Mr Richard Sharples: I cannot, without notice, give the figures for which my hon. Friend asks. He will know that, under the 1961 and 1969 Housing Acts, where houses are in multiple occupation the local authority can require such means of escape to be provided as it considers necessary. It would be very difficult to extend this provision to every private house.
Mr Richard Sharples: Yes, I will look carefully at that letter.
Mr Richard Sharples: The hon. Gentleman knows that the Fire Precautions Act has recently become law and will be brought into operation by stages.
Mr Richard Sharples: The non-statutory Advisory Committee on Drug Dependence was disbanded at the end of last year. The new statutory Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs will be established next month.
Mr Richard Sharples: This is a matter which the police have very much in mind, and they have taken certain action.
Mr Richard Sharples: No, Sir.
Mr Richard Sharples: Yes, Sir. As my hon. Friend knows, a working party is considering all these matters, together with the useful suggestions put forward by my hon. Friend.
Mr Richard Sharples: I beg to move: That the Parliamentary Constituencies (Abingdon and Newbury) Order 1971, a draft of which was laid before this House on 2nd November, be approved. It may be for the convenience of the House if we discuss at the same time the remaining Orders on the Order Paper. I take it that I have the approval of the House for the adoption of that course.
Mr Richard Sharples: The House will recall that the last report by the Boundary Commission for England, following its last general review, was dated April 1969. Although the Order giving effect to its recommendations was not made until November, 1970, this Order had to define constituencies by reference to local government areas as they were at 1st January, 1969. In that respect the Order was some 18 months out...
Mr Richard Sharples: May I have the leave of the House to speak again? The hon. Member for Leeds, South (Mr. Merlyn Rees) raises two points. First, he complains that these orders affect only a very small number of people and are, therefore, insignificant. In our last debate on the subject, as I said in opening, there was considerable pressure from right hon. and hon. Members on both sides urging that the process...
Mr Richard Sharples: The Commission will continue to work—in fact, it has another series of constituencies under consideration now—on the existing procedure until, in its opinion, it is right to start another general review of parliamentary constituencies. As the hon. Gentleman knows, the Commission is required to report the outcome of its general review between 1979 and 1984. Because of the extent of the...
Mr Richard Sharples: No. The normal position is that when the Commission starts to work on a major review it says that it does not intend to introduce any further interim changes. Therefore, there will be a period from the time when the major review is started when it announces that it will not be introducing any interim changes. That is some years ahead. In the meantime I shall be bringing forward similar Orders...
Mr Richard Sharples: The constituencies involved, which the Commission announced in the notice of 4th October that it intended to review, are Camden, Hampstead; Camden, St. Pancras North; Christchurch and Lymington; New Forest; Manchester, Ardwick; Manchester, Blackley; Manchester, Central; Manchester, Gorton; Manchester, Moss Side; Manchester, Openshaw; Manchester, Withington; Daventry; Wellingborough;...
Mr Richard Sharples: My hon. Friend's suggestions, and others, are still being considered by a working party appointed to advise on ways of preventing shoplifting, and thefts by staff employed by shops.
Mr Richard Sharples: We realise that there are dangers in this, and we are grateful to my hon. Friend for his suggestions, which are being very carefully considered.
Mr Richard Sharples: It is a fairly strong working party. The difficulty in trying to include everyone in such a working party is that it would be too big. But it represents all the interests concerned.
Mr Richard Sharples: In consultation with chief officers of police, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland and my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary have carried out a thorough examination of the material supplied by the police. The most significant point to emerge is that only a small proportion of the dog attacks known to the police are made by unattended guard dogs. They regret that...
Mr Richard Sharples: The great majority of cases involve dogs which are not guard dogs. In the Metropolitan Police District, for example, there were 3,374 incidents relating to dogs biting people, but guard dogs were involved in only 60 of those cases.
Mr Richard Sharples: That involves civil law and is a matter for my noble and learned Friend, the Lord Chancellor.
Mr Richard Sharples: Commonwealth citizens will not now be required to register with the police.