§ Mr. McMahon
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what guarantees were given to Her Majesty's Government by De Lorean Cars Ltd. when it was decided to extend the commercial borrowing by the company for a limited period at a lower level than normal; and what steps Her Majesty's Government intend to take to protect these investments in that company.
§ Mr. Prior
The guarantees given by the Department of Commerce to De Lorean Motor Cars Limited in respect of otherwise unsecured borrowings were for loans of £17 million to the end of 1981. From 1 January 1982 the amount guaranteed was reduced to £10 million, and secured by counter indemnity by the De Lorean Motor Company of New York. The guarantee for £10 million has been called and I understand the joint receivers Sir Kenneth Cork and Mr. Paul Shewell are considering what action they should take against the De Lorean Motor Company.
§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to what extent the Government made an investigation into the financial business and other background of Mr. John De Lorean before granting financial assistance to his company; and whether he will publish details in theOfficial Report.
§ Mr. Prior
The decision to invest in De Lorean Motor Cars Ltd. was made by the previous Administration. Further assistance was agreed by this Government. The Government received monthly management reports and detailed quarterly and annual financial statements relating to the affairs of both De Lorean Motor Cars Ltd. and De Lorean Motor Company of New York, and questions of the personal background and financial standing of the chairman did not arise at that time.