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Departmental Structure

Volume 176: debated on Wednesday 18 July 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans he has for the future structure of his Department.

I am proud to have been given responsibility for this great Department of state. I plan to consolidate recent changes in the Department's structure, building on the fine traditions that the DTI and its precursor Departments have established over two centuries in helping markets work and promoting enterprise.

This Minister has had an easy ride in the Treasury. He has now got a difficult job as Secretary of State for the DTI. His predecessor made a bloomer—he really did—on restructuring, when he said that the best thing to do would be to close down the Department. It is no wonder he has gone. The Secretary of State has to sort out the problems of industry and of the deficit. If he does not sort them out, he will land in the river outside in a concrete suit.

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his warm welcome. I know that he is a star on public service television from coast to coast in the United States. I therefore take his warnings and recommendations very seriously indeed. I shall do all in my power to avoid being immersed in concrete.