§ Mr. Hanley
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science, pursuant to his written answer of 22 November,Official Report, column 5, whether he now proposes to guarantee the obligations of the Student Loans Company Limited as described in the departmental minute laid before the House on that date.
§ Mr. John MacGregor
A departmental minute was laid before the House on 22 November, describing the contingent liability which would arise if I were to guarantee the obligations of the Student Loans Company Limited under an agreement to lease and a lease on premises in Glasgow. That minute has now been before the House for 14 sitting days. Right hon. and hon. Members expressed an objection to the minute, in early-day motion 55, dated 23 November. The hon. Member for Blackburn has explained the nature of that objection during debates in Standing Committee B. I have considered his arguments. I am now satisfied that it is right in principle to seek to locate the Student Loans Company Limited in Glasgow, on the assumption that a suitable lease can be negotiated. If, therefore, I am asked by a landlord to guarantee the obligations of Student Loans Company Limited under an agreement to lease and a lease, and if I am satisfied that it would be appropriate to do so, I shall give such a guarantee.