Mr. McAllion: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the bid by the private company awarded the contract for security at Somerset house was more expensive than the rival in-house bid; and what assessment he has made of the value for money achieved by the awarding of the contract.
Sir George Young: The tendering process in this, as with any market test, sought best value for money and so considered not only price but also quality and ability to deliver. The decision was not made on cost alone. The contract commences on 1 March 1995, so it is too soon to evaluate delivery of the service.
Mr. Aitken: Between April 1979 and April 1994 civil servants' average earnings increased by 26 per cent. in real terms, based on data from the New Earnings Survey and deflated by the all items retail prices index.
Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the employment of polling or public survey organisations by his Department during the current and previous financial years, on the organisations employed by his Department, on the values of individual contracts for these services, on the total amounts of money spent and on the purposes of the research undertaken by these organisations. 
Mr. Nelson [holding answer 20 March 1995]: In 1993 94, International Survey Research Limited was employed to carry out a staff attitude survey. Market and Opinion Research International Limited is currently carrying out a survey of members of the Government Accountancy Service.
Disclosing details of the cost of individual contracts would breach commercial confidentiality. The total cost of the above contracts is expected to be some £60,000.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory [holding answer 20 March 1995]: Annex A to chapter 4 of the Financial Statement and Budget Report shows that receipts for IPT on all types of insurance is forecast to be £0.2 billion in 1994 95 and £0.7 billion in 1995 96. Data from the Family Expenditure Survey suggests that around 8 per cent. of this is due to medical insurance.
Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will list all the visits by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury has made since the start of the current parliamentary Session to the constituencies of other hon. Members, without prior warning to those hon. Members, for any purpose connected with his departmental responsibilities; 
(2) if he will list all the visits he has made since the start of the current parliamentary Session to the constituencies of other hon. Members, without prior warning to those hon. Members, for any purpose connected with his departmental responsibilities. 
Sir Patrick Mayhew: I have today arranged for copies of Sir Louis Blom-Cooper's annual report for 1994 to be placed in the Library. I welcome the report, which provides a valuable examination of custody procedures in the police offices. I shall be studying it carefully.
I am most grateful for the work carried out by Sir Louis Blom-Cooper. The role of the commissioner remains important even in the changed circumstances since the PIRA and loyalist paramilitaries' cessation of violence. The Government remain committed to the principle that the emergency legislation will remain in force no longer than is necessary. However, for as long as the paramilitaries retain the capability to resume violence, and
Column 109for as long as the police require to interview persons suspected of involvement in terrorism, there is a need to maintain special provisions for detaining suspects in police custody. While this is the case, all the present safeguards designed to ensure the rights of those held in custody will remain in place, including the Independent Commissioner for the Holding Centres. As Sir Louis Blom-Cooper states in his report, an immediate impact of the ceasefires was a dramatic drop in the numbers detained in the police offices.
I am glad to note that, after a total of 26 visits of his own and 88 by his deputy, Sir Louis has been able to report that he can again find no cause for concern about the care and treatment of detainees held in the custody of uniformed officers of the RUC. I share Sir Louis' satisfaction that his terms of reference have been changed to permit him to be present, if he wishes, throughout interviews with terrorist suspects. This will further increase the level of independent supervision of procedures in the police offices.
Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list all the visits he has made since the start of the current parliamentary Session to the constituencies of other hon. Members without prior warning to those hon. members, for any purpose connected with his departmental responsibilities 
Sir Patrick Mayhew: It is standard practice, when I intend to visit any hon. Member's constituency, to inform the hon. Member concerned. I am aware of no occasion when I have departed from this practice.
Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if he will make a statement on the employment of polling or public survey organisations by his Department during the current and previous financial years, on the organisations employed by his Department, on the values of individual contracts for these services, on the total amounts of money spent and on the purposes of the research undertaken by these organisations. 
The Historic Royal Palaces Agency used CC and C Research Limited during 1994 95 to carry out summer visitor surveys at Hampton Court palace, the tower of London and Kensington palace, at a cost of £10, 325. In the same year it employed Vital Statistics to carry out an attitude survey cross all of the historic royal palaces, at a cost of £9,150.
The Royal Parks Agency employed the Centre for Leisure and Tourism Studies at the university of North London to collect information on the use of, and visitor attitudes towards, the Royal Parks. The cost in 1994 95 was £70,125.
All prices are exclusive of VAT.
Column 110servants employed by (a) his Department, (b) the agencies under his Department's responsibility and (c) public and other bodies under his Department's responsibility, for each year since 1992, divided into (1) full-time equivalents, (2) overtime, (3) casuals and (4) other; and whether he will also provide for each year his estimates of (A) civil service job reductions due to privatisation, (B) civil service job reductions due to contracting out, (C) civil service job reductions resulting from other transfer of responsibilities, (D) the total of all other staff undertaking work for the Department or its agencies without being categorised as civil servants, including external consultants, researchers, agency secretarial staff and staff substitution and (E) total manpower expenditures, in 1994 prices. 
Mr. Dorrell [holding answer 20 March 1995]: The civil service covers the permanent staff of central government departments and "next steps" agencies. The staff of other bodies are outside the civil service.
The annual publication "Civil Service Statistics" gives details of the number of civil servants employed by my Department and its agencies, including full-time and equivalent staff and casuals (from 1993 onwards) and of staff leaving the civil service.
"Public Bodies", published annually since 1982, contains staffing information for those bodies not covered by "civil service statistics".
Details of running costs and civil service pay bill for my Department can be found in figure 9.4 of my Department's annual report, Cm 2811.
Copies of all these publications are available in the Members' Library.
The remaining information sought could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what percentage of the land area of the United Kingdom was unable to receive terrestrial television in each year since 1985. 
Mr. Dorrell: Television coverage estimates are made in terms of population rather than land area. The broadcasters estimate that their terrestrial television coverage had reached all but 0.6 per cent. of the UK population by 1985. they have continued to build about 25 new transmitters a year but this programme has not measurably reduced the estimate of the percentage of unserved population.
Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if he will consider granting concessionary TV licences to (a) residents of Bradely village, Stoke on Trent, over pension age and (b) residents under pension age; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Dorrell: Under section 180 of the Broadcasting Act 1990, administration of the television licensing system, including determining eligibility for concessionary licences, passed to the BBC with effect from 1 April 1991. I have no power to intervene in respect of entitlement to the concession in individual cases.
Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 3 March, Official Report , column 727 , if any officer of the Indonesian national police force who has received any form of training paid for by his Department has subsequently gone on to serve in East Timor. 
Mr. Beith: To ask the Prime Minister if he will name the consultancy to which he referred in his oral answer to the right hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Ashdown), Official Report, column 140, on 7 March as having achieved savings of tens of millions of pounds; and what were the savings and consultancy fees involved. 
The Prime Minister: The example related to a Welsh Office roads project. On one particular five year project the final certificate for the main contract was substantially greater than the original tender price because of the effects of inflation and unforseen conditions encountered during construction. A consultant quantity surveying firm was employed in assisting departmental staff to consider the appropriate price for the overall contract. This work cost around £50,000, but the advice helped to inform the negotiations with the contractor, which led to a settlement £80 million less than the contractor's claim.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Prime Minister if he will hold discussions with the United States Government about the action of the CIA in arresting Juval Aviv, former agent of the Israeli intelligence service, and on Mr. Aviv's report of September 1989 for Pan Am. 
Mr. Spearing: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to oral answer of 16 March, Official Report , column 1021 , concerning the ratio of teachers to administrators or other staff within the ambit of local education authorities, what are the statistical bases and arithmetical calculations on which his statement was based. 
The Prime Minister: Figures collected by the Local Government Management Board show that in June 1994 local education authorities in England employed 376,665 full-time equivalent teachers and lecturers and 316,244 full-time equivalent other manual and non-manual staff involved in education, making a ration of around 2.5 non-teaching staff to every three teachers.
Mr. Robathan: To ask the Prime Minister what new Ministerial Committees of the Cabinet have been established since the updated list of membership and terms of reference of Cabinet Committees and Sub-Committees was published on 22 November 1994. 
The Prime Minister: I have established a new Ministerial Committee to consider the co-ordination and presentation of Government policy. A copy of the terms of reference and membership is in the Library of the House. The details are as follows:
MINISTERIAL COMMITTEE ON THE COORDINATION AND PRESENTATION OF GOVERNMENT POLICY (EDCP)
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Chairman)
Lord President of the Council
Lord Privy Seal
Minister without Portfolio
Other Ministers will be invited to attend when necessary. Terms of reference
"To consider the coordination and presentation of Government policy".
Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Prime Minister what was the total number of civil servants employed by (a) his Department, (b) the agencies under his department's responsibility and (c) public and other bodies under his Department's responsibility, for each year since 1979, divided into (i) full-time equivalents, (ii) overtime, (iii) casuals and (iv) other; and whether he will also provide for each year his estimates of (A) civil service job reductions due to privatisations, (B) civil service jobs due to contracting out, (C) civil service job reductions resulting from other transfer of responsibilities, (D) the total of all other staff undertaking work for his department of its agencies without being categorised as civil servants, including external consultants, researchers, agency secretarial staff and staff substitution and (E) total manpower expenditure in 1994 prices. 
There are four staff involved in the unit: two full time and two whose employment on unit work forms only part of their duties.
Mr. Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what international agencies exist to maintain and promote standards concerning the content of international communications via computer networks.
Mr. Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what international agreements exist to set and maintain standards concerning the content of international communications on computer networks.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what support of any kind was given to the United Kingdom by (a) Spain, (b) the EEC and (c) other individual EEC Governments between 1972 and 1976 in the United Kingdom's fishing dispute with Iceland.
Mr. Douglas Hogg: The EEC made the tariff reductions on certain Icelandic fish imports provided for under protocol No. 6 of Iceland's 1972 free trade agreement with the Community dependent on a satisfactory resolution of the fisheries dispute with member states. The Council of the EEC implemented the protocol only after the UK settlement with Iceland on 1 June 1976, the last to be concluded by an EEC member. There was close consultations with the German federal Government, whose dispute with Iceland ended in 1975. This consultation included the handling of the British and German cases on the issue before the International Court of Justice. A German proposal for tripartite negotiations in 1972 was rejected by the Government of Iceland. Spain was not a member of the EEC at that time and I am unaware of any bilateral support.
Column 114The visit served to strengthen further our already excellent bilateral relations. It confirmed Britain's role as a leading trade partner for the Philippines in Europe--many important commercial agreements were signed during the visit--and reinforced the position of the Philippines as an important partner for the UK in Asia.
Mr. Douglas Hogg: This information is not collated. However, Sierra Leone was raised on 25 January 1995, during informal consultations of the Security Council and on 10 February 1995 when UN Secretary-General addressed a donors' meeting.
Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the outcome of the world summit for social development; and if he will list the changes in (a) policies and (b) expenditure to the United Kingdom Government as a result of the summit.
The summit outcomes do not require changes in policy or expenditure unless the Government decide that this is necessary. The Government will consider the outcomes of the summit carefully in the light of national circumstances and priorities.
Mr. David Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if at its meeting on Monday 6 March the General Affairs Council of the European Commission took account of the use of Laogai labour in approving an increase in quotas on imports of Chinese goods, with particular reference to shoes; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. David Davis: The increases agreed by the Council of Ministers on 6 March were primarily to take account of Community enlargement: there was no discussion of the nature of the quota regime as a whole.
Mr. Geoffrey Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what were the recent changes in the application fees for a visitors' visas and settlement visas; and what are the reasons for these changes. 
Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list all the visits he has made since the start of the current parliamentary Session to the constituencies of other hon. Members, without prior warning to those hon. Members, for any purpose connected with his departmental responsibilities. 
Mr. Baldry: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs always does his best to give prior warning to hon. Members when he visits their constituencies in an official capacity.
Mr. Soames: Following the "Front Line First" announcement on 14 July 1994, proposals to rationalise Army vehicle storage facilities were outlined in a consultative document issued on 19 August 1994. Some 50 responses were received from trade unions, local authorities and other interested parties, all of which have been considered with care and sympathy. Understandable local concerns were expressed about the effects on employment and the local community but no significant new defence-related arguments emerged, nor have any new suggestions been made which have caused us to alter our original proposals for the rationalisation of vehicle storage.
Having carefully considered all the points raised, I can therefore confirm that we shall now begin work on rationalising vehicle storage, concentrating on a single site at Ashchurch; the vehicle depot at Ludgershall will be closed for operation by 31 March 1997. I am confident that this change can be achieved without detriment to operational capability.
Column 116We will continue to consult with staff and the trade unions about the detailed implementation of this rationalisation.
Mr. Soames: As at 31 December last year, which is the latest date for which figures are available, my Department owned 9,992 vacant service married quarters. A further 2,160 former married quarters were vacant and in the process of being sold.
Discussions are being held with the Housing Corporation on an enhanced programme of short term leasing to housing associations for married quarters which are temporarily surplus to our requirements. The majority of the vacant married quarters are not surplus, however, but are undergoing or awaiting major maintenance, held for future deployments or form part of the management margin needed to ensure that accommodation is available for entitled service families.