Previous Section Home Page

Arts and Design

Mr. Fisher : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what expenditure was made by his Department on (a) the Arts and (b) design in the last financial year.

Mr. Sainsbury [holding answer 21 December 1989] : Such detailed information could be provided only at disproportionate cost, but we are aware that our principal expenditure on the arts is almost exclusively channelled through the British Council, which in 1988-89 spent £13.3 million of the diplomatic wing's direct grant of £58.1 million on the promotion overseas of British artistic achievements.


Column 513

TRADE AND INDUSTRY

Estate Agents

Mr. Sean Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what was the total cost to his Department of the Likierman report ; and if he will give a breakdown of the major areas of cost.

Mr. Redwood : We provided the secretariat for the steering group and the auditors study team in the review of professional liability under the overall chairmanship of Professor Andrew Likierman. The total cost of this was £26,500, of which £24,000 was spent on staff costs including accommodation and the remaining £2,500 on consultancy and other miscellaneous costs.

Companies Act Investigations

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what actions are taken by his Department against accountancy firms criticised in his inspector's reports on inquiries under the Companies Act.

Mr. Forth : Such action as may be appropriate in the circumstances which may include disclosure of information with a view to the institution of, or otherwise for the purposes of, any disciplinary proceedings relating to the exercise by an auditor or an accountant of his professional duties.

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many times accountancy firms have been criticised for the audits in investigations conducted by his Department under the Companies Act ; how many firms these criticisms apply to ; and what action is taken by his Department when such criticisms are made.

Mr. Forth : This information could be provided only at disproportionate cost. My Department takes such action as is appropriate when accountancy firms are criticised in investigations. This may include disclosure of information with a view to the institution of, or otherwise for the purpose of, any disciplinary proceedings relating to the exercise by an auditor or an accountant of his professional duties.

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many inquiries conducted under the Companies Act he has ordered since January 1979 ; how many have reported ; how many of these reports have been published ; how many of those not published have been communicated in any way to professional bodies ; and how many of (a) the published reports and (b) the unpublished reports have resulted in (i) court action, (ii) any professional discipline on which he has information and (iii) action by his Department.

Mr. Forth : Inspections into the affairs and/or membership of 57 companies, some of which are linked, have begun since January 1979. A final report has been submitted in relation to 35 of those companies. An interim report has been submitted in relation to five other companies. Fourteen reports, including three interim reports, have been published relating to 17 different companies. One unpublished report has been disclosed to a professional body. Criminal proceedings have followed or commenced during investigations in relation to nine


Column 514

companies, in respect of which three reports relating to four companies have been published. Winding-up and disqualification proceedings have been commenced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State during an investigation in which an interim report was submitted. That report is unpublished.

Disciplinary proceedings by a professional body have followed investigations in relation to four companies in respect of which two reports relating to three companies have been published.

Other action was taken by my Department in one investigation in respect of which the report was published and resulted in the recovery of £475,000 for creditors and shareholders.

Export Credits

Mr. Jim Lestor : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what was, for developing countries (a) the total of outstanding export credits in 1982, (b) the total repaid each year between 1982 and 1988, (c) the total outstanding for each country in 1988, (d) the total arrears of each country in 1988, (e) the terms under which the credits were advanced and (f) the annual rates of interest charged each year from 1982 to 1988.

Mr. Forth : The total outstanding export credits to developing countries was £14.9 billion as at 31 March 1982. This figure was published in ECGD's trading results for the financial year 1981-82. Figures for repayments each year are not available but the total outstanding as at 31 March 1988 amounted to £10.4 billion. It has been the policy of successive governments not to provide details of ECGD's exposure-experience on individual markets.

The definition ECGD uses for arrears on credit insurance business relates to the amount of claims paid which remain outstanding for recovery, and as at the end of 1988, this figure stood at £2.1 billion for developing countries.

The terms for export credit advanced to developing countries are governed by the OECD arrangement on guidelines for officially supported export credits. This arrangement also lays down the minimum interest rates permitted. The rates in force vary depending on the length of the credit involved and the grading of the country to which credit is extended. The rates are revised twice yearly.

Public Appointments

Mrs. Roe : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many persons above the age of (a) 60, (b) 65 and (c) 70 years he has appointed to public bodies in each of the last 10 years.

Mr. Forth : This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Medical Equipment (ACARD Report)

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps have been taken to implement the recommendations of the 1986 Advisory Council for Applied Research and Development report on medical equipment, so far as they affect his Department.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : The Department is represented on the R and D co- ordinating group on medical equipment chaired by the Department of Health ; and a market


Column 515

branch in my Department deals with the medical equipment sector. The Department seeks to ensure that information received about market opportunities, including that obtained from posts overseas, is disseminated widely to United Kingdom industry.

Export Intelligence

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether the contract awarded to Export Opportunities Ltd. for the marketing of export intelligence was subject to competitive tender ; and what the number of subscribers to the export intelligence service now is.

Mr. Forth : Yes. Export intelligence is available on an automated matching basis from Export Opportunities Ltd., and by on-line inquiry from Trade Network International Ltd. and from FT Information Online Ltd. The three companies are in competition with each other and the number of customers each has is commercially confidential.

Sanitary Tampons

Ms. Richardson : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what was discussed at his Department's most recent meeting with tampon manufacturers ; and whether he will advise those manufacturers that a warning about toxic shock syndrome should be clearly visible on the outside of tampon boxes.

Mr. Forth : My officials are in correspondence with the tampon industry about more prominent labelling about the use of the product. But I have no present intention of asking manufacturers to mention toxic shock syndrome on the outside of the packet.

Accountancy Firms

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the companies within his responsibilities in which the Government have sold their financial stake since June 1979 ; and which were the accountancy firms which either advised or reported on the prospectus in each case.

Mr. Redwood : The holdings sold by my Department, together with the appropriate advisers, were British Aerospace (Peat Marwick Mitchell) ; Rolls-Royce (Coopers and Lybrand) ; British Steel (Coopers and Lybrand) ; British Telecom (Coopers and Lybrand) ; Cable and Wireless (Deloitte Haskins and Sells) ; Jaguar (J. Henry Schroder Wagg and Co. Ltd.) and Rover Group (Baring Brothers, and Slaughter and May). Other disposals comprised various subsidiaries of companies in public ownership ; and the sale of 9.5 per cent. shareholding in Short Brothers in which the Northern Ireland Department of Economic Development had primary responsibility. A number of holdings in other companies have been returned to the private sector by the National Enterprise Board.

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether any appointments have been made to the accounting standards task force of employees of firms against whom action has been taken by his Department.

Mr. Redwood : One member of the accounting standards task group is employed by such a firm.


Column 516

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether at any time since June 1979 any accountancy firm found to be lacking in professional conduct, efficiency and competence by the joint disciplinary scheme has supplied inspectors for any of his Department's investigations.

Mr. Redwood : Yes.

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will seek to amend the Companies Acts to ensure that where reporting accountants have been criticised by Department of Trade and Industry inspectors within the last five years, published prospectuses shall give this information.

Mr. Redwood : No. The purpose of prospectuses is to enable potential investors to assess the merits of the investment they are being offered.

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the reports published of Department of Trade and Industry investigations into accountancy firms since June 1979, showing the date of publication, date of completion of the report and the date on which the inspectors were appointed in each case.

Mr. Redwood : Reports published by my right hon. Friend are those of inspectors appointed to investigate a company's affairs under section 432 of the Companies Act 1985, its membership under section 442, and share dealings under section 446. These sections do not relate to investigations of accountancy firms.

Bankruptcies

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many companies went into receivership within two months, four months, six months, nine months and 12 months of receiving an unqualified audit opinion in the period 1 January 1987 to 1 January 1989.

Mr. Redwood : The chief executive of Companies House tells me that the information requested is not available.

Land Valuation

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will be requiring all large companies, as defined in the Companies Acts, to incorporate valuation of land and buildings in their annual accounts.

Mr. Redwood : I assume that the hon. Member is proposing a new requirement on large companies to revalue land and buildings annually in their accounts. The present law already requires fixed assets such as land and buildings to be included in the balance sheet, and directors are required to draw to the attention of shareholders any substantial difference between the market value of land and buildings and the amount included in the balance sheet where the difference is, in the directors' opinion, of sufficient significance. However, the question of accounting for fixed assets, including the need to keep valuations up to date, is due to be considered shortly by the Accounting Standards Committee with a view to the production of an exposure draft early in the new year.


Column 517

Computer Misuse

Mr. Colvin : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many prosecutions there were for computer misuse in the years 1985 to 1989 ; and how many were successful.

Mr. Forth : The Law Commission, when publishing its recent report on this subject, pointed out that computer misuse was a relatively new phenomenon and that the criminal law as presently framed did not provide adequate protection against all forms of misuse. As a consequence there have been few prosecutions, but the exact figure is not readily available, as Government statistics do not separately identify those cases containing this element.

Mr. Colvin : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will publish in the Official Report a breakdown of the verifiable cases of computer misuse in the years 1985 to 1989 in the following three categories (a) unauthorised access, (b) computer fraud and (c) damage.

Mr. Forth : Although there are no centrally collated figures, my Department has identified around 270 verified cases of computer misuse between 1985 and 1989. Of these, approximately 42 per cent. relate to unauthorised access, 37 per cent. to computer fraud and 20 per cent. to damage. I understand that a large number of cases go unreported, and that this figure probably represents only a proportion of the true total.

Footwear

Sir John Farr : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is his policy on negotiations in the EEC in relation to footwear imports from Taiwan and South Korea ; and if he will press for immediate strict limitation of such imports to the United Kingdom.

Mr. Redwood : The Government are prepared to support safeguard action where the conditions for such action are met and the restrictions can be fully and economically justified. In our view the European Commission's report on the impact on Community producers of imports of footwear from South Korea and Taiwan does not provide sufficient justification for such action. We have informed the Commission therefore that consistently with our general approach on trade policy issues the United Kingdom Government are opposed to safeguard action on imports of footwear from South Korea and Taiwan. We have, however, suggested to the Commission that if it were to propose some form of surveillance licensing we would give this sympathetic consideration.

Sir John Farr : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is his estimate of the number of jobs in the United Kingdom footwear industry which are dependent on the maintaining of the voluntary restraint agreement with Poland.


Column 518

Mr. Douglas Hogg : It is not possible to estimate the number of jobs in the United Kingdom footwear industry which are dependent on the maintaining of the voluntary restraint arrangement.

Sir John Farr : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the number of jobs displaced in the United Kingdom footwear industry by imports from (a) Taiwan and (b) South Korea.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : It is not possible to assess the number of jobs displaced in the United Kingdom footwear industry by imports from Taiwan and South Korea.

Sir John Farr : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will take steps to ensure that the voluntary restraint agreement limiting leather footwear imports from Poland remains in force for the foreseeable future.

Mr. Redwood : Ministers have considered the industry's arguments for renewing the voluntary restraint arrangement (VRA) on Polish leather footwear very carefully, but have concluded that it would not be appropriate to press the EC Commission to renew the VRA on our behalf.

There are three considerations which support this conclusion. First, it would be inconsistent with the Government's political commitment to assist the Poles in their progress to economic, political and social reform if we were to restrict footwear imports. Secondly, with effect from 1 January 1990 all Community restrictions on Polish footwear are to be lifted and thirdly, even if the VRA were to be renewed its effects could be totally undermined by imports of footwear on free circulation via other member states.

I have told the industry, however, that we will monitor the situation and reconsider the case for the renewal of the VRA towards the end of this year in the light of experience and in the context of the Community's consideration of its general attitude to Poland. If, in the meantime, imports of leather footwear from Poland should damage the United Kingdom industry significantly I will consider the possibility of applying either for safeguard action or for anti-dumping remedies.

EC Trade

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will bring up to date the figures for intra and extra- EEC trade of EEC countries given in the reply of 3 July 1985, Official Report , columns 190-92 .

Mr. Redwood : The information is in the table. Because of the accession to the EC of Spain and Portugal, figures for 1984, the last year included in the previous answer, are given again to indicate the effect on intra and extra-EC trade.


Column 519


European Community exports of manufactures<1>                                                                                                               billion ECU                                                                                                                                                             |Federal    |France     |Italy      |Netherlands|Belgium/   |United     |Ireland    |Denmark    |Greece     |Spain      |Portugal                           |Republic                                       |Luxembougr |Kingdom                                                                                        |of                                                                                                                                                         |Germany                                                                                                                                        ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------(1) Intra-EC trade                                                                                                                                          1984        |89.2       |42.1       |37.6       |26.8       |32.7       |28.8       |5.5        |4.2        |1.8        |10.4       |3.2                    1985        |99.8       |47.8       |42.1       |29.8       |36.2       |32.9       |6.1        |4.8        |1.7        |11.6       |3.6                    1986        |107.8      |49.0       |44.5       |31.6       |38.2       |33.3       |6.0        |5.1        |2.0        |12.2       |4.0                    1987        |116.3      |53.1       |49.7       |33.4       |40.5       |36.1       |6.6        |5.6        |2.2        |13.6       |4.6                    1988        |129.0      |66.8       |55.3       |37.7       |45.3       |43.1       |7.8        |6.0        |1.8        |16.5       |5.2                                                                                                                                                                                (2) Extra-EC trade                                                                                                                                          1984        |96.3       |44.3       |41.5       |12.5       |13.8       |41.3       |2.2        |7.1        |1.4        |11.0       |1.8                    1985        |108.8      |47.2       |45.1       |13.0       |15.2       |45.5       |2.7        |7.8        |1.4        |11.2       |2.0                    1986        |110.1      |44.1       |40.3       |12.2       |14.3       |39.1       |2.3        |7.5        |1.2        |8.0        |1.8                    1987        |109.2      |39.6       |39.1       |12.2       |14.1       |39.7       |2.3        |7.4        |1.0        |9.5        |1.8                    1988        |113.8      |47.1       |41.4       |13.7       |16.3       |43.9       |2.6        |7.5        |1.0        |10.6       |1.9                    <1> Standard International Trade Classification, Sections 5 to 8.                                                                                           Source: Eurostat.                                                                                                                                           

Company Investigations

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1), further to the reply to the hon. Member for Great Grimsby, 27 November, Official Report , column 93 , what is the relationship of the company inspections referred to there to the investigations mentioned in the Department of Trade and Industry's annual publication, "Companies in 1988-89" and earlier editions, as being approved since 1979 ;

(2) pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Great Grimsby, Official Report , 27 November, column 93 , if he


Column 520

will list the 56 inspections under the Companies Acts since 1979, showing the date on which each inspection commenced, the names of the inspectors, the current status of each inspection and the anticipated date of publication of outstanding inspections.

Mr. Redwood : The table lists the details requested by the hon. Member of the 56 inspections mentioned in my previous reply. I am unable to say when reports will be published in relation to those inspections which remain outstanding.


Column 519


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------1979                                                                                                                                                                1. 19 September 1979        |METALMAN ENGINEERING LTD.      |Completed                      |s165(a)(i) CA 1948                                                                             |  M. A. Braganza                                                                                                                   2. 19 September 1979        |BRYMORE (STEELS) LTD.          |Completed                      |s165(a)(i) CA 1948                                                                             |  M. A. Braganza                                                                                                                   3. 18 December 1979         |SAINT PIRAN LTD.               |Completed                      |s165(a)(i) and s172 CA 1948                                                                    |  G. M. Godfrey QC                                                                                                                                             |A. J. Hardcastle FCA                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           1980                                                                                                                                                                4. 12 February 1980         |CONSOLIDATED GOLD FIELDS LTD.  |Completed                      |s172 CA 1948                                                                                   |  M. C. A. Osborne                                                                                                                                             |  B. J. Welch                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      5. 25 July 1980             |DUNLOP HOLDINGS LTD.Completed  |s172 CA 1948                                                                                                                   |  F. H. Pulling                                                                                                                                                |  C. W. M. Ingram                                                                                                                  6.  4 September 1980        |EUROSEAS SECURITIES LTD.       |Completed                      |s165(b) CA 1948                                                                                |  M. A. F. Lyndon Stanford QC                                                                                                                                  |  B. A. Kemp FCA                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               1981                                                                                                                                                                7. 24 August 1981           |RIAFIELD LTD.                  |Completed                      |s165(b) CA 1948                                                                                |  D. J. Jupp                                                                                                                       8. 11 November 1981         |CORPORATE MANAGEMENT           |Completed                      |s165(b) CA 1948                                                                                |  PLANNING LTD.                                                                                                                                                |  P. J. Hanford                                                                                                                                                |  A. H. S. Robertshaw                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1982                                                                                                                                                                9.  8 March 1982            |EUROFLAME HOLDINGS PLC         |Completed                      |s165(b) CA 1948                                                                                |  R. F. G. Day                                                                                                                                                 |  R. L. Saunders                                                                                                                  10. 25 March 1982            |PHARMACEUTEX (IV) FLUID LTD.   |Completed                      |s165(b) CA 1948                                                   11.                          |DRIVEHOUSE LTD.                                                                                                                   12.                          |FURDROVE LTD.                                                                                                                                                  |  F. H. Pulling                                                                                                                                                |  N. A. Pink                                                                                                                                                   |  A. H. S. Robertshaw                                                                                                             13. 10 May 1982              |CUBAR CONSTRUCTION LTD.        |Completed                      |s165(a)(i) CA 1948                                                                             |  J. Mann                                                                                                                                                      |  D. Gorick                                                                                                                                                    |  R. Burton                                                                                                                    14. 24 September 1982           |ALEXANDER HOWDEN GROUP PLC     |Completed                      |s165(b) CA 1948                                                                                |  R. A. Gatehouse QC                                                                                                                                           |  I. G. Watt FCA                                                                                                               15.  8 November 1982            |MINET HOLDINGS PLC             |Continuing                     |s165(b) CA 1948                                                16.                             |WMD UNDERWRITING AGENCIES                                                                                                                                      |  LTD.                                                                                                                                                         |  S. C. Boyd QC                                                                                                                                                |  P. W. G. DuBuisson FCA                                                                                                       17. 19 November 1982            |SIGNAL LIFE ASSURANCE CO. LTD. |Completed                      |s165(b) CA 1948                                                                                |  J. Mann                                                                                                                                                      |  B. J. Welch                                                                                                                  1983                                                                                                                                                            18. 25 February 1983            |HARTLEY BAIRD PLC              |Completed                      |s172 CA 1948                                                                                   |  J. R. Sendall                                                                                                                19. 11 March 1983               |GRAYLAW HOLDINGS LTD.          |Completed                      |s165(b) CA 1948                                                20.                             |LINK SERVICE STATIONS LTD.     |Completed                                                                                      21.                             |BRITISH ANZANI PLC                                                                                                             Miss E. Appleby QC              |Completed                                                                                                                                                      |  P. W. Foss FCA                                                                                                               22.  6 April 1983               |THE GREENBANK TRUST PLC        |Completed                      |s165(b) CA 1948                                                                                |  G. M. Abercrombie                                                                                                                                            |  A. H. S. Robertshaw                                                                                                          23.  7 June 1983                |WESTMINSTER PROPERTY GROUP PLC |Completed                      |s172 CA 1948                                                                                   |  F. H. Pulling                                                                                                                                                |  B. J. Welch                                                                                                                  24. 23 August 1983              |HOUSE OF FRASER PLC            |Completed                      |s172 CA 1948                                                                                   |  J. Griffiths QC                                                                                                              25.  4 October 1983             |BANK STREET SECURITIES LTD.    |Completed                      |s165(b) CA 1948                                                26.                             |PENNINE COMMERCIAL HOLDINGS PLC|Continuing                                                                                                                     |  Miss E. Appleby QC                                                                                                                                           |  Mr. P. W. Foss FCA                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           1984                                                                                                                                                            27. 16 February 1984            |MEDWAY SECONDARY METALS LTD.   |Completed                      |s165(b) CA 1948                                                                                |  Miss E. Appleby QC                                                                                                                                           |  Mr. P. W. Foss QC                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            28.  3 September 1984           |EMRAY PLC                      |Completed                      |s172 CA 1948                                                                                   |  now EQUITY & GENERAL PLC                                                                                                                                     |  I. G. Salter                                                                                                                                                 |  P. H. Bovey                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1985                                                                                                                                                            29.  9 May 1985                 |HARTLEY BAIRD PLC              |Completed                      |s172 CA 1948                                                                                   |  J. R. Sendall                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                30. 27 August 1985              |MILBURY PLC                    |Completed                      |s432 CA 1985                                                                                   |  H. B. H. Carlisle QC                                                                                                                                         |  M. G. Lickliss FCA                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           31. 27 September 1985           |ALDERSHOT FOOTBALL CLUB LTD.   |Completed                      |s442 CA 1985                                                                                   |  N. Bohm (Solicitor)                                                                                                                                          |  A. Ridler FCA                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                32. 26 November 1985            |WESTMINSTER PROPERTY GROUP LTD.|Completed                      |s442 CA 1985                                                                                   |  H. B. H. Carlisle QC                                                                                                                                         |  M. G. Lickliss FCA                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           1986                                                                                                                                                            33.  7 February 1986            |SUMRIE CLOTHES PLC             |Completed                      |s442 and s446 CA 1985                                                                          |  now SUMMER INTERNATIONAL PLC                                                                                                                                 |  Sir Michael Kerry QC                                                                                                                                         |  K. S. Carmichael FCA                                                                                                         34. 28 November 1986            |GUINNESS PLC                   |Continuing                     |s432 and s442 CA 1985                                                                          |  D. T. Donaldson QC                                                                                                                                           |  I. G. Watt FCA                                                                                                               35. 10 December 1986            |CONSOLIDATED GOLD FIELDS PLC   |Completed                      |s442 CA 1985                                                                                   |  R. G. A. Youard (Solicitor)                                                                                                                                  |  D. Anton FCA                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 1987                                                                                                                                                            36. 10 February 1987            |BREMNER PLC                    |Completed                      |s442 CA 1985                                                                                   |  M. McIver (Solicitor)                                                                                                                                        |  D. J. McLeod FCA                                                                                                             37.  9 April 1987               |HOUSE OF FRASER HOLDINGS PLC   |Completed                      |s432(2) CA 1985                                                                                |  H. Brooke QC                                                                                                                                                 |  H. G. C. Aldous FCA                                                                                                          38. 29 November 1987            |THE ANIMAL DEFENCE SOCIETY LTD.|Continuing                     |s432(1) CA 1985                                                                                |  J. F. Eden (Solicitor)                                                                                                                                       |  C. H. L. Chudley FCA                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         1988                                                                                                                                                            39. 10 June 1988                |JAMES FERGUSON HOLDINGS PLC    |Continuing                     |s432(2) and s442 CA 1985                                            4 July 1988                                                                                                                                                40.  4 July 1988                |BARLOW CLOWES GILT             |Continuing                     |S432(2) CA 1985                                                                                |MANAGERS LTD.                                                                                                                                                  |  L. D. Ziman (Solicitor)                                                                                                                                      |  W. M. Hoffman FCA                                                                                                            41. 22 July 1988                |JAMES NEILL HOLDINGS PLC       |Continuing                     |s442 CA 1985                                                   42.                             |FRANCIS INDUSTRIES LTD.                                                                                                        43.                             |F. H. LLOYD HOLDINGS PLC                                                                                                                                       |  D. A. Evans QC                                                                                                                                               |  B. Worth FCA                                                                                                                 44. 16 August 1988              |ROTAPRINT PLC                  |Continuing                     |s432(2) and s442 CA 1985                                                                       |  Miss M. H. Arden QC                                                                                                                                          |  G. N. Lane FCA                                                                                                               45. 24 August 1988              |ALDERMANBURY TRUST PLC         |Continuing                     |s432(2) CA 1985                                                                                |  G. W. Staple (Solicitor)                                                                                                                                     |  T. Tress FCA                                                                                                                 46. 20 October 1988             |CONSOLIDATED GOLD FIELDS PLC   |Continuing                     |S442 CA 1985                                                                                   |  P. L. Heslop QC                                                                                                                                              |  R. P. G. Lewis FCA                                                                                                           47. 19 December 1988            |COUNTY NATWEST LTD.            |Completed                      |s432(2) CA 1985                                                48.                             |COUNTY NATWEST SECURITIES LTD.                                                                                                                                 |  M. Crystal QC                                                                                                                                                |  D. L. Spence FCA                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             1989                                                                                                                                                            49.  9 March 1989               |SOUND DIFFUSION PLC            |Continuing                     |s432(2) CA 1985                                                                                |  E. J. Lawson QC                                                                                                                                              |  D. Anton FCA                                                                                                                 50. 12 April 1989               |THE MERSEY DOCKS               |Continuing                     |s442 CA 1985                                                                                   |  AND HARBOUR COMPANY                                                                                                          51.                             |METAL CLOSURES GROUP LTD.                                                                                                      52.                             |WINCHMORE PLC                                                                                                                                                  |  D. A. Evans QC                                                                                                                                               |  B. Worth FCA                                                                                                                 53. 26 May 1989                 |BLUE ARROW PLC                 |Continuing                     |s432(2) CA 1985                                                                                |  Miss H. Heilbron QC                                                                                                                                          |  M. D. Boohan FCA                                                                                                             54. 23 June 1989                |THE BESTWOOD PLC               |Continuing                     |s432(2) and s442 CA 1985                                       55.                             |ATLANTA FUND MANAGERS LTD.                                     |s432 CA 1985                                                                                   |  G. S. Moss QC                                                                                                                                                |  J. R. Venning FCA                                                                                                            56. 30 June 1989                |THE MILFORD DOCKS COMPANY      |Continuing                     |s432(2) CA 1985                                                                                |  R. Owen QC                                                                                                                                                   |  P. Powell FCA                                                                                                                

My answer to the hon. Member of 27 November 1989 gave the total number of companies for which inspectors have been appointed since June 1979.

The relevant table dealing with Companies Act investigations in the annual reports presented to both Houses in accordance with section 729 of the Companies Act 1985 gives the number of appointments of inspectors


Column 524

under sections 431, 432, 442 and 446 of the Companies Act 1985 or their predecessor sections as well as details of the exercise of other Companies Act investigatory powers. When inspectors have been appointed under the authority of two sections, it has been the practice since 1986 to include details of both appointments in the table.


Column 525

Monopolies and Mergers Commission

Mr. Fraser : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he intends to refer the proposed merger of Kingfisher with Dixon Group plc to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission ; and if in his consideration he will take into account the local monopoly considerations as recently developed by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.

Mr. Redwood : The proposed acquisition by Kingfisher plc of Dixons is currently being considered by the Director General of Fair Trading who has a duty to advise the Secretary of State on whether or not it should be referred to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission. It would not be appropriate for me to comment on the proposed acquisition in anticipation of the director general's advice.

Tourism

Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he now proposes to take to promote increased tourism from countries in eastern Europe and East Germany ; and if he will make a statement.


Column 526

Mr. Nicholls : I have been asked to reply.

My Department sponsors the British Tourist Authority (BTA) which has responsibility for the promotion of tourism to the United Kingdom. The BTA is aware of the potential of the eastern European tourism market and will take this into account in developing its marketing plans.

Grants

Mr. Gordon Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list for each region the take-up of (a) investment grants and (b) innovation grants ; and what was the total amount spent in each year since their introduction.

Mr. Ridley [holding answer 21 December 1989] : The requested information, with regard to take-up and expenditure in 1988-89 and 1989-90 (to end November) for the regional enterprise grant scheme is as follows :


Column 525


                            1988-89                         1989-90<1>                                                                |Offers accepted|Payments made  |Offers accepted|Payments made                                             |(£'000)        |(£'000)        |(£'000)        |(£'000)                        -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Regioal investment grants                                                                                  East Midlands              |285            |10             |160            |117                            North East                 |1,277          |234            |2,006          |917                            North West                 |1,368          |299            |1,742          |762                            South West                 |386            |61             |546            |185                            Yorkshire and Humberside   |842            |108            |1,538          |629                                                                                                                                       Regional innovation grants                                                                                 East Midlands              |100            |nil            |153            |50                             North East                 |859            |32             |916            |311                            North West                 |760            |118            |620            |99                             South West                 |204            |13             |195            |41                             Yorkshire and Humberside   |590            |44             |631            |120                            <1> To end November 1989.                                                                                  

Labour Statistics

Mr. Gordon Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will publish figures for the numbers employed in (a) shipbuilding and (b) steel in each year since 1979.

Mr. Ridley [holding answer 21 December 1989) : The relevant figures are estimated as follows :


                |Shipbuilding<1>|Steel<2>                       ----------------------------------------------------------------1979            |64,500         |162,000                        1980            |58,000         |134,000                        1981            |59,000         |96,000                         1982            |59,000         |81,900                         1983            |52,500         |67,300                         1984            |47,000         |62,300                         1985            |43,000         |60,700                         1986            |40,000         |56,900                         1987            |36,500         |55,100                         1988            |35,000         |55,200                         1989            |30,500         |<3>54,500                      Source:                                                         <1> DTI.                                                        <2> Eurostat Labour Force (including apprentices): ECSC         Products'.                                                      <3> Average for 10 months to October 1989.                      

Column 526

Shipbuilding

Mr. Gordon Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what are the amounts paid by the intervention fund for shipbuilding in each year since 1979.

Mr. Ridley [holding answer 21 December 1989] : Payments made from the shipbuilding intervention fund since 1979 are as follows :


Year         |£                    -----------------------------------1978-79      |10,839,000           1979-80      |31,912,378           1980-81      |41,890,399           1981-82      |49,126,517           1982-83      |47,925,370           1983-84      |36,231,429           1984-85      |20,069,280           1985-86      |25,927,629           1986-87      |17,450,596           1987-88      |13,644,119           1988-89      |38,653,894           1989 to date |25,426,976           

Mr. Gordon Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is the share of world shipbuilding orders won by Britain in each year since 1979.


Column 527

Mr. Ridley [holding answer 21 December 1989] : The percentage share of world new orders for merchant ships (in compensated gross tonnes) placed with United Kingdom yards since 1979 is as follows :


           |Percentage           ---------------------------------1979       |2.3                  1980       |2.8                  1981       |2.6                  1982       |2.6                  1983       |1.6                  1984       |1.8                  1985       |2.7                  1986       |2.1                  1987       |2.0                  1988       |0.7                  Source: OECD; Lloyds/EC contract sources.                         

Full information on world orders for naval vessels is not available.

Schools (Technology)

Mr. Gordon Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what increase has taken place in 1988-89 and 1989-90 in support for (a) the use of computer-aided design and (b) the use of advanced technology in schools and further education colleges.

Mr. Ridley [holding answer 21 December 1989] : The Department of Trade and Industry has recently spent the following amounts in order to encourage the use of advanced technology (including computer-aided design CAD) in schools and further education colleges.


£ million                                                                                 |Schools          |Further education                  ------------------------------------------------------------------------1987-88           |8.5              |3.5                                1988-89           |5.5              |1.6                                1989-90           |<1>2.9           |<1>0.2                             <1>Forecast outturn for full year.                                      

The 1987 further education figure includes £2.2 million spent on a scheme limited to CAD. Apart from this, it is not possible separately to identify amounts spent on CAD within either schools or further education.

Advertising

Mr. Gordon Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is his latest estimate of the total cost of advertising by his Department in 1987-88, 1988-89 and 1989-90 ; and what is his planned expenditure for 1990-91 and 1991-92.

Mr. Ridley [holding answer 21 December 1989] : Expenditure on advertising from the Department's central publicity budget was as follows :


           |£ million          -------------------------------1987-88    |8.4                1988-89    |18.8               <1>1989-90 |10                 <1>Estimate.                   

Media allocations for future years have not yet been decided.


Column 528

Regional Selective Assistance

Mr. Gordon Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is the remit of his review of regional selective assistance ; and when he expects it to report.

Mr. Ridley [holding answer 21 December 1989] : The internal guidelines for regional selective assistance are kept under continual review in order to keep them up to date and to consider any changes which might improve the scheme's effectiveness and value for money.

English Industrial Estates

Mr. Gordon Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is the remit of his review of English Industrial Estates Corporation, and when he expects it to report.

Mr. Ridley [holding answer 21 December 1989] : The remit of the review was set out in my reply to the Member for Dundee, East (Mr. McAllion) on 31 October. I expect to receive the consultants' report early in the new year.

Mr. Gordon Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what was the size of managed work space of English Industrial Estates Corporation in 1987, 1988 and 1989 (a) in total and (b) in inner cities.

Mr. Ridley [holding answer 21 December 1989] : English Estates' managed workspace programme was announced in March 1988. Capital expenditure was £0.5 million in 1988-89 and is expected to be £0.6 million in 1989-90. All of this expenditure was in inner city areas. In addition, English Estates provides small workshops as part of its assisted areas programme and on behalf of the Rural Development Commission.


Next Section

  Home Page