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             |Formal                                

             |applications|Enquiries                

----------------------------------------------------

1988-89      |10          |37                       

1989-90      |29          |324                      

1990-91      |34          |233                      

1991-92      |64          |345                      

1992-93      |50          |473                      

1993-94      |47          |502                      

1994-95<1>   |47          |281                      

<1> To date.                                        

Five staff provide support for both the Commissioner for the Rights of Trade Union Members and, since her appointment in 1993, the Commissioner for Protection Against Unlawful Industrial Action. The pay and operational costs, and apportioned costs, of the Commissioner's office have been:

1989 90

Staff salaries: £66,126

Accommodation: £20,896

Fuel and utilities: £1,162

1990 91

Staff salaries: £84,536

Accommodation: £15,693

Fuel and utilities: £4,817

1991 92

Staff salaries: £109,272

Accommodation: £14,555

Fuel and utilities: £4,168

1992 93

Staff salaries: £118,047

Accommodation: £17,938

Fuel and utilities: £4,005

1993 94

Staff salaries: £92,890

Accommodation: £11,362

Fuel and utilities: £5,633


Column 861

1994 95

Staff salaries: £66,619

Accommodation: £16,216

Fuel and utilities: £3,178

Mr. McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment, what was the financial provision from grants in aid from the Employment Department's Supply Estimates to (a) the Commission for the Rights of Individual Trade Union Members for each year since 1989 and (b) the Commission for Protection Against Unlawful Industrial Action for each year since 1993.

Mr. Oppenheim [holding answer 15 February 1995]: The estimates provision for grant in aid, and grant in aid actually received from the Department, have been as follows:


Commissioner for the Rights of Trade Union Members                      

                                    |Actually received                  

Year              |Provision (£)    |(£)                                

------------------------------------------------------------------------

1989-90           |800,000          |246,000                            

1990-91           |280,000          |263,000                            

1991-92           |500,000          |291,000                            

1992-93           |514,000          |431,000                            

1993-94           |375,000          |276,000                            

1994-95           |344,000          |<1>257,000                         

<1> To date.                                                            


Commissioner for Protection against Unlawful Industrial Action          

                                    |Actually received                  

Year              |Provision (£)    |(£)                                

------------------------------------------------------------------------

1993-94           |148,000          |88,000                             

1994-95           |191,000          |<1>96,000                          

<1> To date.                                                            

AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FOOD

Mobile Abattoirs

Mr. Morley: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what backing he is giving to the development and use of mobile abattoirs.

Mrs. Browning: All slaughterhouses, including mobile abattoirs, must meet the structural and hygiene standards set out in the Fresh Meat (Hygiene and Inspection) Regulations 1992 and have to be licensed by the appropriate Agriculture Department. Officials of the State Vetrinary Service have given, and will continue to give, advice and encouragement to any project to design and establish a mobile abattoir. At present, there are no mobile abattoirs in use in England.

Cheese Production

Mr. Redmond: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what has been the fall in UK cheese production since the demise of the Milk Marketing Board; and what action he plans to take to reverse it and restore the production of quality speciality cheese.

Mr. Jack: Figures for cheese production since 1 November 1994 are not yet available. However, one of the biggest problems for cheese makers under the old milk marketing arrangements was the withdrawal of milk supplies by the MMB at short notice. They now enjoy greater security of supply for their milk.


Column 862

DUCHY OF LANCASTER

Ministerial Visits

Mr. MacShane: (1) To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what plans he has to travel to Hong Kong in 1995.

(2) To ask the Minister without Portfolio what plans he has to travel to Hong Kong in 1995.

Mr. Hunt: We have no present plans to do so.

SCOTLAND

M77

Mrs. Ray Michie: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when the formal notice of complaint No 95/40005 SG(95)/A/287 from the European Commission, relating to the Ayr road route M77 was received by his Department; and what response has been made.

Lord James Douglas Hamilton: The Government have received no formal notice of complaint from the Commission.

Legal Aid

Mrs. Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) when was the last occasion upon which advice was received on the matter of civil eligibility for legal aid from the Scottish Legal Aid Board; (2) if he will implement advice given by the Scottish Legal Aid Board in 1991 in its response to his Department's consultation paper on eligibility for civil legal aid in Scotland to the effect that the fixed upper limit should be abolished and replaced by some other form of universal eligibility or flexible upper limit;

(3) what representations he has received from the Scottish Legal Aid Board following implementation of the new financial limits for eligibility for legal aid.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: My right hon. Friend has received no representations from the Scottish Legal Aid Board on the question of eligibility for civil legal aid since the advice on proposed changes to eligibility for advice and assistance referred to in my reply to the hon. Members question of 12 February 1993, Official Report , columns 849-50 . In setting eligibility limits, the Government must make a judgement as to the correct level, having regard on the one hand to providing access to legal services to those unable to afford them, and on the other to the need to control the level of public expenditure. Against this background, the Government have no plans to abolish the fixed upper eligibility limit.

Abortions

Mrs. Bridget Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many abortions were performed in England and Wales, on women resident in each health authority in 1993; and, of these operations, how many were performed in NHS hospitals.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: The information requested for 1993 is not yet available. Information on abortions performed in England and Wales is provided by the Office of Population Census and Surveys. This data will be available within the next few months.


Column 863

Scottish Health Common Services

Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what consultations he had with the Welsh Health Common Services Authority concerning W. S. Atkins' part in designing Ysbyty Gwynedd hospital, Bangor, Gwynedd, prior to the decision to sell Scottish Health Common Services to the company;

(2) what information he has concerning the level of compensation paid by W. S. Atkins and Partners in 1988 to the Welsh Health Common Services authority in cognisance of the design faults at Ysbyty Gwynedd hospital, Bangor, before his decision to sell Scottish Health Common Services to the company.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 15 February 1995]: None. The decision to sell the building division of the Common Services Agency for the NHS in Scotland to W. S. Atkins Ltd. followed an extensive competitive tendering exercise.

Consultants

Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the occasions during the last five years when his Department or its agencies has taken legal action against a consultancy firm; and what were the reasons in each case.

Mr. Lang [holding answer 15 February 1995]: On no occasion during the last five years has my Department or its agencies taken legal action against a consultancy firm.

Health Care International

Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland who were the members of the Scottish Industrial Development Advisory Committee when Government support for HCI in Clydebank was confirmed; and what is the industrial or commercial background of those members.

Mr. Kynoch [holding answer 23 January 1995]: The provision of regional selective assistance for Health Care International was considered and approved by the Scottish Industrial Development Advisory Board, first in April 1988 and subsequently in February 1990.

Listed below are the SIDAB members at the relevant dates:


April 1988      |February 1990                  

------------------------------------------------

Y. Ali          |Y. Ali                         

K. Fox          |B. J. Fox                      

T. Johnston     |K. Fox                         

B. F. Lawson    |J. J. G. Good                  

J. M. Little    |J. C. G. Halley                

D. J. MacLeod   |J. M. Little                   

A. Merrills     |D. J. MacLeod                  

D. M. Paterson  |A. Merrills                    

J. C. Shaw      |D. M. Paterson                 

A. K. Smith     |J. C. Shaw                     

Sir R. Smith    |A. K. Smith                    

R. Thomson      |P. Timms                       

The members represented a range of backgrounds including industry and commerce, banking and finance, and the trade unions.


Column 864

TRADE AND INDUSTRY

Companies House (Sickness)

Mr. Peter Bottomley: To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his answer of 14 February, Official Report , columns 552 53 , if he will restate the Companies House sickness absence level on the management control basis.

Mr. Heseltine: Sickness absence rates, expressed as a percentage of contracted hours for each member of staff, were as follows:


Year      |Per cent.          

------------------------------

1991      |4.9                

1992      |5.4                

1993      |5.3                

1994      |4.9                

Export Credits Guarantee Department

Mr. Cousins: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list the contingent liabilities and interest generated under section 2 of the Export and Overseas Investment Guarantees Act 1978 and charged to the Consolidated Fund accounts in each year since 1981.

Mr. Needham: ECGD's liabilities under section 2 of the 1978 Act, as notified in the Department's statutory return, were as follows:


Year Ending   |£ thousands            

--------------------------------------

31 March 1983 |21,286                 

31 March 1984 |22,590                 

31 March 1985 |23,641                 

31 March 1986 |21,043                 

31 March 1987 |20,326                 

31 March 1988 |19,442                 

31 March 1989 |20,737                 

31 March 1990 |16,767                 

31 March 1991 |15,096                 

No record is held of the figure prior to March 1983. Likewise no information is available after March 1991 as the section 2 category lapsed when the 1978 Act was superseded by the 1991 Export and Investment Guarantees Act.

ECGD's accounting records have been maintained on a basis which allows interest earned or charged to the notional section 2 Consolidated Fund balance to be detailed only up to the 31 March 1987. The amounts were as follows:


Year      |£ Million          

------------------------------

1981-82   |+53.7              

1982-83   |+32.3              

1983-84   |+14.7              

1984-85   |-3.4               

1985-86   |-17.4              

1986-87   |-37.1              

Mr. Cousins: To ask the President of the Board of Trade how much interest support payments from the Ministry of Defence are shown in the annual accounts of the Export Credits Guarantee Department.


Column 865

Mr. Needham: The level of contributions from the Ministry of Defence towards interest support payments, as shown in the appropriation accounts of the Export Credits Guarantee Department, are as follows:


-

Year      |£                  

------------------------------

1986-87   |894,000            

1987-88   |972,000            

1988-89   |1,119,000          

1989-90   |993,000            

1990-91   |1,058,000          

1991-92   |920,000            

1992-93   |797,000            

1993-94   |597,000            

The above totals relate to the interest support scheme reported under ECGD's export finance assistance vote.

Ministerial Visits

Mr. MacShane: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what plans he has to travel to Hong Kong in 1995.

Mr. Heseltine: At present I have no plans to visit Hong Kong during 1995. My right hon. Friend the Minister for Trade is hoping to make a trade promotion visit to Hong Kong in the autumn.

Lebanon

Mr. Simpson: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what is the involvement of the British Government in the promotion of British business interests in the reconstruction of central Beirut.

Mr. Needham: Working in close collaboration with the British embassy in Beirut we have, through a series of promotional events and other activities, ensured that United Kingdom business is fully aware of the opportunities arising from the reconstruction of Beirut. This has included support for trade missions, the "Rebuild Lebanon", and other exhibitions, which have the reconstruction of Beirut as one of their themes. British commercial interests have also been promoted during ministerial visits which have included business men from the UK construction sector.

Mr. Simpson: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on economic relations between the UK and Lebanon.

Mr. Needham: Since the end of the civil war, our trade and economic links with the Lebanon have grown steadily; in 1994 our exports reached £138 million. The Lebanese Prime Minister visited the UK in January 1994 and there are regular contacts at ministerial and official level involving economic and trade issues. I look forward to the continuing and mutually beneficial growth in these links.

Inward Investment

Mr. Worthington: To ask the President of the Board of Trade how much inward investment there has been in Britain by Taiwanese firms in the past five years by value, number of projects and number of jobs created; and how much has gone to Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Mr. Eggar: All but one of the manufacturing investments by Taiwanese companies in Europe are in the


Column 866

UK. Since 1990, four companies have set up manufacturing operations in Britain creating or safeguarding nearly 700 jobs. All these investments are located in England. Two further companies have announced their intention to invest in Northern Ireland and one in Wales.

I am unable to release the figure for the value of the investments as it is commercially sensitive.

Public Appointments

Mr. Milburn: To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his answer of 18 January, Official Report, column 557, how many appointments to public positions have been made by his Department in the last year.

Mr. Heseltine [holding answer 15 February 1995]: I am currently responsible for a total of over 630 public appointments. In 1994, a total of 212 appointments, including re-appointments were made.

Advertising

Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what was the total expenditure on all forms of advertising by his Department and its agencies for each year since 1979, in 1994 prices.

Mr. Heseltine [holding answer 13 February 1995]: Expenditure on advertising from my Department's central publicity budget since 1979 80 at 1994 95 prices is as follows:


Year    |£000         

----------------------

1979-80 |3,892        

1980-81 |7,677        

1981-82 |7,546        

1982-83 |6,105        

1983-84 |6,701        

1984-85 |8,219        

1985-86 |7,797        

1986-87 |45,769       

1987-88 |15,256       

1988-89 |27,061       

1989-90 |13,166       

1990-91 |7,601        

1991-92 |1,056        

1992-93 |1,197        

1993-94 |800          

I have asked chief executives of DTI agencies to write to the hon. Member.

Letter from John Hobday to Mr. Malcolm Bruce, dated 17 February 1995:

I refer to your question to the President of the Board of Trade concerning expenditure on advertising.

The Accounts Services Agency have spent £995 exclusive of VAT during the current financial year. This is the first year since the Agency's creation in October 1991 in which expenditure has been incurred.

Letter from David Durham to Mr. Malcolm Bruce, dated 17 February 1995:

You recently tabled a Parliamentary Question asking about the total expenditure on all forms of advertising by Departments and Agencies since 1979, in 1994 prices.

Following the answer given by the President of the Board of Trade, I am replying as Chief Executive of Companies House which


Column 867

became an Executive Agency of the Department of Trade and Industry in October 1988.

Companies House Executive Agency advertising expenditure at 1994/95 prices is as follows:

1989 90 £380,265

1990 91 £260,288

1991 92 £207,670

1992 93 £348,932

1993 94 £206,040

1994/95--£174,000 year to date

These figures include expenditure on advertising to raise the awareness of Late Filing Penalties and inform and remind companies of the due dates for filing.

I hope this is helpful to you.

Letter from Peter Joyce to Mr. Malcolm Bruce, dated 17 February 1995:

The President of the Board of Trade has asked me to reply to your Question about Insolvency Service expenditure on advertising. The Insolvency Service, which became an Executive Agency in March 1990, does not place advertisements of its business. Official Receivers of The Service are required to place in newspapers and other journals notices concerning specific matters relating to individual insolvencies, for example notice of the making of a bankruptcy order. The cost of these notices are a charge on the estates of bankrupts and companies in compulsory liquidation. Letter from R.D. Worswick to Mr. Malcolm Bruce dated 15 February 1995:

PQ on Advertising--

The President of the Board of Trade has asked me to write to you about the advertising spend by the Laboratory of the Government Chemist (LGC).

LGC's spend on external advertising is concentrated in the trade press to promote seminars and other similar scientific events. We also spend modest amounts on recruitment advertising but this is not included in the figures below.

Information before 1991 is not readily available but I am not aware of any reason to believe that the spend over the last couple of years is not typical of our expenditure in earlier years. In 1991/92 we spent £3,000, in 1992/93 we spent £6,000 and in 1993/94 we spent £4,000 on all forms of advertising (all figures in 1994 prices). Letter from W. Edgar to Mr. Malcolm Bruce dated 17 February 1995:

I refer to your question to the President of the Board of Trade on the subject of the expenditure by the Department of Trade and Industry and its Agencies on all forms of advertising. The expenditure by year in 1994 prices since the vesting of NEL as an Agency on 6 October 1990 is as shown on the attached schedule. I trust you will find this information satisfactory for your purposes.


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