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Mrs. Browning : To ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he has received the second annual reports of the recognised supervisory bodies for company auditors under part II of the Companies Act 1989 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Neil Hamilton : I have received the second annual reports of all the recognised supervisory bodies for company auditors, and have placed copies in the Library. My Department will be discussing the contents of the reports with the bodies.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the President of the Board of Trade (1) when he intends to introduce a new independent regulator to advise him on issues affecting the interests of Post Office customers ; (2) when he expects to introduce measures to allow him to set the performance standards for the Post Office.
Mr. McLoughlin : The precise method of implementation of these commitments, which were set out in the citizens charter, is under consideration in the wider review of the structure and organisation of the Post Office. Both require primary legislation and would be included in any legislation arising from the review. The review is still continuing.
Mr. McMaster : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list the subjects on which his Department or its predecessors formerly answered parliamentary questions but which are now referred by him to an executive agency.
Mr. McLoughlin : There are 10 DTI agencies : Accounts Services Agency, Companies House, Insolvency Service, Laboratory of the Government Chemist, National Engineering Laboratory, National Physical Laboratory, National Weights and Measures Laboratory, Patent Office, Radiocommuncations Agency and Warren Spring Laboratory. The chief executives of these are usually asked to reply to parliamentary questions about the day-to-day operational matters of their agency and on subjects for which they have delegated responsibility, as set out in their agency's framework document.
Mr. Gordon Prentice : To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many bottles of champagne were imported from France in each year since 1979.
Mr. Needham : Information on imports of champagne is not available in terms of bottles. The available information is given in the following table :
Year |Million litres --------------------------------------------- 1979 | 7.18 1980 | 6.43 1981 | 6.04 1982 | 5.93 1983 | 7.52 1984 | 9.12 1985 |11.41 1986 |12.40 1987 |14.38 1988 |15.48 1989 |18.04 1990 |16.12 1991 |10.58 1992 |11.10
Mr. Gordon Prentice : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what assessment he has made of the advantages and disadvantages of the tied house system.
Mr. Neil Hamilton : Between 1986 and 1988 the Monopolies and Mergers Commission undertook an extensive study of the supply of beer in the United Kingdom, in particular the tied house system, which assessed its benefits and adverse effects.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his answer of 17 December 1993, Official Report , column 985 , under which safeguards provisions the transfers of plutonium to the United States took place ; what notification of the plutonium exports was given in advance to the safeguards authorities ; and what information he has on plutonium exported to the United States between 1963 and 1979
Mr. Eggar : Plutonium sent under the defence agreement with the United States is not consigned there under safeguards. Any transfers of military plutonium are a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence. Following the announcements by President Johnson and Mr. Krushchev that their Governments were reducing their planned production of fissile materials for weapons purposes, my right hon. Friend the then Prime Minister advised the House on 21 April 1964, at column 1098, that he had been informed by the United States Government that they had no intention of using for weapons purposes any of the plutonium produced in the reactors of the generating boards and consigned under the Defence agreement. In 1984 the United States Government confirmed that this plutonium had not been used in weapons and that it was their policy not to so use it. This confirmation was reported to Parliament by my right hon. Friend the then Secretary of State for Energy on 9 April 1984, at column 6 . I have nothing to add to these statements.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list all the witnesses to be called in public session before the Scott inquiry to date ; what has been the total cost incurred by the inquiry ; and what proportion of these costs have been taken up in expenses paid to witnesses for the provision of copies of documentation or travel costs to attend the inquiry by invitation.
Mr. Needham : The following witnesses have appeared to date in public session before the Scott inquiry :
4 May 1993--Sir Richard Luce, formerly Minister of State, FCO
5 May 1993--Mr. Hart, ECGD
5 May 1993--Mr. Bryars, ECGD
10 May 1993--Mr. Sandars, MoD
11 May 1993--Lt. Col. Glazebrook, MoD
12 May 1993--Lt. Col. Glazebrook, MoD
21 June 1993--Lt. Col. Glazebrook, MoD
22 June 1993--Lt. Col. Glazebrook, MoD
17 May 1993--Sir Adam Butler, formerly Minister for Defence Procurement
19 May 1993--Mr. Channon, formerly Secretary of State for Trade and Industry
24 May 1993--Sir Hal Miller, M.P.
27 May 1993--Sir Patrick Mayhew, formerly Attorney-General (now Secretary of State for Northern Ireland)
11 June 1993--Mr. Collins, FCO
15 June 1993--Sir Stephen, Egerton FCO
28 June 1993--Mr. Patey, FCO
30 June 1993--Mr. James, Eagle Trust PLC
30 June 1993--Mr. Fellgett, HM Treasury
7 July 1993--Mr. Vereker, FCO
15 July 1993--Mr. Higson, formerly FCO
19 July 1993--Sir David Miers, FCO
20 July 1993--Sir David Miers, FCO
27 July 1993--Mr. Blackley, FCO
13 September 1993--Mr. Gore-Booth, FCO
14 September 1993--Mr. Gore-Booth, FCO
15 September 1993--Mr. Young, FCO
20 September 1993--Mr. Renton, formerly Minister of State, FCO 21 September 1993--Mr. Mellor, formerly Minister of State, FCO 22 September 1993--Mr. Waldegrave, formerly Minister of State, FCO (now Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster)
23 September 1993--Mr. Waldegrave, formerly Minister of State, FCO (now Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster)
12 October 1993--Mr. Waldegrave, formerly Minister of State, FCO (now Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster)
19 October 1993--Mr. Fuller, FCO
20 October 1993--Mr. Lamport, FCO
25 October 1993--Mr. Haswell, FCO
6 October 1993--Mr. McDonald, MoD
7 October 1993--Mr. McDonald, MoD
26 October 1993--Mr. McDonald, MoD
28 October 1993--Mr. McDonald, MoD
1 November 1993--Mr. Barrett, MoD
2 November 1993--Mr. Barrett, MoD
3 November 1993--Mr. Barrett, MoD
4 November 1993--Mr. Barrett, MoD
8 November 1993--Mr. Sherrington, FCO
22 November 1993--Mr. Beston, DTI
23 November 1993--Mr. Beston, DTI
24 November 1993--Mr. Beston, DTI
25 November 1993--Mr. Beston, DTI
26 November 1993--Mr. Beston, DTI
17 December 1993--Mr. Beston, DTI
30 November 1993--Mr. Steadman, DTI
1 December 1993--Mr. Steadman, DTI
8 December 1993--Baroness Thatcher, formerly Prime Minister 13 December 1993--Mr. Clark, formerly Minister for Defence Procurement and Minister for Trade
14 December 1993--Mr. Clark, formerly Minister for Defence Procurement and Minister for Trade
15 December 1993--Mr. Clark, formerly Minister for Defence Procurement and Minister for Trade
11 January 1994--Mr. Baker, formerly Home Secretary
12 January 1994--Lord Howe, formerly Foreign Secretary
17 January 1994--Mr. Major, Prime Minister
21 January 1994--Mr. Bevan, Cabinet Office
25 January 1994--Mr. Hurd, Foreign Secretary
26 January 1994--Mr. Petter, DTI
28 January 1994--Mr. Coolican, DTI
The direct cost incurred by the inquiry to date has been about £700,000.
Column 227Expenses paid by the inquiry to witnesses, for the provision of copies of documentation or travel costs, total to date about £400. Most of the costs of providing documentation to witnesses and meeting travel expenses is met directly by the Departments in which the witnesses served.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what contracts his Department or the energy technology support unit has placed with academic or independent research institutions since 1990 into the public acceptability of renewable energy technologies.
Mr. Eggar : The following 21 contracts have been placed since 1990 with academic institutions and independent consultants into, and associated with, the issues of public acceptability of renewables : Titles
Template for Community Involvement/Consultation in the Development of Waste to Energy Projects.
Community Appraisal Relating to Hampshire County's Waste Strategy. Farmers Current Attitudes to Energy Forestry in GB.
Community Forests Integrated Review Energy Capability.
Market Survey Investigating Conservatory Energies.
Public Attitude Survey at Delabole.
Video Production : Visual Impact of Wind Farms.
Provision of Advice on Planning Policy Guidance.
Provision of Advice on Impact of non-conforming Developments. Preparation of Summary Report on Landscape Impact.
Mynddy Cemmaes Windfarm Impact assessment.
Cemmaes Wind farm Impact Study--Phase 1.
The Visual Impact of Windfarms Lessons from the UK NFFO. Landscape Impact Assessment for Wind Turbine Development. Design Prediction Model for Wind Turbine Noise.
Assessment and Prediction of Wind Turbines Noise.
Systematic Comparison of Predictions and Experiment on Noise. Preparation of a Wind Annex for Planning Policy Guidance. An Investigation of the Levels of Electromagnetic Emissions. Renewable Energy--Public Awareness and Attitudes (two surveys).
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what information he has received from the National Radiological Protection Board in regard to its evaluation of extra low frequency electric and magnetic field effects of electricity transmission.
Mr. Eggar : The National Radiological Protection Board publishes its findings through HMSO. The latest relevant publication is the board statement on restrictions on human exposure to static and time varying electromagnetic fields and radiation, published in March 1993, copies of which are available in the Library of the House.
Ms Walley : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what discussions he plans in respect of guaranteeing post-privatisation pension improvements and on the power for him to relieve the trustees of their fiduciary responsibilities should he instruct them to act in the national interest.
Mr. Eggar : Discussions between my Department and the trustees of the British Coal pension schemes on proposed arrangements for guaranteeing payment of index-linked pensions after privatisation are continuing.
Ms Walley : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what recent representations he has received from the National Federation of Retail Newsagents ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Neil Hamilton : This body is to meet my officials shortly, prior to submitting written representations as part of the statutory consultation process on an order which I have proposed under the Fair Trading Act 1973 in relation to the wholesale supply of national newspapers to retailers in England and Wales. The proposed order follows a Monopolies and Mergers Commission report which identified certain practices of newspaper wholesalers as being against the public interest. I will carefully consider their views, along with all the other representations I receive during the consultation period which runs until 31 March.
Ms Walley : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what safeguards he intends to introduce to ensure a fair and level playing field to ensure the continuation of the home delivery service in respect of newsagents.
Mr. Neil Hamilton : I have announced a consultation period until March 31 on my proposed order under the Fair Trading Act 1973 relating to the supply national newspapers in England and Wales. I am prepared to consider any representations that the industry wishes to make to me as part of this process on home delivery, or on other issues.