§ Mr. Baker
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, pursuant to his answer of 12 March 1999,Official Report, column 403, what account he took of (a) the Government's information policies and (b) the implications for public confidence in the Government's policies on biotechnology of his decision not to reveal details of meetings held between Ministers in his Department and representatives of biotechnology companies. 
§ Mr. Battle
Ministers and civil servants meet many people as part of the process of policy development and analysis. All such contacts are conducted in accordance with the "Ministerial Code", the "Civil Service Code", and "Guidance for Civil Servants: Contacts with Lobbyists". Some of these discussions take place on a confidential basis, and in order to preserve confidentiality it is not the normal practice of Governments to release details of specific meetings with private individuals or companies.