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Mr. Hood: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the outcome was of the Internal Market, Consumer and Tourism Council held in Brussels on 30 November; and if he will make a statement. 
The Council reached unanimous political agreement on: the General Product Safety Directive (with the UK receiving confirmation from the Commission that there would be no disproportionate burdens on charity shops); the Regulation on data protection within EU institutions; and on technical aspects, apart from the language regime, of the Community Design Regulation.
The Council discussed the proposals for simplifying, clarifying and modernising the public procurement directives on works, supplies and services; work will continue on this dossier. The Council agreed a declaration on Services of General Economic Interest to be sent to the Nice Council and welcomed the Commission's proposals for a European Food Authority, also to be endorsed at Nice.
The Commission gave a progress report on implementation of the eEurope Action Plan; the Council approved the Presidency's report and its list of indicators. Sweden and Belgium outlined Internal Market priorities for their Presidencies and the Commission presented the latest version of the Single Market Scoreboard, which records member states' performance in transposing Single Market directives.
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There was a series of progress reviews on: promotion of consumer confidence in electronic commerce; the Community Patent, where the Commission and a number of member states asked for speedy progress; distance marketing of financial services; and the labelling and traceability of genetically modified organisms. The Presidency reported the results of the Internal Market Forum on 28-29 November, which considered the participation of citizens and business in the Internal Market, and of the Lille conference on tourism and sustainable development.
Ms Kelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will publish the findings of the Department's research into the impact of parental leave provisions on multinationals operating outside Britain, which he commissioned as part of the review of parental leave. 
Mr. Alan Johnson: The Government have published an account of the research and analysis underpinning the Green Paper 'Work and Parents, Competitiveness and Choice'. This draws upon two surveys commissioned by the Department to support the review although neither considers the impact of parental leave provisions on multinationals operating outside Britain. The full survey results will be published in Spring 2001.
Ms Kelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what research he has undertaken to identify the primary factors which influence decisions by women to return to work following a period of maternity leave. 
Mr. Alan Johnson: Research evidence is summarised in the research and analysis paper published to accompany the Green Paper 'Work and Parents, Competitiveness and Choice' on pages 22 to 33. This suggests that the primary factors influencing the decision of women to return to work are the type of employer and job they had before childbirth. The timing of their return is influenced by financial considerations and childcare.
Mr. Alan Johnson: The Postal Services Commission was established on 6 November 2000 under section 1 of the Postal Services Act 2000. It is an independent regulator required by statute to carry out its duties in accordance with the provisions of that Act.
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list each new publication issued by his Department since 1997; and what the total cost is to the Department of each publication. 
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Dr. Howells [holding answer 11 December 2000]: A list of those DTI publications produced since 1 January 1997 that have been notified to my Department's Publications Unit has been placed in the Library of the House. The listing includes the total cost incurred by the Department in publishing, preparation and production of each publication (where notified centrally), and excludes publications produced for internal use. Where the Department makes use of a private sector publisher the publishing, printing and design costs are generally met by the publisher as part of their acceptance of the risks of publication.
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what his Department's spending on official publications was for (a) 1996-97, (b) 1997-98, (c) 1998-99, (d) 1999-2000 and (e) 2000-01; and what the planned expenditure is for 2001-02. 
Dr. Howells [holding answer 11 December 2000]: Excluding its agencies and non-departmental public bodies, the total expenditure on publishing, preparation and production of those official publications, which have been notified to my Department's Publications Unit by individual budget holders, is as follows:
(1) To 7 December
(2) Full year estimate, including proposed publications
These figures exclude the costs of publications produced for internal use. Where the Department makes use of a private sector publisher, the publishing, printing and design costs are generally met by the publisher as part of their acceptance of the risks of publications.
Mr. Byers: The Post Office is working with the High Street banks, other financial institutions, the British Bankers' Association and the Building Societies Association to develop the concept of universal banking services. All those party to the negotiation have seen the Post Office's business case for universal banking.
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Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the requirements on companies to disclose the chemicals which they use in household cleaning products. 
Dr. Howells: The safety of chemical products, such as cleaning products, is governed by the Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations 1994. These Regulations require that manufacturers must assess a chemical product for its health effects (toxicity, irritancy etc.). If dangerous, the product must then be labelled with a warning symbol and phrases indicating the dangers. The particular chemical(s) which cause the product to be classified must be named on the label.
The Regulations also require that all potentially dangerous chemicals supplied to the public must be in packaging which is properly labelled and contains warnings about the potential hazards, and gives brief advice on suitable precautions. Manufacturers or suppliers of cleaning products would also be required to give details of how to use the product safely.
Mr. Edward Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what percentage of school budgets has been allocated to the purchase of reference books in each year from 1992 to 2000. 
Jacqui Smith: We fully appreciate the value pupils gain from using reference books, and have supported the use of books in schools through initiatives such as the Books for Schools and National Literacy Strategy Standards Fund grants which provided a total of £115 million for the purchase of reading books in 1998-99 and 1999-2000. Individual schools, however, are responsible for deciding, within the budgets delegated to them, what provision to make for the purchase of books, and this information is not collected centrally.
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