asked the Secretary of State for Industry what is the total of aid to private industry from public funds other than under the Industry Act 1972 since 1st March 1974, such as regional employment premiums, research and development, project launching aid, &c.
About £400 million net of repayments.
Does my hon. Friend agree that where there is massive public support for a private industry, public accountability should be extended? Is he aware that the proposals in the Industry Bill will be warmly welcomed on this account on the Government side of the House?
I am delighted to hear what my hon. Friend says about our proposals in the Industry Bill. That is the whole point of the Bill—that the money that we spend should be the subject of accountability both to the House and to the country as a whole.
Can the hon. Gentleman give, for the same period, the amount of aid from private industry to public funds?
I am afraid the hon. and learned Gentleman will have to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer that question.