§ Mr. Hal Miller
asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he has issued any directions to BL Ltd.
§ Sir Keith Joseph
I have today laid before the House a copy of a direction I have given to the National Enterprise Board under section 7 of the Industry Act 1975, requiring it to provide BL with the funding set out in my statement of 20 December 1979. This is in recognition of the fact that the then newly-appointed board had not had time to consider the BL 1980 corporate plan or comment on its funding proposals. As I said in my statement, the funding will take the form of the conversion to equity of £150 million of loans, the provision of £150 million in728W new equity, and up to a further £150 million on which BL could draw on evidence of need. These are all sums requested by BL in line with its corporate plan financing requirements for 1980–81.