asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the action he has taken in relation to a former senior civil servant, Mr. Alan Blackshaw of Friarsbrae, Linlithgow, West Lothian.
As the answer is rather long, I will, with permission, circulate it in the Official Report. I am sending the hon. Member a copy.
May I express my appreciation of the personal attention which the Secretary of State has found time to devote to the problems of my constituent? Does the Minister agree that my constituent left the Department of Energy with an unblemished reputation and a record of excellent service?
I am glad to be able fully to confirm what the hon. Member has said, as the longer written answer that I have circulated makes clear. There was no question of any blame attaching to the senior civil servant. Mis-statements have been corrected by a press statement and recorded in the minutes of the published evidence of the Public Accounts Committee.
Following is the answer:
I am glad to place it on the record again that he resigned from the Department on 10 August 1979 for personal reasons wholly un- connected with the administration of the interest relief grant scheme—there was of course never any suggestion by the Department or anyone in it that any such connection existed. He has also both personally and in the course of the proceedings of the Public Accounts Committee on 31 October received an apology for distress caused to himself and his family as a result of a misstatement to that Committee that an undersecretary in Glasgow had been reprimanded. This misstatement was corrected both in a press statement by the Department on 18 September and in the minutes of evidence taken by the Committee which have since been published.