HC Deb 06 March 1995 vol 256 cc19-20
39. Mr. Ian Bruce

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what steps his Department is taking to help with the introduction and use of the information super-highway.

Mr. Horam

We are leading and co-ordinating its use by Government Departments, stimulating public discussion on super-highway issues and, at an international level, leading a G7 pilot project on "Government on-line".

Mr. Bruce

I congratulate my hon. Friend on his journey from highways to super-highways and thank him for his answer about the Government's involvement in the Internet and on using that technology. Has he seen the report that came out of the G7 conference? The first two points that it suggested were dynamic competition and private investment in the Internet. Does he feel that the Government's role is to be an enthusiastic customer of that technology so that they give the encouragement for the investment that we need from private industry to get in and provide the networks?

Mr. Horam

Yes, I entirely take the point that my hon. Friend made. The Government should be a demonstrator of the value of the Internet. My hon. Friend will be pleased to know that, when I walked into my office this morning, I noticed that I could call up the Internet on my PC. I was also pleased by that.