HC Deb 31 March 1971 vol 814 cc1474-5
6. Mr. Sheldon

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will now make a further statement on the proposed sale of Thomas Cook & Son.

Mr. Peyton

Not yet, Sir.

Mr. Sheldon

Does the right hon. Gentleman intend to demand a valuation of the assets of Thomas Cook? What will be the basis of that valuation? If he has no valuation, how can he say that bids will be high?

Mr. Peyton

I hope that the Chairman of the Transport Holding Company will be able in due course to provide me with a reasonably good assessment of the value of the assets of Thomas Cook. I hope that the eventual sale will yield a price substantially above any valuation that is likely to emerge.

Sir G. Nabarro

Does my right hon. Friend recall that, between 1951 and 1955, the Tory Party dilly-dallied on the denationalisation of heavy road transport, with the result that, in 1956, the rump of such transport was left in public ownership and never denationalised? Will he, therefore, get on with the Thomas Cook operation, selling upon the open market at the highest price and not wasting a moment in the process?

Mr. Peyton

I assure my hon. Friend that there is no intention in the Government to dilly-dally with the sale of Thomas Cook and Son.