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Column 22enabled these changes to be introduced progressively thereby minimising the additional costs involved.
The Department recommends that all telephone users plan ahead for the change in dialling codes which come into effect on 16 April 1995.
Mr. Hain: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what was the Post Office's external finance limit for each year since 1979; and what are the projected figures for future planned years.
Mr. Charles Wardle: The Post Office's actual and planned external finance limits since 1979 are as follows:
|£ Million Actual --------------------------------------------------- 1979-80 |-34.0 1980-81 |-7.7 1981-82 |-13.4 1982-83 |-59.7 1983-84 |-61.5 1984-85 |-99.5 1985-86 |-74.7 1986-87 |-93.1 1987-88 |-80.0 1988-89 |-102.0 1989-90 |-<1>101.9 1990-91 |nil 1991-92 |-74 1992-93 |-80 1993-94 |-182
Mr. Harvey: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what is the programme of work for (a) the Advisory Committee for Arbitration Law, (b) the Aviation Committee, (c) the Standing Advisory Committee on Industrial Property and (d) the Fuel Cell Advisory Panel.
Mr. Heseltine: The information requested is as follows:
a) Advisory Committee for Arbitration Law
The current work of the advisory committee is set out in my answer to the hon. Gentleman of 27 October 1994, Official Report, column 779.
b) Aviation Committee
The committee meets four times a year. Each meeting focuses on the policy background of several specific subjects within the topics of the standing agenda, detailed below:
a) The performance and competitiveness of the United
Kingdom aerospace industry;
b) A strategy for the industry;
c) Research and technology acquisition;
d) The launch aid scheme;
e) Future opportunities for United Kingdom companies--
including market forecasts;
f) Support for United Kingdom aerospace exports;
g) Collaboration policy;
h) MOD procurement policies;
i) Air traffic management.
c) Standing Advisory Committee on Industrial Property
The committee gives advice to my Department on issues such as the fees and implementing rules for the Community trade mark, the draft rules for the international registration of trade marks--Madrid protocol--United Kingdom Patent Office searching policy, the Commission proposal for a block exemption for patent licences, the use and exploitation of intellectual property by small firms and the proposed European directive and regulation on design protection. d) Fuel Cell Advisory Panel
The FCAP advises my Department and the energy technology support unit on the management of the Department's advanced fuel cell R and D programme. It advises on the development of plans to meet the aims and objectives set by my Department for the programme, monitors progress and evaluates its effectiveness. It also advises on the merits and funding of individual project proposals.
There is no set programme of work for the panel but it meets as necessary, abut four times a year, to undertake these functions. Technical strategies for the programme, endorsed by the panel, were
Column 24published earlier this year and are available in the Library of the House.
Mr. Harvey: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on the Government's response to each submission from the Aviation Committee listed in his answer of 26 October, Official Report, columns 649 50.
Mr. Charles Wardle: The Government's response to each submission from the Aviation Committee was as follows:
Control Technology Programme: It was agreed to offer financial support to this programme from the civil aircraft research and demonstration budget.
National Strategic Technology Acquisition Plan: On 20 July 1993, the right hon. Tim Sainsbury, MP, Minister for Industry, announced that the DTI would adopt the technological priorities identified in the NSTAP. They are being used to inform DTI's work in the design of its own aerospace policies and in its discussions with the providers of other publicly funded science and technology programmes in Whitehall and Europe. DTI is working with industry, other Government Departments and the science and engineering base to identify ways of helping the aeronautics industry meet its priority needs under the Government's science, engineering and technology policy, also encompassing the European dimension, with the NSTAP priorities serving to inform the Government during discussions on the size and content of the European Union's fourth research and development framework programme.
Technology Co-ordinators: It has been agreed that technology co-ordinators should be appointed to implement the NSTAP with the cost being shared between Government and industry.
An Industry Strategy: The Government welcome the work done by the Society of British Aerospace Companies in developing the strategy document. It has been adopted as the basis of a dialogue between Government and the industry on the competitiveness of the sector and represents a good foundation for the stronger partnership between Government and the industry that both wish to develop.
The Hercules Replacement: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence announced the Government's policy to the House on 16 December 1994, Official Report column 823.
Mr. Harvey: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on the Government's response to each submission from the Measurement Advisory Committee listed in his answer of 2 December, Official Report , columns 936 38 .
Mr. Ian Taylor: In response to the submission from the Standards, Quality and Measurement Advisory Committee of 19 February 1993, the then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Technology, my hon. Friend the Member for Gainsborough and Horncastle (Mr. Leigh), replied to the chairman of the SQMAC by letter on 26 March 1993. Copies of this letter were sent to all the SQMAC members who wrote to my hon. Friend on an individual basis.
My right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade replied in a letter to the SQMAC submission of 1 June 1993, offering a meeting which was held on 13 July 1993 between the chairman and representative members of the SQMAC and the then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Trade and Technology, my hon. Friend the Member for West Derbyshire (Mr. McLoughlin).
Mr. Harvey: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list the policies and legislation initiated over the past three years that were based on proposals from (a) the Aviation Committee, (b) the Advisory Committee for Arbitration Law, (c) the Standing Advisory Committee on Industrial Property, (d) the Measurement
Column 25Advisory Committee and (e) the Fuel Cell Advisory Panel.
Mr. Heseltine: The information requested is as follows:
a) Aviation Committee
My Department has adopted the technology priorities set out in the national strategic technology acquisition plan for aeronautics prepared by the committee. The Department has also agreed to support the appointment of technology co-ordinators, a mechanism to help implement NSTAP recommended by the working group which consisted of industry members nominated by the Aviation Committee and officials. b) Advisory Committee for Arbitration Law
As indicated in my answer of 26 October 1994, Official Report, column 649, my Department issued a consultation document on a draft Arbitration Bill. This was based on advice from the advisory committee.
c) Standing Advisory Committee on Industrial Property SACIP has provided advice to my Department on a wide range of issues and made proposals leading to the development of the Trade Marks Act, the trade marks rules, the Community trade mark regulation, draft rules for the international registration of trade marks--Madrid Protocol--the trade mark law harmonisation treaty, the draft directive on the legal protection of Biological inventions, supplementary protection certificates for pharmaceuticals, proposals for second tier protection, the draft treaty on the international registration of industrial designs, and the council regulation on counterfeiting. d) Measurement Advisory Committee (MAC)
The MAC and its predecessor, the Standards, Quality and Measurement Advisory Committee, have given general advice on the size, apportionment and management of spending on the national measurement system. Its working groups have helped to produce, monitor and review 12 programmes of work within the NMS.
e) Fuel Cell Advisory Panel
The terms of reference for the Fuel Cell Advisory Panel do not include the development of new policy or legislative proposals.
Mr. Harvey: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what is the programme of work for the Measurement Advisory Committee.
Mr. Ian Taylor: A full meeting of the Measurement Advisory Committee is scheduled for 27 March 1995 and will discuss a range of issues within the advisory committee's terms of reference. A meeting of the independent members of the advisory committee will be held in September or October 1995 --date to be arranged--to carry out the annual task of prioritising all of the work within the 12 national measurement system programmes.
In addition, there is likely to be 22 meetings of the advisory committee's working groups during 1995. The working groups will review the progress of work within each of the 12 NMS programmes. Each working group is chaired by an independent member of the advisory committee.
Mr. Harvey: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list all economic development organisations and groups in the south-west region.
Mr. Eggar: The best source of this information is the list used by Devon and Cornwall Business Link as a directory of organisations which provide economic and business support and advice. The Government office for Devon and Cornwall is also providing a range of services to Devon and Cornwall from temporary offices in the centre of Plymouth.
Economic organisations and groups in Devon and Cornwall Organisation |Organisation ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ A R Training Services |Key Information (Devon | Library) Action Consultants Training |Law Society-Lawyers For Your | Business ADAS Consultancy |Lloyds Bank Agricultural Development |Mid Cornwall Business (ADAS) | Associates Ltd Barclays Bank |Mid Devon District Council Barnstaple Chamber of |Mid Devon Enterprise Agency Commerce Bowes Associates |Midland Bank British Red Cross |Ministry of Agriculture Business Advisory Service D |National Westminster Bank and C Tec Business Enterprise Exeter |North Cornwall District Council Business Information Centre |North Cornwall Sport and | Recreation Council CSM Associates Limited |North Devon College Enterprise | Unit Caradon Business Centre |North Devon District Council Caradon District Council |North Devon Enterprise Agency Carrick District Council |North Devon Manufacturers | Association Commercial Education Training |Payback Environmental Business (CETS) | Association Cornwall Chamber for Industry |Penwith District Council Cornwall College |PEP Business School | Management Centre Cornwall County Council |PEP Research and Consultancy | Ltd Cornwall Economic |Plymouth Area Groundwork Development Office | Trust Cornwall Enterprise Board |Plymouth Chamber of | Commerce Cornwall Innovation Centre |Plymouth College of Further | Education Cornwall Library Service |Plymouth Training for | Commerce Cornwall Rural Community |Red Cross Council Cornwall Tourist Board |Restormel Borough Council Cornwall Trust for Nature |Restormel Enterprise Trust Conservation Countryside Commission |Royal Bank of Scotland Dartmouth Enterprise Group |Royal British Legion Devon and Cornwall Tap |Rural Development Commission Devon Co-operative Agency Ltd |Saltash College Devon County Council |South Devon Export Group Devon and Cornwall |South Hams Agency for Rural Development International | Enterprise Devon and Cornwall Training |South Hams District Council and Enterprise Council Down to Earth Training |South West Productivity Duchy College |St Austell College East Devon District Council |St Johns Ambulance East Devon Small Industries |Teignbridge District Council Group English Nature |Teignbridge Enterprise Agency Enterprise Plymouth Limited |Torbay Borough Council Enterprise Tamar Limited |Torbay Enterprise Agency European Information Centre |Torridge District Council Exeter City Council |Trevint Limited Exeter Enterprises Limited |Trustee Savings Bank Farming and Wildlife Advisory |West Cornwall Enterprise Trust Group Finatlantic |West Country Development | Company Focus Europe South West |West Country Tourist Board Government Office for the |West Devon District Council South West Incorporated Society of |West Penwith Council Advertisers Kerrier District Council
Miss Lestor: To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many items of correspondence his Department has received from the public since 1 September on export credit cover relating to arms sales.
Mr. Needham: Over the period the Export Credits Guarantee Department has received approximately 2,300 items of correspondence on the subject, nearly all in leaflet form.
Miss Lestor: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list by country and for each year since 1984 the total outstanding Export Credits Guarantee Department debt owed to the United Kingdom by developing countries, excluding eastern Europe.
Mr. Needham: To provide year-by-year figures would entail disproportionate cost. For the figures of outstanding rescheduled debt as at 31 October 1994 I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to her by the hon. Member for Chichester (Mr. Nelson) on 20 December 1994, Official Report , columns 1083 84 .
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what was the United Kingdom share of imports into each of the other EEC countries in (a) the latest quarter for which figures are available and (b) the corresponding quarter of 1992.
Mr. Needham: The information requested is given in the table.
UK Share of EU Countries Visible Imports (per cent. terms) |Corresponding |Year |Latest Quarter |Quarter of 1992 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Belgium/Luxembourg |Q4 1993 |9.0 |7.3 Denmark |Q4 1992 |7.9 |<1>n/a France |Q2 1994 |7.7 |7.6 Germany |Q2 1994 |6.2 |6.7 Greece |Q4 1993 |5.8 |5.3 Ireland |Q3 1993 |37.3 |43.8 Italy |Q2 1994 |6.2 |5.8 Netherlands |Q1 1994 |8.4 |8.9 Portugal |Q2 1994 |6.3 |6.9 Spain |Q2 1994 |7.8 |7.4 Note: <1>Denmark data for Q4 1992 is the latest available. Source: OECD Series A.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what action he intends to take against the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales for failure to keep a proper register of individuals eligible to conduct audits; and what inquiries he intends to initiate to investiage the performance of the regulatory bodies in this respect.
Mr. Jonathan Evans: The Companies Act 1989 (Register of Auditors and Information about Audit Firms) Regulations 1991 require the recognised supervisory bodies for company auditors, of which the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales is one, to take reasonable care to keep and maintain a register of the individuals and firms eligible for appointment as company auditor. The regulations are made pursuant to sections 35 and 36 of the Companies Act 1989.
It has been alleged that the ICAEW may have failed to meet these requirements in its handling of one case last year. My Department has sought an explanation from the ICAEW and I will write to the hon. Member once I have considered that response and made any further inquiries which may be appropriate.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what was the change in (a) the average capital employed in manufacturing and (b) the capital employed in other non-North sea industrial and commercial companies between 1990 and 1993.
Mr. Charles Wardle: Figures on average capital employed at current replacement cost by manufacturing industrial and commercial companies are published in the Central Statistical Office "First Release", CSO(94) 205-- "Profitability of UK companies: rates of return of UK industrial and commercial companies (1962 1993)". Figures on average capital employed in other non-North sea industrial and commercial companies are available by subtracting the manufacturing figures from those of non-North sea industrial and commercial companies which are also published in "First Release". A copy of "First Release" is available in the Library of the House.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what was the average annual rate of growth in manufacturing output in 1973 to 1993.
Mr. Charles Wardle: Between 1973 and 1993 the average annual growth in manufacturing output was 0.03 per cent.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he will list in the Official Report the periods since 1964 in which output of transport equipment remained 12 per cent. below its previous peak after five years.
Mr. Charles Wardle: No. This information is not readily available and could be produced only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list the United Kingdom tourist areas which qualify for assisted status and the cost of that assistance to the taxpayer in the last year for which figures are available.
Mr. Charles Wardle: The assisted areas are defined in terms of travel-to-work areas, most of which include a range of economic activity. There is no list of tourist areas on which the cost of assistance could be assessed.
Mr. Morgan: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make it his policy that non-fossil fuel electricity capacity contracted delivered with a provision for annual interruptions on less than (a) 20, (b) 15 or (c) 10 occasions per annum shall count towards the non-fossil fuel quota.
Mr. Charles Wardle: The Government's policy is to use the non-fossil fuel obligation as an instrument to assist promising renewable electricity generation technologies to enter the commercial electricity generation market. Competition in the allocation of contracts is an essential part of this process.
Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on the legal processes covering compensation for multiple or sequentially linked accidents on the same nuclear site.
Mr. Charles Wardle: Under United Kingdom law, where third party damage or injury is caused as a result of a single nuclear occurrence at a site, compensation is payable by the site operator up to his insurance limit of £140 million. Further compensation up to an overall limit of approximately £280 million for each occurrence is payable out of money provided by Parliament. This will also cover a case where the £140 million insurance may be exhausted because there has been a previous occurrence at the same site within the same insurance cover period.
However, following any occurrence resulting in claims on the operator's insurance, the Minister, if he thinks it proper to do so, may direct the operator to open a new cover period for that site, so that a further £140 million will be available for any subsequent incident. If claims exceed £280 million, additional compensation may be provided by Parliament to the extent that it shall determine. A succession of occurrences at one site, which is attributable to a particular event or to the carrying out of a particular operation, is regarded as a single occurrence for the payment of compensation. The whole of a continuing occurrence is similarly regarded as a single occurrence.
Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list the EU's deficit in trade with the rest of the world (a) in the current year, (b) in the previous year and (c) five years ago; and what assessment he has made of these figures.
Mr. Needham: The information requested is given in the table.
- EU(12) balance of visible trade with the rest of the world |$ Million ------------------------------ 1988 |-29,541 1992 |-67,525 1993 |-3,967 Source: Eurostat External Trade.
My Department is continuously monitoring the UK and EU trade position with the rest of the world.
Mr. Timms: To ask the President of the Board of Trade how much was paid for each of the cable franchises and local delivery licences awarded since 1983.
Mr. Ian Taylor: Precise details of how much was paid for each of the cable franchises and local delivery franchises cannot be provided other than at disproportionate cost.
Applicants for the 126 franchises awarded under the Cable and Broadcasting Act 1984 were charged an application fee and an annual licence fee based on a scale related to the size of the franchise. Under the Broadcasting Act 1990 franchises are awarded by competitive tender. In addition to an application fee, successful applicants make tender payments: an initial cash bid payable in the first year and indexed for inflation in each succeeding year. A percentage of qualifying revenue is also payable over the duration of the licence. Franchisees are also required to pay a fee for Telecommunications Act licence and an annual renewal fee. These are revised annually.
Mr. Cash: To ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he still supports the hierarchy of waste management options including reduction, re use, recycling, including materials recycling, composting and energy recovery, which was set out in the joint response by the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of the Environment to the second report of the House of Commons Environment Select Committee published in November 1994, Cm 2696.
Mr. Charles Wardle: The Government's policy on a waste management hierarchy is set out in paragraphs 23.14 to 23.17 of "Sustainable Development--the UK Strategy", published in January 1994.
Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Chairman of the Administration Committee how much has been spent on telephone charges for parliamentary purposes; and how many telephone calls have been made for parliamentary purposes in each of the last five years.
Mr. Beith: I have been asked to reply. For technical reasons it is not possible to identify the number of calls
Column 31made. However, call charges in each of the last five years for the Palace of Westminster are as follows:
The hon. Member will wish to note that since 1991 there has been a significant reduction in the overall cost of telephone calls due to the increased competition from telephone network companies, and to the introduction of the least cost routing system which ensures calls are directed by the cheapest means.
Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Chairman of the Administration Committee how much has been spent on postage charges for parliamentary purposes; and how many items have been posted for parliamentary purposes in each of the last five years.
Mr. Beith: I have been asked to reply. Postage charges incurred by the House of Commons for parliamentary
Column 32purposes in each of the last five financial years are as follows:
|£ ------------------------------------------------------ 1990-91 |1,262,884 1991-92 |1,304,419 1992-93 |1,455,913 1993-94 |1,766,568 1993-94 (1 April-31 October 1994) |1,254,479
It is not possible to provide the hon. Member with details of the number of items posted.