HC Deb 07 March 1988 vol 129 c64W
Mr. David Shaw

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish in theOfficial Report the text of his letter of 29 February to the hon. Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Dalyell) about Britoil, referred to in the Official Report, column 1168, on 3 March.

Mr. Lawson

The text of the letter is as followsIn my statement to the House on 23 February I said that the details of the arrangement which the Government had reached with BP were set out in an exchange of letters between BP and the Treasury, and that I was placing copies of those letters in the Library. In response to your subsequent question, I referred you to the letter written by BP After my statement, you raised a point of order to the effect that the undertakings to which I had referred were not set out in the documents. You suggested that this was a gross abuse of the House. Your point of order referred only to the letter from Sir Peter Middleton and not to the letter from Sir Peter Walters, which was of course the letter to which I had referred in my reply to you and which contained BP's undertakings. Both letters were, in fact, deposited in the Library at the same time, and I assume that you overlooked the letter from Sir Peter Walters when you went to inspect the documents. I recognise that your accusation of 'Ministerial abuse of the House' was made in good faith; but it was a very serious charge indeed and one wholly without foundation. I am sure you will recognise that it is only proper that you should set the record straight, in Hansard, by a further point of order.

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