HC Deb 24 July 1979 vol 971 cc156-8W
Sir Anthony Meyer

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will publish in the Official Report a statement of forthcoming business in the EEC Council of Ministers.

Sir Ian Gilmour

No meetings of the Council of Ministers are planned for August and at present nine meetings of the Council are scheduled for September and October. The usual written forecast was deposited in the House on 23 July.

The Budget Council is expected to meet on 10 September to establish the draft general Community budget for 1980.

The Finance Council will meet on 17 September and is expected to discuss a Commission paper on the financial consequences of applying the budgetary system on the situation in each member State. It will meet again on 15 October to conduct the third quarterly review of the economic situation in the Community.

The Agriculture Council will meet on 17 and 18 September and 15 and 16 October and is expected to discuss proposals to restore the balance of the wine market; agricultural structural problems in the Community; the common organisation of the markets for mutton and lamb, potatoes and ethyl alcohol and the revision of the common organisation of the market for sugar.

The Foreign Affairs Council will meet on 18 September and 29 and 30 October and is expected to consider the EEC/Portugal supplementary protocol. Several other subjects may also be considered, including plans for a new Council building; the Association agreement with Cyprus; review of the 1975 EEC/Israel agreement; the external aspects of the Community steel policy for 1980 and the GATT multilateral trade negotiations. Ministers may also consider the negotiations with Romania and the EEC/CMEA associations. It is expected that there will also be a meeting of the Turkey Association Council, and the first meeting at ministerial level on the Spanish accession negotiations will take place within the margins of the September Council.

The Fiscal Council may meet on 1 or 2 October to discuss the harmonisation of the laws of member States relating to excise duty and possibly the VAT tenth directive, concerning equal treatment in the repayment of VAT.

The Energy Council will meet on 9 October and is expected to discuss the follow-up to the Tokyo Summit in the energy field. Discussion may also take place on the position of coal in the Community energy policy and on proposals for a programme for energy saving. The Council may also consider the Commission paper on the energy objectives of the Community for 1990 and the convergence of the policies of member States.

In addition, there may be a meeting of the Research Council in mid-October for a general discussion of Community re-rearch and development and to consider

Industry 1977 1978 1979 (up to 30 June 1979)
Garments 115 122 41
Taxtiles 5 22 2
Toys 94 33 4
Electronics 39 27 14
Plastics 53 62 17

Figures for such prosecutions are not readily available for years before 1977.

Mr. Parry

asked the Lord Privy Seal how many successful prosecutions for employing children under 14 years of age

Year Successful prosecution Numbers of children involved Total fines imposed (Hong Kong dollars)
1974 313 402 90,470
1975 298 341 98,905
1976 326 384 176,940
1977 446 552 488,705
1978 318 326 303,370
1979 up to 30 June 1979 116 116 126,000
Total 1,817 2,121 1,284,390

Mr. Parry

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will publish in the Official Report the establishment strength and budget of the factory inspectorate of the Hong Kong labour department; and what is the projected level of establishment and strength of that department to the latest projected date.

Labour inspectorate Factory insepctorate
Current establishment 188 141
Current strength 140 119
Recruitment in progress 30 22
Projected establishment 1983–84 444 283
Budget—personal emoluments only—for 1979–80 HK$ 12.3 million

proposals for a multi-annual programme for the joint research centre.

There may also be a Fisheries Council in mid-October to resume discussion of the common fisheries policy.