§ Mr. Ashdown
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what is the Government's policy to the proposed management buy-out of English Estates;
(2) what guarantees he will require on the future of Chatham dockyards from English Estates before agreeing to any change in the status of English Estates.
§ Mr. Peter Morrison
The Government have received a proposal from the management of English Estates to buy out its assets, but details have not yet been discussed with the board and management of the corporation.
Before agreeing to change the status of English Estates the Government would have to be satisfied that to do so would enhance its ability to continue an effective and responsive factory programme in the assisted areas of England, as well as the re-development of the ex-Royal Navy dockyard at Chatham.