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"Envoy" and "Czar": Status

Lord Patten asked Her Majesty's Government:

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The Minister of State, Cabinet Office (Lord Falconer of Thoroton): The only civil servant with the official title of "Envoy" or "Czar" is Alex Allan, the e-envoy. He has a remit to drive forward e-commerce policy in the United Kingdom, and to represent the UK's e-commerce interests internationally. My answer of 9 March (Official Report, col. WA 157) set out his reporting lines.

Prime Minister's Official Spokesman: Strategic Communications Unit

The Earl of Northesk asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by Lord Falconer of Thoroton on 23 March (WA 36), whether, given that the Prime Minister's official spokesman is responsible for the Strategic Communications Unit, he receives any remuneration as a result from the unit's budget.(HL1768)

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: No.

Prime Minister's Official Spokesman: No. 10 Internet Site

The Earl of Northesk asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answers by the Lord Falconer of Thoroton on 28 February (WA 45) and 23 March (WA 36), to what extent the responsibility of the Prime Minister's official spokesman for the Strategic Communications Unit confers editorial control over the 10 Downing Street website which is in the hands of three established civil servants.[HL1769]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: The Prime Minister's official spokesman has overall responsibility for the No. 10 internet site. Day-to-day editorial control is in the hands of civil servants in the Strategic Communications Unit.

Strategic Communications Unit

The Earl of Northesk asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by Lord Falconer of Thoroton on 25 January (WA 189) and 23 March (WA 36), whether the stated membership of the Strategic Communications Unit as being eight civil servants including two special advisers takes account of the Prime Minister's official spokesman's responsibility for the unit.[HL1770]

20 Apr 2000 : Column WA138

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: No. The replies referred to do not include the Prime Minister's official spokesman.

Special Advisers: Commercial Interests

The Earl of Northesk asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the external commercial interests, insofar as they may exist, of special advisers employed by the Government are required to be declared; and, if so, to what extent they are subject to appropriate public and parliamentary scrutiny; and[HL1870]

    Whether any of the special advisers working in 10 Downing Street have any external commercial interests which would give rise to either an actual or a perceived conflict of interest with their duties in the formulation of government policy.[HL1871]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: Special advisers--like all civil servants--are required under paragraphs 4.3.8 and 4.3.9 of the Civil Service Management Code to declare to their departments any business interests or share holdings which they or members of their immediate family hold, to the extent which they are aware of them, which they would be able to further as a result of their official position. They must not be involved in taking any decisions which could affect the value of their private investments, or the value of those on which they give advice to others, or use information acquired in the course of their work to advance their private financial interests or those of others.

UK Online Initiative

The Earl of Northesk asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they are confident that their UK Online initiative will not be confused with the Internet service provider of the same name.[HL2028]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: The Government plan to to use UK Online to brand its new personalised portal and to brand its internet access initiatives aimed at individuals and small and medium-sized businesses.

The Government have made clear that they have no plans to compete with the service provided by the Internet Service provider currently trading as UK Online.

The Earl of Northesk asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they have received any representations about their use of the phrase UK Online as the name for their initiative to offer government services over the Internet; and, if so, what form they have taken.[HL2029]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: Grahame Davies, the Group Managing Director of Easynet PLC, wrote to

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Patricia Hewitt, the e-Minister, on 31 March about the Government's intention to use the phrase UK Online to brand its planned new portal and its Information Age access initiatives.

Central Government Audit

Lord Grenfell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What progress has been made in taking forward the review of central government audit announced by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on 28 February.[HL2180]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: I am pleased to announce that Lord Sharman, a former senior partner at KPMG International, has agreed to lead this review. Lord Sharman will report to (as well as being a member of) a steering group chaired by the Chief Secretary. Arrangements are being made to provide him with the appropriate support. The full membership of the steering group will be announced in due course.

Hotel Accommodation: VAT

Baroness Anelay of St. Johns asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What are their plans to reduce VAT on hotel accommodation in line with the rates charged by other member states of the European Union.[HL2115]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Government have no plans to reduce the rate of VAT on hotel accommodation.

ECOFIN Exchange Rate Discussions

Lord Shore of Stepney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What discussions the Chancellor of the Exchequer has with fellow Ministers in the Economic and Finance Council of Ministers (ECOFIN) about the misalignment of the exchange rate of the pound and the euro; and whether the Chancellor or the Governor of the Bank of England has had exchanges with the President of the European Central Bank on this and related matters.[HL2087]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Chancellor of the Exchequer meets regularly with other Finance Ministers in the Economic and Finance Council of Ministers (ECOFIN), and a wide range of macroeconomic issues are discussed. Similarly, the Governor of the Bank of England meets regularly with the heads of other major central banks, including the President of the ECB.

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Industry: Gross Output Figures 1948-99

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish the gross output figures for the United Kingdom in £ million at 1948 prices showing the changes that have occurred in the industries specified below from 1948 to latest available date in 10-year steps: coal mining; steel production; shipbuilding; agriculture; motor vehicle manufacture; and textiles.[HL2120]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Director of the Office for National Statistics, who has been asked to reply. Letter to Lord Marlesford from the Economic Statistics Director of the Office for National Statistics, Mr John Kidgell, dated 19 April 2000.

The Director of the Office for National Statistics has been asked to reply to your recent question on gross output figures. I am replying in the Director's absence.

Gross output figures for agriculture, forestry and fishing are shown below, at 10-yearly intervals, in £ million at 1948 prices. These figures have been derived by applying movements in the index of output for agriculture, forestry and fishing to the 1948 gross output level. This is the only industry for which it has been possible to provide data at 1948 prices.

Agriculture, forestry and fishing

Year£ million (1948 prices)
1948642
1958794
19681,047
19781,296
19881,678
19981,821
19991,873

Gross output figures for all industries except the agriculture industry have been obtained by applying indices of output of the production industries to 1995 gross output base figures. These figures are shown in the attached tables.


Gross output figures for the coal industry, at ten-yearly intervals, in £ million at 1995 prices.

Yearcoal--£ million (1995 prices)
194817,493
195817,792
196812,525
19787,496
19885,769
19981,939
19991,743

Without incurring significant expense it is not possible to obtain data prior to 1978 in respect of the shipbuilding, textiles and motor vehicle manufacture industries. The same is true for the iron and steel industry before 1983. Annual figures are shown below.

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Gross output figures for Textiles, Iron and Steel, Motor Vehicles and Shipbuilding.

YearTextilesIron and SteelMotor VehiclesShipbuilding
Figures are in £ million at 1995 prices
197813,33925,6534,439
197912,96823,6884,157
198010,88420,6743,900
19819,95416,5854,061
19829,71415,9704,333
198310,9335,77816,7673,908
198411,2755,10716,0463,632
198511,7796,15416,9283,193
198611,5816,46516,0033,048
198712,2007,63917,4012,776
198812,2968,63920,0663,452
198911,9858,65521,1573,388
199011,7378,17619,4792,934
199110,6037,64817,3502,852
199210,5877,40017,7032,348
199310,5077,69817,7602,196
199410,5958,04119,1122,245
199510,1708,21220,3131,986
19969,9658,30121,4542,470
199710,0498,62021,4012,245
19989,3557,93922,3852,371
19999,0327,60922,6842,619


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