HC Deb 17 December 1981 vol 15 c442
11. Mr. Dalyell

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer to what extent the disposal of assets by British Leyland will affect the public expenditure borrowing requirement.

Mr. Brittan

That would depend on the circumstances of any particular case. The recently announced decision of the BL board to dispose of assets in Leyland Vehicles Ltd. was part of its plans to return the BL group to profitability. It results in no additional transfer of funds from the Government to BL or vice versa.

Mr. Dalyell

What instructions has the Chancellor given to senior Treasury officials about co-operating with the Comptroller and Auditor General in his inquiries into the sale of the assets o the Leyland tractor lane at Bathgate?

Mr. Brittan

The Comptroller and Auditor General has access to all the files relating to the Government's dealings with BL, and it is right that he should have it.

Mr. Archie Hamilton

Does my right hon. and learned Friend agree that it is a great tragedy that there is not a far more widespread disposal of assets in BL and that it 'would be a good thing if the whole group were broken up into more manageable units? Does he further agree that it is a tragedy that such an idiotic conglomerate was stuck together in the first place?

Mr. Brittan

It is difficut to jog back and say what might have happened if a different course had been followed in the first place.

Mr. Stan Thorne

What proportion of the money paid for capital assets sold off reflected public investment by previous Governments in BL?

Mr. Brittan

It is not possible to make such a calculation.