HC Deb 24 July 1990 vol 177 cc122-3W
Mr. David Shaw

To ask the Attorney-General if he will make a statement on the achievements of the Lord Chancellor's Department in helping small businesses over the last 12 months as against the previous 12 months; and if he will publish the performance indicators by which his Department monitors these achievements and the statistical results of such monitoring.

The Attorney-General

The Government have continued to place a high priority on helping small businesses through improvements to the business climate, through deregulation and other measures, and through specific programmes of support and assistance.

The Lord Chancellor has implemented a number of policies designed to ensure that all litigants enjoy the greatest possible quality and speed of service from the civil courts. However, as these policies are not specifically targeted on small businesses, no performance indicators are kept in this regard.

The Lord Chancellor's Department has continued to encourage the use of small businesses as suppliers in line with the Government purchasing initiative. Within the last 12 months guidance issued by the Department of Employment—Central Unit on Purchasing has been circulated to all purchasing and supply staff, and there has

Item To whom allocated Conditions—wishes expressed
Collection of Anglo-Saxon and medieval coins Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge Conditional
Collection of modern paintings Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Cumbria Conditional
"Allée à Chantilly" by Cezanne National Gallery Wish to go to the National Gallery expressed
Painting by van der Heyden National Gallery Conditional
Woodcut by Edvard Munch University of Manchester-Whitworth Art Gallery Conditional

Items awaiting allocation Date of acceptance
"Farm Cart with Horse in Harness" by Constable 14 February 1990
Harpsichord 14 February 1990
"Richmond près Londres" by Corot 29 March 1990
Portrait by Beechey 20 April 1990
Painting by Lucas de Heere 20 April 1990
Two portraits by Gainsborough, one by Rubens and a landscape by Seghers 20 April 1990