HC Deb 08 July 1991 vol 194 cc635-6
8. Mr. Murphy

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what plans he has to meet representatives of ICI in Wales to discuss Government assistance towards its future investment policy.

Sir Wyn Roberts

My right hon. Friend met ICI representatives on 23 January when he visited the plant at Pontypool. We are always ready to discuss assistance towards any investment project which ICI may wish to put forward.

Mr. Murphy

The Minister of State is aware that more than 1,000 Welsh men and women work for ICI and that many thousands more are ICI pensioners, all of whom are deeply suspicious of a possible Hanson bid for ICI. As the Secretary of State has been untypically silent about what should happen about the bid—as he is again today—does not the Minister think that either he or his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State should make a statement in the House condemning such a bid, or do they both continue to play the role of Pontius Pilate while a vital aspect of Welsh industry is under threat from such a predator as Lord Hanson?

Sir Wyn Roberts

The hon. Gentleman knows only too well that no takeover bid for ICI has been made. It would be wholly inappropriate to make a statement about a hypothetical situation. The hon. Gentleman referred to pensioners, and that issue is very much a matter for the trustee company and its directors who administer the fund under the trust deed. On 3 July my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry replied extremely well to the hon. Member for Redcar (Ms. Mowlam), and I can add nothing to what he said then.

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