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Multimedia: Regulatory Regime

Lord Dean of Beswick asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Fraser of Carmyllie: The Government are keeping the market situation under review as various aspects of convergence in broadcasting telecommunications and information technology begin to develop. Against a criteria of stable regulation so that investment is stimulated, the Government will consider adjusting the regulatory regime from time to time, if it appears necessary, to take account of these multimedia developments. In addition, the regulatory authorities will continue to develop the ways in which they work together.

Oftel Director-General: Role

Lord Dean of Beswick asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Fraser of Carmyllie: The role of the Director-General of Telecommunications is defined by the Telecommunications Act 1984, and in particular by the statutory duties placed on him in Section 3 of that Act. Prominent among these are his duties to promote the interests of consumers and to maintain and promote effective competition in telecommunications. The full benefits of competition will only be realised for consumers if effective competition is established in the provision of telecommunications networks as well as in services. The Government's policy on the most appropriate regulatory framework for promoting network infrastructure competition, and for providing access to networks, was set out in its Command Paper published in November 1994 entitled Creating the Superhighways of the Future Developing Broadband Communications in the UK (Cm 2734).

Oftel: Complement

Lord Dean of Beswick asked Her Majesty's Government:

14 May 1996 : Column WA48

Lord Fraser of Carmyllie: The Government's Expenditure Plans for Trade and Industry 1996-97 to 1998-99 Cm 3205, p. 121) give the following estimates for numbers of staff working in the Office of Telecommunications:

1995-96 (Estimated outturn)161
1996-97 (Plan)162
1997-98 (Plan)162
1998-99 (Plan)162

No projections have been made for subsequent years.

Polar, Antarctic and Arctic Research

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to their Answer of 16th April 1996 (WA64), what are the disproportionate costs that might be incurred in providing information about expenditure on polar research (other than under the auspices of the Natural Environment Research Council) and whether the establishment of an inventory of all British Arctic research activities and expenditure, including that undertaken with EU and non-United Kingdom bodies and in the public, academic and commercial sectors, might, if made publicly available, lead to wider appreciation and recognition, particularly among Arctic States, of the United Kingdom's contribution to Arctic affairs.

Lord Fraser of Carmyllie: Pursuant to the Answer I gave my noble friend on 16 April 1996, col. WA64, the cost of isolating and assembling the data he requested in order to provide a complete picture across Government departments and agencies would have significantly exceeded £450.

The establishment of an inventory such as my noble friend suggests might indeed have the effect which he anticipates, but the Government consider that the cost of creating and maintaining it would exceed the benefit.

Fish Landings: Quantities

Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What proportion of the fish caught within (a) the United Kingdom's six mile limit; (b) the United Kingdom's 12 mile limit; and (c) the United Kingdom's 200 mile limit, was caught by genuinely British boats and landed in British ports in 1972, 1976, 1985 and 1995.

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Lord Lucas: Information is not available in the form requested. Fisheries are managed on the basis of the areas in which there are biologically distinct stocks. Records of catches do not specify the territorial limits within which they are taken: rather they are accounted for on the basis of the sea areas defined by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES).

Landings by UK-flagged vessels into UK ports and abroad are given below. These figures relate to landings of all species, including those which are not subject to EU or third country quotas. (Figures for landings abroad are not available prior to 1988, and figures for 1995 have yet to be finalised. Figures for 1994 are given in terms of live weight equivalent of fish landed. For earlier years, the quantities are expressed in terms of the standard landed weight).

UK Landings into UK UK Landings Abroad
YearQuantity ('000 tonnes)Value (£m)Quantity ('000 tonnes)Value £m

Spongiform Encephalopathy Committee

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Who were the members of the bodies that provided them with evidence about BSE, and what were their commercial affiliations.

Lord Lucas: The Government obtain evidence about BSE from a wide range of sources. This evidence is evaluated by the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee (SEAC) whose remit is to advise the Government on matters relating to spongiform encephalopathies.

The members of the Spongiform Encephalopathy Committee are:


    Professor J. R. Pattison--Professor of Medical Microbiology and Dean of the University College, London Medical School

    Deputy Chairman:

    Dr. R. G. Will--Consultant Neurologist and Head of the National CJD Surveillance Unit


    Professor Ingrid Allen--Professor of Neuropathology at the Queen's University of Belfast

    Professor J. W. Almond--A Virologist and Professor of Microbiology at the University of Reading

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    Mr. R. Bradley CBE--A Veterinary Pathologist and Chairman of the BSE sub-group of the EC Scientific Veterinary Committee

    Professor F. Brown FRS--Deputy Director (Scientific) of the Animal Virus Research Institute, Long Island, New York, USA

    Professor J. Collinge--A Clinical Neurologist and head of the Prion Diseases Group at St. Mary's Hospital, London

    Dr. W. D. Hueston--Veterinary Epidemiologist, United States Department of Agriculture

    Dr. R. H. Kimberlin--Independent Consultant on Scrapie and related diseases

    Dr. M. Painter--A Consultant in Communicable Disease Control, City of Manchester

    Dr. D. B. Pepper--Private Veterinary Surgeon

    Professor P. G. Smith--An Epidemiologist from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

    Dr. W. A. Watson--Former Director of the Central Veterinary Laboratory

Animal Feeds: Nutrient Content

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether farmers were not permitted, on grounds of commercial confidentiality, to know the contents of the high protein feeds that had been licensed and whether they will now ensure that farmers and others may in future take their own decisions about what they feed their animals.

Lord Lucas: A long standing provision has required compounders to provide information on the nutrient content of feeds. In addition, the Feeding Stuffs Regulations 1995 (S.I. 1412) require the declaration of the ingredients of compound feeds, either by individual ingredient or category of ingredient. This has been a provision of regulations since 1991.

BSE: Confirmed Cases

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish in the Official Report a table showing the number of confirmed cases of BSE by month and year of clinical onset from the date that such data was first collected.

Lord Lucas: The following table shows the distribution as at 3rd May of confirmed cases by month and year of clinical onset since July 1986:

Distribution of confirmed cases by month and year of clinical onset--as at 3rd May 1996

---- January 1989525January 19923,433January 19951,529
----February 1989542February 19923,104February 19951,283
----March 1989532March 19923,145March 19951,344
----April 1989505April 19922,663April 19951,112
----May 1989514May 19922,464May 19951,001
----June 1989515June 19922,694June 19951,045
July 19861July 1989584July 19922,925July 19951,053
August 19861August 1989708August 19923,242August 19951,060
September 19863September 1989694September 19923,132September 1995970
October 19863October 1989748October 19923,365October 19951,009
November 19863November 1989788November 19923,252November 1995933
December 19861December 1989972December 19923,505December 1995878
January 19875January 19901,180January 19933,499----
February 19875February 19901,251February 19933,094----
March 19878March 19901,131March 19933,099----
April 198715April 19901,001April 19932,641----
May 198714May 1990998May 19932,394----
June 198729June 1990974June 19932,418----
July 198740July 19901,071July 19932,701----
August 198735August 19901,174August 19932,751----
September 198775September 19901,258September 19932,768----
October 198771October 19901,258October 19932,837----
November 198766November 19901,371November 19932,575----
December 198798December 19901,704December 19932,796----
January 1988132January 19911,706January 19942,713----
February 198894February 19911,659February 19942,180----
March 1988107March 19911,882March 19942,254----
April 1988142April 19911,791April 19941,987----
May 1988165May 19911,609May 19941,778----
June 1988253June 19911,602June 19941,675----
July 1988259July 19911,870July 19941,746----
August 1988280August 19912,414August 19941,734----
September 1988354September 19912,628September 19941,592----
October 1988370October 19912,579October 19941,704----
November 1988422November 19912,772November 19941,642----
December 1988494December 19913,132December 19941,700----


Table excludes cases where the date of clinical onset was not provided.

1995 figures are preliminary as cases are still being reported with a clinical onset in 1995.

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14 May 1996 : Column WA51

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