I propose to take Questions Nos. 25 and 41 together.
Guarantees in respect of an Aids to Private Storage (APS) contract can only be released when either all the beef under contract has been withdrawn from store or the contracted storage period has concluded, and where the Department is satisfied that all the contract conditions have been met.
My Department is holding guarantees from a number of companies in respect of the 1986-87 APS scheme. However, as is normal practice, it would not be appropriate for me to provide specific details of transactions which are the subject of contractual obligations between my Department and individual traders. In my detailed parliamentary reply of 12 April I explained the importance of confidentiality in dealing with the commercial operations of individuals or companies.
In so far as the most recent (1988) APS scheme is concerned, no guarantees belonging to any company have been released to date.