§ 86. Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the Minister of Aviation (1) whether he is aware that Ferranti, Limited are finding difficulties in repaying to the Government their debt of £4½ million; and whether, when allowing them time to repay this debt, he will claim the normal market rate of interest on the amount of the debt left outstanding until such time as repayment has been completed;
(2) whether he is aware that Ferranti, Limited are finding difficulty in repaying to the Government their debt of £4½ million; and what steps he is taking to recover the sum.93W
§ Mr. Roy Jenkins
Negotiations between my Department and Messrs. Ferranti, Ltd. on the terms on which the company should repay the £4¼ million which they have agreed to refund from their profits on Bloodhound I production are still going on. I cannot at this stage anticipate the outcome. So far the company have not been prepared to accept terms which the Government could regard as satisfactory.
The statement by Mr. Sebastian de Ferranti to the effect that he cannot afford to make this repayment over a short period of time must be viewed against the background that his company made a profit £5.77of million on production contracts which it cost them only £7.05 million to carry out and that they have had the use of this money, less the tax paid on it, for some years.