asked the Secretary of State for Employment when he now expects to have replies from all nationalised industries and other public bodies to his request for details of their policies of racial equality in employment; and whether he will give the names of those industries or bodies which failed to reply by his original deadline of the end of 1978.
The approaches to the public bodies concerned were made through the responsible Departments and took place over a period of several months extending well into the autumn. These bodies were asked to undertake a review of their racial equality policies and that, of course, takes time. In some cases the review has revealed to the public bodies concerned the need for further action and this is being pursued prior to the issue of a substantive response to our request. I think it right to encourage positive action of that kind. As I said in my reply to my hon. Friend the member of Coventry, North-East (Mr. Park) on 15 December 1978, where replies appear to be overdue the responsible Departments have been asked to pursue the matter urgently.—[Vol. 960, c. 417.]