HC Deb 09 November 1970 vol 806 cc15-6
11. Mr. Douglas

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the Industrial Reorganisation Corporation's holding in Rolls-Royce Limited.

Mr. John Davies

The Industrial Reorganisation Corporation made a loan of £10 million to Rolls-Royce in May, 1970 to help finance the company's operations. The Corporation undertook to consider a further loan of £10 million in 1971.

Mr. Douglas

What overtures did Rolls-Royce make to the City before it undertook to get this loan from the I.R.C.? Will the City provide the further £10 million rather than its coming from public funds?

Mr. Davies

I am unable to say what dicussions the Rolls-Royce company entered into with the City. I am aware only of those arrangements entered into by the I.R.C. I am conscious that discussions are at present being undertaken in the City on this subject.

Mr. Benn

Will the Secretary of State confirm what he said a moment ago, namely, that the second £10 million would be a sum which could be paid under launching aid without being related to any particular engine? Does this extend beyond the aircraft industry to other industries as well?

Mr. Davies

The second £10 million is one of the commitments of I.R.C. which the Government have plainly said that they will honour, consequently it would not necessarily fall to be considered within the framework of launching aid.