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Parliamentary Questions

Volume 949: debated on Tuesday 2 May 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will list those topics on which it is not his practice to answer parliamentary Questions; and if he will list any changes in practice since 1972, indicating in each case the date on which the change was made and the relevant reference in the Official Report.

It is not possible to provide a definitive and exhaustive list of Questions which I might exceptionally decline to answer on grounds other than cost. Each Question will continue to be answered on its merits, but the principal examples of subjects on which I do not answer Questions are as follows:

  • Details of air-miss inquiries
  • Reasons for investigation or non-investigation of aircraft accidents
  • Details of aviation security measures
  • Commercial activities of the Overseas Marketing Corporation
  • Details of export licences
  • Relations between ECGD and individual exporters
  • Matters of commercial confidence including, e.g., statistical information about individual businesses
  • Names of complainants about companies
  • Names of companies being investigated under the provisions of Section 109 of the Companies Act 1967
  • Names of private companies being investigated under the provisions of the Companies Acts
  • Reasons for exercising investigatory powers under the Companies Acts
  • Individual transactions between National Film Finance Corporation and customers and between National Film Development Fund and applicants
  • Day-to-day matters for English Tourist Board
  • Financial support to individual organisers of trade fairs in Britain

Nationalised industries and other statutory corporations

  • Day-to-day matters other than those which raise questions of urgent public importance
  • Statistics other than national
  • Matters of commercial confidence