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Written Answers

Volume 413: debated on Thursday 9 October 1980

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Written Answers

Radio Interference: Illicit Use Of 27 Mhz Frequency

Whether they will state, by categories of the various services affected, the extent of the interference with such services resulting from the present illegal use of the 27·5 MHz frequency by an estimated 300,000 users.

The illicit use of the 27 MHz frequency band for speech transmissions has caused interference to the following radio services: Model control, hospital paging, television reception, fire service communications and police communications. Information concerning the extent of the interference to each service is not readily available.

Sensitive Technology And Credit Terms: Ussr

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will make a statement on any agreement that has now been reached with our allies on the tightening of controls over the export of sensitive technology and limitation of credit terms to the Soviet Union.

Discussions are continuing with our allies on the strengthening of the controls over the export of sensitive technology to the Soviet Union. It is not possible to say when agreement will be reached on the highly technical proposals involved. In common with our COCOM partners the Government have already tightened the controls by imposing a freeze on these applications relating to the Soviet Union that would require the prior approval of COCOM.Credit support is available for exports to the Soviet Union on a case-by-case basis in line with the internationally agreed OECD Consensus. The interest rates applicable to the Soviet Union and other countries in the same category were increased by ¾ per cent, with effect from 1st July.

Bnoc: Revenue Bond Scheme

Whether they will make a further statement about their plans for the British National Oil Corporation?

In his earlier public announcement about the future of the British National Oil Corporation my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Energy said it was the Government's intention to give the British public the fullest possible opportunity to share the benefits of the nation's oil wealth, although at the same time we have to maintain the arrangements we now have for maximising the nation's security of oil supply. Today my right honourable friend is announcing how we will proceed. First we will be proposing to Parliament that the forthcoming legislation on the future of the corporation should contain powers to enable the public to have a direct equity stake in the BNOC's North Sea business.It will be a formidable task to unravel the arrangements that our predecessors left. But it is a task to which we will give the closest attention in the period ahead. Meanwhile we also plan to offer the wider public who do not yet customarily buy shares an opportunity for a direct stake in the benefits of the North Sea. We will do this through the creation of a revenue bond scheme linked to BNOC's commercial fortunes and performance. Members of the public who buy these bonds will be entitled to interest payments linked directly to the revenues from specified BNOC fields. The return to the holders will thus be dictated by the level of BNOC's oil production and the price of oil. And savers will be able to buy these bonds in small denominations, and cash them in at any time. This will be a further opportunity for the British public on a very wide I scale to share in the risks and rewards of their enterprise. And the bonds which we propose to create in this way will provide a unique investment medium for the small saver.House adjourned at four minutes past eleven o'clock.