HC Deb 17 July 1923 vol 166 cc2055-6

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury the terms on which the Government interest in the Hoffman Manufacturing Company were acquired and subsequently sold; and whether the transaction resulted in a profit or a loss?


As the answer to this question is rather long, I will, if the hon. Member will allow me, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the answer:

This factory was acquired during the War on the terms set out in my predecessor's reply of the 15th February, 1922, to the hon. Member for Wigan (Mr. Parkinson). It would not be in the public interest to disclose the precise terms of sale, but I may say frankly that they involved a pecuniary loss. Against this must be set several considerations on which it is impracticable to place an exact money value, such as the importance of keeping down the price of ball-bearings and effectually controlling and extending their manufacture—both on this property and elsewhere—during the War period. The recent sale of the Government's assets was made after reference to all parties known to be interested and after extensive public advertisement. The price received is, under existing conditions, considered satisfactory, being in excess of the reserve price.