Previous Section Home Page

General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade

Mr. Jim Cunningham : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what representations he has received from (a) individual companies in (i) the west midlands and (ii) Coventry, (b) the Confederation of British Industry and (c) local chambers of commerce, regarding the implications of GATT.

Mr. Needham : My Department has responded to a large number of inquiries from companies, trade associations and chambers of commerce about the results of the GATT Uruguay round.


Column 232

Mr. Jim Cunningham : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what are the implications for the aerospace industry of the proposed GATT agreements ; and when he expects the agreement relating to that sector to be reached.

Mr. Needham : Negotiations on a GATT agreement on trade in civil aircraft are continuing. The Government's objective for these negotiations is to conclude an agreement which covers the whole aerospace sector, and which includes strict and balanced disciplines on direct and indirect government supports. On 14 December 1993, members of the GATT civil aircraft committee agreed that these negotiations would continue for a further year, ending in December 1994.

Bank of Credit and Commerce International

Mr. Gunnell : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what is the projected end date for the BCCI receivership ; and what is the estimated total fee for the services of Touche Ross.

Mr. Neil Hamilton [holding answer 12 April 1994] : My Department is not aware of any estimate of the likely duration of the liquidation of BCCI. The fees of Touche Ross as liquidators are a matter for the court and the creditors.

Mr. Gunnell : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what proportion of the total income in the BCCI receivership is estimated will be absorbed by the fee to the receivers.

Mr. Neil Hamilton [holding answer 12 April 1994] : My Department does not have this information. It is a matter for the liquidators.

Mr. Gunnell : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what has been the total cost of the BCCI receivership to 31 March.

Mr. Neil Hamilton [holding answer 12 April 1994] : The total payments from the English liquidation of BCCI to 15 January, the anniversary of the winding up order, are approximately £215 million.

Mr. Gunnell : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what employment costs of former BCCI employees may become the liability of the receivers.

Mr. Neil Hamilton [holding answer 12 April 1994] : This is a matter for the liquidators.

Fire Safety

Mr. Ainger : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what plans he has to consult with the Chief and Assistant Chief Fire Officers Association about changes in fire safety legislation prior to publication of proposed changes.

Mr. Neil Hamilton [holding answer 12 April 1994] : The Government will consult all interested parties before making any legislative changes. As part of their widespread consultations, the team undertaking the review of fire safety legislation and enforcement, announced by my right hon. Friend, the President of the Board of Trade on 17 January, Official Report, column 381, met representatives of the association on 28 March to hear their views on this important issue.


Column 233

Mr. Ainger : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what discussions his Department has had with the Chief and Assistant Chief Fire Officers Association about fire safety legislation in the past six months.

Mr. Neil Hamilton [holding answer 12 April 1994] : My Department solicited views from the association last year as part of the consultations on the review of the regulations on children's nightwear and foam-filled furniture. The consultation period expired at the end of October 1993, but the association did not respond.

Mr. Ainger : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will place in the Library a copy of the construction task force report on the future of fire safety.

Mr. Neil Hamilton [holding answer 12 April 1994] : The working papers of all seven business deregulation task forces--including those of the construction task force on fire safety--were placed in the Library of the House on Wednesday 30 March.

DUCHY OF LANCASTER

Cryogenics

Mr. Rooker : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what contribution Her Majesty's Government make to the research and development of cryogenics by British industry and academic research institutions.

Mr. Waldegrave : The Government, through the Research Councils, support a range of research and development involving cryogenics. This includes support totalling £1 million per annum for research by university groups on low temperature physics and chemistry, and a £5 million programme supporting work on superconducting materials. The research councils also fund the development of superconducting magnets and cooling mechanisms for


Column 234

use in a range of scientific equipment, including synchrotron radiation, neutron beam and nuclear magnetic resonance equipment, and detectors for particle physics, astronomy and space research.

DEFENCE

RAF Carlisle

Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement outlining Her Majesty's Government's response to the joint Whitley response to the equipment supply depot study consultation document on the future of No. 14 MU RAF Carlisle.

Mr. Hanley : My Department is currently considering the proposals contained in the RAF Carlisle joint Whitley response to the equipment supply depot rationalisation study, which was received on 28 March 1994. I shall be taking full account of all representations before coming to final decisions.

Greenham Common

Mr. Rendel : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects, under the Crichel Down rules, to restore commoners' rights to those who previously held them at Greenham common.

Mr. Hanley : Crichel Down rules regulate the disposal of land where there are former owners with rights to re-purchase. The issue of commoners' rights attaching to land is a separate matter. It is my Department's view, based on legal advice, that the commoners' rights on Greenham common were extinguished when compensation moneys were handed over to the Committee of Commoners. My Department has no plans to restore commoners' rights there.


 

  Home Page