HC Deb 01 August 1984 vol 65 cc332-3
11. Mr.Tim Smith

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what period he intends to allow for consultations on investor protection legislation after the publication of a White Paper.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Trade and Industry (Mr. Alex Fletcher)

Consultation has been continuing throughout the year, starting with the publication of the Gower report in January, including the debate in the House earlier this month, and culminating in the advice to be received from the group advising the governor, and the insurance group advising me. The White Paper, which I hope will be published in the autumn, will be essentially a definitive statement of the Government's views.

Mr. Smith

Notwithstanding the definitive nature of the White Paper which is to be published, does my hon. Friend agree that it will be necessary, and indeed essential, for City and other interests to be consulted if self-regulation is to be successful against the new statutory background?

Mr. Fletcher

The consultations are currently taking place. When the White Paper is published, people in the City and elsewhere who wish to make representations will be free to do so. Another debate on the White Paper may take place in the House.

Mr. Gould

Is the Minister aware of the growing impatience in the City, which is shared by the Bank of England and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, at his and the Secretary of State's inability even to show which way their minds are working? Will he recognise the growing weight of opinion in favour of the self-standing commission and confirm that that is his preferred option, so that minds can be concentrated on the form that the commission will take?

Mr. Fletcher

My right hon. Friend and I are awaiting with interest the views of the group advising the governor and the insurance group advising me. When we have received their views on the matter, my right hon. Friend will produce a White Paper in the autumn.