HC Deb 19 November 1970 vol 806 c481W
Mr. Rost

asked the Minister of Aviation Supply in what circumstances a refund of the sum of £231,386 has recently been made to Rolls-Royce Limited.

Mr. Corfield

When defence equipment is developed at Government expense there is provision for the payment of a levy on the proceeds of sales of the equipment to other customers. Under these arrangements Rolls-Royce in 1968 paid the Ministry of Technology £542,275 in respect of certain sales of Thor Ramjet engines to other Governments.

The Company subsequently represented that the rate of the Government levy had proved far beyond what the market would bear in these cases and that a substantial loss had in fact been made. After verification of this from examination of the Company's actual costs and receipts, the Government decided that, in all the circumstances, it was fair to reduce the amount of that loss by repaying part of the levy, amounting to £231,386. As it had not been possible to make provision for this payment in Estimates, it was made, in August, 1970, from the Civil Contingencies Fund. A Supplementary Estimate will be presented to the House in due course.