HC Deb 07 March 1983 vol 38 cc292-3W
Mr. Spearing

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what were the terms of reference for the Falkland Islands internal communications study of 1977; what was its cost and by whom it was conducted; if any comments were requested or received from the Legislative or Executive Councils of the islands concerning its contents, conclusions, or recommendations; and if he will place a copy of the study in the Library.

Mr. Raison

The Falkland Islands internal communications study was undertaken in November-December by Mr. J. A. Peat (economic adviser ODA) and Mr. V. 0. Jameson (civil engineer, Forestry Commission). It cost approximately £3,000.

The terms of reference for the study were as follows:

  1. 1. To assess how well the present internal transport network meets the needs of freight and people for movement round the Falkland Islands in a situation requiring adequate facilities for social, economic and agricultural development.
  2. 2. To indicate broadly the capital and recurrent costs of establishing and operating an efficient and cost effective internal transport service taking into account
    1. (a) float planes versus land based planes;
    2. (b) alternative road standards;
    3. (c) any coastal vessel alternatives;
    4. (d) the possible use of hovercraft and hydrofoils.
  3. 3. To justify the recommended mix of internal transport services on the basis of
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    2. (a) expected freight and passenger movements;
    3. (b) minimisation of subsidy required from Falkland Islands Government to operate the service;
    4. (c) manpower availability to operate the service (this point is of especial importance in relation to pilots and road maintenance labour);
    5. (d) the availability of funds and the alternative demands which will be made on them.

Twenty-four copies of the study were sent to Port Stanley in February 1978 for distribution to councillors and those officials principally concerned. We have no record of comments by the Legislative or Executive Councils.

I am arranging for a copy of the study to be placed in the Library.

Mr. Hooley

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is an approximate estimate of the value of the civil aid per head which will be provided for the Falkland Islanders in 1983–84 not counting civil work carried out by the armed forces.

Mr. Raison

The level of disbursements in 1983–84 will depend on proposals yet to be made by the Falkland Islands Government, but I would expect to disburse the balance of the £15 million rehabilitation aid—perhaps about £5 million—and a substantial tranche of the £31 million development aid.

The Islands' small population can be expected to rise a little, depending on the Falkland Islands Government's immigration policy, so I cannot usefully predict aid per capita for the next financial year.

Mr. Hooley

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the estimated per capita income of the inhabitants of the Falkland Islands.

Mr. Raison

The most recent figure available is for 1980. This is £2,319.

Mr. Dalyell

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what provision is made for the education of children living in remote areas of the Falkland Islands; and whether there are any plans to increase the level of such provision.

Mr. Raison

The Falkland Islands Government provide boarding facilities to enable children from age 8½ upwards to attend school in Port Stanley. The Government also maintain a unit in Port Stanley that provides materials and professional support for education elsewhere on the islands. Such education is undertaken partly by teachers engaged by individual settlements and partly by teachers employed by the Falkland Islands Government who travel to other farms.

For the present, the priority is to get these arrangements back into operation for the 1983 academic year just beginning. In the course of the year, the Falkland Islands Government will have the opportunity to consider whether additional provision is needed.

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