§ Mr. McMaster
asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs if he will now announce the names of the consultants appointed by the Government to study the affairs of Short Brothers and Harland; and what will be their terms of reference.
§ Mr. George Brown
I have decided, in agreement with Short Brothers and Harland Ltd., to appoint Messrs. Arthur D. Little for this assignment. As I informed the House on 2nd February, the task of the consultants is to carry out a comprehensive review of the company's potential, to report on the scope which may exist for redeploying the company's resources and to recommend measures for effecting redeployment so as to make the maximum contribution to the sound development of the Northern Ireland economy. It is not intended to prejudge the company's place in the aircraft industry, which the Plowden Committee will be considering. It will not, therefore, be part of the consultants' review to advise on the level of aircraft and allied orders to be placed with the company in the future.