HC Deb 23 November 1979 vol 974 cc385-7W
Mrs. Reneé Short

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what recommendations he has made to the Commission of the European Communities concerning the total ban on imports of

the care of his Department where there is an admission charge; if he will list the charge in each case; and in each case, by how much he proposes to increase the charge, and when.

Mr. Monro

The announcement of an increase in admission charges to ancient monuments in England from 2 January 1980 was made to the national press on 16 November. The new charges are designed to meet increased costs of upkeep, the effects of inflation and increased VAT since the last general rise in January 1978.

Present charges for the London monuments and their new charges in 1980 are as follows:

whale products; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Heseltine

I have recommended to the President of the Commission of the European Communities that the Commission formally proposes to the Council of Ministers a ban on the import into the Community of the primary products of all whales.

The suggested list of products to be controlled includes: meat and offal, whether or not fit for human consumption; whalemeat extracts and juices and whalemeat; whalebone, if worked or simply prepared; the hair and waste thereof; whale fat and whale oil, including sperm oil, whether or not refined or modified; mixtures including sperm oil, and sperm-aceti wax. Ambergris has not been included as this occurs naturally without killing whales and is not a reason for killing them.

To allow industries a reasonable interval to increase the production of the substitutes that are available and to switch to production techniques not requiring whale oil, I have asked that the Council decides by Christmas on a ban to come into effect on 1 January 1982.

Mrs. Renée Short

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what advice he has had from the laboratory of the Government Chemist on the feasibility of identifying leather or cosmetics that contain sperm oil.

Mr. Heseltine

I understand that the Government Chemist could identify leather containing sperm oil and that in principle sperm oil can be detected in cosmetics, but his formal advice has not been sought because of the practical difficulties of imposing import controls on the wide range of goods which may contain sperm oil. I am writing further to the hon. Member.