§ Ms. Colquhoun
asked the Secretary of State for Industry (1) when the report commissioned by his Department into the British shoe industry is going to be received by members of his Department's Footwear Industry Study Steering Group;
(2) if he will ensure that, when the report into the British shoe industry is fully considered and discussed by the Footwear Industry Study Steering Group, it is made available for public purchase and discussion and that its recommendations do not remain secret; and if he will make a statement;
(3) if he will hold a top level and urgent inquiry into why a report commissioned by his Department into the shoe industry was leaked to the Press on 16th June, before being seen or discussed by his Department's Footwear Industry Study Group.
Mr. Alan Wiliams
A report on home market and export aspects of the British footwear industry was commissioned by my Department in December 1975 on behalf of the Footwear Industry Study 679W Steering Group. The report is expected to become available within the next two weeks. It will be for the study group to decide how this report, as well as other reports submitted to it, should be handled. I will draw the steering group's attention to my hon. Friend's views. Premature disclosure to the Press of the report commissioned from the consultants is to be regretted, but I am satisfied that these disclosures did not emanate from this Department.