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Mr. McKelvey : To ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he has raised with the Hungarian Government the effect on Scotch whisky exporters of Hungary's restrictive quota system applied to imported spirits.
Mr. Needham : My Department has been aware of the difficulties which importers of spirits face in this market for some time, and has raised these with Hungarian counterparts when appropriate. We have agreed with the Scotch Whisky Association that, over the next few months at least, we may be of greatest help in supporting the industry's representations to the Hungarian administration. This we are doing, although recognising that progress may be difficult to sustain over the period of the Hungarian general elections which are due to be held in May.
Mr. McKelvey : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what action Her Majesty's Government plans to take following the Japanese Government's failure to implement in full the requirements of a 1987 GATT panel in regard to liquor tax as part of its budget proposals for 1994-95.
Mr. Needham : It is disappointing that the proposals in the budget currently passing through the Japanese Diet would merely reduce, rather than remove, tax discrimination against imported liquors. My right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and the President of the Board of Trade and I have all made clear to the Japanese Government on every possible occasion that we expect the recommendations of the GATT panel to be implemented as soon as possible. We will be considering with our EU partners what further action can be taken.
Number and value (including amendments) of consultancy contracts awarded by the Department of Trade and Industry, 1989-1993 Calendar Year |Number of |Value (£) |Contracts -------------------------------------------------------- 1989 |415 |26,578,000 1990 |517 |27,620,000 1991 |597 |38,491,000 1992 |543 |36,612,000 1993 |402 |29,369,000
The above figures exclude consultancy contracts let independently by the Department's executive agencies.
Mr. Neil Hamilton : The review of fire safety legislation and enforcement by a Government scrutiny team was announced on 17 January and is still in progress. It is taking representations from anyone with an interest.
I am aware that there are some concerns about the wording in an early draft of a report by the construction industry deregulation task force which suggested that the Government's position is already settled. That was a mistaken claim by the authors of the report and does not represent the Government's position. The scrutiny team is due to complete its work by the end of May and an announcement will be made in due course against the background of the Government's commitment not to compromise safety standards.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Attorney-General on how many occasions in the last five years he has knowingly provided incomplete information in answers to parliamentary questions other than on grounds of disproportionate cost ; and on what subjects.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Attorney-General if he will list for the last 12 months how many parliamentary questions he has referred to one of his Department's agencies for answer ; and what percentage of parliamentary questions to his Department this represents.