§ Mr. Winnick
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on his examination of the proposal to give, free of charge, consumable stores and vehicles to Hydraulics Research Station Ltd. in the light of the motion in the name of the hon. member for Walsall, North, early-day motion, No. 381.
§ Mr. Heseltine
I have been asked to reply.
The Government's intention to transfer the existing assets of the hydraulics research station to the company that has been set up to take over the station's existing business and to carry it on and develop it in the private sector was set out in my reply of 17 July 1981 to my hon. Friend the Member for Abingdon (Mr. Benyon) and in more detail in my reply of 31 March 1982—[Vol. 21, c. 143]—to my hon. Friend the Member for Welwyn and Hatfield (Mr. Murphy). The Treasury Minute dated 22 March was laid in pursuance of this intention. The consumable stores and vehicles concerned are needed to carry on the existing business of the station. I am satisfied that it would be desirable for the gift to go ahead so as to enable the station to build on its reputation and to develop its business in the freedom of a commercial environment.