§ Mr. Benn:
In order to help meet Short's need for additional working capital to finance its current programme the Government has decided to offer the company a loan of up to £3 million; this includes the £1 million interim finance about which I informed the House on 26th July. A supplementary Estimate will be presented in due course for that part of the loan which will be drawn in the current financial year, and advances made as necessary from the Civil Contingencies Fund in anticipation of Parliamentary approval.
I am able to inform the House that the Government of Northern Ireland propose to offer the company a similar loan of up to £3 million subject to the passing of the necessary legislation by the Parliament of Northern Ireland. The Minister of Commerce of the Government of Northern Ireland is, I understand, today making a statement on this subject in 423W Stormont. I welcome this readiness on the part of the Northern Ireland Government to share the cost of assisting Shorts in view of the importance of the company in the economy of the Province.—[Vol. 769, c. 278–9.]