§ Mr. Maclennan
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 24 June,Official Report, column 350, how he determines whether the market information inquiry service and the overseas status report service are being run at a profit or loss.254W
§ Mr. Garel-Jones
Provisional estimates of the cost of supplying the range of charged information services to exporters suggest that these services are heavily subsidised at present. Work is currently in hand to identify the costs involved in the Department of Trade and Industry in the United Kingdom and in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office overseas in providing individual services. Our aim, in the longer term, is for our pricing structure to evolve to a position where charges and costs are aligned as far as possible, consistent with continuing to provide a high quality service to serious United Kingdom exporters that they regard as good value for money.