Canlyniadau 101–120 o 1224 ar gyfer speaker:Mrs Sally Oppenheim

Gas Appliances (Report) ( 8 Gor 1981)

Mrs Sally Oppenheim: With permission, Mr. Speaker, I should like to make a statement on the action which the Government have decided to take following the report of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission on the supply of certain domestic gas appliances, published last year. I told the House on 17 June of the public interest findings made by the commission in its report. It considered that the British Gas...

Gas Appliances (Report) ( 8 Gor 1981)

Mrs Sally Oppenheim: This would be a carefully structured and phased programme of withdrawal, with the corporation being required to dispose of half its showrooms within two years, a further quarter in the following year and the remaining quarter in the final two years. The Government will, if necessary, introduce legislation to give effect to this decision. As a counterpart to these steps, the Government are...

Gas Appliances (Report) ( 8 Gor 1981)

Mrs Sally Oppenheim: I shall attempt to answer the right hon. Gentleman in a shorter time than he took to put his questions. First, this is not a party political matter. The reference was made to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission by the Labour Government. The commission is an independent body. Is the right hon. Gentleman saying that a Labour Government, on receipt of a report containing such adverse...

Gas Appliances (Report) ( 8 Gor 1981)

Mrs Sally Oppenheim: I can reassure my hon. Friend on both matters. The Government will, of course, want to ensure that safety is achieved by the observance of codes of practice, either voluntary or statutory if necessary, and by higher standards for appliances, if that proves necessary. Dr. King has confirmed that the connection of gas appliances, except in the case of central heating appliances, 92 per cent. of...

Gas Appliances (Report) ( 8 Gor 1981)

Mrs Sally Oppenheim: As far as I know, in no other country in the free world does the supplier of gas also have a retailing monopoly. There is no justification for it. But that is not what determined the Government's decision. It was determined by the adverse effect of this monopoly on the consumer and, in particular, on consumer choice and price. There is no case of which I know where active competition does not...

Gas Appliances (Report) ( 8 Gor 1981)

Mrs Sally Oppenheim: I can reassure my hon. Friend. The Government are adamant that safety standards should not fall. It is important, however, that anyone connecting gas appliances should follow the codes of practice and exercise care, particularly in initiation procedures. The Government are considering whether the codes should remain voluntary or become statutory and whether higher standards for both...

Gas Appliances (Report) ( 8 Gor 1981)

Mrs Sally Oppenheim: First, the hon. Gentleman is wrong, as are a number of other people, in his assumptions about the consequences for employment. If consumer demand remains at its present level —demand for gas appliances such as cookers has remained level and I would expect it to rise—private sector retailers will meet the demand, and that will benefit those employed in the manufacturing industry. We are...

Gas Appliances (Report) ( 8 Gor 1981)

Mrs Sally Oppenheim: The hon. Gentleman must have misheard me, which is understandable in the circum-stances. It is 80 per cent. of the time that is spent on other activities. Much of this time is spent on emergency work, on safety and installation, and on dealing with suspected leaks. That is carried out not in the showrooms but by the British Gas Corporation separately. Those services will still be maintained...

Gas Appliances (Report) ( 8 Gor 1981)

Mrs Sally Oppenheim: Yes, CORGI will be maintained. It is true that the retailing of gas appliances in France is carried out entirely by the private sector. According to information that I was given recently, in one private sector showroom in France 100 different gas cooker models were available. In this country, within a square mile of an average small city there are 35 different electric cooker models...

Gas Appliances (Report) ( 8 Gor 1981)

Mrs Sally Oppenheim: First, let me reassure the hon. Gentleman. I have had long meetings with the trade unions concerned, meetings which I found valuable and useful. I agree with what the hon. Gentleman said about the unions. They are moderate and responsible; they have a reputation for moderation, responsibility and concern for the public interest, which I respect and of which I had evidence when I met them. Of...

Gas Appliances (Report) ( 8 Gor 1981)

Mrs Sally Oppenheim: The corporation will be in competition with the private sector over the next five years. Only at the end of the five-year period will these activities be phased out. As I have already told the House, in no other country in the free world of which I am aware is there a retail presence by a provider of the main utility. The main reason for the Government's decision is that the Monopolies and...

Gas Appliances (Report) ( 8 Gor 1981)

Mrs Sally Oppenheim: My hon. Friend underestimates the manufacturing industry, for which he is speaking today. I have confidence that the industry will be capable of exploiting the new market that is open to it and of meeting consumer demand and consumer need more effectively than it has in the past. I believe that in the end the industry will welcome this change. It will be to its advantage and to the advantage...

Gas Appliances (Report) ( 8 Gor 1981)

Mrs Sally Oppenheim: I shall not accept any lectures from the hon. Gentleman about who feels concern about employment, as the section of the Labour Party led by the right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Foot) put forward last weekend policies that would create the highest unemployment that we have ever had. Of course one is concerned, but it is not the Government's view that our decision will lead to greatly...

Gas Appliances (Report) ( 8 Gor 1981)

Mrs Sally Oppenheim: Negotiations with the chairman of the British Gas Corporation are a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Energy, but I trust that my right hon. Friend will not have to make those points in such a forceful way. It would be unusual, and I should be surprised, for the chairman of a great public undertaking to seek in any way to frustrate the decision of a democratically...

Gas Appliances (Report) ( 8 Gor 1981)

Mrs Sally Oppenheim: I have read the report thoroughly. I agree that the commission put forward a number of options, but, as I made clear in my statement today arid in the House on 17 June, it is the Government's responsibility to take a decision in the public interest, on the basis of the report of an independent body. The Government have taken this decision to protect the consumer's interest, which, according...

Gas Appliances (Report) ( 8 Gor 1981)

Mrs Sally Oppenheim: The answer to the right hon. Gentleman's first question is that the consumer will not be deprived of the opportunity to buy British Gas appliances. Indeed, the opportunity to do so will be increased instead of being curtailed. If the status quo is allowed to continue, those in the private sector who cannot always obtain what they want from manufacturers, because of the corporation's monopoly,...

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade: Developing Countries (Balance of Trade) (29 Meh 1981)

Mrs Sally Oppenheim: The balance of trade with the developing countries in 1980 resulted in a crude surplus of £672 million

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade: Developing Countries (Balance of Trade) (29 Meh 1981)

Mrs Sally Oppenheim: I agree entirely with my hon. Friend. In 1980 exports to developing countries were 62 per cent. higher than in 1976 while imports were only 29 per cent. higher. It is true that exports of manufactured goods from the United Kingdom to developing countries are at a high level. At the same time, the bulk of imports from developing countries to the United Kingdom are raw materials. In 1980, 40...

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade: Developing Countries (Balance of Trade) (29 Meh 1981)

Mrs Sally Oppenheim: I have noticed exactly the same tendencies as my hon. Friend. Opposition Members, who always try to have it both ways, try to parade compassion for developing countries whenever issues of aid to these countries are raised. At the same time, they demand that we should shut the doors to trade with these countries.

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade: Films Act 1980 (29 Meh 1981)

Mrs Sally Oppenheim: Yes, Sir.


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