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Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what information the Export Credits Guarantee Department has sought from MW Kellogg and Kellogg, Brown and Root with regard to the bribery allegations and investigations taking place in connection with the LNG plant at Bonny Island in Nigeria. 
Mr. Alexander: Given ECGD has no investigatory powers, however ECGD has sought to obtain clarification from the companies on the role and appointment of the TSKJ consortium's agent, the payment of commissions, and to what extent the companies had been in contact with the French and US investigations.
Before underwriting the loan, ECGD obtained written warranties from MW Kellogg and Bonny Project Management Company that they had not and would not engage in any corrupt activity in connection with their contracts.
Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry which research councils allow students from other EU countries to accept studentships for postgraduate study in British universities. 
Ms Hewitt: All those research councils which award studentships for postgraduate study allow students from other EU countries to accept studentships. Eligibility rules do not, however, allow a maintenance award in relation to such studentships to be paid unless the student has a relevant connection to the UK.
Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many people are employed by the (a) Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, (b) Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils, (c) Economic and Social Research Council, (d) Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, (e) National Research Development Corporation, (f) Natural Environment Research Council and (g) Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council; what the running cost of each body was in the last year for which figures are available; and if she will make a statement on the future of each body. 
|Administration costs 200304 (£ million)|
The Government have, in successive Spending Review settlements, affirmed the importance it attaches to science, and to the role of the Research Councils. The Government issued in July 2004 its Science and Innovation Investment Framework 200414, a copy of which is in the Library of the House, and which affirms the Government's commitment to increasing science spending over the longer term.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps she will take to ensure that the activities of legitimate companies are not damaged by Government proposals to ban doorstep selling as a means of dealing with rogue traders. 
The recent public consultation has sought views from stakeholders on a series of possible options to improve consumer protection. The consultation did not put forward the option of an outright ban on doorstep selling but invited views on a ban on cold calling to offer property services, 'with
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possible necessary exceptions'. The purpose of exceptions would be to avoid constraining legitimate traders.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will list directors of the Shareholder Executive, broken down by (a) appointing Department and (b) date of appointment; and what other (i) corporate and (ii) governmental positions each holds. 
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on how many occasions between 31 March 2003 and 31 March 2004 departmental special advisers travelled (a) domestically and (b) abroad in an official capacity; what places were visited; and how much each visit cost. 
Ms Hewitt: Between 31 March 2003 and 31 March 2004, special advisers in the Department of Trade and Industry have travelled abroad on six occasions, at an average cost of £3,012 per trip, visiting Honduras and Cancun, Iraq, and Brussels on official business.
All travel by special advisers is undertaken fully in accordance with the rules set out in the "Ministerial Code and the Civil Service Management Code", copies of which are available in the Libraries of the House.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether departmental special advisers have attended meetings with external (a) bodies and (b) individuals, in their official capacity and without Ministers, since May 1997. 
Ms Hewitt: Special advisers hold meetings with a wide range of external representatives in their official capacity. All such meetings are conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many complaints were made by departmental civil servants regarding the conduct of special advisers between 31 March 2003 and 31 March 2004. 
Mr. Straw: Yesterday, together with my French and German colleagues and Javier Solana, we met Dr. Hassan Rouhani, Secretary General of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, as the first step towards the implementation of the Paris Agreement on nuclear issues. At a separate bilateral meeting I raised with Dr. Rouhani our concern about support for Hamas and Hizboullah.
We are seriously concerned at the material and political support which groups undermining peace in the Middle East through violence draw from inside Iran. The EU has made clear that its relations with Iran can move forward only if Iran takes action to address the EU's political concerns, including Iran's approach to the Middle East Peace Process and terrorism.
Mr. MacShane: Last month's UK-French Summit highlighted the strength of our bilateral relationship. It followed a year of celebrations marking the Entente Cordiale centenary. We agreed to continue working together, to deliver shared priorities on Africa and Climate Change, during the UK's G8 and EU Presidencies next year.
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