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Mr. Alfred Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many representations he and his predecessors have received in regard to the granting of British citizenship to Mr. Ali Al Fayed; and when and from whom they were received.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: My right hon. and learned Friend and his predecessor have received representations from five people concerning Mr. Ali Al Fayed's application. It is not our practice to disclose details of private communications.
Mr. Win Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police forces have adopted the recommendations of best practice identified in the working group report on firearms licensing.
Mr. Maclean: All police forces are fully aware of the recommendations made by a Home Office working group in 1991. The extent to which forces follow the detail of these recommendations is regularly monitored by Her Majesty's inspectorate of constabulary. I am satisfied that they are widely complied with.
Ms Primarolo: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the annual rate of infant, neonate and childhood homicide in each of the last 10 years.
Mr. Maclean: The readily available information which relates to offences currently recorded as homicide for the years 1982 to 1992, where the age of the victim was under one year, from one to under five years, and from five to under 16 years is published in "Criminal Statistics, England and Wales, 1992" (Cm 2410), chapter 4 and table 4.6.
A copy of this publication is in the Library.
Provisional figures for 1993 are as follows:
Offences currently recorded as homicide in England and Wales |Number --------------------------------------------------------- Victim aged under 1 year |28 Victim aged under 1 year and under 5 years |29 Victim aged 5 years and under 16 years |16
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what checks have been made by his Department on the importation into the United Kingdom of fountain pens that conceal a 4 inch blade; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maclean: No checks are made on the importation of these items. They are not among weapons which it is an offence to import.
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the total expenditure per English and Welsh local authority under section 11 for each year since 1992 and the current year to date; and what proportion of this was borne by his Department and by the local authority concerned.
Mr. Nicholas Baker [holding answer 26 October 1994]: Readily available information is shown in the table. This lists all authorities in England and Wales with section 11 projects approved for funding since 1 April 1992, including those which, since 1 April 1994, have received such funding from the Department of the Environment's single regeneration budget.
The figures for 1992 93 and 1993 94 are for grant claimed in relation to authorities' expenditure within those financial years, when grant was normally paid at a set rate of 75 per cent. of authorities' expenditure.
Column 773The figures for 1994 95 show the grant allocation which has been notified to each authority provided that
Column 774the authority's own expenditure within this financial year is not less than the minimum figure indicated.
Expenditure AllocationTotal minimum (grant cost) expenditure Authority |1992-93 |1993-94 |1994-95 |1994-95 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Avon |761,771 |818,931 |615,251 |885,098 Barking and Dagenham |334,550 |323,379 |230,860 |332,114 Barnet |1,443,463|1,006,318|748,243 |1,076,420 Bedfordshire |3,068,086|3,206,333|2,361,022|3,396,558 Berkshire |1,343,514|1,423,166|1,053,875|1,516,101 Bexley |92,990 |161,586 |100,138 |144,058 Birmingham |7,432,641|5,802,182|4,046,501|5,821,282 Blackburn |57,749 |68,107 |49,539 |71,267 Bolton |1,089,458|1,171,230|880,505 |1,266,691 Bradford |5,891,883|5,717,323|4,204,150|6,048,075 Brent |2,714,377|2,496,137|1,742,385|2,506,589 Buckinghamshire |1,474,520|1,490,141|1,095,250|1,575,623 Burnley |18,356 |25,772 |18,774 |27,008 Bury |409,210 |486,477 |354,547 |510,050 Calderdale |1,072,798|1,165,370|853,361 |1,227,642 Cambridgeshire |1,359,939|1,335,704|976,563 |1,404,880 Camden |1,371,927|1,552,686|1,111,346|1,598,778 Cardiff |8,834 |10,727 |7,888 |11,348 Cheshire |90,747 |99,664 |73,862 |106,258 Cleveland |638,348 |657,082 |479,638 |690,006 Coventry |2,852,760|2,836,578|2,108,375|3,033,101 Croydon |1,203,239|1,337,072|949,775 |1,366,343 Derbyshire |1,070,613|1,432,669|1,046,415|1,505,369 Devon |15,596 |15,816 |11,949 |17,190 Doncaster |111,754 |137,275 |100,338 |144,346 Dudley |1,247,764|1,136,839|877,198 |1,216,934 Durham |96,532 |170,774 |119,090 |171,322 Ealing |2,750,445|3,476,557|2,591,454|3,728,057 East Sussex |178,051 |179,216 |139,412 |200,558 Enfield |1,240,331|1,432,895|1,058,164|1,522,271 Essex |33,143 |34,685 |25,755 |37,051 Gateshead |30,774 |32,918 |22,732 |32,702 Gloucester |17,250 |41,082 |28,983 |41,695 Gloucestershire |328,631 |362,423 |265,008 |381,240 Greenwich |1,573,087|1,819,983|1,329,673|1,912,863 Gwent |149,533 |268,583 |192,662 |277,163 Hackney |4,357,490|4,021,298|3,147,620|4,528,155 Hammersmith and Fulham |866,260 |962,912 |713,289 |1,026,135 Hampshire |674,973 |748,448 |558,367 |803,265 Haringey |2,183,264|3,214,058|2,604,874|3,747,363 Harrow |877,243 |755,341 |556,992 |801,287 Havering |51,960 |50,636 |39,169 |56,348 Hereford and Worcester |204,564 |238,339 |175,235 |252,092 Hertfordshire |2,209,385|2,051,062|1,492,311|2,146,833 Hillingdon |439,974 |418,911 |317,055 |456,114 Hounslow |1,754,451|1,899,331|1,389,502|1,998,933 Humberside |309,419 |392,438 |275,863 |396,856 Hyndburn |17,397 |23,426 |17,860 |25,693 Islington |1,980,042|2,032,924|1,434,673|2,063,916 Kensington and Chelsea |1,140,253|1,162,052|899,845 |1,294,514 Kent |1,225,489|1,508,814|1,095,957|1,576,640 Kingston |119,547 |152,223 |106,742 |153,559 Kirklees |3,143,316|3,288,925|2,402,511|3,456,244 Lambeth |1,259,627|1,514,744|1,109,603|1,596,271 Lancashire |5,787,041|5,955,560|4,629,966|6,660,653 Leeds |2,190,816|2,207,876|1,725,338|2,482,065 Leicester |122,641 |165,214 |115,597 |166,297 Leicestershire |4,310,964|4,363,683|3,228,512|4,644,526 Lewisham |2,078,456|2,178,120|1,637,467|2,355,654 Lincolnshire |61,564 |76,285 |61,319 |88,213 Liverpool |176,355 |216,630 |165,185 |237,635 London Boroughs Grants Unit |100,766 |160,067 |123,071 |177,050 Manchester |2,746,353|2,879,000|2,225,999|3,202,314 Merton |521,304 |706,067 |490,246 |705,266 Middlesbrough |6,254 |7,178 |- |- Newcastle |438,153 |411,262 |303,140 |436,096 Newham |2,939,058|2,906,063|2,181,976|3,138,983 Norfolk |70,466 |78,002 |68,285 |98,235 North Tyneside |150,759 |161,692 |115,586 |166,282 North Yorkshire |58,154 |65,123 |49,312 |70,940 Northamptonshire |1,036,878|890,134 |663,758 |954,880 Nottingham |55,678 |84,003 |61,435 |88,380 Nottinghamshire |2,120,817|2,030,884|1,519,199|2,185,514 Oldham |2,442,777|2,549,312|1,909,961|2,747,663 Oxford |- |7,649 |3,322 |4,779 Oxfordshire |825,094 |871,818 |684,260 |984,374 Preston |14,907 |18,157 |12,834 |18,463 Redbridge |1,182,178|1,238,587|918,005 |1,320,639 Redditch |12,591 |17,935 |12,971 |18,660 Richmond |62,850 |76,799 |56,225 |80,885 Rochdale |1,455,121|1,581,705|1,193,213|1,716,552 Rotherham |431,632 |442,280 |327,313 |470,871 St Albans |12,327 |23,628 |18,105 |26,046 St Helens |10,307 |18,975 |14,043 |20,202 Salford |62,118 |64,834 |47,498 |68,330 Sandwell |1,512,832|1,644,471|1,228,775|1,767,711 Scunthorpe |25,687 |31,615 |16,103 |23,166 Sheffield |2,641,874|2,397,773|1,697,662|2,442,251 Shropshire |104,866 |114,218 |84,104 |120,992 South Glamorgan |458,378 |591,518 |444,978 |640,144 South Yorkshire FCDA |15,158 |16,649 |12,751 |18,344 Southampton |9,991 |5,930 |11,422 |16,432 Southwark |2,339,236|2,542,825|1,955,157|2,812,682 Staffordshire |1,108,417|1,257,176|924,043 |1,329,325 Stockport |100,051 |103,265 |76,079 |109,447 Suffolk |297,375 |317,330 |237,235 |341,285 Sunderland |110,656 |115,825 |87,284 |125,566 Surrey |384,578 |400,899 |291,845 |419,847 Sutton |56,121 |62,779 |46,902 |67,473 Tameside |808,680 |771,609 |585,940 |842,931 Tower Hamlets |8,890,804|9,181,040|6,826,782|9,820,985 Trafford |286,589 |329,296 |242,981 |349,552 Wakefield |348,232 |404,567 |296,729 |426,873 Walsall |2,049,091|2,147,295|1,579,939|2,272,895 Waltham Forest |1,893,462|2,084,056|1,585,015|2,280,197 Wandsworth |1,851,387|1,860,091|1,434,386|2,063,503 Warwickshire |994,864 |1,051,670|785,021 |1,129,328 West Midlands FCDA |85,142 |86,633 |65,241 |93,855 West Sussex |304,087 |280,628 |212,623 |305,879 West Yorkshire FCDA |119,524 |129,533 |95,651 |137,603 Westminster |1,876,395|1,991,411|1,498,548|2,155,806 Wigan |56,170 |60,071 |44,078 |63,410 Wiltshire |160,950 |163,864 |121,565 |174,883 Wirral |64,145 |95,393 |75,839 |109,102 Wolverhampton |1,973,768|2,104,031|1,575,008|2,265,801 Notes 1. 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. 2. 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. 3. 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. 4. Some projects approved with effect from 1 April 1992 were, in the light of their particular circumstances, made subject to a tapering rate of grant (ie, in the case of a 3-year project, 75 per cent. in year 1, 60 per cent. in year 2, and 40 per cent. in year 3).
Mr. Harvey: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what progress is being made in research to find an alternative to organo- phosphorous sheep dips.
Mrs. Browning: Alternatives to organo-phosphorous sheep dips are already licensed for use in the United Kingdom. They include flumethrin dips, as well as pour-on and injectable products. The development and marketing of alternative products is a matter for the
Column 776commercial judgment of the manufacturers concerned. The veterinary medicines directorate will do all that it can to complete the assessment of any such products as quickly as possible.
Mr. Harvey: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what progress is being made in resolving difficulties about allocating sheep quotas to
Column 777those involved or previously involved in farming partnerships.
Mr. Jack: Producers involved in partnerships will be able to lease quota within the group, for up to three years, during the second transfer and lease periods for 1993 and 1994. This will enable them to redistribute quota to match their stock holding. The second transfer and lease periods will open when all allocations from the national reserve for the relevant year have been made. For the longer term, following pressure from the United Kingdom, we expect the European Commission shortly to bring forward proposals which would, under certain circumstances, exempt transfers of quota within producer groups or partnerships from the operation of the siphon.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what has been the cost to the United Kingdom dairy and beef cattle industry of the ban on importation of semen;
(2) if he will list those countries that prohibit the importation of semen from the United Kingdom herd; and from what date in each case the prohibition applied.
Mrs. Browning: The following countries prohibit the importation of bovine semen collected in the United Kingdom.
|Effective date of |prohibition Country |or date notified ------------------------------------------------------------ Argentina |13 August 1991 Australia |1 December 1988 Austria |30 May 1990 Bulgaria |September 1994 China |4 September 1990 Costa Rica |23 March 1992 Indonesia |10 March 1993 Iran |26 July 1989 Jamaica |11 August 1994 Japan |July 1990 Malaysia (Sarawak only) |February 1991 Mexico |23 October 1992 Russian Federation |10 April 1990 Sweden |21 October 1988 Taiwan |21 February 1991 United Arab Emirates |30 June 1990 Uruguay |9 July 1990
It is not possible to quantify the cost to the United Kingdom dairy and beef cattle industry of these problems.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what evidence he has that the BSE agent can be found in the offal of calves under the age of six months.
Mrs. Browning: There is no scientific evidence that BSE agent can be detected in offals from naturally infected calves under six months of age.
However, on 30 June 1994 my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education announced preliminary results from a pathogenesis study in cattle. These showed detectable infectivity in the terminal ileum of calves six months after experimental oral challenge at the age of four months with a large dose of brain material from confirmed
Column 778BSE cases. After careful consideration of these results Ministers decided, as a precautionary measure, to extend the specified bovine offals ban to include the thymus and intestine of all calves presented for slaughter for human consumption. Legislation to enact this will come into force on 2 November 1994.
Mr. Harvey: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make it his policy to allow planting of short rotation coppice in environmentally sensitive areas.
Mr. Jack: Entry into the environmentally sensitive area scheme is voluntary. In cases where farmers in an environmentally sensitive area do opt to enter into an agreement with the Ministry to manage their land in an environmentally friendly way, the test of whether to allow the planting of short rotation coppice on such land would be whether its proposed extent and location would be compatible with the landscape objectives of the scheme.
Farmers within the area of a designated ESA who do not enter into such an agreement are free to plant short rotation coppice on their holding.
Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how much his Department has spent on postage, and how many items have been posted by his Department, in each of the last five years.
Mr. Jack: Departmental, including regional service centres, expenditure on postage in the last five years has been:
Year |£ ------------------------------ 1989-90 |1,746,325 1990-91 |1,867,217 1991-92 |1,984,450 1992-93 |2,232,975 1993-94 |2,577,039
We do not maintain records of the number of items posted. They run to many thousands per week and include individual letters, mail shots and press releases.
Dr. Wright: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many public appointments (a) he is responsible for making and (b) require his approval, including those not listed in "Public Bodies"; and if he will give this figure in terms of (i) appointments to executive bodies, (ii) appointments to advisory bodies and (iii) other appointments.
Mr. Jack: Information about ministerial appointments to public bodies sponsored by the Ministry are given in "Public Bodies 1993". Except where otherwise stated in that publication, appointments are made by the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food either solely, or jointly with the Ministers of other Departments. On appointments to bodies not listed in "Public Bodies", I have nothing to add to my reply to the honourable Gentleman of 3 March 1994, Official Report, column 811.
Mr. Jonathan Evans: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Darlington (Mr. Milburn) of 8 December, Official Report, column 260 , what progress has been made in introducing the test for tuberculosis in the live badger announced as part of a package of measures to address the problem of badger -related TB breakdowns in cattle.
Mr. Browning: We have undertaken four pilot trials of the new badger control strategy based on the live test and have discussed these with the consultative panel on badgers and bovine tuberculosis. The original proposal envisaged three approaches: no action at all against badgers; the continuation of the existing interim strategy of trapping and killing badgers on the farm or part of the farm where the disease outbreak occurred; and finally the continuation of the interim strategy on the breakdown farm and an extension beyond the farm to apply the live test and to trap and test badgers on neighbouring farms. The trapping and testing would be carried out on a sett-by-sett basis; where a sett is found to contain one or more badgers positive to TB in the test, the positive badgers and any other badgers caught from that sett will be killed. Setts which test negative will not be disturbed.
On the basis of the views expressed by members of the consultative panel, Ministers have decided that, in cases where the live test is applied on neighbouring farms it would be more appropriate to apply the live test on the breakdown farm instead of the interim strategy. The live test will be used on the same basis as on the neighbouring farms and will result in fewer badgers being killed.
The other elements of the strategy will remain. In particular no action will be taken where there is no evidence to suggest that the original breakdown in the cattle herd was related to badgers, and the policy of not killing any lactating sows which are trapped because of the resulting impact on the cubs, which are dependent on her, will also remain. The strategy on the revised basis will start to apply from 1 November.
Mr. Spearing: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list in the Official Report those articles of treaties of the European Community and consequential regulations and directives that render illegal reintroduction of the arrangements for collection, processing, distribution and sale of liquid fresh milk extract in the United Kingdom in 1972.
Mr. Jack [holding answer 17 October 1994]: The European Court has ruled that national legislation designed to promote and encourage the establishment of a uniform producer price for milk, by agreement or by authority, at the national or regional level is, by its nature, outside the bounds of the powers given to member states and runs contrary to the principle established by Council regulation 804/68, in particular article 3, of attaining a target price for the milk sold by Community producers during the milk year on the Community market and on external markets. EC Council regulations 1421/78 and 1422/78, as an exception to this principle, provided a legal framework for the continued authorisation of the milk marketing schemes in certain defined circumstances and subject to a number of conditions. While in theory the reintroduction of a milk marketing scheme would be
Column 780possible under these regulations, in practice any move in this direction would be likely to be met by a proposal from the Commission to the Council for the revocation of the regulations in question.
Mr. Tyler: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what are the latest figures for the numbers of cattle infected with tuberculosis shown by MAFF administrative area, and the figures for 1979, 1984, and 1989; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs Browning [holding answer 25 October 1994]: The total numbers of confirmed cases in each animal health office administrative area in 1989 and for the first six months of 1994 were as follows:
|1989 |1994 (First 6 |months) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- South West England Cornwall |57 |86 Devon |18 |66 Dorset |6 |6 Gloucester/Avon |27 |37 Somerset |3 |6 Wiltshire |9 |16 Elsewhere in England Essex/Hertfordshire |- |2 Durham/Tyne and Wear/Cleveland/Northumberland |3 |1 Kent/East Sussex |4 |- Lancashire/Greater Manchester/Greater Merseyside |- |1 Leicestershire |1 |1 Lincolnshire |1 |- Norfolk |1 |- Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire |- |2 Oxfordshire/ Buckinghamshire/Berkshire |4 |1 Shropshire |5 |- Suffolk |1 |- Surrey/Middlesex/West Sussex |1 |- Warwickshire/West Midlands |2 |- Worcestershire/Herefordshire |- |6 Wales Clwyd |1 |- Dyfed |9 |27 Glamorgan/Gwent |2 |8 Powys |- |3 Scotland Aberdeen |1 |- Ayr |3 |- Dumfries |1 |1 Elgin |2 |- Galashiels |1 |- Perth |1 |1
The total number of confirmed herd cases in England, Scotland and Wales in 1979 was 117 and in 1984 was 114. The numbers for each administrative area for these years are not available.
Mr. Barry Field: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many man hours were taken up by adjusting the clocks throughout his Department.
Mr. Jack: No individual record is kept of such activities.
Mr. Harvey: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list the functions and objectives of (a) the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Committee, (b) the Advisory Committee for Arbitration Law, (c) the Aviation Committee, (d) the fuel cell advisory panel and (e) the Standing Advisory Committee on Industrial Property.
Mr. Heseltine: The Advanced Manufacturing Technology Committee is the responsibility of my right hon. Friend and the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.
The current functions and objectives of the departmental Advisory Committee on Arbitration Law are to examine the operation of the Arbitration Acts 1950 to 1979 in the light of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law model law on international commercial arbitration and to recommend to the Secretary of State any legislative or other steps which the committee considers should be taken to improve the system of arbitration in England and Wales. The objective of the Aviation Committee is to advise the Department of Trade and Industry on the needs of the United Kingdom aeronautics industry so that these may be taken into account by Government when developing and implementing policies affecting the industry. In particular, the Aviation Committee will advise the Department on:
(a) the factors influencing competitiveness at home and abroad; (b) innovation programmes affecting the industry, including Civil Aircraft Research and Demonstration Programme (CARAD); and
(c) on the identification and pursuit of strategic market opportunities.
The terms of reference for the fuel cell advisory panel are: (i) to advise the Department of Trade and Industry and its agent, the Energy Technology Support Unit (ETSU), in developing and formulating, against programme aims and objectives set by the Department of Trade and Industry, programme plans for the Department's Advanced Fuel Cell R and D programme;
(ii) in the light of the agreed programme, to advise the Department of Trade and Industry and its agent, ETSU, on the merits of Advanced Fuel R and D proposals and to make recommendations on the funding of individual projects which are submitted to the Panel; (iii) to monitor progress on the Advanced Fuel Cell R and D programme against agreed plans and to evaluate its effectiveness in achieving the agreed objectives;
(iv) to provide a forum for reviewing progress with the research and development of advanced fuel cells, for identifying future requirements and co-ordinating United Kingdom activity in this field.
The Standing Advisory Committee on Industrial Property advises Government on the whole range of industrial property matters. Membership of the committee is drawn from organisations representing a broad range of industrial. commercial, professional and academic interests.
Mr. Harvey: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will publish a table showing the number of meetings held, the secretarial and advisory arrangements, the budgeted and actual expenditure and the subjects of any reports and submissions produced by the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Committee in each of the last three years.
Mr. Robert G. Hughes: I have been asked to reply, as responsibility for servicing the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Committee rested with the Science and Engineering Research Council before the committee was disbanded on 31 March 1994.
|1992|1993|1994 -------------------------------------------- Number of meetings held |8 |6 |1 Budgeted expenditure |- |- |- Actual expenditure |- |- |-
The AMTC was a joint committee of the Department of Trade and Industry and the SERC. It was jointly serviced by the DTI and SERC, with the DTI in the lead until 31 September 1993, and the SERC thereafter. No report was published by the committee. Its advice was channelled through the internal organisation of the DTI and the SERC.
Mr. Jonathan Evans: To ask the President of the Board of Trade when the "Coal Mining Subsidence Damage Guide to Claimant's Rights" leaflets will be revised to take account of the restructuring of the coal industry; and when he intends to appoint a subsidence adviser under the powers of the Coal Industry Act 1994.
Mr. Charles Wardle: I announced this morning the appointment of Mr. Malcolm Webb FRICS. ACIArb. to be the subsidence adviser. Arrangements for contacting the subsidence adviser's office are included in the revised "Guide to Claimants' rights" leaflet which has been issued today; copies have been placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Barry Field: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what assessment he has made of the total annual cost to United Kingdom industry of the non-alignment of United Kingdom time with standard European time.
Mr. Charles Wardle: My Department has made no such assessment.
Mr. Barry Field: To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many staff in his Department alter their hours of work or work overtime when the United Kingdom falls out of line with European time.
Mr. Taylor: My Department's rules on working hours are administered locally and provide for alternative working patterns such as flexible working hours. No central records are kept of changes local management might authorise for individuals' working patterns. The cost of collecting such information would be disproportionate.
Mr. Llwyd: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will conduct a survey into the extra implications for vehicular traffic of closure of post offices.
Mr. Charles Wardle: There are no plans to close post offices. Such a survey would, therefore, be unnecessary.
Mr. Hain: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what is the current salary of the secretary of the Post Office board; what was the salary of Miss Morag Macdonald, former secretary of the Post Office board; and
Column 783in what circumstances, and under what settlement, Miss Morag Macdonald left the Post Office board.
Mr. Eggar: Miss Macdonald has chosen to take a career break from the Post Office for further education purposes. As an employee of the Post Office both her salary and that of the new secretary of the board are the responsibility of the Post Office.
Mr. Hain: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will place in the Library a copy of the recent report by the Post Office's corporate planning department on exclusive access by the Royal Mail to Post Office Counters.
Mr. Hain: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on the implications of European competition law for continued exclusive access by Royal Mail and Parcelforce to Post Office Counters following privatisation.
Mr. Eggar: We have considered the implications of European competition law for the access arrangements. Such issues have arisen on many occasions in the past and have been satisfactorily resolved. They will be fully dealt with in any proposals for the future of the three Post Office businesses.
Mr. Hain: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what representations he has received regarding Bridgegate Engineering and the Post Office in the last two months.
Mr. Eggar [holding answer 26 October 1994]: Complaints of a commercial nature by Bridgegate Engineering against the Post Office have been brought to the notice of my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade, and are receiving serious attention. These are operational matters for the Post Office and I am assured that they have been considered at the very highest levels. It is my understanding that detailed discussions are in progress between lawyers acting for Bridgegate Engineering and the Post Office, who hope that a satisfactory outcome for all concerned will soon be achieved.
Mr. Gunnell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade (1) how many companies which received Spanish Government grants as inward investments into Spain in the 1980s have since closed the operation for which those grants were received;
(2) how many companies which received Irish Government grants as inward investments into Eire in the 1980s have since closed the operations for which those grants were received;
(3) how many companies which received French Government grants as inward investments into France in the 1980s have since closed the operations for which those grants were received;
(4) how many companies which received Federal Republic grants as inward investments into West Germany in the 1980s have since closed the operations for which those grants were received;
(5) how many companies which received Italian Government grants as inward investments into Italy in the 1980s have since closed the operations for which those grants were received.
Mr. Eggar: The information requested is either unavailable or could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Flynn: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what are the total costs of preparation for market testing in his Department in terms of (a) payments to consultants and (b) other costs.
Mr. Ian Taylor: To date the total cost of consultancy fees for the market-testing programme has been £2.7 million with other departmental support costs estimated at £3.1 million.
Mr. Betts: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list (a) the grants which have been available from his Department to assist in investment or job creation in each of the past five years, (b) the number of grants given in each category, (c) the value of the grants, (d) the amount of investment created as a result, (e) the number of jobs created on the project assisted, (f) the criteria used in assessing the correctness of making the grants, (h) the procedures used in this monitoring, (i) the number of grants and their value which had been reclaimed for financial and legal impropriety, (j) the number and value reclaimed for failing to achieve the criteria set and (k) the number and value reclaimed for other reasons.
Mr. Eggar: Detailed information is published in the annual reports on the Industrial Development Act 1982, which are available in the Library of the House.
Mr. Donohoe: To ask the President of the Board of Trade how much his Department has spent on postage, and how many items have been posted by his Department, in each of the last five years.
Mr. Ian Taylor: My Department's expenditure on postage in its headquarters buildings in each of the last five years is as follows:
Year |£ ----------------------------- 1990-91 |664,140 1991-92 |699,303 1992-93 |782,995 1993-94 |934,103 1994 to date |921,962
We do not keep information on the number of items posted by the Department.
Mr. Milburn: To ask the President of the Board of Trade whether his Department organises receptions for those expressing an interest in public appointments for the first time; how often they are held; what is the annual cost; and how many people attend.
Mr. Ian Taylor [holding answer 26 October 1994]: In 1992, as part of the Opportunity 2000 initiative, my noble Friend Baroness Denton, then Parliamentry Under Secretary of State for Consumer Affairs and Small Firms
Column 785in the DTI and co-chairman of the Women's National Commission, hosted two receptions at Lancaster House for experienced professional and business women with the aim of introducing potential women candidates for public appointments to Ministers and officials. A total of 119 people attended the receptions and the cost was included in the annual budget for departmental receptions.