To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his answer of 18 April, Official Report, column 570, to the hon. Member for Linlithgow, if he will make a statement on the progress of the formal discussions about Europe's role in the refurbishment of the Hubble space telescope, planned for 1999. 
Representatives of the European Space Agency and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration met on Thursday 27 June 1996 to discuss the ESA contribution to the Hubble space telescope refurbishment mission due in 1999. It was agreed that ESA will provide the solar array drive mechanism in return for 15 per cent. of observing time being allocated to European groups.