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Sanctions (Libya)

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Industry – in the House of Commons at 1:49 pm on 19th March 1997.

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Photo of Mr Anthony Nelson Mr Anthony Nelson , Chichester 1:49 pm, 19th March 1997

No, it is not. I am the Minister accountable for that part of the Department, and I have looked carefully into the allegations that the hon. Gentleman has made. I am satisfied that there has been no deception and no deliberate withholding of documents required for the courts. There are sometimes genuine practical problems in tracing from thousands of files every document that may be needed. I do not deny that there are occasionally mistakes and inadequacies. We attempt to investigate and correct those, and whenever they are apparent we draw them to the attention of the public or of Parliament or, in this case, we draw them immediately to the attention of the courts. I therefore do not believe that the hon. Gentleman's allegation is well founded. Of course there are other aspects in which I know that he has taken an interest, and about which he spoke in the House this morning in connection with trade with Libya. I have noted those with care.