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British Materials Handling Board

Volume 990: debated on Monday 4 August 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry on what grounds he authorised his Department's sponsorship of the British Materials Handling Board.

Financial support for the British Materials Handling Board by the Department was authorised by the previous Administration.

Is my hon. Friend aware that the board recently announced its coming into existence in a letter consisting of 20 foolscap sheets to hundreds of British firms, promising the creation of many working groups and offering visits by members and officers of the board to, and I quote—

Order. The hon. Gentleman knows that he cannot quote during Question Time.

I apologise, Mr. Speaker. Does my hon. Friend agree that this quango should have been stifled at birth?

This is not a quango in the accepted sense of the term. The Institute of Materials Handling, which was instrumental in setting up the board, meets in part the financing of the board's activities. I have taken note of what my hon. Friend has said. It might help him to remember that the Government have no plans to extend the funding beyond 31 March 1982.