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John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the membership was of the energy liabilities committee set up by his Department in 1998; how long it was in existence; and on how many occasions the Committee met. 
Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 11 October 2006]: The energy liabilities committee was formed solely of DTI officials. It existed from 1998 to 2002. Information regarding the total number of meetings held is not readily available.
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the military list classification was of all goods refused relevant export licences in the latest year for which figures are available, broken down by country. 
Malcolm Wicks: The Government publish detailed information on their export licensing decisions, including refused licences, by military list entry reference and destination, in its annual and quarterly reports on strategic export controls. The Government's latest annual report for 2005, is available from the Libraries of the House and at
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will enable access to relevant vibration white finger and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease files by hon. Members to investigate potential fraud in relation to deceased claims. 
Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 11 October 2006]: Measures to counter fraud are built into the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and vibration white finger compensation schemes. The external review conducted in 2005 concluded that these measures were sensible and proportionate. When appropriate, we refer fraud matters to the police. I would encourage hon. Members with evidence of potential fraud to do likewise.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions he has had with the Royal Mail on its decision to propose the closure of Gloucester and Reading sorting offices; if he will publish the evaluation report that made this proposal; and whether environmental factors were included in the report. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: No discussions have taken place on this matter. This is an operational matter for which Royal Mail has direct responsibility. I have therefore asked the chief executive of Royal Mail, Adam Crozier, to provide a direct reply to the hon. Gentleman.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make it his policy to abolish the default retirement age of 65 and enable individuals to decide when to retire; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: We will monitor the default retirement age over the next five years and will review its effectiveness in 2011. If evidence shows it is no longer necessary we will remove it. Among other things, the review will look at the extent to which employees' new right to request working beyond retirement age has created a change in culture which sees far less reliance on the old style cut off for retirement.
Mr. Meacher: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what percentage of gross national product was traded with (a) the EU, (b) the US and (c) the rest of the world for each year since 1980; and what percentage of GNP was traded in each year. 
|(a) European Union 15||(b) United States||(c) Rest of the World||Total|
| Notes: 1. Gross national income is measured at market prices. 2. A geographical breakdown is not available on a consistent basis before 1992. 3. European Union 15 covers trade with Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, the Republic of Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, European institutions, and the ECB. Also including Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia would give figures of 28.3 in 2004 and 29.4 in 2005.|
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information he has on the number of UK registered commercial airlines which have installed smoke detection and fire suppressants in cargo holds. 
Gillian Merron: European Aviation Safety Agency standards, to which most large commercial aircraft comply, require such systems to be fitted to all cargo holds that are inaccessible during flight, with the exception of those compartments where a fire would self-extinguish due to a lack of oxygen.
However, there is no information held by this Department on the total number of UK registered commercial aircraft which have installed smoke detection and fire suppressants in cargo holds, as there is no requirement for all aircraft to be modified in this way.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 13 September 2006, Official Report, column 2262W, on Bembridge harbour, what steps he has taken to secure compliance with the statutory requirement that accounts of the Bembridge harbour improvement company be lodged annually with his Department. 
Dr. Ladyman: The total cost of providing chevron markings and associated signs on both carriageways of the M1 motorway between junctions 26 and 27 in Nottinghamshire was £214,552. This included costs for preparation, works, supervision and a post construction stage three safety audit review.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what basis sites are chosen for the painting of chevron markings on the carriageways of the M1 motorway in Nottinghamshire; and why such markings appear intermittently on motorways. 
Dr. Ladyman: Sites suitable for chevron markings are chosen for two reasons; they have a history of close following accidents and if they match conditions for the use of chevron markings contained in Chapter 5 of the traffic signs manual, as follows:
Chevrons should be at a spacing of 40 m.
They should be laid over a distance of between 3 km and 6 km, 4 km being preferred.
The distance between successive series of chevrons should generally be between 40 km and 55 km.
The start of a series of marking should be at least 1.6 km from the end of a previous entry slip road, and should terminate at least 3.2 km before the next slip road.
Significant gradients (generally not more than 3 per cent.) should be avoided.
Caution should be exercised if using chevrons at flows greater than 4000 vehicles per hour (vph).
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