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British Leyland Motor Corporation

Volume 888: debated on Monday 10 March 1975

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14.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will make a statement on his future plans for British Leyland Motor Corporation Ltd.

The team led by Sir Don Ryder is at present conducting, in consultation with the British Leyland management and trades unions, an overall assessment of British Leyland's present situation and future prospects. I have undertaken to report to the House as soon as possible on the team's recommendations and their financial implications.

As there are disturbing rumours that Sir Don Ryder is thinking in terms of 30,000 redundancies, does the right hon. Gentleman foresee a situation in which he can guarantee that there is no likelihood of plant closures as a result of Government assistance?

I invited Sir Don Ryder to undertake these discussions with the management and unions. I have had no report, or forecast of a report. When the Government receive the report they will discuss the matter internally and with the unions and management. However, I have had no indication of the kind that the hon. Gentleman conveyed in his supplementary question.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that industrialists not unconnected with this company consistently argue that politicians who fail should be removed? Does he feel that industrialists who fail should also be removed?

I understand my hon. Friend's general point. The House would be better advised to wait until we have the report from Sir Don Ryder and his team before we jump to conclusions about any solutions which may emerge from it.