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27 Jan 2005 : Column 532W—continued

Fast Patrol Vessel Defender

Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether grant funding, other than the European Regional Development Fund grant to the Maritime Defence Museum (Lowestoft) Ltd. for restoration of the Fast Patrol Vessel Defender, was provided by (a) the Government and (b) the European Regional Development Fund for the acquisition, voyage, maintenance and use of the vessel. [207720]

Mr. Alexander: The only ERDF funding provided was the grant of £58,728 for the project to restore the vessel. There is no indication of Government funding having been provided to the Maritime Defence Museum (Lowestoft) Ltd.

Freedom of Information

Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to her answer of 10 January 2005, Official Report, column 142W, on the Freedom of Information Act, whether private companies are protected from being compelled under the Act to divulge commercial-in-confidence information provided to them by public bodies; and under what circumstances the non-absolute exemption at section 43 can be invoked. [209550]

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Jacqui Smith: The Freedom of Information Act applies to public authorities only, as listed in Schedule 1, specified in section 6, or designated under section 5 of the Act. No Orders have yet been made under section 5. The Department of Constitutional Affairs will shortly hold a public consultation on the scope and use of section 5.

Where a request is received for information which constitutes a trade, secret or the disclosure of which would prejudice, or be likely to. prejudice, the commercial interests of any person, and the balance of the public interest is in favour of maintaining the exemption, section 43 can be applied.

I am placing a copy of the Government's guidance on applying this exemption in the Library of the House.

Inward Investors

Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what statutory obligations exist on inward investors to notify her Department of their intention to withdraw from the UK. [211111]

Nigel Griffiths: Companies, be they foreign or UK owned, have no statutory obligation to notify the Department of their plans to disinvest unless they have been the recipient of regional grant assistance.

Such companies are required to maintain the investment for a period of time after the assistance has been paid. If the project were to close within that time, the conditions of the offer require the grant recipient to inform my Department.

All offers of assistance contain provisions for withholding or recovery of grant if a firm withdraws from an investment.

Wave Power

Mr. Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps are being taken to promote wave power. [211119]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: On 2 August 2004 my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced a £50 million Marine Renewables Deployment Fund that will provide continued support to wave and tidal stream power technologies.

This builds on the £15 million of support for Research and Development provided to the sector since 1999. My Department has also provided £1.2 million towards the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney.

Additionally, the Carbon Trust has invested over £6 million in marine energy projects and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council has a £2.6 million Supergen Marine Programme.

Wind Farms

Mr. Blizzard: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the development of offshore wind farms. [211116]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The UK has some of the best wind resources in the world. It is important that these resources are properly utilised to ensure that the United Kingdom's targets for generating electricity from
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renewable energy sources can be met. The development of offshore wind farms can potentially provide a major contribution to those targets and the Government is committed to ensuring that the right framework is in place to enable projects to proceed where an assessment of their impacts indicates they are acceptable.


Departmental Publications

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many copies of the booklet What the Pre-Budget Report Means for Scotland" have been produced; and at what cost. [210652]

Mrs. McGuire: H.M. Treasury produced 750 copies of the leaflet on What the Pre-Budget Report Means for Scotland" at a cost of £264, or 35 pence each. The total cost for all the twelve regions and countries was £3,172.

Electronic Devices

Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many electronic devices are owned by the Department, broken down by type. [207686]

Mrs. McGuire: The Scotland Office does not maintain a central record of all the electronic devices in use. The information requested therefore could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Freedom of Information

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what categories of information are available under Freedom of Information legislation that have not been provided in written parliamentary answers by his Department in the last three years. [207816]

Mrs. McGuire: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given by my hon. Friend, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs, on 24 January 2005, Official Report, column 140W.


Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the (a) newspapers and (b) periodicals taken by his Department in each year since 1997; and how much the Department spent on each in each year. [207647]

Mrs. McGuire: The Scotland Office was established on 1 July 1999. Detailed records of newspapers and periodicals ordered by the Office each year are not held centrally: some publications may be cancelled and others added to the list.

The current list of publications to which the Office subscribes is as follows:


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Since July 1999, the cost of newspapers, and periodicals purchased centrally by the Office was as follows:

(41)part year

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