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Harland And Wolff Limited

Volume 960: debated on Friday 15 December 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) how much compensation was paid to a Swiss company because of the termination of Mr. Hoppe's contract of employment as managing director of Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast ; what was the name of the Swiss company ; and what was the extent of Mr. Hoppe's ownership of the company ;(2) whether Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast, set up a special trust fund for the purpose of meeting any financial demands made on Mr. Hoppe during his period as managing director ; how much money was involved ; and how much has been recovered.

Just under £200,000 was paid to the Swiss company, Shipbuilding Services SA, Mr. Hoppe's employers, with whom Harland and Wolff signed the original contract in the days of the former Stormont Government in 1971. From this sum, the Swiss company will have to meet its own legal costs, which I understand are substantial. Details about the ownership of this company are not a matter for me.

The money was paid out of a trust fund of £200,000 which was set up by Harland and Wolff at the time of Mr. Hoppe's appointment in 1971, for the purpose of meeting financial obligations to the Swiss company in the event of termination of the original contract in specified circumstances, not for the purpose of meeting any financial demands on Mr. Hoppe.