|Previous Section||Home Page|
Mr. Haselhurst: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what advice he has given Post Office Counters Ltd. on whether it is bound by the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 1981 to ensure
Column 991that where a main office's work is franchised to a private retail outlet its former employees working for the franchisee should enjoy the same pay and conditions as hitherto.
Mr. Eggar: This is an operational matter for the Post Office.
Mr. Barry Field: To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many man hours were taken up by adjusting the clocks throughout his Department.
Mr. Ian Taylor: The information requested could be obtained only at disproportionate cost and effort.
Mr. Grocott: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list the privatisations which his Department has promoted since 1979 indicating, in each case, the date of the sale, the proceeds of the sale, and the estimated current value of the company.
Mr. Heseltine: The information requested on proceeds from privatisations promoted by my Department and the former Department of Energy since 1979 is given in the table. The current market value of companies is not held centrally by my Department.
Proceeds £ millions |Net Equity to|Redemption |Date of Sale |Government |of Debt -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Amersham International |1982 |62 |- British Aerospace (secondary sale by HM Treasury) |1981 |43 |- |1985 |347 |- British Gas |1986 |5,143 |2,500 |1990 |150 |- British Steel |1988 |2,425 |- British Telecommunications (secondary sale by HM Treasury) |1984 |3,685 |3,500 |1991 |5,218 |- |1993 |5,201 |- Britoil (secondary sale) |1982 |536 |- |1985 |426 |- Cable and Wireless (secondary sales by HM Treasury) |1981 |181 |- |1983 |263 |- |1985 |577 |- Electricity Generating Companies |1991 |<1>2,201 |768 Enterprise Oil |1984 |382 |- Girobank |1990 |<2>- |- Insurance Services Group |1991 |<3>13 |- Jaguar |1984 |<4>- |- Regional Electricity Companies (England and Wales) |1990 |<1>5,182 |2,815 Rolls-Royce |1987 |1,031 |- Rover Group<5> |1988 |<6>150 |- British Technology Group |1992 |25 |- Wytch Farm |1984 |149 |- <1> Gross equity proceeds <2> Proceeds to the Post Office <3> Proceeds to Export Credits Guarantee Department <4> Proceeds to BL plc (Rover Group) <5> Private sector company <6> This does not take into account exchequer payments (including cash injection of £547 million) or exchequer cost of deferring payments of consideration
Mr. Devlin: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement setting out the role of his
Column 992Department in helping to attract Samsung's recent investment to Stockton-on-Tees.
Mr. Eggar: My Department took the lead in discussions with Samsung about the company's decision to locate its manufacturing complex in Cleveland. The
Column 993Department's Invest in Britain Bureau, whose role it is to promote overseas investment in the United Kingdom, has been in close contact with Samsung for several months. Discussions about the regional financial support offer were conducted by the Department's industrial development unit. The support offered was neutral between alternative United Kingdom locations and left the decision for Samsung to make on commercial and operational grounds. Throughout, my Department also maintained contact with other Departments, the Government office for the north-east and a number of local authorities and other agencies including the Northern Development Company and English Partnerships. I am delighted to note that these efforts, together with the £58 million financial support offered, influenced Samsung's decision to locate in Cleveland, a decision which I am sure will bring significant and lasting benefits to the company, to Cleveland and the north-east region and to the country as a whole.
Mr. Grocott: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what is the average cost to his Department of answering (a) a written and (b) an oral parliamentary question.
Mr. Heseltine: The current average cost of preparing an answer, as announced on 30 November 1993, Official Report, column 387 by the then Financial Secretary to the Treasury, my right hon. Friend the Member for Loughborough (Mr Dorrell) is assessed as being £97 for a written question and £225 for an oral question.
Mr. Llwyd: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will publish details of the spending powers devolved by the National Consumer Council to the Welsh Consumer Council; and what authority is devolved to officers of the Welsh Consumer Council.
Mr. Ian Taylor: The Welsh Consumer Council's budget is set at a level agreed between the national and the Scottish and Welsh Consumer Councils from the grant in aid that the National Consumer Council receives from the Department of Trade and Industry. The Welsh Consumer Council has established procedures for controlling and monitoring its own expenditure within the agreed limit. Decisions on incurring actual expenditure are taken by council, but authority for payment of goods and services received is delegated to its director. The director of the National Consumer Council, as accounting officer, is responsible, under the grant in aid conditions, for ensuring that expenditure by all three councils is properly authorised and contained within the agreed allocation.
Mr. Flynn: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what new proposals he has to improve business probity and ethics.
Mr. Heseltine: As part of its programme of reviewing company law, my Department will publish a consultation document early in 1995 on directors' duties. This will invite views on proposals for a statement of directors' duties and for reforming part X of the Companies Act on the enforcement of fair dealing by directors.
Mr. Tipping: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what are the salaries of the chairman and chief executive of the Coal Authority.
Mr. Charles Wardle: Sir David White as part-time chairman of the Coal Authority receives a salary of £18,000 a year for one day per week. Mr Neville Washington, who will be full-time chief executive, receives a salary of £55,000 plus pension and a car allowance. He is also eligible for a non-pensionable performance bonus.
Mr. Tipping: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will name the consultants he has employed to give advice on disposal of British Coal's property interests; what are their terms of reference; when their commission was (a) started and (b) completed; and what was the cost.
Mr. Eggar: No consultants have been commissioned by the Department to advise on the disposal of British Coal's non-operational property interests, which are a matter for the corporation.
Mr. Tipping: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what is the Coal Authority's budget in 1994 95; and what budget is planned for 1995 96.
Mr. Charles Wardle: The net provision for the Coal Authority in 1994 95, as published in the revised estimates in June, is £30.9 million. The provision for 1995 96 is currently under consideration and will be published in the 1995 96 supply estimates in March 1995.
Mr. Tipping: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement about the method and timetable of the disposal of British Coal's property interests.
Mr. Eggar: This is a matter for British Coal. The corporation is currently considering the options for transferring its
non-operational land and property to the private sector. No decisions have yet been taken.
Mr. Tipping: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will name each member of the Coal Authority; and if he will give details of their experience and background.
Mr. Charles Wardle: I have today announced the appointment of five part-time members of the Coal Authority. The Coal Authority now comprises:
Sir David White DL (part-time Chairman), Chairman of the Mansfield Brewery plc, of the Nottingham Health Authority, and of the Board of Governors, the Nottingham Trent University.
Mr. Neville Washington (full-time member), who was Director of Human Resources and Operations at the Victoria Infirmary, a NHS Trust Hospital in Glasgow. Previously he was in the armed forces, leaving the army in 1992 as a Lieutenant Colonel.
Mr. John Cunliffe, barrister and, until his recent retirement, a senior legal adviser within The Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies and Secretary of The "Shell" Transport and Trading Company, plc. Mr. Eric Hassall, a qualified chartered engineer currently Chairman of Wardell Armstrong, mining consultants. He is a Member of Council of the Natural Environment Research Council. His previous career included working as the Crown Mineral Agent and employment with the (then) National Coal Board.
Mr. Roy Lynk OBE, National President of the Union of Democratic Mineworkers from 1987 to 1993 and General Secretary from 1985. He was previously a full -time official of the National Union of Mineworkers from 1979, after 19 years as a branch official.
Column 995He was a coal face worker for nearly thirty years. Mr. Lynk was a Councillor on Ashfield District Council for eight years.
Mr. Leslie Rendell, the retiring Director of Planning and Transport of Warwickshire County Council and the immediate past President of the County Planning Officers' Society. Until recently he was Chairman of the West Midlands Regional Aggregates Working Party. He has served as a planning officer in seven counties, including two coal producing regions. His particular interests include environmental sustainability.
Mr. Tom Slee, a Chartered Accountant and Finance Director of Pittencrieff Resources plc, an Edinburgh-based oil and gas company. He is also a non- executive director of Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Ltd. His previous career was with Costain Group, Courtaulds and KPMG Peat Marwick.
Mrs. Helen Jackson: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list the parliamentary lobbyists contracted to the regulators of privatised utilities over the past three years and their cost.
Mr. Eggar: This is a matter for the regulators.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the President of the Board of Trade how much uranium recovered for reprocessing is stored at British Nuclear Fuels plc's facility at Capenhurst; what plans there are to increase the amount; and by how much.
Mr. Eggar: Some 10,000 tonnes of uranium as uranium trioxide, recovered from reprocessing irradiated fuel, is currently stored on the Capenhurst site of British Nuclear Fuels plc. The bulk of this material is owned by BNFL's reprocessing customers and the amount to be stored in the future is a commercial matter for the parties concerned.
Mr. Ainger: To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to the answer of the Secretary of State for the Environment of 25 October, Official Report, column 541, under what United Kingdom legislation he requires environmental assessments before giving consent in respect of the operation at any offshore oil or gas production installation within 25 miles of the coast or in environmentally sensitive areas more than 25 miles offshore.
Mr. Charles Wardle: Environmental assessments are required before consent is given in respect of the operations of any offshore oil and gas production installation within 25 miles of the coast or in environmentally sensitive areas beyond 25 miles by conditions incorporated into licences granted under the Petroleum (Production) Act 1934. Environmental assessments are not required for oil and gas exploration and appraisal.
Mr. Madden: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what formal or informal representations he or any of his Ministerial colleagues or their predecessors received as from (a) any right hon. Member of hon. Member or (b) any other person regarding the Department of Trade and Industry inspectors' report on the takeover of the House of Fraser; what departmental record exists of such representations; and if they were reported to the Cabinet Secretary.
Mr. Heseltine: My Department has received a very large number of representations concerning the takeover of House of Fraser and the DTI inspectors' report. It would not be possible to provide a complete record of these representations without incurring disproportionate cost. The hon. Member may recall that the matter was discussed in the House on 4 April 1989 and on 7 March 1990, and in another place on 3 April 1989, on 7 March 1990 and 28 March 1990. The matter was also referred to in the proceedings of the Select Committee on Trade and Industry. A number of hon. Members also asked questions on the subject. Such representations are not, as a general rule, reported to the Cabinet Secretary.
Mr. Harvey: To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his answer of 24 October, Official Report, column 412 , what action he has taken to obtain Lord Archer's consent to releasing the information that Lord Archer provided to those compiling the report.
Mr. Heseltine [holding answer 28 October 1994]: I have taken no such action.
Mr. Gunnell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many companies from overseas qualified for regional selective assistance between (a) March 1979 and June 1983, (b) June 1983 and June 1987 and (c) June 1987 and May 1992; and what was the total amount of regional selective assistance paid to them in each period.
Mr. Charles Wardle [holding answer 27 October 1994]: The number of offers of regional selective assistance made to foreign-owned companies in each of the periods and the amount of grant paid was as follows:
|Amount paid |Number of |in period |offers made|£ million ----------------------------------------------------------------- 1 March 1979 to 30 June 1983 |203 |22.5 1 July 1983 to 30 June 1987 |274 |31.5 1 July 1987 to 31 May 1992 |275 |81.5
Mr. Gunnell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many jobs were created by those overseas companies receiving regional selective assistance between (a) March 1979 and June 1983, (b) June 1983 and June 1987 and (c) June 1987 and May 1992.
Mr. Charles Wardle [holding answer 27 October 1994]: The number of jobs created by foreign-owned companies related to offers of regional selective assistance accepted in the periods was as follows:
|Number of Period |Jobs to date ------------------------------------------------------- 1 March 1979 to 30 June 1983 |13,815 1 July 1983 to 30 June 1987 |23,418 1 July 1987 to 31 May 1992 |14,420
Mr. Gunnell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many inward investments which received regional selective assistance between (a) March 1979 and
Column 997June 1993, (b) between June 1983 and June 1989 and (c) between June 1989 and May 1992 have since closed the operation for which the grants were received and, in the case of (a) and (b) , how many such closures have taken place in the past four years.
Mr. Charles Wardle [holding answer 27 October 1994]: Regional selective assistance projects are normally monitored for only a limited number of years after final payment of the grant; complete information on this question is not available.
Official Report, 31 October 1994: In column 911, Mr. Llew Smith's written question, the last under the heading Conduct of Public Life' , should read as follows:
Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his oral statement on standards of conduct in public life of 25 October, Official Report, column 757, if he will indicate (a) who was the informant mentioned by the Cabinet Secretary in his report, (b) what proposals for a deal were put to him by the intermediary and (c) when he was first contacted by the intermediary.