|Total |Age |Age |Age 75 |number |65-69 |70-74 |and over ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Lord Chancellor |1 |1 |<1>- |<1>- Lords of appeal in ordinary |10 |4 |1 |- Heads of division |4 |<1>- |1 |- Lords justices of appeal |29 |7 |2 |- High Court judges |95 |11 |2 |- Circuit judges |512 |82 |16 |- District judges<1> |322 |17 |3 |- Stipendiary magistrates |85 |11 |- |- Masters<2> |30 |8 |- |- <1> including district judges of the principal registry of the family division. <2> including bankruptcy registrars.
Ms Janet Anderson: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what is the division of responsibilities and relationship between the Ministers and agencies in the Lord Chancellor's Department.
Mr. John M. Taylor: The Lord Chancellor is currently responsible for three executive agencies--the Land Registry, the Public Record Office and the Public Trust Office--and is accountable to Parliament for them. The relationship and division of responsibilities between him and his agencies is fully set out in the individual agencies' published framework documents. The Lord Chancellor is responsible for appointing the agency chief executives; for setting and reviewing agency targets and monitoring performance against them; for approving the corporate and business plans; for securing the provision of financial
Column 588resources; for making rules and orders; and for decisions on policy issues. The Land Registry and the Public Record Office are separate departments. The Public Trust Office is part of the Lord Chancellor's Department. The agency chief executives are responsible for the day-to-day management of the agencies and are accountable to the Lord Chancellor for their effective and efficient management. As accounting officers, or in the case of the Public Trust Office agency accounting officer, the chief executives are also responsible for the proper and economical expenditure of money.
Mr. Hanson: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will make it his policy to inform individuals awaiting pension appeal tribunal dates of the likely length of waiting time for each centre at the time of application.
Mr. John M. Taylor: There are no plans at present to introduce such a scheme, which would be of limited value. In practice, the vast majority of appellants choose to have their hearing at the centre closest to where they live, even when they are aware that waiting times might be shorter elsewhere. The minority who are prepared to travel can obtain information about waiting times at other centres on request.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what plans his Department has to require the Independent Television Commission to produce detailed, public, measurable assessments of how the ITV companies are meeting their franchise obligations.
Mr. Dorrell: The Independent Television Commission is required to publish in its annual report where Channel 3 licensed have failed to comply with licence conditions relating to certain statutory requirements.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the progress made on the provision of subtitling and signing on television programmes; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Dorrell: Subtitling is provided on Channel 3 and Channel 4 as well as on BBC television services. The Independent Television Commission is responsible for monitoring the requirements on subtitling in the Channel 3 and Channel 4 licences. The commission published its assessment in its first annual performance review in May 1994.
Mr. Faulds: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if he will list the allocations made to public institutions in the United Kingdom during the half-year ended 31 December 1994 of individual works of art and museum objects pre-eminent for national, scientific, historic or artistic interests which have been accepted in satisfaction of inheritance tax, together with information, where applicable, as to conditions or wishes expressed by
Column 589testators or executors in the matter of allocation; and if he will list the works of art and museum objects which are still awaiting allocation, with the dates of their acceptance in satisfaction of inheritance tax.
Item |To whom allocated |Condition/wishes -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Painting by Ferneley |National Trust |Conditional Riding tack |National Trust |Conditional Acland archive |National Trust |Conditional Painting by Scott |Tate Gallery |Conditional Architectural drawings |National Trust |Conditional Chattels at Benthall |National Trust |Wish hall Fitzherbert papers |Derbyshire Record |Conditional | Office House at No 2 Willow |National Trust |Conditional road, London NW3 Studio belonging to |Banbridge District|Conditional the artist | Council McWilliam Chattels at Castle |National Trust for|Conditional Fraser | Scotland Unallocated items |Date accepted Busts by Flaxman and |12 October 1994 |- Chantrey Painting by Amigoni |12 August 1994 |- Fairfax archive |12 August 1994 |- George I silver kettle |24 May 1994 |- and stand Three works by |27 April 1994 |- Library furniture by |17 February 1994 |- Gomm Miniature portrait by |15 December 1993 |- Hilliard
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage how many of the individuals appointed by his Department to public positions in the last year were first identified by the public appointments unit.
Mr. Robert G. Hughes: As described in the White Paper, "The Civil Service, Continuity and Change" Cm 2627, each next steps agency is reviewed at five-yearly intervals. The process includes an evaluation of the agency's performance by the responsible Minister which also covers value for money issues.
The record of agencies in improving effectiveness and efficiency in government is summarised in the Next Steps
Column 590Review 1994, Cm 2750. It shows that, in total, agencies met 80 per cent. of their targets in 1993 94. This represents a trend of improvement over last year's figure of 77 per cent. and the previous year's 76 per cent.
The Attorney-General: The division of responsibilities and relationship between myself, the Treasury Solicitor and the Government Property Lawyers agency are defined in the published framework document a copy of which is in the Library.
Mr. Madden: To ask the Attorney-General when he intends to reply to a letter dated 19 December from Lindis Percy of Bradford, which she copied to the hon. Member for Bradford West; if he will place a copy of the letter from Ms Percy and his reply in the Library; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Thurnham: To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his answer of 19 December 1994, Official Report , column 910 , if he will list his Department's responsibilities for providing opportunities for disabled people, beyond those responsibilities which it has for its own staff; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Charles Wardle: Although the policy responsibility for providing opportunities for disabled people lies with other Departments, DTI is involved in a number of areas which help provide opportunities for disabled people. For example, the Department, together with the Department of Health, helps to ensure that United Kingdom companies are well placed to take advantage of the funding provided, by the European Commission, for the development of new technologies which will benefit disabled people. We are also currently engaged, together with the Foreign Office, the Department of Health and the Department of Transport, in producing promotional video which will showcase UK products for disabled people. Together with other departments, DTI is represented on the Inter-Departmental Group on Disability which coordinates activities in this area across Government, and through which we can keep a watching brief on initiatives which might be of interest to those in this department.
The department of Trade and Industry is an equal opportunity employer and currently employs 379 staff with disabilities--there are around 10,500 staff in DTI
Column 591and its executive agencies--of whom around 10 per cent. are at grade 7 (principal) level or above.
Mr. Cohen: To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many cracks have been discovered in nuclear power stations; how many of them arise as a result of the use of Inconel 600; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Charles Wardle: As a result of routine inspection programmes to support the operational safety cases, cracks have been identified in some of the steam header welds at the Dungeness B and Heysham 1 nuclear power stations. The precise number of these cracks is difficult to establish. Both stations remain closed while the operator, Nuclear Electric, undertakes appropriate remedial work and prepares safety cases for the return of the plants to operation. The two stations will only be brought back into operation once the Health and Safety Executive's nuclear installations inspectorate is satisfied that it is safe for them to do so.
Inconel 600 is not used in the welds where the cracks have occurred.
Mr. Eggar: Detailed information about the volume of coal stocks held by the regional coal companies is commercially confidential. British Coal's total stocks of some 11 million tonnes of coal were included in the sale of the regional coal companies, with the majority going to RJB.
Mr. Eggar: As outlined in my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Surrey, East (Mr. Ainsworth) on 2 December 1994, Official Report , columns 939 40 , adjustments to the price bid by RJB Mining, in common with the bids of other preferred bidders, reflect developments since tenders were submitted in September 1994 or information which was not available to bidders at the time. the bulk of these adjustments relate to specific changes in expected levels of coal stock and liabilities disclosed after bids were submitted. Even after the adjustments, the price paid by RJB is substantially higher than other tenders.
Mr. Foulkes: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list the land and property in Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley constituency which was included in the sale of British Coal assets to Mining (Scotland) Ltd.
Mr. Eggar: In the time available, I am unable to confirm which of the assets transferred from British Coal to the Scottish Coal Company Ltd. fall within the hon. Member's constituency. The sites within Strathclyde region which have transferred are:
|Location --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Opencast disposal points Dalquhandy |6 km south of Lesmahagow Damside |12 km east of Motherwell Killoch |7 km west of Cumnock Knockshinnoch |9 km south south east of | Cumnock Operating opencast sites Airdsgreen |19 km east north east of | Cumnock, Cumnock and | Doon Valley district, | Strathclyde region Chalmerston |2 km north of Dalmellington, | Cumnock and Doon | Valley district, Strathclyde | region Dalquhandy |6 km south of Lesmahagow, | Clydesdale district, | Strathclyde region Damside |12 km east of Motherwell, | Motherwell district, | Strathclyde region Piperhill |9 km south west of Cumnock, | Cumnock and Doon | Valley district, Strathclyde | region Prospective opencast sites Broken Cross and Broken Cross |7 km south south west of Extension | Lanark, Clydesdale | district, Strathclyde | region Chalmerston North |5 km north north east of | Dalmellington, Cumnock | and Doon Valley | district, Strathclyde | region Drumshangie |3.2 km north east of Airdrie, | Monklands district, | Strathclyde region House of Water |8 km south south west of | Cumnock, Cumnock and | Doon Valley district, | Strathclyde region Ladylands |9 km east north east of | Motherwell, Motherwell | district, Strathclyde | region Leadloch |16 km east of Motherwell, | Motherwell district, | Strathclyde region Powharnal |9 km north east of Cumnock, | Cumnock and Doon | Valley district Strathclyde | region Spireslack Revised |20 km east north east of | Cumnock, Cumnock and Doon | Valley district, Strathclyde | region Gasswater |6 km north east of Cumnock, | Strathclyde region Glentaggart |18 km south west of Lanark, | Strathclyde region Grievehill |8 km south east of Cumnock, Pennyvenie |2 km north east of | Dalmellington, Strathclyde | region Watsonhead |12 km north north west of | Lanark, Strathclyde | region Wilsontown |13 km north east of Lanark, | Strathclyde region
I will write with the constituency information in due course.
Mr. Denham: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what is the current contribution to electricity generation made by domestic waste incineration; and what estimate he has made for the future contribution to electricity generation from this source.
Mr. Charles Wardle: Electricity generating capacity fuelled by municipal or industrial waste amounts to about 106 MW from seven power stations in the United Kingdom. The third non-fossil fuel obligation order for renewables, which I made on 20 December 1994, required the regional electricity companies to contract for a further 241.87 MW of generating capacity from 20 projects. Energy from waste projects would recover value from about four million tonnes of waste per year and provide access to over 200,000 tonnes per year of ferrous material for recycling if all NFFO 3 projects were to go forward. Two of the existing projects have secured a beneficial use for the reject heat through combined heat and power operation, and developers of six of the NFFO 3 projects have declared their intention to do likewise.
Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what has been the total Government subsidy to the nuclear power industry in the United Kingdom for each year from 1979 to 1994; and what is planned for each year up to 1998, expressed in 1993 prices.
Mr. Eggar: No Government subsidies have been paid to Nuclear Electric plc or British Nuclear Fuels plc and none is at present planned. There is no record of the Central Electricity Generating Board having received nuclear specific subsidies from Government covering the period from 1979 when they were responsible for nuclear power generation. Both NE and BNFL are recipients of the fossil fuel levy paid by electricity suppliers in England and Wales. The Government have, however, been the customer for research and development and other programmes undertaken by the Atomic Energy Authority. It funds those programmes and the consequences of those programmes.
Ministerial responsibility for Scottish Nuclear Limited rests with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland.
Mr. Tipping: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he intends to place in the Library copies of the reports commissioned from consultants in connection with the nuclear review when they are completed.
Mr. Eggar: As was made clear in announcing the terms of reference for the review, the reports themselves will not be placed in the Library of the House. However, the announcement of the conclusions of the review will be supported by the facts and analysis of the facts relevant to our decisions.
Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will study the report sent to him by the hon. Member for Thurrock detailing the exploitation of child factory workers by the Medonna Company of Tirapur in Tamil Nadu whose products are imported into the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement as to what powers he has to (a) prevent this exploitation and (b) prevent such imports.
Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the President of the Board of Trade (1) what powers he has to prevent the importation of garments from third-world countries which have been produced wholly or in part by workers being paid low wages or by child labour; and if he will make a statement; (2) if he will raise with European Union Ministers the need to halt imports of products into the European Union that have been produced by the extensive use of child labour in third-world countries; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Ian Taylor: The Government work consistently to promote ratification and observance of international agreements to curb the use of child labour. However, the practice primarily reflects poverty. It is more likely to be ended by maintaining open international trade so as to strengthen the economies of the countries concerned rather than by imposing import bans which would anyway face severe legal and practical difficulties. As to wage levels, these vary around the world and give poorer countries a competitive advantage in international markets. It is hard to see how they would be helped by import bans which would deny them this benefit.
Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what complaints his office has received about unfair trading practices from the competitors of Mercury Communications about its One-2-One promotional offer to new subscribers of free telephone calls on Christmas day; if he will refer this to the Office of Fair Trading; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Ian Taylor: I have received no complaints from competitors of Mercury One-2-One about its Christmas day offer. Representations regarding unfair trading practices would be a matter for the Director General of Telecommunications.
Column 595used by the engineering steel industry are lower than that paid in the United Kingdom; and what is his estimate of the difference between the price paid by this industry in the United Kingdom and the average in other EC states.
Mr. Charles Wardle [holding answer 18 January 1995]: Information on the price of electricity used by individual industries such as engineering steel are not collected centrally by the Department of Trade and Industry, nor by the Statistical Office of the European Communities. The latest data published by the EC, which refer to prices at 1 July 1994, shows that for the majority of industrial customers, United Kingdom prices are amongst the lowest in Europe. Prices data are taken from the latest Eurostat publication, "Rapid Reports--Energy and Industry 1994/33". Copies of these reports are held in the Library of the House. Data refer to 1 July 1994 and cover electricity prices for a number of levels of consumption. Generally United Kingdom electricity prices including all taxes and duties except VAT are among the lowest in Europe. For example:
for consumers of 30,000 kWh a year, nine of the other 11 member states had higher prices than the UK;
for consumers of 2 GWh a year, eight of the other 11 member states had higher prices than the UK; and
for consumers of 50 GWh a year, nine of the other 11 member states had higher prices than the UK.
Mr. Freeman: I have been asked to reply. In the past year the Ministry of Defence and the Department of Trade and Industry have participated in the following overseas defence exhibitions in support of the UK defence industry's sales and marketing activities: Asian Aerospace 94, Singapore--February 1994
Association of United States Army, Florida--February and October 1994
Defence Services Asia, Kuala Lumpur--April 1994
Indepo, Dubai--May 1994
Eurosatory 94, Paris--June 1994
1st International Remote Sensing Conference (Open Skies), Strasbourg-- September 1994
Defendory, Athens--October 1994
Euronaval, Paris--October 1994
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what is the total amount of money from (a) the European regional development fund and (b) the European social fund which has been paid in each financial year between 1988 89 and 1993 94 to all local authorities within the United Kingdom.
£ million |1988-89|1989-90|1990-91|1991-92|1992-93|1993-94 ---------------------------------------------------------------- ERDF |278 |319 |329 |507 |768 |679 ESF |34 |93 |111 |134 |154 |188 Total |312 |412 |440 |641 |922 |867
Mr. Nelson: The Central Statistical Office publishes annually its future work plans in its "Programme Strategies". The most recent relates to the period 1994--95 to 1996 97. These plans are rolled forward each year and are revised in line with changes in expenditure provision and business needs.
I announced in a written answer to the hon. Member for Southport (Mr. Banks), 18 November 1994, Official Report , column 12 , that a review of the basis on which the Central Statistical Office has been operating as an agency would be conducted. This review is now underway and, if it recommends that the Central Statistical Office should continue as an agency, then a framework document will be drawn up.
I refer also to the answer that the Chancellor of the Exchequer gave to the hon. Member for Southport earlier today in which he announced that he has commissioned work to assess the benefits that would arise from merging the Central Statistical Office with the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys. The results of this assessment would be taken into account in any new framework document.
Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the real increase in expenditure on central Government annual debt interest between 1991 92 and 1996 97; and to what this amount would equate approximately in terms of additional pence on the basic rate of income tax.
Mr. Aitken: Central Government debt interest payments are projected to increase from £16.2 billion in 1991 92 to £26.0 billion in 1996 97, in cash terms. In 1993 94 prices this represents an increase of £6.7 billion.
At 1996 97 income levels the yield in a full year from an increase of one penny in the basic rate of income tax is expected to be about £2 billion.
Mr. Kenneth Clarke: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health and I have agreed that the London-based staff of the Central Statistical Office and the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys should be
Column 597located together at Drummond Gate, Pimlico, subject to the satisfactory completion of negotiations on the lease of the buildings in question. We expect them to move there during the latter part of 1995.
The purpose of these moves, which involve the two main statistics collecting arms of the Government Statistical Service, is to improve the efficiency and quality of Government statistics. Because of the concentration and range of skills at the new location, it will become easier to make further progress in bringing together the massive amount of statistical data currently existing in government, relating them in a meaningful way, and making them more readily available both within government and to the community generally in accordance with the thrust of open government. The co-ordination of government statistics will be improved as it will be easier to develop common standards, classifications and definitions, for use not only by CSO and OPCS but by the rest of the GSS.
CSO and OPCS will remain separate organisations accountable to myself and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health respectively. However, as well as collaborating closely on statistical issues, they will increase efficiency by sharing services wherever possible.
My right hon. Friend and I have commissioned further work to establish what additional benefits would arise from merging the two organisations, and to assess whether these, coupled with other GSS developments, would justify a merger. The intention is that, if a merger were agreed, it should take effect from 1 April 1996. The arrangements for any merger would fully protect the interests of both organisations' customers, and of those who supply information to them.
OPCS's public search room will remain in St Catherine's house. It will need to move to alternative accommodation in central London before the current lease on St Catherine's house expires in 1999.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the rate of growth of exports of United Kingdom finished manufactures to (a) the EEC and (b) the rest of the world for each year since 1979.
Mr. Nelson: Information about exports of UK manufactures from which rates of growth may be derived can be found on the CSO database, which may be accessed through the Library of the House. Volume information is available only from 1988, but information at current prices is available from 1972.
Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received about the European Union development project in east Tibet in respect of its impact on (a) Tibetan culture, (b) groundwater pollution and (c) birth deformities; if he will object to the continuation of aid for this project; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Baldry: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has had a number of representations about the Pa Nam integrated rural development project in Tibet. Before these representations were received, officials had asked the European Commission to strengthen the conditions for EU funding, to ensure it benefited local Tibetans and incorporated an environmental impact assessment.
The project includes an irrigation scheme, funded by the Chinese Government, on which work has already begun. Suspending EU support would not stop the scheme, but would delay implementation of social components designed to ameliorate its impact on local Tibetans.