HC Deb 23 July 1979 vol 971 cc20-1
23. Dr. McDonald

asked the Secretary of State for Industry when he expects next to meet the chairman of the National Enterprise Board.

Mr. Adam Butler

My right hon. Friend meets the chairman frequently.

Dr. McDonald

In view of the report in today's Financial Times that many companies face either severe financial difficulties or collapse in the coming months, will the Minister encourage the National Enterprise Board to take over or to assist such companies? Alternatively, will the Government simply allow them to go to the wall with the consequent loss of jobs?

Mr. Butler

I am not sure to which report the hon. Lady refers. The present state of British industry is due to the past five years of Labour government.

Mr. Hal Miller

At the Minister's next meeting with the chairman of the NEB, will he discuss the corporate plan for British Leyland which was lodged in the Library on 2 April? Does he expect that there will be any changes in that plan as a result of Government decisions?

Mr. Butler

The corporate plan for 1978 has been discussed. We shall in due course be discussing the corporate plan for 1979. Decisions for that period will have to be made then.

Mr. Christopher Price

What is the Government's intention in relation to United Medical Enterprises, which is owned by the NEB? Is the Minister aware that its previous managing director has gone to work for its principal American competitor? Do the Government intend to sell that company into foreign hands?

Mr. Butler

The future of that company is a matter for the NEB management, working within the policy which was enunciated recently in the House by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State.

Mr. John Evans

When the Minister next meets the chairman of the NEB, will he ask him to agree with the previous Government's policy that Inmos should build four production units for microprocessors in assisted areas of the United Kingdom?

Mr. Butler

The future of Inmos and the location of plant is a matter for the NEB. We have made it clear that there is a contractual commitment to invest money in that company. Therefore, I imagine that the decisions can go ahead.

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