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Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he is taking to ensure that widescreen televisions sold in the UK are clearly labelled to distinguish whether they are digital or analogue. 
Dr. Howells: Consumers should be able to make an informed choice between buying an integrated digital television and an analogue television with a set top box in order to receive digital broadcasts. The Trade Descriptions Act 1968 prohibits false or misleading descriptions of products--whether by means of a label or by any other means, such as an oral statement. It would therefore be an offence to describe a television set falsely and, if there are instances where traders are misdescribing analogue TVs as digital, I would urge consumers to get in touch with their local trading standards department. My Department is contacting the Local Authorities Co-Ordinating Body on Food and Trading Standards (Lacots) to establish the nature and extent of any problem in this area.
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Mr. Caborn [holding answer 31 October 2000]: ECGD does already provide finance through its Buyer Credit and Supplier Credit Schemes for progress payments which are identified in the commercial contract. This means that the exporter can receive moneys from the financing arrangements for work completed at each progress payment milestone.
Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what studies his Department has undertaken on the competition effects of increased price transparency due to use of the Internet; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells [holding answer 1 November 2000]: The Government believe that the internet and e-commerce are generally beneficial to competition. They increase the range of supplies for many products and services. Price transparency is just one aspect. The DTI has not conducted studies on the competition effects of increased price transparency.
Mr. Alan Johnson: Projections will reflect a complex interaction of factors, though significant contributions to projected increased emissions post 2000 are increased economic output, projected fall in nuclear capacity and increases in transport emissions. Details of the assumptions can be found in the working paper entitled, "Energy Projections for the UK," available in the Library of the House, which describes the DTI energy model used to make the projections. The Government are putting in place measures to tackle this emissions growth. Their draft climate change programme identified quantified measures that could reduce C02 emissions in 2010 by 17.5 per cent. below 1990 levels.
Dr. Howells [holding answer 1 November 2000]: On 8 August my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry announced that he had asked the Competition Commission to consider the question of whether the acquisition of 26.8 per cent. of the ordinary share capital of Community Hospitals Group by enterprises under the control of Salomon International LLC and BUPA constituted a merger and, if so, whether
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or not the merger would operate against the public interest. The Commission have called for evidence and are due to deliver their report to the Department by 8 November.
During the Commission's investigation into a merger, it is my practice to forward any representations which I receive to the Commission so that they can take the views expressed into consideration in formulating their report.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps his Department is taking to ascertain that the purchase by Schroders Salomon Smith Barney of a share of Community Hospitals complies with the intent and terms of undertakings given by BUPA at the time of its acquisition of Goldsborough plc. 
Dr. Howells [holding answer 1 November 2000]: The acquisition of 26.8 per cent. of the ordinary share capital of Community Hospitals Group by Schroders Salomon Smith Barney is being considered by the Competition Commission alongside BUPA's proposals to acquire all of Community Hospitals Group. It is for the Competition Commission to consider whether or not either merger operates against the public interest. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry will consider what action, if any, should be taken in the light of the Commission's report.
Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the arrangements by which (a) the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council and (b) the Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Council are made accountable to his Department. 
Dr. Howells: The Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council and the Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Council are, in common with all of the Research Councils, accountable through their Chief Executives to the Director General Research Councils (DGRC) in the Office of Science and Technology of DTI. The DGRC in turn is accountable to the Permanent Secretary of DTI, who is the Accounting Officer for the Department.
Mr. Alan Johnson: Under the DTI's Civil Aircraft Research and Technology Demonstration (CARAD) programme we have maintained close contact with the UK aerospace industry, supported new CARAD projects and implemented important initiatives in key areas of technology. The future funding levels for CARAD will be reviewed carefully alongside the other budgets and priorities supported by the DTI. Details of the allocations for the next three financial years for all DTI budgets, including CARAD, will be announced when the Department publishes its Expenditure Plans Report next March.
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Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what procedures exist in his Department for a civil servant to report actions which (a) are illegal, improper or unethical, (b) are in breach of constitutional convention or a professional code, (c) may involve possible maladministration and (d) are otherwise inconsistent with the Civil Service Code. 
If necessary and if a problem cannot be resolved by other means staff are advised that they may take the matter up with the Principal Establishment and Finance Officer and the Permanent Head of the Department, and that they have a right to have the matter referred to the Head of the Home Civil Service through the Permanent Head of the Department. If a member of staff feels that the response does not represent a reasonable response to their grounds for concern, they may report the matter in writing to the Civil Service Commissioners.
The Department has also designated a senior DTI manager, who has agreed to be available to discuss issues of conscience with any member of staff who may prefer to raise a matter outside the usual channels on a confidential basis.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the implications of Article 15 of the draft Charter of Fundamental Rights for disqualified company directors. 
Article 15 reiterates the right to freedom of movement of workers, freedom of establishment and freedom to provide services in any member state guaranteed by the Treaty establishing the European Community.
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list for each year since the office was established (a) the number of employees and (b) the total running costs of (i) the Office of Telecommunications, (ii) the Office of Gas Supply, (iii) the Office of Electricity Regulations and (iv) the Office of Water Services. 
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