§ Mr. Charles R. Morris
asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he will list the Commonwealth and non-Commonwealth Governments who were consulted about the implications of clause 76, selling of shares in Cable and Wireless Ltd., of the British Telecommunications Bill, prior to Second Reading of the Bill on 2 December 1980; and what was the reaction of the governments consulted.
§ Mr. Adam Butler
[pursuant to his reply, 8 December 1980]: The Government initiated consultations last month with the Governments of the 30 or so countries, including Commonwealth countries, associated States and dependent territories in which Cable and Wireless provides telecommunications services under a franchise, on the basis that Her Majesties Government were including in the British Telecommunications Bill powers to enable shares in Cable and Wireless to be sold, but that no decision had been taken. The Government have undertaken that no final decision will be made without seeking the view of the Governments concerned. Reactions so far have been limited.