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25 Oct 1995 : Column WA115

Written Answers

Wednesday, 25th October 1995.

Charity Commissioners

Lord Denning asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the answers given by Baroness Blatch on 20th March (HL Deb, col WA59) and 3rd April (HL Deb, col WA4), whether the functions of the Charity Commissioners as defined by Sections 1(1) and 1(3) of the Charities Act 1993 are to be exercised by the commissioners acting as a board under paragraph 3(4) of Schedule 1, or can be carried out by an assistant commissioner under paragraph 3(3) of that schedule without reference to the board; and whether the opposition in Chancery proceedings against the commission (Ch. 1995.D No 120) was authorised by the board or only by a single assistant commissioner without reference to the board.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Blatch): The functions of the Charity Commissioners need not be undertaken by the Board of Commissioners acting as a board under paragraph 3(4) of the First Schedule to the Charities Act 1993. By virtue of paragraph 3(3) of the First Schedule, they may be undertaken by any one commissioner or by any assistant commissioner, subject to any regulations made by the Board of Commissioners and to any directions of the Chief Commissioner.

The commissioners' response to the proceedings referred to was authorised and conducted by assistant commissioners acting for and in the name of the commissioners under paragraph 3(3) of the First Schedule. The Board of Commissioners was aware of the response being made on its behalf.

European Union Commissioners

Lord Tebbit asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether there has been created a post of parliamentary private secretary to European Union Commissioners.

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Chalker of Wallasey): No.

Consumer Protection: Development Risks Defence

Lord Allen of Abbeydale asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they are aware of any case in this country in which use has been made of the defence of development risks for which provision was made in Section (4)(1)(e) of the Consumer Protection Act 1987.

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The Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Fraser of Carmyllie): Her Majesty's Government are not aware of any case in which the defence provided in Section 4(1)(e) of the Consumer Protection Act 1987, the development risks defence, has been invoked.

Lord Allen of Abbeydale asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they are aware of any case in any other European Union member state in which use has been made of the defence of development risks for which provision was made in the 1985 European Commission Directive on Product Liability.

Lord Fraser of Carmyllie: Her Majesty's Government are not aware of any case in other member states in which the development risks defence, for which provision was made in Article 7(e) of the EC Directive on Product Liability (85/374/EEC), has been invoked.

Adoptions: Children from China

Lord Braine of Wheatley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many children from China have been adopted by British couples during each of the last three complete years, and what is their estimate for the current year.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Cumberlege): The number of adoption applications referred to China by the Department of Health is as follows:


    1993: 2


    1994: 16


    1995: 33 (to 30 September).

Adoptions: Current Number of Applications

Lord Braine of Wheatley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is their estimate of the number of people in England and Wales currently wishing to adopt children.

Baroness Cumberlege: This information is not held centrally.

Abortions: Breakdown of Numbers

Lord Braine of Wheatley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish in the Official Report a table showing the total number of abortions according to grounds and gestational age for each of the last two years for which figures are available for (a) England and Wales, (b) the West Country and (c) Cornwall.

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Baroness Cumberlege: The numbers of abortions performed in 1992 in England and Wales by gestational age for residents of England and Wales, South Western Regional Health Authority (RHA) and Cornwall and Isles of Scilly District Health Authority (DHA) are published in Abortion statistics 1992 (OPCS Series AB no. 19, Table 24c), a copy of which is available in the Library. The corresponding figures for 1993 are given in Table 1.

For reasons of confidentiality, information on statutory grounds is published only down to the RHA level. The numbers of abortions performed in 1992 in England and Wales by statutory grounds for residents of England and Wales and South Western RHA are published in Abortion statistics 1992 (OPCS Series AB no. 19, Table 22), a copy of which is also available in the Library. The corresponding figures for 1993 are given in Table 2.

Table 1

1993 abortions to residents of
Gestation weeks England and Wales South Western RHA Cornwall and Isles of Scilly DHA
Total 157,846 7,391 960
Under 9 61,916 2,262 263
9–12 78,489 4,410 595
13–16 12,219 471 73
17 and over 5,219 248 29
Not stated 3 0 0

Table 2

1993 abortions to residents of
Statutory grounds England and Wales South Western RHA
Total 157,846 7,391
A (alone, or with any other) 163 8
B (alone) 3,669 43
B (with C or D) 188 4
C (alone) 136,800 6,886
D (alone, or with C) 15,108 373
E (alone) 1,723 68
E (with B, C or D) 212 8
F or G 3 1

Organophosphates: Effects on Higher Mammals

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether there are available any reports of the effects of chronic exposure to organophosphates on the nervous and cardiovascular systems of higher mammals and, if so, whether they will make these available to medical practitioners who are concerned about organophosphate toxicity.

Baroness Cumberlege: There is a very large quantity of published scientific literature on the toxicity of organophosphates. It includes numerous papers on the effects in mammals, including primates. Any medical practitioner can refer to this literature through the usual

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sources. In addition, the World Health Organisation publishes a series Pesticide Residues in Food Evaluations—Toxicology, copies of which are available from the headquarters of the organisation in Geneva.

Tourism: Grants to Statutory Bodies

The Earl of Bradford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the total grant, expressed in 1995 prices for each year from 1979 to 1995, to each of the statutory bodies for promotion of tourism in the United Kingdom.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of National Heritage (Lord Inglewood): The total government grant, expressed in 1995 prices for each year from 1979 to 1995, to each of the UK's statutory tourist boards was as follows:

BTA ETB STB WTB NITB
79/80 32.9 26.4 11.1 9.5 10.1
80/81 30.9 25.0 11.3 9.4 10.4
81/82 32.1 25.2 12.1 10.1 10.3
82/83 33.5 27.6 13.3 10.3 9.5
83/84 29.9 26.4 14.3 8.9 7.8
84/85 29.1 29.8 16.8 10.7 8.4
85/86 27.3 26.7 13.9 12.3 8.4
86/87 31.9 31.5 14.1 12.2 8.6
87/88 32.4 34.3 13.4 13.0 7.2
88/89 32.7 35.6 13.7 12.9 7.4
89/90 33.0 28.1 15.3 12.8 7.2
90/91 32.8 20.5 14.7 12.7 8.9
91/92 32.8 22.5 14.3 12.8 7.9
92/93 33.4 19.4 14.7 14.8 12.4
93/94 33.7 15.6 14.4 14.5 12.4
94/95 34.2 11.6 17.8 14.8 12.6
95/96 34.5 10.0 16.9 14.7 13.7

Note:

Figures are shown in £m. BTA=British Tourist Authority, ETB=English Tourist Board, STB=Scottish Tourist Board, WTB=Wales Tourist Board, NITB=Northern Ireland Tourist Board.


HELIOS II

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they intend that the United Kingdom should take part in the HELIOS II programme.

Baroness Cumberlege: The United Kingdom has played and will continue to play a full and important part in the European Union disability programme, HELIOS II, which began in January 1993 and will run until December 1996. HELIOS II promotes the exchange of information and experiences about good practice between Member States to foster the integration of disabled people into society.

The Government will shortly begin to consider the extent and shape of any UK involvement in a successor programme.

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