HC Deb 11 June 1997 vol 295 cc467-8W
Mr. Cohen

To ask the President of the Board of Trade if she will make a statement on the restrictions on foreign ownership of shares in(a) British Aerospace and (b) Rolls-Royce. [2184]

Mr. Battle

At the time of the privatisations of British Aerospace (1985) and Rolls-Royce (1987), the Government imposed a foreign shareholding limit on both companies. Since 1989, that limit has been set at 29.5 per cent.

Mr. Cohen

To ask the President of the Board of Trade if she will list the payments by the United Kingdom Government to(a) British Aerospace and (b) Rolls-Royce in each of the last five years, indicating in each case the reasons for the payments. [2185]

Mr. Battle

The payments made by my Department to British Aerospace and Rolls Royce in the last five years were as follows.

Launch aid
£ thousand
Bae RR
Payments Repayments Payments Repayments
1992–93 28,600 40,900 0 22,700
1993–94 0 29,400 0 16,600
1994–95 0 19,200 0 19,500
1995–96 0 29,300 0 13,200
1996–97 0 42,710 0 23,600

Launch aid is a repayable but risk-sharing Government investment in specific projects for the design and development of civil aircraft, helicopters and aeroengines in the UK. If the project proves successful HMG will receive repayment of its contribution plus a real rate of return.

Civil aircraft research and demonstration (CARAD)
1992–93 1,749 *4,352
1993–94 1,539 *4,790
1994–95 1,361 5,402
1995–96 2,631 6,075
1996–97 2,224 4,609

CARAD ensures that essential aircraft technologies are available in the long term through an integrated national programme of research. It supports basic and applied pre-competitive research and technology demonstration. (Some of these payments are for extramural research managed by the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency and will include amounts paid by Rolls-Royce and British Aerospace to other research collaborators. An asterisk denotes estimated payments under the extramural programme managed by the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency.)

Innovation and technology support
1992–93 733 470
1993–94 436 442
1994–95 308 647
1995–96 271 307
1996–97 93 163

These programmes encourage UK firms to undertake research and development in collaboration with others, including European partners and academia.

Other Departments, including MoD, may have made payments to these companies; this information is not held by my Department.