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Mr. Ian Taylor: No.

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many temporary export licences were issued to companies wishing to exhibit at the International Defence Exhibition, IDEX, in Abu Dhabi in March.      [15967]

Mr. Ian Taylor: Licences for the temporary export of controlled goods are valid for 12 months. In the 12 months leading up to IDEX, beginning 1 April 1994, the Export Control Organisation issued 125 licences for temporary export valid for Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates. Licences for temporary export are usually for the purpose of "display", "exhibition", "demonstration" and similar reasons. The particular forum


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for the display or exhibition of the goods in question is not always specified. I cannot therefore say specifically whether or not all the licences referred to above were to enable the goods in question to be exhibited at IDEX.

HOUSE OF COMMONS

Journalists

Mr. Peter Bottomley: To ask the Chairman of the Administration Committee if he will estimate the number of journalists with parliamentary press passes in (a) 1975, (b) 1985 and (c) 1995.

Mr. Michael J. Martin: I understand that the figures are (a) 356 and (b) 407. The current figure is 489.

Mr. Peter Bottomley: To ask the Chairman of the Administration Committee if he will arrange to monitor for a week the number of journalists in the Gallery during each hour the House sits.

Mr. Michael J. Martin: Yes. I have asked the Serjeant at Arms to make the arrangements for the first full sitting week after the House returns from the Easter Adjournment.

Members' Interests

Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Chairman of the Select Committee on Members' Interests, if an hon. Member in receipt of a gift or loan whose purpose, wholly or in part, is intended to avoid

disqualification from the House is required to register it.

Sir Geoffrey Johnson Smith: The liability of an hon. Member to register an interest can be decided only by the Registrar in the light of specific information about an individual case.

DUCHY OF LANCASTER

Departmental Report

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what was the cost of producing and circulating the annual report of the Cabinet Office for each of the last 10 years in real terms.      [16628]

Mr. Horam: The annual Cabinet Office departmental report was first published in 1991. The printing and publishing costs are borne by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, which aims to recover these from sales revenue.

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what was the cost of producing and circulating the last departmental annual report; what was the circulation list; how many copies were produced; and how many copies were sold and at what price.      [16627]

Mr. Horam: The printing and publishing costs were borne by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, which aims to recover these from sales revenue. The report was circulated to the Prime Minister, OPSS Ministers, Opposition spokesmen, Parliament, Cabinet Office senior management, and contributors in HMSO, COI and the other organisations included within the report. There were 1,500 copies printed, and just over 900 copies were distributed for sale to the public, at a cover price of £11.55.


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AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FOOD

Council of Ministers

Mr. Peter Atkinson: To ask the Minister what was the outcome of the Agriculture Council held in Brussels on 27 and 28 March 1995 and if he will make a statement.      [17498]

Mr. Waldegrave: At this meeting, the Council again considered possible rules on transport of live animals. The Commissioner floated some new ideas which would protect animal welfare better than those in the current presidency compromise. It was agreed that these should be examined at official level before the Council returns to the subject in May with a view to reaching a final conclusion. The Council also discussed the agri- monetary effects of the recent turbulence on international currency markets, as a result of which certain green currencies may need to be revalued according to the Community rules. A further Council will be held on 10 April to take decisions on this aspect, but the Commission indicated that it would use its powers to ensure that revaluations did not come into effect before 5 May.

The 10 April Council meeting is also expected to take decisions on the reform of the Community sugar regime. At this meeting we again argued that any cuts in sugar quotas necessary for the Community to meet its GATT commitments should be targeted on those countries with the largest surpluses.

The Council extended the marketing years for milk and beef since farm prices for 1995 96 have not yet been set.

In other discussions, the United Kingdom strongly opposed any proposal to place limits on nitrates in lettuce which cannot be fully justified by the scientific evidence.

Common Agricultural Policy

Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Minster of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the budget forecast for the common agricultural policy in 1995; and what proportion of this fund will be allocated to the United Kingdom.      [15796]

Mr. Jack: The draft supplementary and amending CAP budget for 1995, the latest official forecast, has been set at 36,897 mecu or £29,283 million--1,047 mecu or £831 million below the guideline. It is set in relation to forecast expenditure throughout the Community, and not on the basis of allocations to individual member states. The level of UK CAP receipts will depend on a variety of factors, such as production levels, quantities exported, and purchases in and sales out of intervention storage. It is forecast at £2,873 million for the 1995 96 financial year.

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Nicholls: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to his answer of 15 March, Official Report , column 63 , on water and sewerage charges, if he will define

disproportionate cost.      [15934]

Mr. Jack: Disproportionate cost is when it is estimated that the staff costs of preparing a full reply to the parliamentary question are likely to exceed £450.


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Departmental Report

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what was the cost of producing and circulating the last Departmental annual report; what was the circulation list; how many copies were produced; how many copies were sold; and at what price;      [16658]

(2) what was the cost of producing and circulating Departmental annual report for each of the last 10 years in real terms.      [16659]

Mr. Jack: A total of 2,250 copies of the 1995 departmental report of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the intervention board were produced. About half were required by Parliament, the Ministry, its agencies and the intervention board, the remainder being produced for sale at £19.60 net. Actual sales figures are not yet available.

Departmental reports were published for the first time in 1991. The estimated cost of producing the 1995 report, including the cost of the Ministry's staff resources and the use of professional typesetters, was very approximately £100,000. Similar figures are not available for earlier years.

Press Officers

Mr. Doug Henderson: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many press officers there are in his Department currently; and what the figure was in 1979.      [16564]

Mr. Jack: The number of press officers, including the chief press offficer, employed by MAFF is seven. In 1979, the number was the same.

Hill Livestock Compensatory Allowances

Mr. Llywd: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when it was decided to include off-farm income in the formula for determining the average income of hill farmers for the purposes of hill livestock compensatory allowances; and if he will make a statement.      [16782]

Mr. Jack: Off-farm income has never been included in the calculations of farm income taken into account in determining the rates of hill livestock compensatory allowances. The Government have made no decision, nor are there plans, to do so.

Meat Hygiene Service

Mr. Peter Atkinson: To ask the Minister what representations he has received about the Meat Hygiene Service's proposed charges and if he will make a statement.      [17500]

Mr. Waldegrave: The chief executive has kept me fully informed of the progress of consultation on the Meat Hygiene Service's proposed charges for 1995 96, and of the industry's request for some short-term assistance to facilitate the transition to the new system.

While I cannot take final decisions until the statutory consultation exercise has been completed in mid-April, I am minded to make available transitional assistance to allow the MHS to offer a rebate on its hourly rate for meat inspectors of £2 per hour for the first six months of 1995 96 and £1 per hour for the second six months, and


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to set a ceiling on the official veterinary surgeon hourly rate of £35 per hour.

In making any such rebates, the MHS would need to observe the requirements of the European legislation which prohibits subsidisation of inspection charges below the level of the Community standard charge.

I will shortly be publishing performance targets for the MHS which are designed to ensure that the chief executive maximises efficiency and minimises costs. The MHS will be expected to recover the full economic cost of its chargeable services from the industry from 1996 97 onwards.

TREASURY

EU Fraud

Mr. Shersby: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps are being taken to help combat fraud in the European Union, with particular reference to the spending of the common agricultural policy and structural or cohesion budgets.      [14974]

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: Steps are being taken to combat fraud in all areas of the European Community budget.

At the Essen European Council last December, the Prime Minister made a number of proposals to help tackle fraud, as well as waste and mismanagement. These are now being taken forward. Member states will report back to the European Council later in the year on what they are doing to combat fraud against the Community budget on their own territories. The Council is actively pursuing agreement on a legally binding instrument on national criminal law protection of the Community budget, as well as on a regulation on the protection of the Community's financial interests which would establish a framework for extending Community administrative penalties to all areas of the Community budget.

Significant progress is being made against fraud under the common agricultural policy. Administrative penalties are being applied on overclaims and member states are being "disallowed" previous agricultural expenditure where it is found not to be in accordance with the applicable rules. CAP reform is addressing weaknesses in controls that have previously led to fraud and irregularity. This includes a Commission proposal for a new procedure to reform the clearance of CAP accounts, involving in-year audits to improve management, and preventative and corrective action with suggestions from the Commission on possible changes to procedures instead of financial penalties. Also well advanced is Council consideration of a significant measure for tackling fraud, known colloquially as the CAP blacklist. This would set down a framework for member states to identify, and to notify each other of, traders who have deliberately, or as a result of serious negligence, committed an irregularity prejudicial to Community funds or who are subject to "well found suspicion" of having done so.

In July 1994, Commission regulations were introduced to ensure that member states report irregularities under the structural funds and the cohesion fund. These require member states to submit quarterly reports to the Commission on any irregularities which have been the


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subject of initial administrative or judicial investigations. These reports, the first of which was presented by member states to the Commission at the end of last year, will provide a more complete picture of fraud, financial mismanagement and waste in the structural funds.

Government Expenditure

Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the average annual increase in Government expenditure for the years (a) 1965 to 1970, (b) 1970 to 1974, (c) 1974 to 1979, (d) 1979 to 1989 and (e) 1989 to 1995.      [16810]

Mr. Aitken: Figures are readily available only for financial years. The table shows the average annual percentage increases in general government expenditure, excluding privatisation proceeds, over the relevant periods.


                    |Increase           

From      |To       |per cent.          

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

1965-66   |1970-71  |9.7                

1970-71   |1974-75  |18.7               

1974-75   |1979-80  |16.1               

1979-80   |1989-90  |8.5                

1989-90   |1995-96  |6.8                

Speed Cameras

Mr. Day: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what cost-benefit analysis he has (a) carried out and (b) plans to carry out on the effects of hypothecating the income generated from fines due to speeding offences detected by automatic cameras to the provision of further speed cameras and the processing of the resultant offence data.      [15661]

Mr. Aitken: No cost-benefit analysis has been carried out, nor are there any plans to do so. The Government take the view that, in general, hypothecation of revenue is not the best way of matching resources to needs.

Bank Reserves

Mr. Simpson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the Government ceased to require United Kingdom banks to hold reserve requirements on deposit with the Bank of England.      [15899]

Mr. Nelson: The requirement ceased on 20 August 1981, when new arrangements for monetary control were introduced by the Bank of England.

Departmental Report

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the cost of producing and circulating the departmental annual report for each of the last 10 years in real terms.      [16618]

Mr. Aitken: Departmental reports were published for the first time in 1991. The reports for the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Departments have been published as Command Papers by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, which has borne the printing and publishing costs with the aim of recovering these from the sales revenue.


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Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the cost of producing and circulating the last departmental annual report; what was the circulation list; how many copies were produced; how many copies were sold; and at what price.      [16617]

Mr. Aitken: A total of 1,500 copies of the departmental reports for the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Departments were printed and published as Cm 2817, 2818 and 2819. In addition to those copies required by Parliament and the Government Departments and agencies concerned, 1,000 copies of each report were produced to satisfy other sales at a net price of £18.40 for Cm 2817, £7.35 for Cm 2818 and £6.65 for Cm 2819. The costs of printing and publishing these reports were borne by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, which aims to recover its costs from sales revenue.

Late Payment of Debts

Mr. Redmond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what action he is planning to take to encourage companies to pay promptly.      [16619]

Mr. Aitken: A package of measures aimed at bringing about a change in business culture and hence shorter payment times was announced in the Competitiveness White Paper last May. That package is being implemented. The Government will continue to keep the position under review. If there has not been a significant improvement by 1996, they will review the case for legislation.

Exchange Rates

Mr. Alan W. Williams: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the overall percentage change in the value of the £ sterling since 1 September 1992 against (a) the dollar, (b) the Deutchsmark and (c) the basket of currencies.      [16862]

Mr. Nelson: Between 1 September 1992 and 27 March 1995, sterling has fallen by (a) 20 per cent. against the dollar, (b) 19 per cent. against the Deutchsmark and (c) 15 per cent. on an exchange rate index basis.

Export Margins

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what influence the levels of export margins have on decisions on interest rate levels; and what criteria are used to determine whether export margins are considered to be excessive.      [16990]

Mr. Nelson: Interest rates decisions are based on a wide range of information, including monetary and other financial indicators, indicators of activity and indicators of costs. The price of UK exports, and hence the export margin, is a matter for the individual firms concerned. But export volumes in the fourth quarter were up 13 per cent. on a year earlier, so margins do not appear excessive.

Privatisation

Mr. Matthew Banks: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what expenditure has been incurred recently in order to finance privatisation costs; and if he will make a statement.      [17359]


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Sir George Young: Expenditure has been incurred to cover: (i) the residual costs arising from the sale of National Power and PowerGen shares in March 1995, estimated at £32,000,000.

(ii) expenditure, estimated at £600,000 in connection with the Treasury's sale of privatised companies debt this year.

Costs incurred on this vote will be offset by receipts appropriate-in-aid. Such receipts will include the second instalments on National Power and PowerGen shares, estimated to be some £1.1 billion.

Parliamentary approval of these new services is being sought in the 1995 96 main estimate for HM Treasury's sale of sales of residual Government shareholdings and Government holdings of privatised companies' debt vote, class XVII, vote 15.

Pending that approval, urgent expenditure estimated at £32,600,000 will be met from repayable advances from the contingencies fund.

Profit-related Pay Schemes

Ms Coffey: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the tax to be forgone by the Treasury in 1995 96 through profit -related pay schemes.      [15843]

Sir George Young [holding answer 27 March 1995]: An estimate of the cost of income tax relief for profit-related pay schemes in 1994 95 is published in table 1.6 of Inland Revenue Statistics 1994, a copy of which is in the Library. An estimate of the cost in 1995 96 is not yet available.

Advisers

Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the names of those persons appointed as political advisers to his Department since May 1992.      [15605]

Mr. Nelson [holding answer 27 March 1995]: The special advisers appointed to the Treasury since May 1992 are as follows:


Name                        |Period of                                              

                            |appointment                                            

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

D. W. D. Cameron            |11 May 1992-21 June 1993                               

R. Darwall                  |8 February 1993-27 May 1993                            

Mrs. T. Keswick             |1 June 1993-                                           

D. Ruffley                  |28 May 1993-                                           

J. Bercow                   |20 March 1995-                                         

NORTHERN IRELAND

Statutory References

Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what statutory references to hon. Members have been made in legislation introduced by his Department, or its predecessors, since 1965.      [16094]

Sir John Wheeler: An analysis of all legislation introduced by the Northern Ireland Departments and the Northern Ireland Office and its predecessors since 1965 for any reference to the type requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost. It would be extremely


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unlikely for reference to be made specifically to an individual hon. Member. Frequent references are made to officers of state, and occasional general references are made to persons who are members of one or other of the Houses of Parliament.

Deregulation

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what targets he has for withdrawing regulations within his Department.      [15556]

Mr. Ancram [holding reply 27 March 1995]: At present there are some 30 regulations unique to Northern Ireland which impact on business. Five of these have been targeted for repeal or amendment and legislative action is in progress.

Other Northern Ireland regulations which replicate Great Britain provisions, and also impact on business, are reviewed and action taken in the light of decisions taken in Great Britain.

Fair Employment Small Business Scheme

Mr. Trimble: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to his answer of 9 March, Official Report , column 227 , on what basis James Hawthorne CBE was judged to have satisfied the criteria for established management consultants for the fair employment small business scheme as set out in the answer of 27 February, Official Report , column 402 .      [16045]

Mr. Ancram: On the basis of his experience at senior management level for a period well in excess of five years, Mr. Hawthorne was judged by the Fair Employment Commission to have the necessary experience of human resource management, including recruitment and selection procedures. In addition, Mr. Hawthorne was able to demonstrate to the interviewing panel that his knowledge of the fair employment legislation and code of practice satisfied the criteria for appointment.

Rate Relief

Mr. Trimble: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list the kinds of recreations which qualify certain hereditaments for rate relief under article 31 of the Rates (Northern Ireland) Order 1977 as amended.      [16046]

Sir John Wheeler: The relevant recreations are specified in the schedule to the Rates (Recreational Hereditaments) Order (Northern Ireland) 1979, SR 1979 No. 428, a copy of which is available in the Library.

Council for Catholic Maintained Schools

Mr. Trimble: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list the amounts paid each year to the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools under each of paragraphs 11, 13, 14 and 15 of schedule 8 to the Education Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 and the amounts repaid under paragraph 16.      [16047]


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Mr. Ancram: The information is as follows:


H

                                    |Paragraph  |Paragraph              

                                    |14 total   |15 capital             

            |Paragraph  |Paragraph  |recurrent  |expenditure            

            |11 staff   |13         |grant from |grant from             

            |salaries   |allowances |DENI       |DENI                   

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

1990-91     |536,398    |13,878     |678,881    |86,750                 

1991-92     |583,826    |44,313     |778,000    |68,974                 

1992-93     |607,523    |60,522     |832,000    |90,906                 

1993-94     |753,038    |52,040     |1,018,000  |92,986                 

No moneys have been due to be repaid in the above years under paragraph 16.

Police Complaints Commission

Mr. Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he has reached his decisions on the recommendations contained in the report of the Independent Commission for Police Complaints "Triennial Review 1991 1994".      [17167]

Sir Patrick Mayhew: Yes. On 22 March 1994 Official Report , column 148 , I announced the publication of the report and that I intended to consult various interested bodies before reaching any decisions on the recommendations made. I have now given further consideration to the recommendations in the light of the comments received.

I am glad that the commission considers that the system works well in practice and that it is rigorous and effective. However, like the commission, I am determined that the system should be reviewed and improved. Consequently, I have given deep thought to the commission's proposals and to the way forward and I am glad to say that I have been able to accept, in total or in part, most of the recommendations made.

I have accepted in full two recommendations. I intend to bring forward legislation which will establish a tribunal, chaired by the Chief Constable and balanced by two assessors drawn from an independent panel appointed for the purpose, to hear certain types of disciplinary procedures. (Recommendation 5). It is in the nature of these types of case that the commission instigates the disciplinary proceedings and I have accepted that it is then inappropriate for the commission to be represented on the tribunal hearing the charges as it is at present. I share the commission's considered view that the Chief Constable, who is responsible for discipline within his service, should retain a leading role.

I also agree that there should be a review of the use of the informal resolution procedure. (Recommendation 6). Use of the procedure in Northern Ireland has more than doubled--to 10 per cent.--in the last five years. In Great Britain, around 30 per cent. of complaints are informally resolved. I accept that a review of the procedure in Northern Ireland should be carried out.

I have also accepted three of the recommendations in part. The commission reaffirmed that it wished to have the power to supervise some non-complaint matters where it appears to the Commission that such supervisionwas necessary because of either the gravity of thematter or the exceptional circumstances involved. (Recommendation 2). I am unable to agree that the commission should have the power to "call in" cases


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when no complaint is made. I am, however, willing to agree that the commission should have a statutory power to draw matters to my attention. It would then be my responsibility to refer appropriate cases to the commission. This arrangement will enable the commission to make known its concerns in non-complaint cases without impinging on my statutory responsibilities or those of the police authority and the Chief Constable.

The commission also recommended that it should be notified at once where death or serious bodily harm has been caused or may have been caused to any person by a police officer. (Recommendation 3). I have decided to accept that the commission should be notified of all deaths which may have been caused by a police officer even if there is no prima facie evidence of police misconduct or oppressive behaviour, and this will be included in legislation when the opportunity arises. I will not, at present, extend this cover to incidents of injury. I have accepted the view that such a requirement would cause administrative difficulties and over-reporting. I have given further thought to the commission's recommendations that it should be given the discretion to concentrate its resources of those cases of public concern which are deserving of very close scrutiny, rather than being constrained by the mandatory supervision of certain cases. (Recommendation 4). I have decided not to accept this recommendation as I feel that mandatory supervision of all cases involving death or serious injury is an important safeguard in our complaints system. It was agreed after the last triennial review that legislation would be introduced to allow the commission to withdraw from mandatory supervision in those cases where the injury turns out to be less serious than was first thought. This provision will be included in legislation in the near future. I want to see the differences which will follow on from this change before deciding whether any more radical approach is necessary.

Finally, I have decided not to accept the recommendation that the commission should be in a position to direct the Chief Constable to record a complaint where there is a dispute over its validity. (Recommendation 1). I again share the views of the Home Secretary. The autonomy of chief constables in discharging their

responsibilities to maintain law and order within their areas is an important constitutional issue. One important factor in that autonomy is the Chief Constable's authority over the actions and discipline of his officers. I am reluctant to diminish that authority by giving an outside agency, even one as respected as the commission, power to decide what should or should not be a complaint.

I would like to pay tribute to the commission and to its work over the period of this review from 1991 to 1994. The period saw the commission tackle its responsibilities enthusiastically. Two important features stand out. First, there was a very substantial increase in the number of investigations in which the commission undertook supervision. Secondly, the commission undertook a major initiative to publicise the mechanism for raising complaints about policing in Northern Ireland. The existence of a widely known and trusted system for dealing with complaints makes a major contribution to maintaining and building public confidence in the


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