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Mr. Cousins.: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what arrangements are in place to ensure co-ordination between his Department's companies and investigation branches and other regulatory bodies and agencies concerned with the control of money laundering; and how many cases have been referred to (a) non-Government statutory body or (b) a non- Government professional disciplinary body.
Mr. Neil Hamilton: The structure set up to enable supervisory authorities to report information on money laundering, following the coming into force of the Criminal Justice Act 1993, provides that the National Criminal Intelligence section at Scotland Yard should be the first reporting point. This is a non-operational unit of the police, having a central intelligence gathering function, which is answerable to my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary through the police department of the Home Office. Having received such information the NCIS then informs the local police force of any reporting of any suspected money laundering in its area of jurisdiction and it is that force which will investigate the matter further.
The combined effect of the Act and the regulations under it is to lift certain restrictions on disclosure which exist by virtue of, for example, statute and which might otherwise prevent such reporting. A regular liaison
Column 151facility has been set up between NCIS and the supervisory authority which also includes various DTI divisions and, for example, those regulating insurance and financial services. Such facilities are designed to assist not only the reporting of suspected money laundering as above but disclosure of any such information on positive money laundering which might implicate a regulated person and throw doubt on his or her continued fitness for the job. Such information can be passed to regulators through a range of statutory gateways if it is required for the exercise of the functions of the recipient regulator. Such information is confidential and it is not our policy to reveal details of it, nor of any recipients of it.
Mr. Fatchett: To ask the President of the Board of Trade (1) if local authorities in objective 2 regions in the United Kingdom will be fully involved in the process of negotiations of EU support for their respective regions; and if he will make a statement; (2) how the principle of local determination and discretion will be upheld in the current round of negotiations concerning the objective 2 plans and programmes within the United Kingdom;
Mr. Eggar: The negotiations are between the Government and the Commission, but the designated local partners, including local authorities, will be consulted throughout. There is a maximum of local discretion consistent with European law and Government policy, but it is not an overriding principle.
Mr. Fatchett: To ask the President of the Board of Trade which national measures he intends to co-finance from the European regional development fund and the European social fund under the 1994 96 objective 2 and objective 3 programmes; and what was the level of national support for these measures in each year since 1990 91.
Mr. Eggar: The following national programmes are intended to be supported by the ERDF under objective 2 and the ESF under objectives 2 and 3. Expenditure on them since 1990 91 has been as follows. The ESF has contributed to these programmes; the ERDF has so far contributed only to SPUR.
|1990-91|1991-92|1992-3 |1993-4 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ £ million ERDF: Objective 2 Managing in the 90s |1.8 |2.2 |3.2 |3.7 Small Firms Award for Research and Technology (SMART) |9.4 |12.0 |12.1 |12.9 Support for Products under Research (SPUR) |- |0.3 |5.9 |8.7 Teaching Company Scheme |11.2 |10.2 |10.0 |11.5 Business Link Innovation and Technology Counsellors |- |- |- |- Pump-priming support for Business Links |- |- |- |0.9 Enterprise activities organised by Training and Enterprise Councils (TECs) |- |- |- |32.3 Diagnostic and Consultancy Scheme |- |- |- |- ESF: Objectives 2 and 3 Training for work |- |- |- |892.4 Youth Training |823.4 |853.2 |757.1 |766.6 Restart |10.5 |10.6 |10.9 |11.3 Jobplan |- |- |- |32.1 YTCredits |- |- |- |- Skillseekers |- |- |- |- Modern Apprenticeships |- |- |- |-
Mr. Fatchett: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what progress has been made with the approval of the objective one plan for Merseyside; and what principles agreed in those negotiations are directly transferable to objective two negotiations relating to (a) measures, (b) working arrangements, (c) use of technical assistance, (d) targeting of resources and (e) other matters.
Each of the 13 British objective two single programming documents is now being negotiated on the basis of the Government's plan for the area concerned. It is not possible to forecast how many of the points in any of the objective 1 documents may be included also in the objective 2 ones.
Mr. Fatchett: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what arrangements have been made to ensure that structural fund resources are being made available now to national and local agencies under (a) objective 2 and (b) objective 3.
Mr. Eggar: Structural funds grants are made in accordance with the terms of single programming documents --SPDs--or community support frameworks--CSFs--which are adopted by the Commission in agreement with the member state concerned. The previous CSFs, for all member states, expired at the end of 1993; allocations of grants from 1994, and the corresponding payments, are therefore dependent on the adoption of new SPDs or CSFs.
Throughout Europe, the adoption of new SPDs and CSFs has been delayed. The 1994 96 objective three SPD for the United Kingdom was however adopted on 5 August. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Employment has already begun paying first advances of grant to projects approved under its terms.
No 1994 96 objective two SPDs or CSFs have yet been adopted for any member state. Negotiations are due to be concluded next month; project approvals, and the first payments, will proceed after adoption.
Mr. Fatchett: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what level of resource will be made available by the United Kingdom Government for business support measures which will be co-financed by the European structural funds in 1994, 1995 and 1996 in (a) objective two areas and (b) non-objective two areas.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Million ecu (1994 prices) Northern Ireland Aids to industry |37.11 |8.84 Merseyside Incentives for local business development |76.0 |<1>72.0 Highlands and Islands Financial support for development of new ventures and SMEs; capital investment and marketing appropriate to SMEs |23.0 |<2>23.0 Financial support for research and development |6.0 |<2>6.0 Improve access to business information, financial services and market intelligence |7.0 |<2>7.0 For Merseyside and the Highlands and Islands, the Government contribution is not separately specified. Separate figures for the years 1994, 1995 and 1996 are not available. The allocations in Objective 2 and 5 (b) areas of the United Kingdom will depend on the terms of the SPDs for these areas, which have not yet been adopted. <1> Including Local Authorities, TECs, Business Links, Merseyside Development Corporation, British Coal Enterprise, Inner City Task Forces <2> Including Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Local Enterprise Companies
Mr. Fatchett: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on the role of the European investment bank and European Coal and Steel Community in policy and regional development; and what arrangements are to be put in hand for their administration within the United Kingdom for the period from 1994 to 1996.
Mr. Eggar: The roles of the European Investment Bank--EIB--and the European Coal and Steel Community-- ECSC--are specified in the treaties of Rome and Paris respectively: see in particular article 130 of the treaty of Rome and article 56 of the treaty of Paris.
Applications for EIB loans can be made at any time; there are no special arrangements for the period 1994 96. The EIB, which has an office in London, deals direct with applications for loans of over £10 million and will provide a list of financial intermediaries who deal with smaller applications.
Applications for ECSC regional loans of more than £6 million should be made to the European Commission, in Luxembourg; applications for smaller loans may be made to Bank of Scotland, Barclays bank, Clydesdale bank, Investors in Industry (3i), Midland bank, Natwest bank, Royal bank of Scotland, TSB Scotland or the Welsh Development Agency. In view of the impending expiry of the treaty of Paris, applications will not be accepted after 31 December 1996. For the whole European Community the loans are administered, from offices in Luxembourg, by the EIB and the Commission respectively. Both publish annual reports. There is no separate administration in the United Kingdom. However, the Government offices in the English regions are glad to advise intending applicants.
Mr. Fatchett: To ask the President of the Board of Trade (1) what consultations he has undertaken to date to ascertain the views of national and local agencies in his proposals for regional challenge;
(2) what representations he has received to support his regional challenge proposals for objective 2 areas.
Mr. Fisher: To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many firms in Britain employed (a) one or two people, (b) three to nine people, (c) 10 to 19 people, (d) 20 to 49 people, (e) 50 to 99 people and (f) over 99 people in each of the last 15 years.
Mr. Ian Taylor: Estimates of the number of businesses in different size classes have been produced for five of the last 15 years, for the United Kingdom. The exact size classes requested are not available. Comparable estimates for these five years are given in the table.
Number of firms (thousands) in the United Kingdom by employment size class Number of employees Year |1-2 |3-10 |11-19 |20-49 |50-99 |over 99|Total ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1979<1> |1,099 |498 |109 |46 |16 |24 |1,791 1980-1985Not Available 1986<1> |1,595 |713 |84 |56 |16 |17 |2,481 1987-1988Not Available 1989<2> |1,852 |825 |104 |68 |23 |17 |2,888 1990<2> |1,826 |804 |103 |62 |21 |19 |2,834 1991<2> |1,735 |761 |97 |65 |20 |19 |2,697 Source: <1> Employment Gazette, February 1992, <2> The NatWest Review of Small Business Trends, Volume 3/Number 1/June 1993.
Mr. Neil Hamilton: Lloyd's returns to the DTI are prepared on a global basis and they contain no figures for losses in the USA. Detailed figures covering certain classes of non-marine business denominated in US dollars are however provided to the Department. These show that Lloyd's made a significant proportion of their overall losses on these categories of business on policies written before 1986.
Mr. Llwyd: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will publish for each of the last available five years the total budget of the Welsh Consumer Council, together with the outturn spending for those years; and if he will make a statement on the limits placed on spending decisions authorised by the chief executive.
Year |£ Sterling ------------------------------------------- Income for Year 1989-90 |183,921 1990-91 |209,431 1991-92 |237,428 1992-93 |249,869 1993-94 |290,845 Expenditure for Year 1989-90 |184,383 1990-91 |212,929 1991-92 |240,499 1992-93 |238,198 1993-94 |271,627 <1> Figures show only direct expenditure incurred by the Welsh Consumer Council which receives its share of Government grant-in-aid from the NCC. Central costs, such as staff salaries, are borne by the NCC. Where expenditure exceeds income this is funded either by reduced expenditure elsewhere in the NCC's budget or by any accumulated surplus permitted under the grant-in-aid conditions.
It is for the Welsh Consumer Council to decide upon suitable spending limits, although the director of the National Consumer Council, as accounting officer is responsible to the Department for ensuring expenditure is properly authorised and that expenditure is contained within the agreed allocation.
Column 156by his Department in deciding the disbursement of regional selective assistance.
Mr. Illsley: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what representations his Department has made to the European Commission in respect of the repayment of illegal subsidies to Belgium by the Belgian company Beaulieu and its subsidiary Fabelta; and what level of repayment has been made to date.
Mr. Needham: The Government have raised the question of the repayment of the aid paid illegally to Fabelta on a number of occasions with the European Commission since the ruling of the European Court of Justice in February 1990 that the aid should be repaid and has pressed them to secure compliance. Following the judgment in the Gent commercial court against the company the Belgian Government should now be taking steps to recover all the aid.
Mr. Meacher: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what reports he has received from the Swiss or French Government's, police or judiciary in relation to the Swiss company SASEA and its United Kingdom subsidiaries; what actions he has taken as a result; what complaints he has received in relation to the collapse of the Mountleigh company; if he will order an investigation; and what is his policy in relation to the level of losses at a company which will automatically incur an investigation.
It is not my Department's policy to discuss complaints received in relation to individual companies. If the hon. Member has information to suggest that there is good reason for a Companies Act investigation, my officials will consider it if he forwards it in the usual manner. Monetary loss is only one aspect of the test of good reason, there are no thresholds as such.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what was the level of import penetration of foreign manufactures in the United Kingdom and the United Kingdom shares of main manufacturing countries exports of manufactures in 1970 and at the latest available date; and what was the increase in the terms of trade for finished manufactures since the second half of 1973 and the corresponding increase in relative unit values for exports of manufactures.
Column 15712.2 of the CSO's annual abstract of statistic', a copy of which is available in the Library of the House. The information on import penetration for 1970 is published in CSO's "Economic Trends" August 1977, a copy of which is available in the Library of the House, but is not comparable with the 1989 data. Comparable information for 1970 could be produced only at disproportionate cost.
The terms of trade for finished manufactures, can be readily derived from information held on the Central Statistical Office database, which can be accessed via the Library of the House. Information on United Kingdom shares of MMC exports of manufactures, and relative unit values for manufactures-- back in 1975--can be accessed from the
Column 158Central Statistical Office database via the Library of the House. Import-saving and Export Industries
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will give the change to output and employment in the import-saving and export industries, since 1990; and if he will publish a table showing the peak output in each of the principal import-competing and export industries since 1988, the subsequent low, and the latest figure.
Mr. Needham: The principal import and export competing industries can be defined as those industries where total United Kingdom overseas trade--imports plus exports--exceeded £5 billion in 1992. On this basis six industries are identified.
Percentage change Index of production (1990=100) |Index of Production |Employment (Q2 94 |(Q2 94 SIC (80) Activity |compared with Q2 90)|compared with Q2 90)|Peak output since |(Quarter,Year) |Subsequent low |(Quarter,Year) |Q2 1994 Heading Brief |1988 Description ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2512 Basic general organic chemicals |26 |-52 |125 |(Q2 1994) |- |- |125 3302 Electronic data processing equipment |58 |-19 |171 |(Q2 1994) |- |- |171 3453 Active components and electronic sub-assemblies |24 |-41 |125 |(Q2 1994) |- |- |125 3510 Motor vehicles and their engines |-7 |-18 |113 |(Q1 1989) |85 |(Q3 1991) |95 3530 Motor vehicle parts |13 |-16 |110 |(Q2 1994) |- |- |110 3640 Aerospace equipment manufacturing and repairing |-22 |-29 |105 |(Q4 1990) |76 |(Q2 1994) |76 Source: CSO - Index of Production, DTI, using data from Employment Department & Northern Ireland Office.
Domestic electricity prices Index numbers: 1990-100 |Real prices |(deflated using |the GDP (market Year |Current prices |prices) deflator) ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1986-87 |82.3 |103.4 1987-88 |81.8 |97.6 1988-89 |88.0 |98.4 1989-90 |94.0 |98.4 1990-91 |102.1 |100.6 1991-92 |112.8 |104.6 1992-93 |116.4 |103.8 1993-94 |114.5 |99.0 Q1 1994-95 |121.0 |103.5
Column 158privatisation of electricity generators distributors in (a) their labour and labour unit costs, (b) the unit cost of energy consumed or electricity received and (c) the margin of profit and rate of return on capital; and what is the percentage difference between the return on capital on the basis of historic costs and that in manufacturing industry.
Mr. Charles Wardle: This is a matter for the companies concerned. The Director General of Electricity Supply has recently investigated aspects of performance in the electricity industry, and published two reports "Decision on a Monopolies and Mergers Commission Reference" and "The Distribution Price Control: Proposals". I have arranged for copies of these reports to be placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will publish a table bringing up-to-date the share of the home market held by imports of selected products in 1964 together with all the other comparisons of competitiveness shown in paragraphs 63(b) and 63(c) in the report of the National Economic Development Council inquiry into competitiveness entitled "Imported Manufactures", presented to the
Column 159Council in August 1965 and subsequently published by HMSO; and if he will include this estimate of the increase in the terms of trade since 1964 in the case of trade with (a) the EEC and (b) non-EEC countries, together with the increase in relative export unit values.
Mr. Eggar: Information to update the share held by imports of home markets sectors is not currently available. The terms of trade indices for United Kingdom trade (a) with EC countries and (b) with non-EC countries can be derived for years since 1988 from data in table A19 of the monthly review of external trade
statistics--MRETS-- which is available in the Library of the House. For earlier years, the series is available only for United Kingdom trade in total, from the Central Statistical offices; central shared database, access to which is available in the Library of the House. Relative export unit value indices, for manufactured exports in comparison with those of principal competitors, are published for recent years in table D5 of MRETS; comparable data are not available for 1964.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what assessment he has made of the reasons for the change in levels of United Kingdom output and employment in the United Kingdom consumer goods industries since 1990 and of the contribution made to this by imports; and if he will publish a table showing the change in the volume of imports, exports and home demand for consumer goods in the first quarter of 1994 compared with 1990, together with the numbers employed and his estimate of the net effect of the increase in imports on employment.
Mr. Eggar: It is not possible to split employment in the manufacturing industries into that which is specifically for the production of consumer goods. My Department does not make specific estimates of the impact of trade on output and employment. The change in the volume of imports and exports in the first quarter of 1994 compared with 1990 is available from data published in the "Monthly Review of External Trade Statistics" and on the Central Statistical Office database, which are available in the Library of the House. The equivalent change for output can be taken from the index of production which is also on the Central Statistical Office database. The trade data is based on a different classification from the output data and therefore it is not possible to construct a series showing home demand for consumer goods.
Mr. Ian Taylor: This was a management matter for the Welsh Consumer Council and the National Consumer Council. Whilst the councils kept my Department informed it was not an issue in which the Department would intervene.
Mr. David Nicholson: To ask the President of the Board of Trade how much income Post Office Counters generated from its contract with the Royal Mail in 1993 94 and in each of the five preceding years.
Year |Million £ ------------------------------ 1993-94 |221 1992-93 |212 1991-92 |212 1990-91 |191 Figures for 1989-90 and 1988-89 are not available on a comparable basis.
Mr. David Nicholson: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what proportion of mail handled by the Royal Mail (a) in 1993 94 and (b) in each of the five years preceding that year was classified as (a) business mail and (b) domestic mail.
Mr. David Nicholson: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what proportion of the gross annual income of the Royal Mail was derived from handling mail (a) in 1993 94 and (b) in each of the five years preceding that year.
Year |Per cent. ------------------------------ 1993-94 |97.9 1992-93 |97.9 1991-92 |97.9 1990-91 |98.8 1989-90 |97.8 1988-89 |97.7
Mr. David Nicholson: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what percentage of the total annual income of Post Office Counters was generated from income derived from its contract with the Royal Mail (a) in 1993 94 and (b) in each of five years preceding that year; and what is the estimated percentage of income for 1994 95.
Year |Per cent. ------------------------------ 1993-94 |20 1992-93 |20 1991-92 |21 1990-91 |20
The figures for 1989 90 and 1988 89 are not available on a comparable basis. Forecasts of income are commercially confidential.
Mr. David Nicholson: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what proportion of the gross annual income of the Royal Mail was derived from handling mail with a postage cost of less than £1 (a) in 1993 94 and (b) in each of the five years preceding that year.
Mrs. Roche: To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many overseas visits he and each of his Ministers have made between 1 January and 30 June; during how many he, or each of his Ministers, participated in fundraising activities for the Conservative party; and if he will name the Ministers and the countries in which these activities took place.
Mr. Heseltine: Between 1 January and 30 June 1994 Ministers in my Department made 33 overseas visits in their official capacity. Fundraising activities for the Conservative party are not part of our official duties.
Mr. Rowlands: To ask the President of the Board of Trade (1) whether he will conduct a review of the costs incurred by householders whose properties are affected by mining subsidence in obtaining structural engineering reports;
(2) if he will conduct a review of the problems of household insurance for householders whose properties are affected by mining subsidence; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Charles Wardle: I see no grounds for such a review. The Association of British Insurers has recently assured me that there is definitely no industry bar on writing subsidence cover in coal mining areas. The industry's general principles are that existing contracts will be offered for renewal at expiry, subject to the usual underwriting criteria on any cover renewal including features such as claims in the year, new material features etc, but such decisions are matters for the individual insurer in the light of its own criteria.
Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the President of the Board of Trade at which precise place British Nuclear Fuels take title to the Purex radioactive nitric under contract for import from the United States of America.
Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if British Nuclear Fuels plc or the predecessor fuel division of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority has co-processed reactor grade plutonium from electricity board Magnox reactors with plutonium in spent fuel from the Calder Hall or Chapel Cross reactors.
Mr. Eggar: Co-processing at Sellafield of spent fuel from Calder Hall and Chapelcross, and from the reactors of the electricity generating boards ceased in 1986. Since then, such materials have been reprocessed separately.
Column 162of the treaty on European Union in regard to the letter of 17 June from the United States Department of State to the Commission on the extension of the 1960 United States Euratom co-operation agreement.
Mr. Needham: The negotiations on a new nuclear co-operation agreement with the United States are being conducted pursuant to article 101 of the European Atomic Energy Community treaty and are unconnected with article 228 of the treaty of Rome, as amended by the treaty on European Union. My Department has received from the Commission a copy of the letter of 17 June from the US Secretary of State which forms part of the continuing negotiations between the Commission and the United States. A further negotiating meeting was held on 3 October.
Mrs. Ann Winterton: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what steps he is taking to ensure that the regional sourcing proposals about which his Department is currently consulting do not undermine the position of existing businesses in the sourcing sector; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Eggar: The regional supply network offices are encouraged to make use of existing businesses in the sourcing sector to assist in delivery of their services where they consider this appropriate. In addition, each office will be required to carry out a feasibility study on charging for its services before the end of its first year of operation.
Mrs. Ann Winterton: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what consideration he has given to proposals from manufacturing contacts for the provision of an alternative service to his regional sourcing proposals; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Eggar: The service will be delivered through regional partnerships of existing business support organisations. They have been encouraged to consider ways in which they might co-operate with other bodies, including manufacturing contacts, in the provision of product sourcing services.
Mr. Eggar: I am currently awaiting detailed proposals from the prospective regional supply network offices, including their initial views on any charging policy. It is likely that it will not generally be appropriate for the offices to make charges initially. Each office will however be required to undertake a review of the feasibility of charging before the end of its first year of operation.