RESPONSE FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND
With regard to the latest timetable for publication
of the draft Bill, I would refer you to the answer given on 14
February to a Parliamentary Question tabled by Dr Jenny Tonge
MP (Cols 139W-140W), a copy of which I enclose (see below).
With regard to the request that the Committee
be allowed to examine the instructions for the draft Bill that
have been sent to Parliamentary Counsel, it has been the consistent
practice of successive Governments not to disclose correspondence
between Departments and Counsel. Disclosure of such correspondence,
including instructions to Counsel, would be a breach of the necessay
confidentiality observed in discussions between Departments and
Counsel regarding the drafting of new legislation. The instructions
for the draft Export Control Bill have not been shown to anyone
outside the Government.
Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for
Trade and Industry what progress has been made by his Department
on the publication of the draft Export Controls Bill.
Dr. Howells: Work is continuing to prepare the
draft Export Control Bill for publication and the Government will
publish the Bill as soon as it is ready. It is not possible at
this stage to give a precise date but we hope to be in a position
to publish the Bill within the next few months.