§ Mr. Bruce-Gardyne
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what sums have been paid or pledged to Messrs. Harland and Wolff Limited from Exchequer resources by way of grants and loans, respectively, in each of the last two financial years and during the current financial year to date ; and if he will set out in the OFFICIAL REPORT the terms and conditions attached to each tranche of financial assistance to date, and the legislative provision under which it was made.
§ Mr. Whitelaw
The information is as follows :
Grants amounting to £2 million were paid by the Ministry of Commerce for Northern Ireland under a scheme of financial assistance, negotiated under the Northern Ireland Industries Development legislation, to provide aid towards losses incurred or expected on certain ship and engine contracts.
A further £12.154 million in grants was paid under the 1971 scheme. I announced in May 1972 that, in addition to the foregoing, assistance would be provided towards the company's expansion scheme at Belfast, known as the P200 project. An agreement was negotiated by the Ministry of Commerce, under the Northern Ireland Industries Development Acts, providing for (a) Industrial Development Grants at the standard capital grant rate amounting to nearly £10½ million ; (b) a long-term loan of £5 million ; and (c) a medium-term loan facility of up to £8 million. The main condition attaching to this assistance relates to the provision of additional employment at the shipyard.240W
Nearly £1.8 million in grants has been paid to date towards the P200 project.
I stated in reply to a Question by the hon. Member for Leeds, South (Mr. Merlyn Rees) on 19th November—[Vol. 864, c. 343–4.]—that the Government had agreed in principle to provide further support to Harland and Wolff to assist the company in overcoming the adverse effects of unexpected difficulties on its production programme.
In addition the company has received assistance by way of standard capital and other forms of grant generally available to the shipbuilding industry in the United Kingdom or to manufacturing industry in Northern Ireland. It is not the practice to give details of such aid going to an individual company.