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Mr. Eggar: I frequently meet the Director General of Gas Supply to discuss the regulatory framework of the gas industry, and in particular the Government's plans for legislation this session to increase competition in the industry.
Mr. Heseltine: I, and other DTI Ministers, regularly meet the Confederation of British Industry to discuss manufacturing industry. The latest CBI monthly trends inquiry reported that manufacturers' order books were at their highest level since January 1989 and that the recent strong growth in manufacturing output was expected to continue.
37. Mr. Madden: To aks the President of the Board of Trade what representations he has received asking him to withdraw or modify the inspector's report into the House of Fraser takeover.
38. Mr. Brandreth: To aks the President of the Board of Trade what steps he is taking to further encourage inward investment in the north-west; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Heseltine: The Government are fully aware of the benefits to the United Kingdom of inward investment and takes great pains to promote this country overseas. However, the choice of the precise location within the UK is entirely a matter for the commercial judgment of the investor.
39. Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what telecommunications services BT is able and willing to provide but is prevented from doing so by the regulatory regime.
Mr. Ian Taylor: BT can offer any telecommunications service to non- residential customers and any non-broadcast services to residential customers. Broadcast entertainment services can only be provided by the holder of the relevant local franchise. BT has the same opportunities as other companies to obtain these local franchises, and the Command Paper on Broadband Communications published last November encouraged BT to apply for new franchises when these are advertised by the Independent Television Commission. If successful, BT could use its existing infrastructure for all services within the franchise area.
40. Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what are his powers in relation to promoting competition, controlling profits and dividends and ensuring fair charges in those utilities in respect of business in private ownership; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Jonathan Evans: The duties and powers of my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade are set down in the relevant legislation. The Government have established independent regulators for the utilities, with duties to promote competition and to protect the interests of consumers, including in respect of prices charged.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the value of imports and exports of motor vehicle components in 1992, 1993 and this year to date, together with his estimate of the import content of cars produced or assembled in the United Kingdom in 1973 and 1993.
Mr. Needham: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the written answer that I gave him on 12 December 1994, Official Report , column 510-11 . Figures for world trade for 1992 are published in "Business Monitor" MA 20. For 1993 and for 1994 to date, figures for extra-EC trade are published in "Business Monitor" MM 20 whereas figures
Column 156for intra-EC trade are published in "Business Monitor" MQ 20.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will publish a table showing the change in the deficit on trade with the EEC in (i) cars and (ii) commercial vehicles in 1992, 1993 and 1994 to date and the contribution that it has made to growth.
: Crude Trade Balance £ Million |Commercial Year |Cars |Vehicles ---------------------------------------------------------- 1991 |-1,089.0 |218.2 1992 |-1,693.3 |202.3 1993 |-3,309.6 |33.7 1993 (January-September) |-2,625.0 |70.9 1994 (January-September) |-3,487.7 |-458.6
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his oral answer to a supplementary question on 23 November 1994, Official Report, column 583, if he will list the periods since 1964 in which output of other non-metallic machinery and equipment remained 10 per cent. below its previous peak for five years or more.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his oral answer of 23 November 1994, Official Report, column 583, how much public money in current prices was given to foreign firms to establish or increase output in the United Kingdom since 1973.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade (1) if he will show the change in exports of finished manufactures in the latest three months to the EEC and to the rest of the world compared with 1992;
(2) what is his estimate of the increase in relative unit values for United Kingdom exports of manufacturers to EEC and non EEC countries since the third quarter of 1992;
(3) what was the volume of imports and exports of finished manufactures from and to (a) the EEC and (b) non EEC countries in the three months to August 1994;
(4) what is his estimate of the increase in relative unit values for United Kingdom exports of manufactures to European Economic Community and non European Economic Community countries since the third quarter of 1992.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will show the balance of trade in manufactures as a percentage of GDP in (a) 1970, (b) 1977, (c) 1979 and (d) 1993, together with the corresponding change since the second half of 1973 in (i) the terms of trade finished manufactures and (ii) relative unit values for exports of manufactures.
Mr. Needham: The balance of trade in manufactures was (a) 6 per cent. of GDP in 1970, (b) 5 per cent. in 1977, (c) 2 per cent. in 1979 and (d) minus 1 per cent.--a trade deficit--in 1993. From 1973 to 1993, the terms of trade index for finished manufactures increased by 45 per cent. Relative unit values for exports are not available on a consistent basis prior to 1975. However, the latest data available show that, from 1975 to the third quarter of 1993, (i) the terms of trade index for finished manufactures increased by 29 per cent. and (ii) the relative unit value for exports of manufactures increased by 10 per cent.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what was the change between the latest quarter for which figures are available and the corresponding quarter of 1992 in the volume of exports and manufactures in (a) Germany, (b) the United States of America, (c) France, (d) Italy, (e) Spain, (f) the Netherlands and (g) the United Kingdom in relation to (i) EEC and (ii) non-EEC countries.
Mr. Needham: The information relating to the UK is regularly published by the Central Statistical Office in the "Monthly Review of External Trade Statistics", a copy of which is available in the Library of the House. Corresponding figures for Germany, the United States of America, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands is not readily available and could be produced only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what has been the average United Kingdom share of the volume of exports of manufactures by the main manufacturing countries since 1986; and what was the average from 1970 to 1977.
Mr. Needham: The average of the UK's share by volume of Main Manufacturing Countries' exports of manufactures for 1986 to 1991, the latest year for which data are available, was 8.2 per cent.; the corresponding figure for 1970 to 1977 was 9.9 per cent.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what effect the increase in United Kingdom relative import and export values since February 1993 has had on the volume of imports of finished manufactures since 1992.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on the relative profitability of the import- competing and export industries and other manufacturing industries since 1977.
Column 158increase in manufacturing productivity in the 21 years since 1973 in the United Kingdom and each EEC country.
Annual average |per cent. increase in manufacturing labour productivity <1> |per annum 1973-1993 --------------------------------------------------- France |2.1 Germany |1.7 Italy |2.3 United Kingdom |3.0 Nederlands |3.2 Ireland |6.3 Greece |1.2 Note: <1> Manufacturing production dividend by manufacturing employment. Source: OECD Main Economic Indicators Central Statistical Office.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what was the change in imports of finished manufactures from the EEC in June to August 1994 compared with 1992 and the corresponding change in the terms of trade for trade with the EEC in finished manufactures.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade in which years since 1970 the United Kingdom share of exports by the main manufacturing countries, by value, has been lower than in 1992; and if he will provide corresponding figures by volume.
Mr. Needham: During the 23 years since 1970 the United Kingdom share by value of exports by the main manufacturing countries has been lower than in 1992 in the years 1974, 1986 and 1993. Comparable figures by volume are not readily available and could be produced only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what was the total value of imports and exports of computers in 1993, together with his estimate of the value added in the United Kingdom to the total value of the computers exported.
Mr Needham: Information on imports and exports of computers is regularly published in Business Monitors MM20 and MQ20, "Overseas Trade Statistics of the United kingdom", copies which are available in the Library of the House. Information is not available on the value added in the United Kingdom to the total value of computers exported.
Mr. Cousins: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list the changes to controlled items for export introduced since 1984 as a result of concerns about biological and chemical weapons and materials; which items were listed; and under what statutory authority.
disproportionate cost. Items currently controlled because of concerns about chemical and biological weapons proliferation include any chemical warfare agent or biological agent which has been adapted for use in war, certain specific chemical precursors, biological agents, toxins, vaccines and certain chemical and biological dual-use equipment. These are listed under headings ML7, 1C350-354, 1C992 and 2B350-352 of the Export of Goods (Control) Order 1994. In addition, under schedule 1 part II of the order, any other goods are subject to control if the exporter knows or suspects they are intended or likely to be used for CBW purposes.
The order, a copy of which is available in the Library of the House, was made under the statutory authority of the Import, Export and Customs Powers (Defence) Act 1939 as amended by the Import and Export Control Act 1990.
Mr. Cousins: To aks the President of the board of Trade, pursuant to his answer of 14 December, Official Report, column 653, if the export of Cymbeline artillery locating radar to Iraq complied with stated export guidelines and UN arms embargoes.
Mr. Heseltine: As my earlier answer stated, all current export licences for Cymbeline radar were withdrawn by, and returned to, my department when UN sanctions on Iraq were imposed in August 1990. Whether the export of Cymbeline to Iraq complied with stated export guidelines is a matter subject to Sir Richard Scott's inquiry.
Mr. Allen: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what locus the World Trade Organisation will have in respect of competition policy; what is Her Majesty's Government's policy on this; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Needham: The WTO has been given no locus in respect of competition policy. Suggestions have been made about the possibility of negotiating multilateral rules in this area, but discussions on this are still at a very preliminary stage.
The Council adopted a directive amending for the thirteenth time directive 76/79/EEC on the marketing and use of dangerous substances. Germany, Denmark and Netherlands voted against.
In the Internal Market Council, an agreement was reached as "A" point on a directive on food additives other than colours and sweeteners and a common position on a proposed directive on the burning behaviour of material used in interior construction of certain categories of motor vehicles.
Column 160The Council debated the functioning of the Single Market; the take up of single market rules by central and eastern European countries; deregulation; the information society; ratification of the community patent agreement; measuring instruments; and the local dimension of the single market. The Council also discussed proposals for a system of notification of national measures derogating from the principle of free circulation of goods; transparency and efficiency of cross border payments; fees for European Medicines Evaluation Agency; and new foods and food ingredients.
The next meeting of the Council is planned for 6 June 1995.
Mr. Tipping: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what consultants he has commissioned in connection with the nuclear review; what are their terms of reference; when they were appointed; and when he expects their final report.
Mr. Eggar [holding answer 10 January 1995]: Three firms of consultants have been appointed in connection with the nuclear review: BZW to examine issues related to the feasibility of privatisation and the introduction of private finance into the nuclear industry; KPMG to examine liabilities management issues; and NERA to examine diversity issues. Full details of the terms of reference have been placed in the Library of the House. BZW and KPMG were appointed in August 1994 and NERA in September 1994. I expect to have received final reports from all three consultants shortly.
Mr. Freeman: Farnborough airfield will become surplus to MOD requirements from 1 April 1995. However, arrangements have been put in place to make it available for the international air show at least until the end of the century. As my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Transport indicated on 20 December 1994, Official Report, column 1091 92 the Government believe it important to retain capacity for business aviation at Farnborough. The MOD has recently appointed Schroders to advise on the options for the longer term future of the Farnborough site, in particular its viability as a centre for business aviation and for the air show. Schroders will report in the spring of this year.
Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what is the total amount of national lottery proceeds which has actually been disbursed to (a) charities, (b) sports organisations and (c) arts organisations as at 6 January 1995.
Mr. Dorrell: Of the £96 million currently in the national lottery distribution fund, over £19 million is available to each of the five sectors which will benefit from the national lottery, including the arts, sport and charitable sectors. Applications for grants are now being invited by the Arts and Sports Councils and the National Lottery Charities Board will invite applications later in the year. The Arts and Sports Councils expect to make their first grant payments in the spring.
Mr. Dorrell: This is an operational matter for Camelot Group plc. I have therefore asked Peter Davis, the Director-General of the National Lottery, who is responsible for regulating the operation of the lottery, to write to the hon. Member and to place copies of his response in the Libraries of the House.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps were taken after 1974 to introduce more effective and economical support arrangements for (a) olive oil and (b) durum wheat; and how much was spent directly and indirectly on support in each case in (i) 1974 and (ii) the latest year for which figures are available together with figures for EEC production, imports, exports and consumption.
(a) Olive oil:
1. In order to ensure more effective control, requirements were introduced in 1975 to establish a register of olive groves and in 1984 to set up control agencies. A maximum guaranteed quality (MGQ) was introduced in 1987 so that the rate of aid is reduced proportionately if production of olive oil exceeds the MGQ. The regime is due for reform in the near future.
2. The total net cost of the regime to the EC budget in 1974, with two producing member states, was 135.8 million units of account, £69 million using a conversion rate of 1.9615 units of account = £1, and the cost for 1994, with five producing member states, is estimated at 1819 mecu, £1,405 million using a conversion rate of 1.2945 ecu = £1.
3. The table shows estimated production, consumption, imports and exports of olive oil in the EC.
|1974 |1992-93 |Marketing year |(November-October) |(000 tonnes) |(000 tonnes) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Production |<1>477.0 |<2>1,379 Imports |<1>216.5 |<2>57 Exports |<1>19.4 |<2>146 Consumption<3> |674.1 |1,290 <1> Source: Food and Agriculture Organisation. Figures for EC9 <2> Source: European Commission figures. Figures for EC12 <3> Consumption=production+imports-exports (i.e excluding stock changes)
b) Durum wheat:
4. During the late 1980s EC policies were adopted moving the emphasis away from price support in the form of intervention, export refunds and import levies towards payments in the form of an area-based production aid, restricted to producers in `traditional' durum growing areas. The 1992 CAP reform measures continued these changes through the introduction of a single set of institutional prices for all cereals set at the lower common wheat level, and a phased three year cut in those prices to be compensated for by producer payments under the arable area payments schemes. Because the introduction of single institutional price level meant a bigger drop in support for durum than for other cereals certain durum growers continue to receive a special production aid.
5. The total cost of durum wheat support to the EC budget in 1974 was 82 units of account (£42 million at a conversion rate of £1=1.9615 units of account) and the provisional cost for 1994 is 568 mecu (£ 439 million at conversion rate of £1=1.2945ecu). These figures exclude intervention support costs (including export refunds) in 1974 and Arable area payments in 1994, neither of which are separately identifiable from the total cereals expenditure. 6. The figures for EU production, imports, exports and consumption are as follows:
|1974-75 |1993-94 |(July-June)<1>|(July-June)<2> Durum wheat |('000 tonnes) |('000 tonnes) ------------------------------------------------------------------ Production |3,388 |7,034 Imports |1,498 |183 Exports |320 |2,297 Total domestic usage |4,111 |6,328 <1>Eurostat Supply Balance Sheet covering nine member states. <2>Commission balance sheet 23 June 1994 covering 12 member states.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food further to paragraph 9 of Cmnd. 6003--"Membership of the European Community-Report on Renegotiation"--what steps have been taken to relate the price of dairy products to the need of efficient producers; and if he will publish (i) the average or representative price paid per gallon in the
Column 163market place for milk production quotas each year since quotas were introduced, (ii) the current price and (iii) the average production of milk per cow.
Mr. Jack: The Government have consistently pressed for reductions in CAP support prices for dairy products. Since 1988 the intervention prices for butter and skimmed milk powder have been reduced by 13 per cent. and 2 per cent. respectively.
The Department does not collect information on milk quota prices. That information may be obtained from the agricultural trade press and quota agents.
The average annual milk yield per cow in the United Kingdom since quotas were introduced is as follows:
Year |Production Litres ------------------------------------------------------- 1984 |4,748 1985 |4,881 1986 |4,974 1987 |4,896 1988 |4,975 1989 |4,996 1990 |5,160 1991 |5,139 1992 |5,251 1993 (provisional) |5,034 Source: Agriculture in the United Kingdom 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1993.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what estimates his Department has made of the environmental damage caused in each of the three counties of Yorkshire and for Humberside through (a) over-grazing and (b) other practices involving livestock for which premiums are being paid; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Jack: No overall estimate has been made of environmental damage caused by such practices in the counties specified but the Ministry's north -eastern regional service centre has under review 10 sites in North Yorkshire and two in West Yorkshire. None is currently under review in South Yorkshire or Humberside. Our objective is to secure necessary changes in farming practices by agreement with the graziers concerned who will be given every opportunity to bring about improvements before sanctions are applied. Premiums will be withheld only as a last resort.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is his estimate of the net cost to the United Kingdom balance of payments and the retail prices index of adopting the common agricultural policy.