§ 13. Mr. Sheldon
asked the Secretary of State for Economic Affairs if he will make a statement on the purchase of shares in Cambridge Instruments by the Industrial Reorganisation Corporation.
§ 15. Mr. Barnett
asked the Secretary of State for Economic Affairs if he will make a statement on the support given by the Industrial Reorganisation Corporation to assist George Kent Limited to take over Cambridge Instruments Limited.
§ Mr. Sheldon
As the views of the directors and shareholders concerned have been expressed either by voice or through their transactions in shares, does not my right hon. Friend agree that it is only right that the national interest should be heard and that that interest has been well-expressed by the operations of the I.R.C.? Will he convey the congratulations of many hon. Members to the I.R.C. for the way in which it has acted?
§ Mr. Barnett
In view of the positive approach of the new managing director of I.R.C., arising out of this case, what discussions has my right hon. Friend had with his colleague the Minister of Technology about the workings of the Industrial Expansion Act? Does he now feel that it may not be as necessary to carry out some of the schemes envisaged in that Act?
§ Mr. Shore
My hon. Friend slightly misunderstands the rôles of the Corporation and the Act. The Industrial Reorganisation Corporation is concerned mainly with mergers, whereas the Industrial Expansion Act is concerned with projects which affect single firms. That is the distinction between them, but we are in close touch.