Previous Section Home Page

Export Credits Guarantee Department

Mr. Byers: To ask the President of the Board of Trade (1) how many contracts involving Taylor Woodrow International Ltd. were supported by export credits guarantee between 1 August 1983 and December 1988; and what was their total value;

(2) how many contracts involving British Aerospace plc were supported by export credits guarantee between 1 August 1988 and December 1992; and what was their total value;

(3) how many contracts involving (a) Kleinwort Benson Group, (b) N. M. Rothschild and Sons, (c) TSB Group, (d) Balfour Beatty Ltd, (e) the Weir Group plc and (f) National Westminster bank were supported by export credits guarantee since 1991; and what was their total value for each company;

(4) how many contracts involving Trafalgar House plc were supported by export credits guarantee between 1 February 1988 and December 1994; and what was their total value;

(5) how many contracts involving (a) Hiscox Syndicates Ltd., (b) J. Henry Schroder Wagg and Co., (c) Foster Wheeler Ltd., (d) Bovis Construction Group and (e) GEC were supported by export credits guarantee since July 1993; and what was their total value for each company;


Column 613

(6) how many contracts involving Hawker Siddeley Group were supported by export credits guarantee between 1 April and December 1990; and what was their total value.

Mr. Needham: It has been the policy of successive Governments not to disclose information about commercial relations between ECGD and individual companies unless the relevant parties have agreed to this.

Exports

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what proportion of United Kingdom exports, including services and invisibles, was exported to (a) Germany, (b) France, (c) Belgium, (d) Denmark, (e) Austria, (f) Holland and (g) Luxembourg in each of the last 10 years.

Mr. Needham: The available information is given in the table.


T

Share of UK visible exports and invisible credits                                   

Per cent.                                                                           

                                    |Belgium and                                    

Year        |Germany    |France     |Luxembourg |Denmark    |Holland                

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1988        |8.0        |7.4        |4.4        |1.1        |5.1                    

1989        |8.1        |7.7        |4.4        |1.1        |5.4                    

1990        |8.9        |8.0        |4.5        |1.2        |5.6                    

1991        |9.9        |8.3        |4.6        |1.2        |5.8                    

1992        |10.4       |8.0        |4.5        |1.3        |5.7                    

Radioactive Wastes

Mr. Corbyn: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will provide a list of the proposals put forward by British Nuclear Fuels plc to manage radioactive wastes in the United States.

Mr. Charles Wardle [holding answer 30 January 1995]: Proposals to manage radioactive waste in the United States are a commercial matter for British Nuclear Fuels plc and the other companies concerned.

Mr. Corbyn: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if BNFL is negotiating for radioactive waste management services, including reprocessing contracts, with India.

Mr. Charles Wardle [holding answer 30 January 1995]: This is a matter for British Nuclear Fuels plc.

Mr. Corbyn: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what date Scottish Nuclear and Nuclear Electric have to finalise their reprocessing contracts with BNFL.

Mr. Charles Wardle [holding answer 30 January 1995]: This is a commercial matter for the companies concerned.

Patent Office

Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the President of the Board of Trade (1) if he will allow Patent Office staff to bid for the marketing services of the Patent Office on equal terms with private firms; and if he will make a statement;

(2) if he will allow Patent Office staff to bid for the information technology services of the Patent Office on equal terms with private firms; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Ian Taylor [holding answers 30 January 1995]: As my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade announced in his reply to my hon. Friend the


Column 614

Member for Windsor and Maidenhead (Mr. Trend) on 14 December 1994, Official Report , columns 657 58 , when he confirmed executive agency status for the Patent Office, new targets will encourage the office to contract out activities wherever this is compatible with its statutory role and good value for money. In areas identified as candidates for contractorisation, bids for managing contracted-out services will be evaluated against benchmarks for the forecast cost and quality of service from in-house provision. In principle, management and staff bids could be allowable, although not on the basis that management and staff would remain civil servants if their bid was successful.

Security Equipment

Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list the companies to which export licences were granted for the export of electronic batons in the last five years; what assistance his Department is giving to British firms selling security and paramilitary products to Peru, Colombia and other countries in south America in 1995; and if British Aerospace was assisted in the sale of electro-shock batons to Saudi Arabia in the mid-1980s.

Mr. Needham: The first part of this question could be answered only at disproportionate cost. British firms selling to south American countries are eligible for the DTI's range of export services, but it is not possible to isolate those operating in the general areas identified. British Aerospace has denied both publicly and to my officials that electro-batons have been supplied by the company to Saudi Arabia.

Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what proposals he has for further regulating the sale of equipment which can be used for and has been designed for use against persons in repressive conditions.

Mr. Ian Taylor [holding answer 24 January 1995]: I have no such proposals.

Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the President of the Board of Trade (1) what evidence he has received that Hiatts equipment, manufactured in the United Kingdom, restricting body movements has been sold by United Kingdom companies and used by countries in the middle east; (2) what evidence the Government have that oversize handcuffs manufactured in Birmingham by Hiatts and modified at a later stage have been used in conditions of torture.

Mr. Ian Taylor [holding answers 24 January 1995]: I am aware of the allegations made in the Channel 4 television programme "Dispatches", screened on 11 January. Hiatts of Birmingham has denied such practices, both publicly and to my officials.

Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he intends to promote legislation for the regulation of the co-ordinated purchase of sensitive military equipment throughout the world by United Kingdom registered companies.

Mr. Ian Taylor [holding answer 24 January 1995]: No.

Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the President of the Board of Trade on how many occasions Ministers and civil servants have visited the covert and operational procurement exhibition, held annually in Esher, Surrey.


Column 615

Mr. Ian Taylor [holding answer 24 January 1995]: Officials from my Department have visited the COPEX exhibition although precise figures on the number of visits are not available.

Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what is the total annual value of exports which can be used as shackles and leg restraints.

Mr. Ian Taylor [holding answer 24 January 1995]: There is a wide variety of equipment that could theoretically be used as shackles and leg restraints and it is not possible to answer the question as posed. My Department would not issue export licences for leg-irons.

Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the President of the Board of Trade on how many occasions officials from his Department met that person calling himself John Clarkson or that person calling himself Frank Davies to discuss matters relating to defence equipment exports.

Mr. Ian Taylor [holding answer 24 January 1995]: The persons referred to in this question are fictitious names used by journalists appearing on the Channel 4 "Dispatches" programme on 11 January 1995. The makers of the programme did not contact my Department before transmission and a statement was provided.

Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the President of the Board of Trade on how many occasions he has acted to prevent the export of equipment that can be used in torture in each of the last 18 months.

Mr. Ian Taylor [holding answer 24 January 1995]: None. I have not received any information about any such proposed exports.

Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the President of the Board of Trade on how many occasions representatives of his Department have met representatives of IPS and CAZ in the last five years.

Mr. Ian Taylor [holding answer 24 January 1995]: It is not possible to answer this question on the information provided.

Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what financial support was given to Mr. Frank Scott to enable him to visit the far east for the purpose of selling electro-shock equipment.

Mr. Ian Taylor [holding answer 24 January 1995]: There is no evidence of ICL Technical Plastics Ltd., or Mr. Frank Stott of that company, receiving financial support for this purpose.

Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if the British Overseas Trade Board has used public money to subsidise covert and operational procurement exhibitions related exhibitions overseas in each of the last five years.

Mr. Ian Taylor [holding answer 24 January 1995]: Over the last five years contributions towards exhibitors' costs have been made under the DTI's trade fairs support scheme in respect of six COPEX exhibitions in the United States of America.

Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the President of the Board of Trade on how many occasions in the last 10 years trade and investment representations of SAS have met officials or Ministers from his Department.

Mr. Ian Taylor [holding answer 24 January 1995]: It is not possible to answer this question on the information provided.


Column 616

NATIONAL HERITAGE

Next Steps Agencies

Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if he will set out for each of the next steps agencies in his Department, whether they have acquired their own headquarters buildings and, if so, at what purchase cost or annual rental; how many support staff they have required which were not required when their operations were within his Department; how many of them publish periodical journals and at what annual cost; how many have fleets of executive cars or single executive cars and at what annual cost; how many have specially designed logos and at what cost; how many have corporate clothing and at what cost; and what is the cost of specially designed and printed corporate stationery.

Mr. Dorrell: As indicated in the respective agency framework documents, it is for the chief executives to respond on operational and managerial matters and their respective replies are reproduced. In 1993 94, Historic Royal Palaces met or exceeded all its key performance targets including achieving a 2 per cent. target for an efficiency gain on running costs. For the same year, Royal Parks met all but one of its key performance targets, including achieving a 1.5 per cent. target for an efficiency gain on running costs. The one missed target was due to circumstances beyond the Royal Parks' control.

Prior to the creation of these two agencies, central functions were provided by the Department of the Environment. In view of the expenditure transfers between Departments when my Department was established in April 1992 and the provision of some central services on an allied basis without repayment, details of these could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Letter from David Welsh to Mr. Gerald Kaufman, dated 25 January 1995:

The Secretary of State for National Heritage has asked me to reply to your Question about the changes in the operations and costs of managing the Royal Parks that have become necessary since we became a Next Steps Agency.

The Agency moved into the Police Station in Hyde Park. Since this building belongs to the Royal Parks, no rental is involved. We required eight staff to provide personnel, registry and reception functions that were previously provided by the Department of Environment.

The Agency's logo cost £16,000 to design, and we spend £7,500 on supplying stationery for a year. We produce a brochure each year informing the public of the programme of free entertainment available in the Royal Parks. This cost £9,000 to produce and is available free to the public.

The Agency has no corporate clothing and has no executive cars. Letter from David Beeton to Mr. Gerald Kaufman, dated 26 January 1995 :

The Secretary of State for National Heritage has asked me to reply to your question about the changes in the operation and costs


Column 617

of managing the Historic Royal Palaces that have become necessary since we became a Next Steps Agency.

We have not acquired any headquarters building and have not acquired any additional support staff. We do not publish periodical journals and have no executive cars.

Our identities for each palace are based on a relevant Royal Coat of Arms.

Staff uniforms cost £150,000 a year (including Yeoman Warders, Jewel House Warders at Hampton Court and Kensington Palace and shop and ticketing staff).

The annual cost of specially designed stationery is £17,000.

Disabled People

Mr. McAllion: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what proportion and number of non-industrial civil servants in the departments and agencies for which he has responsibility are registered disabled and disabled as defined by the Cabinet Office document "Forces and Ability".

Mr. Dorrell: The latest available figures show that 17 non- industrial staff employed by my Department and associated agencies identified themselves as disabled. This represents 1.6 per cent. of all staff. Of this total, three are registered disabled and 14 are not registered.

Electricity Companies (Sponsorship)

Mr. Clelland: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what discussions he has had (a) with Northern Electric and (b) with the other regional electricity companies about their sponsorship of regional arts and sporting events.

Mr. Dorrell: I have had no discussions with either Northern Electric or any other regional electricity company regarding its sponsorship of regional arts and sporting events.

Library and Information Commission

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what progress he has made towards creating the new Library and Information Commission.

Mr. Dorrell: The reaction since my predecessor announced in July 1993 his intention to draw up proposals for a co-ordinating body to advise Government on library and information issues has been very positive. Responses to the consultation document issued in February 1994 showed broad support for the proposals in the library and information community. Having regard to this, I announced in October 1994 that the Government would be proceeding with the establishment of the Library and Information Commission.

I have now appointed as the commission's first chairman, Mr. Matthew Evans, chairman of Faber and Faber Ltd. His appointment will run for three years until 31 December 1997 and will be renewable by mutual consent. Among many other qualities, Mr. Evans combines the cultural and economic awareness the library and information sector must encompass if it is, as the Government intend, to make a significant contribution to the success of organisations and individuals as the United Kingdom moves into the next century. After further consultation with my ministerial colleagues and with Mr. Evans, I shall in due course announce to the House the remainder of my appointments


Column 618

to the commission, which I envisage will number around a dozen. I can now confirm the formal terms of reference for the new commission, which state that it will:

advise Government Departments representing the United Kingdom in European Union and other international policy-making bodies on the implications of their activities for library and information services;

develop, in association with the relevant Government Departments as far as necessary to achieve consonance with Government policy, a strategy for research and development requirements in the library and information field, having regard to the needs and interests of all areas of library and information activity and of all parts of the United Kingdom, and secure the disbursement of the available funds in accordance with that strategy;

advise on, and where necessary to draw the Government's attention to, the implications for library and information services, including the commercial information sector, of particular policy or technological developments;

as necessary advise on and assist the Government in developing and keeping up-to-date library and information policies and support activity which gives effect to such policies;

provide independent expert advice as necessary on specific issues referred to it by Government Departments or other relevant bodies; advise Government Departments which so request on co-ordinating, and avoiding unnecessary duplication between, information services of different types and assume such executive activities in support of this aim as the Government may specify and resources permit; and co-operate as it and the Government see fit with other relevant bodies.

The Secretaries of State for Scotland, for Wales and for Northern Ireland have carefully considered the proposals to establish a new body. My colleagues in Scotland and Wales have concluded that, in view of the different traditions, statutory provisions, where appropriate, and the present organisational arrangements applying to Scotland and Wales, as well as existing mechanisms for co-operation, the remit of the new commission should not for most purposes extend to those countries. In the areas of international representation and research strategy, however, the commission's remit will be United Kingdom-wide. For each of these functions, the commission will operate primarily through sub-committees. The arrangements for these sub-committees, including their terms of reference and their representation of Scottish and Welsh interests, will be determined in consultation with my right hon. friends.

I shall, as proposed in the consultation document, shortly wind up the existing Library and Information Services Council (England). At the same time, in close co-operation with the local authorities, I shall be establishing a new advisory council to advise me on my responsibilities under the terms of the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964 and in particular on public libraries in England.

Welsh Rock and Folk Music Council

Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage, pursuant to his answer of 24 January, Official Report, columns 115-16, if he will place in the Library a copy of his report from the Association for


Column 619

Business Sponsorship of the Arts on the circumstances of the award to the Welsh Rock and Folk Music Council.

Mr. Dorrell [holding answer 27 January 1995]: No. The report was prepared for the use of my Department. Its conclusions will be taken into account by the Association for Business Sponsorship of the Arts in determining its response to the matters under review.

Arts Grants, Wales

Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if he will list those cultural organisations which have received grants from the Association for Business Sponsorship of the Arts in Wales under the business sponsorship incentive scheme, which also received a grant from the sponsorship scheme run by the Welsh Fourth Channel Authority, S4C, and the Independent Television Producers Association, TAC.

Mr. Dorrell [holding answer 27 January 1995]: The information requested is as follows:

Theatre Bara Caws

Y Faner

Dalier Sylw

Ewrosgol

Creu Cof

Cwmni Dawns Camre Cain

Welsh International Film Festival

Wales Actors Company

Arad Goch

Hwyl a Fflag

National Film and Video Archive of Wales

Clwyd Arts and Exhibition Service

Taliesin Trust

Theatr Gorllewin Morgannwg

Barddas: y Gymdeithas Gerdd Dafod

Theatr Had

Model House Llantrisant

Rhiniog

Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what consultations he has had with the chairman of the Welsh Fourth Channel Authority concerning the issuing of a new guidelines on the channel's relationship with the Association for Business Sponsorship of the Arts.

Mr. Dorrell [holding answer 27 January 1995]: Any guidelines governing the Welsh Fourth Channel Authority's relationship with the Association for Business Sponsorship of the Arts are a matter for the authority in the first instance. My Department will be discussing this however in the light of my consideration of the reports to which I referred in my answer of 24 January 1995, Official Report , column 115 16 .

Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what consultations he has had with the chairman of the Welsh Fourth Channel Authority and of the Association for Business Sponsorship of the Arts concerning the grant given by the authority to the Celtic Film Festival, Zeitgeist Film Productions and the Society of Independent Television Producers of Wales.


Next Section

  Home Page