.0 |1.0 South Glamorgan |30.8 |9.1 |30.8 |9.1 |30.8 |9.1 Southwark |108.5 |37.75 |108.5 |37.75 |108.5 |37.75 Staffordshire** |53.0 |12.0 |53.0 |12.0 |53.0 |12.0 St. Helens |0.7 |1.0 |0.7 |1.0 |0.7 |1.0 Stockport |4.0 |2.52 |4.0 |2.52 |4.0 |2.52 Suffolk |15.8 |7.16 |15.8 |7.16 |15.8 |7.16 Sunderland |8.8 |0.49 |8.8 |0.49 |8.8 |0.49 Surrey* |17.5 |7.0 |17.5 |7.0 |17.5 |7.0 Sutton |2.0 |1.5 |2.0 |1.5 |2.0 |1.5 Tameside |20.0 |18.62 |20.0 |15.49 |20.0 |15.49 Tower Hamlets |426.5 |79.7 |426.5 |50.0 |425.5 |52.0 Trafford |15.5 |5.5 |15.0 |5.5 |15.0 |5.5 Wakefield |22.0 |2.0 |22.0 |0.0 |22.0 |0.0 Waltham Forest |114.0 |28.0 |114.0 |24.0 |114.0 |24.0 Walsall |101.0 |32.25 |101.0 |30.0 |101.0 |30.0 Wandsworth |112.0 |14.3 |105.0 |4.9 |103.0 |4.9 Warwickshire* |54.5 |12.92 |54.5 |12.92 |54.5 |12.92 Westminster |95.5 |3.56 |95.5 |0.9 |95.5 |0.9 West Sussex** |13.5 |10.89 |13.5 |3.39 |13.5 |3.39 Wigan |3.5 |0.0 |3.5 |0.0 |3.5 |0.0 Wiltshire |8.625 |1.575 |8.625 |1.575 |8.625 |1.575 Wirral* |6.0 |1.0 |6.0 |1.0 |6.0 |0.0 Wolverhampton |101.5 |37.0 |101.5 |37.0 |101.5 |37.0 Notes: 1. The figures for 1992-93 and 1993-94 are as at 1 April 1992 and 1 April 1993 respectively. 2. As to 1994-95, the figures relate to posts eligible for funding from 1 April 1994. It is a matter for authorities to decide, within the overall financial provision, how they propose to proceed in the light of the reductions in section 11 funding. Authorities marked * have indicated that they propose to make no substantive change in 1994-95. In cases marked **, authorities' proposals for change are receiving attention. In other cases, responses are awaited from authorities. 3. Since currently approved projects came into effect on 1 April 1992, a number of schools which were previously covered by local authority projects but which have since opted for grant maintained status have chosen to set up their own project funded directly under section 11. 4. Since 1 April 1993, most further education colleges, and a small number of sixth form colleges, which previously benefited from section 11 funding paid to the local education authority have begun receiving grant direct. 5. Some projects approved with effect from 1 April 1992 were, in the light of their particular circumstances, approved for periods of 2 years or less. 6. Figures relate to posts in full-time equivalent terms.
representations from a wide range of organisations and individuals against the reductions in section 11 funding. These include local authorities, local authority associations, teaching unions, racial equality councils, ethnic minority voluntary organisations, school heads and other teachers, school governors and parents.
(2) what projects will be affected (a) nationally and (b) in Coventry by reductions in section 11 funding ;
(3) what advice he has issued to local authorities as how best to apply the reduced amount of section 11 funding in order that access by ethnic minorities to the national curriculum is maintained.
Column 36necessary to make. We have suggested that any local authority that may need to form judgments about the relative priorities of different projects and posts may wish to take into account a range of considerations, including in particular the importance to the targeted ethnic minority communities of a project's objectives and the effectiveness of a project in delivering the improvements or achievements sought.
We have been gratified by the number of authorities that have already notified us that they are planning to make good the shortfall in funding in order that projects can continue at their present level. We are currently considering proposals submitted by some authorities which are planning to reduce the level of activity under their approved projects from 1994-95. Other authorities have yet to notify us of their intentions.
I understand that Coventry city council intends to make no change to existing education projects before September, but has not yet finalised its plans thereafter. No advice has yet been received with regard to Coventry's non-education projects.
I also refer the hon. Member to my reply today to a question from the hon. Member for Islington, North (Mr. Corbyn).
Mr. Cousins : To ask the President of the Board of Trade on how many occasions in the last, and current, financial year, consultants to his Department have advised him of possible conflicts of interest ; on how many occasions he has issued directions to consultants to avoid or overcome conflicts of interest ; and if he will place in the Library copies of the standard contract clauses covering these issues.
Mr. Eggar : The information requested in respect of the first part of the question is not collected and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. There is a standard clause within all consultancy contracts which requests them to inform the Department should a conflict of interest arise. I have placed copies of the clause in the Library of the House.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what was the change in the volume of United Kingdom sales of mechanical engineering products between 1990 and 1992 ; what were the corresponding figures for Germany, France and Italy ; if he will publish a table showing the value and volume of United Kingdom output, imports, exports and consumption of mechanical engineering products in 1970, 1979, 1990 and 1992 together with the numbers employed in the United Kingdom industry ; and when he expects United Kingdom output to reach the 1990 levels.
Mr. Needham : Available information on the annual output of the mechanical engineering industry in United Kingdom, France, Germany and Italy can be obtained from the Eurostat CRONOS database, which can be accessed in the Library of the House.
Figures of United Kingdom sales, exports and imports from which consumption can be derived, are publishing in the "Business Monitor" series covering the mechanical engineering industries. Compatible information on the volume of trade, and, therefore, consumption is not readily available. Employment figures are published in the "Annual Abstract of Statistics". Copies of these publications are in the Library of the House.
My Department does not forecast industrial production.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what assessment he has made of the reasons for the relative amount of output of cotton cloth in the United Kingdom from 1989 to 1993 on (a) the United Kingdom and (b) Italy, Germany and France ; if he will publish a
Column 38table showing the corresponding figures for 1973 and 1979 together with, for each of those years (i) production, imports, exports and consumption of cotton cloth by each country and (ii) United Kingdom imports from and exports of cotton cloth to each of the other three countries.
Mr. Needham : The Department has not undertaken such an assessment. Information on cotton cloth production is regularly published by the UN in "Monthly Bulletin of Statistics", a copy of which is available in the Library of the House. Information on trade in cotton cloth for the United Kingdom, Italy, France, and Germany is regularly published by the United Nations in "Yearbook of International Trade Statistics", a copy of which is available in the Library of the House. Information for the United Kingdom's trade with the other countries in cotton cloth is published by the Central Stastical Office in "Overseas Trade Statistics of the United Kingdom" which can be obtained from the Library of the House. Information on consumption of cotton cloth is not collected.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what was the change in the level of output of buses, coaches and minibuses between 1988 and 1992 ; what were the corresponding figures for Germany, France and Italy ; if he will publish a table showing the value and volume of output, imports, exports and consumption of buses, coaches and minibuses in the four countries in 1970, 1979, 1988 and 1992 together with the numbers employed ; and when he expects United Kingdom output to regain the 1990 level.
International data for the volume of production of buses are published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Ltd. in table 12 of the 1993 edition of "Motor Industry of Great Britain, World Automotive Statistics". New registrations of buses and coaches can be found in table 36 of the same publication. Information regarding the value and volume of exports for the United Kingdom can be found in table 62, and imports in table 91. For the other countries, the volume of exports is in tables 81 to 83. The table numbers referred to may vary in earlier editions. The data from this source may not be strictly comparable between countries. Figures showing the value of trade are published by the United Nations in "International Trade Statistics Yearbook volume 2". Data for the value of output and the numbers employed in the production of buses, coaches and minibuses are not available. My Department does not forecast output.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will publish figures for British imports of semi-manufactures from (a) inside and (b) outside the EC for the three months ending in January and for the same period a year ago and in 1990 ; which import categories, which exporting countries, and which user industries account for the bulk of the change ; what were the corresponding changes in the level of United Kingdom output of like goods over the same periods ; and by how much the import content of goods produced in the United Kingdom has changed as a result.
Mr. Needham : Summary information regarding total United Kingdom imports of semi-manufactures, on a balance of payments basis, is available only up to December 1993 and was published by the Central Statistical Office in "First Release, Balance of United Kingdom visible trade-December 1993", CSO(94)47. The most recent figures for imports from non-EC countries only, for January 1994, were published in "First Release, Balance of trade with countries outside the EC-January 1994," CSO(94)38.
More detailed information, on an "Overseas Trade Statistics" basis, is published in the December 1993 issue of the Business Monitor MM20, "Overseas Trade Statistics of the United Kingdom with countries outside the European Community (Extra--EC Trade)" and the third quarter 1993 issue of Business Monitor MQ20, "Overseas Trade Statistics of the United Kingdom with countries within the European Community (Intra-EC Trade : Intrastat)". These are available in the Library of the House.
Figures for 1990, by country, are not available on the balance of payments basis. The 1990 figures for individual countries, on an "Overseas Trade Statistics" basis, are available from Business Monitor MA20, "Overseas Trade Statistics of the United Kingdom". Copies of the publication are also available in the Library of the House.
Due to major differences between the industrial and trade classifications, it is not possible to provide comparable information on United Kingdom production and employment.
It is not possible to identify industries importing
semi-manufactures. Figures for the import content of United Kingdom output of finished manufactures are not available.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what assessment he has made of the reasons for the comparative performance of British exports between 1980 and 1988 ; what were the corresponding figures for Germany, Italy, France, Belgium and the Netherlands on the same basis as table 6.3 of Eurostat's "Basic Statistics of the Community" ; and if he will publish the corresponding figures for the period since 1988.
Mr. Needham : The Department has not undertaken such an assessment. The information requested is regularly published by Eurostat in "Basic Statistics of the Community", a copy of which is available in the Library of the House.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what was the (a) output, (b) level of exports, (c) level of imports and (d) consumption of wool yarn in (i) Italy and (ii) the United Kingdom in (1) 1973, (2) 1979 and (3) 1991 ; what was United Kingdom output as a percentage of the Italian output in each of these three years ; and what were United Kingdom imports from and exports to Italy of wool yarn in each of the three years.
Mr. Needham : Information of wool yarn production is regularly published by the UN in "Monthly Bulletin of Statistics", a copy of which is available in the Library of the House. Information on the trade in wool yarn of the United Kingdom and Italy is regularly published by the UN in "Yearbook of International Trade Statistics", a copy of
Column 40which is available in the Library of the House. Information on the United Kingdom's trade with Italy in wool yarn is published by the Central Statistical Office in "Overseas Trade Statistics of the United Kingdom", which can be obtained from the Library of the House.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what was the percentage change in the volume of imports in (a) the United Kingdom, (b) Italy and (c) France between (i) 1975 to 1979 and (ii) 1979 to 1993.
Mr. Needham : Information on change in the volume of imports can readily be derived from the "Monthly Statistics of Foreign Trade", published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, a copy of which is available in the Library of the House. Consistent information for 1993 is not currently available.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what was the percentage change in imports between 1980 and 1989 into (a) the United Kingdom, (b) France, (c) Italy, (d) the Netherlands, (e) Germany and (f) Belgium ; and what were the corresponding percentage increases from 1988 in each case.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what was the implied degree of change in the United Kingdom share of world trade between the latest available three months and the same period in 1990 ; what were the corresponding changes in the level of exports to the rest of the EC and non-EC countries ; what is the estimated change in the import content of United Kingdom exports since 1990 ; what is his assessment of the extent to which the change in both the nominal and real exchange rate for sterling against the ecu is responsible for that performance ; and if he will publish a table showing the terms of trade and relative volume for United Kingdom trade in finished manufactures with the rest of the EC, non- EC and all countries in the latest three months, the third quarter of 1992, the third quarter of 1990, the first quarter of 1987, the second quarter of 1979 and the second half of 1973.
Mr. Needham : The United Kingdom share of world trade can be readily derived from information regularly published in "Direction of Trade Statistics", published by the International Monetary Fund, a copy of which is available in the Library of the House. United Kingdom exports to the rest of the EC, non-EC and all countries, together with the associated terms of trade and volumes for United Kingdom trade in finished manufactures may be readily derived from data held on the Central Statistical Office data base, which can be accessed from the Library of the House. Estimates of the import content of United Kingdom exports since 1990 are not available. United Kingdom exports are now around 20 per cent. more cost competitive than prior to exchange rate mechanism withdrawal. This is clearly of benefit to United Kingdom exporters. However, the United Kingdom export
Column 41performance must be viewed in the light of the weakness of the economies of our major EC trading partners. Nor should we lose sight of the fact that it is tight control over costs which determine the competitiveness of the United Kingdom economy in the long run.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his answer of 23 February, Official Report, column 229, to what extent his Department monitors the effect of changes in terms of trade for finished manufactures on production and trade of industries other than the motor industry ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will publish a table showing for 1964, 1973, 1979, 1989 and the latest available date the number of manufacturing plants, their distribution by number of employees and the number of employees in each category ; and what is his assessment of the factors which contributed to the changes over that period.
Mr. Sainsbury : Data for 1964 are not available. The quinquenniel census of production for 1963 contained structure data in summary tables, table 4. For 1973 and 1979, figures were published in the summary tables of the "Annual Census of Production", table 6. For 1989 and 1991, the latest available year, figures were published in the summary volumes of the "Annual Census of Production", table 6. Copies of these publications are available in the Library of the House.
There were changes in the standard industrial classification, on which these figures are based, in 1968 and 1980, but in the main the figures reflect the industry's response to changes in the marketplace in the United Kingdom and overseas.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his answer of 23 February, Official Report , column 229 , for what reasons he cannot provide detailed information concerning the effect of the change in the terms of trade for finished manufactures on United Kingdom production and trade in motor cars.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list the dates Ministers, or officials from his Department, including his Department's agencies, have used the Malaysian airline MAS for each year since 1985 including this year to date on official business ; and what was the cost of each flight to his Department.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will place in the Library a copy of the speech made by the Minister for Energy to the conference on the future electricity market held in London on 11 March.
Mr. Spellar : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what assessment he has made of whether the current actions of the Malaysian Government in relation to buying British are in breach of GATT regulations ; and what action he proposes to take.
Mr. Needham : As long as any Malaysian action is limited to direct purchases by Government, there would be no breach of GATT rules, since Malaysia has not signed the GATT agreement on Government procurement. The Government will continue to monitor the position carefully, including by keeping in close touch with United Kingdom companies that may be affected.
Mr. Wareing : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what information he has received on future developments or changes in arrangements between Courage and Grand Metropolitan in respect of Inntrepreneur Estates Ltd. ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Neil Hamilton : Neither I nor my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade, have received any information about such matters. However, under section 88 of the Fair Trading Act, the Director General of Fair Trading--DGFT--has a duty to keep under review undertakings given to the Secretary of State under that section. From time to time, this may require the DGFT or his officials to meet with the parties to such undertakings. This would include Courage and Grand Metropolitan, two of the firms that gave undertakings following the Monopolies and Mergers Commission report on the Elders IXL Ltd./Grand Metropolitan plc merger. The matters discussed at any such meetings are confidential to the parties.
Mr. Barnes : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what are the latest available figures for the percentages of United Kingdom energy production and consumption which are accounted for by renewable energy sources.
Mr. Cryer : To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his answer of 7 February, Official Report, column 4 , if he will examine the speed of the sale of Charles Barker, the price involved, whether any other bidders were involved and the position of creditors of the original company.
Mr. Neil Hamilton : On the basis of the information presently before me, I am not persuaded that an investigation should be undertaken. If, however, the hon. Member is able to provide further relevant material, this will be considered.
Mr. Duncan : To ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he will make a statement about the continuation of British Coal's health and safety research programme in the period up to and after privatisation.
Mr. Eggar : In the light of the advice we received from the Health and Safety Commission on the issue of heath and safety research, the Government have now approved further expenditure of £2.1 million between 1995 and 1998 to ensure the completion of British Coal's current health and safety research and development programme.
Mr. Eggar : The Coal Industry Bill currently before Parliament includes provisions for setting up the Coal Authority which, among other functions, will be responsible for licensing coal mining operations and granting interests in coal ; and taking over British Coal's responsibilities for historic physical liabilities, including subsidence, where these are not transferred to the private sector. Subject to parliamentary approval of the Coal Industry Bill and granting of Royal Assent, the aim is to establish the authority, and thus the new independent licensing regime, about two months after the Bill receives Royal Assent, though its members may be appointed shortly before that date. The Department has sought provision for the Coal Authority in the 1994-95 estimates. Urgent expenditure, estimated at £500,000, will be met by repayable advance from the contingencies fund.
Mr. Hardy : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if coal reserves exist under all or part of (a) Dorset, (b) Wiltshire, (c) Oxfordshire, (d) Avon, (e) Herefordshire, (f) Worcestershire, (g) Buckinghamshire, (h) Berkshire, (i) Cheshire, (j) Lincolnshire, (k) Norfolk, (l) Kent, (m) Cambridgeshire, (n) Cumbria, (o) North Yorkshire and (p) Humberside ; and at what depth the shallowest seam lies in respect of each.
Mr. Eggar : My Department does not hold the information requested. Information provided by the British Geological Survey suggests that coal either does not occur, or where it does occur, it is not economically recoverable at the present time in Dorset, Oxfordshire, Herefordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Kent, Cambridgeshire and Humberside. There are deep mines in North Yorkshire where coal reserves occur at depths ranging from 300 m to 1,000 m.
Opencast coal mining and small-scale shallow underground mining currently takes place in Cumbria. Shallow coal occurs at or near the surface in localised areas in Cheshire, Worcestershire and Avon, extending slightly into west Wiltshire, but the potential is considered to be very limited in these counties.