§ Mr. David Porter
To ask the President of the Board of Trade when his Department was first informed of the 711W closure of the P and O ferry service from Felixstowe to Zeebrugge; what steps his officials took to assess the impact of the closure on the economy of Suffolk; and if he will now make a statement. 
§ Mr. Oppenheim
[holding answer 6 November 1995]: My Department was first made aware of the closure of the Felixstowe to Zeebrugge ferry service on 27 September. While regrettable, the closure of the service is a commercial matter for the company. The Government office for eastern region monitors the state of the economy in Suffolk but no separate assessment has been made of the impact of the closure of the ferry service.
Felixstowe is this country's largest container port. It is expanding and only two weeks ago exceeded its own container handling records. I have no plans to make a statement.