§ 41. Mr. Barnett
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he now expects to be able to make a statement about the future of the Crown Agents.
§ The Minister for Overseas Development (Mr. Timothy Raison)
I refer the hon. Member to my statement to the House on 23 February.
§ Mr. Barnett
Since that statement came out in favour of eventual privatisation, in principle at any rate, of the Crown Agents, and since that was the subject Morgan Grenfell was specifically asked to investigate, will the Minister consider the possibility of making the report available to hon. Members so that we can study it? Secondly, has the Minister reconsidered the answers that he gave the House on Thursday about the need for formal consultation, at least with the 100 or so Third world Governments who use the services of the Crown Agents?
§ Mr. Raison
The report was commercially confidential, and it would not therefore be appropriate to make it available. As I said last Thursday about the views of the Governments who use the Crown Agents, it was well known that we were considering the future of the Crown Agents and there was plenty of time for anybody to make representations if he wished to do so, but at the end of the day the decision was a matter for Her Majesty's Government.