HC Deb 17 October 1994 vol 248 c18
26. Sir Trevor Skeet

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the Government have done to investigate the opportunities to improve services provided to the public presented by information superhighways.

Mr. Robert G. Hughes

A consultative document on the information superhighways was published in June of this year. I can tell the House that my Department will co-ordinate a pilot Government information service using the Internet to gauge the interest in receiving information electronically.

Sir Trevor Skeet

I am obliged to my hon. Friend the Minister. What response has he had to the document since June? Which aspects of public life are likely to be affected? Will it be medical, retail or banking?

Mr. Hughes

A total of 2,700 paper copies of the report have been requested, but at the moment we do not have information available about how many have been requested—(Interruption.] Clearly, Opposition Members do not understand the Internet. We do not yet have information about how many copies were requested electronically. After all, I am sure that Opposition Members would not want to delay information being placed on the Internet simply to put that technology into place. Opposition Members are silent now. The Internet, and the availability of information over the Internet, can bring better and faster information to people in all the areas mentioned by my hon. Friend the Member for Bedfordshire, North (Sir T. Skeet) to improve the delivery of public services.