§ Mr. Michael Brown
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what is the total cost to public funds of Her Majesty's Government's participation in the sixth world conference on smoking and health in Tokyo between 9 and 12 November;
(2) what was the cost to public funds of the civil servants Mr. Neville Teller and Mr. Jeffrey Graham for their attendance at the sixth world conference on smoking and health in Tokyo; what steps were taken to obtain private sponsorship for their visit; how many working days they spent away from their department; what class of air travel they used, and with what airline; and if any part of the visit counted towards their annual leave;
(3) if he will ask the chairman of the Health Education Authority for the cost to public funds of the attendance of Mr. Donald Reid at the sixth world conference on smoking and health in Tokyo; what steps were taken to obtain private sponsorship for his visit; how many days Mr. Reid spent away from the Health Education Authority; what class of air travel he used; which airline he used; and if any part of the visit counted towards his annual leave.
§ Mrs. Currie
[holding answer 18 November 1987]: The conference brought together representatives of 56 nations to survey a wide range of issues connected with tobacco and health. In all, 30 people attended from the United Kingdom, including several representatives of the tobacco industry. Australia sent 22 people, including four officials; there were six officials among the 26 attenders from Canada. The United States of America was represented by 90 people, including at least six Government agency officials.
It was agreed that only two officials should attend from the United Kingdom. The total cost of their attendance including subsistence at specified rates, was £3,443, to which will be added necessary expenses of about £300. The two officials travelled to and from Tokyo by British Airways economy class, one on 5 November and the other on 7 November. Both returned on 14 November. No part of the visit counted towards annual leave. It is not the practice to seek private sponsorship for official visits.
The travel arrangements for officers of health authorities are a matter for the authorities themselves within the specified rates, and it is not our practice to make detailed inquiries on these matters without good reason.
The Department's policy is to send officials to selected international conferences at which the results of research into preventive programmes are presented. This policy was 651W explained in the Government's response (Cmnd. 9917) to the 44th Report of the Public Accounts Committee on preventive medicine.