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Column 599Flynn Green Paper on the future of Social Policy.
White Paper on Growth, etc.
Commission Communication on Immigration and Asylum Policy. M--27 June : Research Council
Article 130(J)--Rules for Participation of Undertakings. Article 130(J)-- IPR rules.
FP4 Specific Programmes.
EC/Israel Scientific and Technical Co-operation Agreement. N--27-28 June : Agriculture
Labelling of organic foods.
Health rules for the marketing of eggs.
Plant breeders' rights.
Mr. Heseltine : Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary supplementary estimate, the cash limit for class IV, vote 10 will be increased by £435,000 from £8,624,000 to £9,059,000 and the running cost limit has been increased by £435,000 from £8,192,000 to £8,627, 000.
The supplementary estimate is required to increase the provision for running costs to ensure that pro-competition policies are implemented.
The increase will be charged to the reserve and will not therefore add to the planned total of public expenditure.
Mr. Heseltine : Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary revised estimate, the cash limit for class IV, vote 1--support for business, consumer and investor protection, energy programmes and administration--will be reduced by £4,400,000 from £1,177,477,000 to £1,173,077,000.
A reduction in the gross provision from £1,402,638,000 to £1,398, 238,000 fully accounts for this amount. This reduction results from a transfer to the Scottish Office of £4,000,000 following arrangements agreed for the sale of the National Engineering Laboratory and the transfer to the Scottish and Welsh Offices of £400,000 following a restructuring of the Design Council.
There are some other changes in the allocation of provision. These include £700,000 of expenditure to provide support for the activities on a regional supply network. This is financed by a corresponding reduction in the gross running costs limit from £328,700,000 to £328, 000,000.
Mr. Eggar : Volume 1 of the report, "Markets in Transition", has been published today. Volume 2, "Oil and Gas Resources of the United Kingdom", was published on 25 April. I have placed copies in the Libraries of the House.
Column 600The energy report is an important new document. It shows that we have made considerable progress towards true competition in energy supply. Most customers are now benefiting from lower prices, in real terms, than under the former state-owned monopolies. I expect emerging competition to maintain this strong downward pressure on prices. Clearly, there remains some way to go as the title of the report, "Markets in Transition", reflects. But the signs are very encouraging so far.
The energy industries are central to the success of the United Kingdom economy. The provision of efficiently produced and secure energy is a key element in the United Kingdom's competitiveness. But a free market needs information to help consumers and investors plan with more confidence and the Government recognise that they are uniquely well placed to provide much of this information--hence the need for the report.
The report provides valuable background and signposts to further information, for those involved, or thinking of involvement, in those markets. Its readable format also makes it a useful resource to those who are simply interested in the energy sector rather than actively involved in it.
Mr. O'Neill : To ask the President of the Board of Trade how much time staff of the Office of Gas Supply spent meeting officials of his Department to prepare the consultation document "Competition and Choice in the Gas Market".
Mr. Eggar : Information on staffing levels is given in the annual reports made by the Director General of Gas Supply to the Secretary of State. These reports are laid before Parliament as required by section39(3) of the Gas Act 1986.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what plans he has to commission an inquiry to examine the implications of abolishing standing charges on domestic gas, electricity and telephone bills.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list the grades and qualifications of each member of each committee which contributed to the review of the fire safety legislation and its enforcement ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Neil Hamilton : The team undertaking the review of fire safety legislation and enforcement consisted of a grade 5 from the Department of the Environment, an area director from the Health and Safety Executive and a grade 7 from the Home Office.
They were assisted by a steering group, chaired by a grade 3 from my Department, and made up of a number of civil servants of various grades from the Home Office, the Department of the Environment, the Health and Safety Executive, the Scottish Office, my Department and the No. 10 policy unit.
The review team was also able to draw upon expert advice from an advisory group made up of the president of the Institute of Building Control, a serving chief fire officer, a partner in a firm of building designers and planners, the director of the Fire Protection Association and two fire safety managers from manufacturing and service sector companies.
I have nothing further to add on the review to the answer given to the hon. Member for Wentworth (Mr. Hardy) on 14 June, Official Report, columns 427- 28.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will publish a table showing the value of Export Credits Guarantee Department support for long-term capital goods business for each year since 1979.
|£ million ------------------------------ 1979-80 |3,816 1980-81 |3,668 1981-82 |7,340 1982-83 |8,440 1983-84 |3,199 1984-85 |2,458 1985-86 |1,519 1986-87 |2,601 1987-88 |1,712 1988-89 |2,067 1989-90 |1,959 1990-91 |2,300 1991-92 |2,095 1992-93 |3,802
The totals for 1979-80 and 1980-81 are not strictly comparable with the others in the table as they are based on a now discarded definition of the value of ECGD's support.
In his statement of the 11 May 1994, my hon. Friend the Minister for Trade announced a provisional figure for the value of ECGD support for capital goods business in 1993-94 of nearly £4.1 billion. Fuller details will be provided in ECGD's forthcoming annual report for 1993-94.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will give the principal import and export competing industries ; what was the output (a) in 1990, (b) at its peak together with the year, of that peak since 1964 and (c) at the latest available date.
Mr. Needham : Detailed information on industrial production prior to 1978 is not readily obtainable on current classifications. The available information, for those industries where total United Kingdom overseas trade --imports plus exports--exceeded £5 billion in 1992, is given in the table :
SIC(80) Brief description Index of production (1990 = 100) Activity heading |1978 |Peak |(Year) |1993 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 2512 |Basic general organic chemicals |84 |120 |(1992) |116 3302 |Electronic data processing equipment |13 |142 |(1993) |142 3453 |Active components and electronic sub-assemblies|43 |103 |(1992) |99 3510 |Motor vehicles and their engines |132 |132 |(1978) |91 3530 |Motor vehicle parts |92 |102 |(1993) |102 3640 |Aerospace equipment manufacturing and repairing|50 |100 |(1990) |86 Source: CSO-Index of production.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the President of the Board of Trade (1) pursuant to his oral statement of 24 May, Official Report, column 183, what has been the change in employment in manufacturing since 1979 ; what is his estimate of how many jobs have been lost (a) because of lack of training, (b) lack of investment and (c) other non-price factors.
(2) what consideration he has given, in drawing up his White Paper, "Competitiveness : Helping Business to Win" to the reasons for the change in the number of jobs in manufacturing industry since 1973 ; and if he will publish his estimate of the number of such jobs which have been lost as a result of (a) the change in the real exchange rate, (b) a poorly trained work force, (c) insufficient investment and (d) inefficient management.
Mr. Sainsbury : There has been a general decline in manufacturing employment in the developed world for many years. Since 1979, manufacturing employment in the United Kingdom has fallen by 3 million. Factors behind the decline include major improvements in productivity and the classification of jobs where activities such as transport are contracted out.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what assumption he made about the desirable level of output per man on United Kingdom manufacturing industry relative to that in (a) the USA, (b) Germany and (c) Japan in drawing up the White Paper "Competitiveness : Helping Business to Win".
Mr. Sainsbury : The White Paper on competitiveness makes clear that United Kingdom industry must continually improve its productivity if it is to prosper in the increasingly competitive world marketplace. During the 1980s, output per man in United Kingdom manufacturing grew more quickly than in the USA, Germany or Japan.
American-owned manufacturing plants in Britain.
Mr. Sainsbury : The latest information refers to 1991 and is listed in the "Report on the Census of Production", summary volume, table 18, Business Monitor PA 1002, a copy of which is available in the Library of the House.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the President of the Board of Trade further to his White Paper "Competitiveness : Helping Business to Win", what assessment he has made of the reason for the change since 1990 in the output of United Kingdom industries engaged in producing internationally traded goods ; and what was the percentage of change from the recent peak to the present day.
Mr. Sainsbury : Industrial production in April was slightly below its June 1990 peak, but was 1.7 per cent. above the average for 1990 as a whole and 8per cent. higher than its trough in May 1992. In the latest three months, industrial production in the United Kingdom rose by 4.5per cent. compared to a year earlier, while in Germany it rose by less than 2per cent. and fell in France, Italy and Japan. The recovery in industrial production shows the benefit of low inflation, low interest rates and sound public finances.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what research has been undertaken following the Hinsworth committee recommendations in preparation for future authorisation of the use, manufacture or export of oleorsin capsicum pepper gas within the United Kingdom.
The Home Office police scientific development branch has collated scientific information available on oleorsin capsicum, commonly known as pepper spray. The study concluded that although pepper sprays are used extensively by law enforcement agencies in the United States of America there were a number of unanswered issues relating to the safety of these sprays. One particular concern is whether capsaicin, the active ingredient of OC, might cause cancer to those using or exposed to the spray.
We have commissioned further scientific research into this aspect in consultation with the Department of Health. Following this research, which is expected to take six months to complete, we will be in a better position to judge whether pepper sprays are appropriate for police use in this country.
Under section 5(1)(b) of the Firearms Act 1968, as amended, devices capable of discharging a noxious substance are classed as prohibited weapons. We consider that devices such as pepper sprays are covered by the terms of section 5(1)(b). This means that their possession, acquistion, manufacture, sale or transfer is prohibited without the authority of the Secretary of State.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what are the planned numbers of health visitors, district nurses, school nurses, community psychiatric nurses, health visitor students and district nurse students for each year from 1995 to 1999.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : It is impossible to identify all of the cases of sexual abuse where children were involved because the Scottish Office Home and Health Department's classification of crimes and offences does not contain information on the victims of crime. The table lists those sexual offences within the classification which by definition involve persons aged under 16.
Persons proceeded against in Scottish courts where the main crime was sexual abuse of persons aged under 16 |1988|1989|1990|1991|1992 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Lewd and Libidinous Practices<1> |222 |226 |218 |200 |186 Intercourse with girl under 13 |7 |6 |9 |2 |7 Intercourse with girl between 13 and 16 |100 |105 |110 |95 |65 Causing or encouraging seduction, prostitution of a girl under 16 |3 |- |1 |- |- |-- |-- |-- |-- |-- Total |332 |337 |338 |297 |258 <1> Includes section 5 of the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 1976.
Mrs. Fyfe : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the outcome for each one of the patients for whom an intensive care unit bed at Glasgow royal infirmary was requested on 29 January at a time when all five intensive care beds were full.
Mr. Stewart : The outcome for each of the six patients for whom a request for an intensive care bed was made was as follows : First patient-- transferred from the burns unit, Glasgow Royal Infirmary (GRI), to the intensive care unit, Western Infirmary, Glasgow.
Second patient--transferred from emergency theatre, GRI, to the intensive care unit, Southern General, Glasgow.
Third patient--following discussion between the referring consultant and the consultant in charge of intensive care, patient remained in the geriatric assessment unit, GRI.
Fourth patient--tranferred from Inverclyde hospital to the intensive care unit, Southern General, Glasgow.
Fifth patient--underwent emergency surgery at GRI but died in theatre.
Sixth patient--remained in the medical receiving unit, GRI.
Mrs. Fyfe : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what trends general practitioners have experienced in the number of night visits over the last 25 years ; and what is his assessment of the reasons for those trends.
Financial year |Number of --------------------------------------------- 1976-77 |81,614 1977-78 |80,989 1978-79 |83,909 1979-80 |84,620 1980-81 |83,347 1981-82 |90,649 1982-83 |96,231 1983-84 |103,106 1984-85 |107,598 1985-86 |119,130 1986-87 |138,104 1987-88 |122,747 1988-89 |132,640 1989-90 |143,556 1990-91 |206,946 1991-92 |244,310 1992-93 |232,201 1993-94 |245,158 Notes: 1. The figures for financial years 1976-77 to 1989-90 are derived from total accrued payments to general medical practitioners in Scotland for night visits for each of those years. 2. The figures for 1990-91 to 1992-93 are the total numbers of night visit claims for which GMPs received payment in each of those years. 3. The figure for 1993-94 is an estimate based on the total number of night visit claims for which GMPs received payment during the first six months of that year.
Mr. Donohoe : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what examination is being made by the Scottish Office of the current procedures for dealing with complaints within the national health service following the report on this matter produced by the Department of Health.
Mr. Stewart : The report entitled "Being Heard", prepared by an independent committee under the chairmanship of Professor Alan Wilson, vice chancellor of Leeds university, makes recommendations for changes to the procedures for making and handling of complaints throughout the United Kingdom. The report was published on 11 May and my noble and learned Friend the Minister of State has invited comments on the proposals contained in the report. These should be submitted by Friday 12 August.
Mr. Stewart : Health boards operate on the basis of two statutory complaints procedures, as set out in the reply that I gave to the hon. Member on 6 May 1994 at column 687 and of a non-statutory procedure for dealing with complaints which relate to the clinical judgment of medical and dental staff in hospitals.
Mr. Stewart : This information is not available for the full period requested. Information about complaints is now published in a series of quarterly complaints bulletins copies of which are held in the Library of the House. The first of these bulletins covers the period from 1 January to 31 March 1993.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Once the two Libyan accused have been fully committed in custody for trial before a Scottish court the prosecution authorities must be prepared to commence the trial within 110 days from that
Column 607date--which means effectively, within 120 days of their being brought before the court following arrest. It is open to the defence to seek a postponement of trial and the court may, for that purpose, extend the 110-day period. A criminal trial arising from an investigation as extensive as the Lockerbie inquiry will inevitably run for a substantial period of time, but the length of the trial is not controlled by the Crown and so it is not possible for my noble and learned Friend the Lord Advocate to give an estimate of its length.