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Ministerial Interests

Volume 301: debated on Tuesday 25 November 1997

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To ask the President of the Board of Trade if she will list those (a) companies and (b) industries which in order to avoid an actual or apparent conflict of interst, are not handled by each Minister in her Department. [17068]

[holding answer 21 November 1997]: Ministers in this Government will continue to make public statements about their involvement in specific cases where it is valuable for the conduct of the case to do so; it is not always possible to predict where conflicts of interest will arise. This approach, which reflects that of the previous administration, seeMs to the Government to satisfy the public interest.It has been announced that the Minister for Competition and Consumer Affairs has stood aside from consideration of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission's report on the travel trade and, because of his late father's shareholding, consideration of the MMC's report on P&O/Stena and from papers relating to the European Commission's investigation under the European Community Merger Regulation of the proposed acquisition by Dupont of certain ICI businesses. I did not handle DTI consideration of the recent Rolls-Royce launch aid case to avoid any conflict with my constituency interest.