HC Deb 13 March 2003 vol 401 cc362-3W
Llew Smith

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what export licences were given to UHDE Ltd. of Hounslow to export equipment for the Falluja II chlorine plant mentioned in the Government dossier on Iraq's military programmes of September 2002. [102729]

Nigel Griffiths

I deeply regret that previous Administrations have not considered it appropriate to publish information on individual licensing decisions. Information on export licences issued prior to May 1997, where the end users were in Iraq, is not held centrally and a manual search of all the case files would incur disproportionate cost. Details of all relevant export licences since 2 May 1997 are published in the Government's annual reports on strategic export controls. Copies of the 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001 annual reports are available in the Libraries of the House. The 2002 annual report will be published in due course.

The details of this particular case were, however, published in the 1996 report of the inquiry into the export of defence equipment and dual-use goods to Iraq and related prosecutions. The then Vice Chancellor, the right hon. Sir Richard Scott (now the noble Lord Scott of Foscote) concluded that Such equipment as would need, under the contract, to be exported from the UK was not export licensable". A copy of the 1996 Scott report is available from the Libraries of the House.