HC Deb 09 February 1981 vol 998 cc597-8
22. Mr. Richard Shepherd

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what proposals he has to increase the use of Prestel/Viewdata services in the public sector.

Mr. Kenneth Baker

In Prestel/Viewdata we have a world lead, and I wish to ensure that effective uses are found for this in the public sector as soon as possible. I have put in hand in the Department a pilot scheme linking London and the regional offices which should go live this summer. Other trial projects are in hand, and I have an operational set in my own office.

Mr. Shepherd

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that answer. What steps are the Government taking to encourage exports of these systems?

Mr. Baker

As I have said, this is a skill in which Britain literally has a world lead. We have a better system than the French or Canadians, and the Americans do not have one. I am considering various proposals for exploiting this advantage overseas. So often in the past British technology has not been exploited and marketed in the way that it should have been.