To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will place in the Library (a) a copy of the favourable position notice issued in July by the competition directorate of the European Commission in relation to the exemption of the three-year contracts between British Coal, National Power and PowerGen, (b) a copy of the correction notice issued to that notice in August in relation to the outstanding complaints as regards discriminatory coal pricing and (c) any further correspondence between the Commission and the Department of Energy on this issue.
The notices referred to are contained in the Official Journal of the European Communities dated 31 July 1990—No. C 191—and 13 September 1990—No. C 228—copies of which are already held in the Library of the House.It has been the policy of successive Governments to treat correspondence with the Commission as confidential.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make it his policy to place in the Library a copy of the letter of comfort from the competition directorate of the European Commission, relating to contracts between British Coal, National Power and PowerGen.
My reply of 19 November referred to the letter from the Commission's directorate-general for competition to British Coal. Any release of that letter is a matter for them.