HC Deb 02 March 1971 vol 812 cc1394-5
Q3. Mr. Sheldon

asked the Prime Minister if he is satisfied with the co-ordination between the Treasury, the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Employment on Rolls-Royce; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir. There continues to be close co-ordination between all Departments concerned with the affairs of Rolls-Royce.

Mr. Sheldon

Since the Minister of Aviation Supply misled this House on 9th December when he said that the £42 million would be given to Rolls-Royce irrespective of the report of the accountants—[Interruption.]—yes, he did; it was on 9th December—what does the Prime Minister intend to do for subcontractors and others who will be forced into liquidation as a direct result of misleading Government assurances?

The Prime Minister

My right hon. Friend the Minister of Aviation Supply dealt with this point fully in his speech on Friday in the course of the day's debate dealing with the matter—

Mr. Harold Wilson


The Prime Minister

With respect to the Leader of the Opposition, my right hon. Friend dealt with it in detail and quoted his original statement which made it clear beyond peradventure. He also explained that he had made a mistake in answering a supplementary question, which he then corrected by writing to the hon. Member concerned. In reply to a later supplementary question, he also made it clear that his original statement was what governed the situation. The position was made quite clear. The Rolls-Royce company and its board were quite clear. Anyone who read the statement in Parliament must also have been clear about it.

Mr. Dalyell

Do the Government have no advice for the sub-contractors?

The Prime Minister

In the debate my right hon. Friend said that most subcontractors will be continuing with the Government-owned firm of Rolls-Royce, in most cases with work which is being carried on. As for the RB211, that remains to be settled as a result of the negotiations which begin today with Lockheed.