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Steel Industry

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions he has had with the Chairman of Corus plc in the last two months regarding the future of the steel industry. [146661]

Mr. Alan Johnson: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has had a number of discussions with the Chairman of Corus in the last two months on a range of issues. It would not be appropriate to divulge the details of commercially confidential discussions between Ministers and companies.

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent representations he has received from the trade unions regarding the future of employment in the steel industry. [146662]

Mr. Alan Johnson: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry is in regular contact, on a number of issues, with trade unions representing employees in the steel industry. In addition, in November I hosted a meeting with trade unions, metals industry representatives and Government which focused on what all parties could contribute to ensure the future competitiveness of the metals industries, including steel.

Humberside Business Link

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) if he will place in the Library details of the time, place, duration, content and nature of the conversations that took place between A4E and the four unitary authorities of Humberside before the awarding of the Business Link services contract for Humberside to A4E; [145140]

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Ms Hewitt [holding answer 16 January 2001]: The award of contracts for local delivery of Business Link services is an operational matter for the Chief Executive of the Small Business Service. I have asked him to write to my hon. Friend with his response.

Letter from David Irwin to Mr. Kevin McNamara, dated 22 January 2001:






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Climate Change Levy

Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions he has had with ASW/Co Steel with respect to (a) climate change levy assistance, (b) rate reduction and (c) financial assistance. [146049]

Mr. Alan Johnson [holding answer 18 January 2001]: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has received correspondence on the climate change levy and is fully aware of the company's concerns. My officials have also met with the company to discuss the levy and other issues of concern.

FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

Jason Pope

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what contacts he has had with UNITA in order to obtain information about Jason Pope. [144023]

Mr. Hain [holding answer 8 January 2001]: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has raised the case of Jason Pope with UNITA officials many times since Jason's disappearance. This contact has been in accordance with UN sanctions against UNITA with the permission on humanitarian grounds from the UN Angola Sanctions committee.

The last time officials made contact with UNITA representatives to raise Jason's case was in Washington on 9 December 2000. Jason's parents have been informed of this exchange.

We will continue to explore all possible sources of information and assistance to try to establish Jason's whereabouts and the facts of what happened.

Israel (Travel Advice)

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he last reviewed his Department's travel advice in relation to (a) Israel and (b) Jerusalem; and if he will make a statement. [144368]

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Mr. Hain [holding answer 8 January 2001]: The Travel Advice Unit updates its information on each country regularly as circumstances warrant. Our diplomatic missions in each country--in this case, the British Embassy in Tel Aviv and the British Consulate General in Jerusalem--consider changing our advice to British travellers after every significant event involving that country.

Our Travel Advice for Israel was last updated on 22 December 2000. The Travel Advice for Jerusalem was last updated on the same day. The latter advises against all non-essential travel to Jerusalem in the current circumstances.


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