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Hurriyat Conference

Mr. Woolas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Government of India in respect of the issuing of passports to the proposed delegation to Pakistan of the All Party Hurriyat Conference. [145533]

Mr. Hain: Our High Commissioner in India, Sir Rob Young, has raised this issue with the Indian Government. He has made it clear that we hope the Indian Government will respect the right to travel to All Party Hurriyat Conference members.

Cornish Language

Mr. Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the case for (a) Welsh, (b) Scottish Gaelic, (c) Irish, (d) Cornish, (e) Scots and (f) Ulster-Scots to be specified for the purposes of (i) Part II and (ii) Part III of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. [145868]

Mr. Vaz: The Government are required to apply the provisions of Part II of the Charter in respect of all the languages which meet the Charter's definition of a regional or minority language. The Government have decided to recognise that this definition embraces Welsh, Scottish-Gaelic, Irish, Scots and Ulster-Scots. The Department of the Environment, Transport and the

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Regions is, through the Government Office of the South West, co-ordinating an assessment of whether Cornish also meets the definition, with the help of the findings of an independent academic study completed last year.

The Government have decided that the language whose use in public life should be promoted under the provisions of Part III of the Charter are Welsh, Scottish-Gaelic and Irish.


Carpet Manufacturers

Mr. Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the support provided by his Department for British carpet manufacturers. [145773]

Mr. Byers: My Department is in regular contact with the British Carpet Manufacturers' Association on a wide range of industry issues and, the full range of support schemes operated by the DTI is available to the industry.

More specifically, my Department, through Trade Partners UK, the joint Department of Trade and Industry/Foreign and Commonwealth Office organisation responsible for export promotion, provides export promotion services to the carpet sector, including assistance through Support for Exhibitions and Seminars Abroad (SESA). For instance, we are supporting 15 UK carpet companies who are exhibiting at DOMOTEX in Hanover this month.

Direct Mail

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent representations he has received about the regulation of direct mail; and if he will make a statement. [144957]

Mr. Byers: My Department receives correspondence on matters concerning postal regulation, including some with reference to direct mail. This has included representations on the European Commission draft directive on postal services (where it is proposed that direct mail be subject to the same limits as other mail) and on consumer issues, for example concerning the volumes of unsolicited mail.

Textile Industry (Job Losses)

Mr. Cummings: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many of the workers who were declared redundant at the Dewhirst Clothing Factory in Peterlee have been assisted into work by the Textile Taskforce; and if he will make a statement. [144297]

Mr. Caborn: On 23 March 2000, Dewhirst made 504 staff redundant. It is not the responsibility of my Department to monitor their subsequent employment route but I have consulted colleagues at the Employment Service. Despite an extensive tracking exercise it is not possible to produce definitive figures. The latest information available showed 66 former Dewhirst staff had found employment, 68 were still registered as unemployed and the balance have accessed training opportunities. The protocol established by the North East Textiles Taskforce was immediately brought into effect

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to ensure immediate access to rapid response funding. A strategic response group was set up, led by Easington district council, to co-ordinate the resources available.

Regional Selective Assistance

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list those projects which have been allocated funding from the regional selective assistance originally offered to BMW, indicating the amount given in each case. [144824]

Mr. Caborn: The following is a list of projects which have been approved by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and which will count against the £129 million (originally offered to BMW for investment at Longbridge) which was made available to support good quality projects in the West Midlands:


Estimated costs
Initial actions and administrative uplift for Advantage West Midlands (AWM)300,536
Projects arising from the Rover Taskforce interim report(8),(9):
Modernisation of the automotive base:
Supplier Scheme12,000,000
Extend Autolean250,000
Extend Accelerate1,750,000
Online learning100,000
Promoting regional suppliers250,000
Diversifying the economy:
Attracting inward investment500,000
High tech Corridor study250,000
Support to the workforce:
Publication of a redundancy booklet35,000
Support to families and the community:
Advice Support and Counselling services270,000
Grants offered to firms under the Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) scheme:
H&R Johnson1,600,000
Total approved against the £129 million42,305,536

(7) These figures are based on the Rover Taskforce Interim Report: the supplier scheme has since been re-estimated at £8 million.

(8) Further proposals based on the Rover Taskforce final report are expected to be submitted shortly.

Post Office Network

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what powers he has to require the Post Office to keep open (a) rural and (b) urban sub-post offices; and if he will make a statement. [145897]

Mr. Byers [holding answer 16 January 2001]: Under successive Governments, no Minister has had the power to require the Post Office to keep open sub-post offices. However because of this Government's commitment to the network, the Post Office have accepted a formal

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requirement to maintain the rural network and to prevent any avoidable closures of rural post offices placed on them in my letter dated 17 November to the Chief Executive.

Bass plc

Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations he has received from the Belgian Economics Minister relating to his decision to block the acquisition by Interbrew SA of the brewing interests of Bass plc. [145390]

Dr. Howells: The Belgian Economics Minister, Charles Picque, wrote to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on 8 January raising a number of points about my right hon. Friend's decision on Interbrew's acquisition of Bass Brewers. Mr. Picque argued that my right hon. Friend's decision did not affect the interests of Scottish & Newcastle and that an

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alternative decision could have been taken which would not have penalised Interbrew so heavily. My right hon. Friend will reply as soon as is practicable.

Grant Aid

Mr. Kilfoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry for each year between 1989-90 and 1999-2000, how much DTI grant aid was awarded (a) within each of the regions of England, (b) to Scotland, (c) to Wales and (d) to Northern Ireland. [145208]

Mr. Caborn: A detailed breakdown of the Department's grants by regions is given in the following annexes for the Innovation Budget, for Regional Selective Assistance and Regional Enterprise Grants.

The Department of Trade and Industry does not collate information on a regional basis for other grant schemes and such information could be compiled only at disproportionate cost.

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Innovation Budget

Financial year(9)1989-901990-911991-921992-931993-941994-951995-961996-971997-981998-991999-2000
East Midlands7,19810,2829,0366,7118,1555,2644,3514,1653,2603,7492,787
North East1,4341,1204,9291,7383,0292,0871,0831,8861,1571,0122,278
North West4,9675,8558,1985,5293,1712,2482,3663,2463,8298261,068
South East16,18414,18458,06045,44326,26640,46310,8168,1168,4445,4853,834
South West7,8946,4399,21111,2217,5203,1204,2363,2442,2272,6631,959
West Midlands10,2079,47914,7188,7426,5494,7155,0522,7063,3473,6451,588
Yorkshire and Humberside3,9114,7194,6797,4576,0994,0983,7593,0913,0323,6944,570
Scotland 2,2334,78427,0616,64115,6463,7524,90016,0845,3725,76413,423
Northern Ireland35656950642151529850131059038521
Not Applicable(10)14,89230,41629,68636,22221,13738,13027,81139,71524,69417,10311,598
Work Done Abroad1474246501,38316418167--14219115
Work Being Subcontracted221------24------------

(9) The data have been extracted from the Department's Selective Assistance Management Information System (SAMIS) database

(10) The 'Not Applicable' figures relate to awareness projects, the costs of which benefit nationwide and therefore cannot be broken down further by individual region

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Department of Trade and Industry--Grants--Regional Selective Assistance and Regional Enterprise Grants Expenditure

Financial year(11)1989-901990-911991-921992-931993-941994-951995-961996-971997-981998-991999-2000
East Midlands1,3151,6459949371,4845,2837,24510,53510,5357,0553,982
North East34,40630,04929,12228,81033,60836,39745,25723,63736,78919,98917,477
North West(13)32,92229,06925,53520,26322,26934,11225,10623,84722,22728,23325,571
South East(12)--------369214,1274,0924,3823,2405,020
South West5,0305,1506,4375,8957,2209,1477,5677,5414,4639,3544,160
West Midlands20,14617,5128,72110,73314,35614,79914,24725,43429,81630,59520,569
Yorkshire and Humberside12,61413,82710,77910,25323,74222,99019,63811,18212,74711,9359,785
Northern Ireland(14)127,100132,100138,000105,600117,600132,900131,200137,100156,100153,300133,000

(11) Data have been extracted from the Industrial Development Act 1982 Annual Report for the Financial Years 1992-93 to 1999-2000

(12) Regional Selective Assistance was not available in the East, London and the South East before 1993-94

(13) The figures for the North West include data for Merseyside--these data cannot be broken down further

(14) Northern Ireland operate their own scheme and the grants provided have a different range of financial incentives to those provided in the rest of the United Kingdom

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