asked the Secretary of State for Industry, further to his reply to the hon. Member for Surrey, North-West, of 17 December, for which of the new or additional shareholdings of the National Enterprise Board acquired since 3 May the Board sought his approval and of which it gave him prior notice.
The right hon. Member for Chesterfield (Mr. Varley) gave his approval under section 10 of the Industry Act 1975 to the Board acquiring new or additional shareholdings in BL Ltd., British Underwater Engineering Ltd., Data Recording Instrument Co. Ltd., Insac Group Ltd., Nexos Office Systems (Holdings) Ltd., and Yates Duxbury Ltd. My right hon. Friend gave his approval under section 10 of the Industry Act 1975 to the Board acquiring new or additional shareholdings in Cambridge Instrument Co. Ltd., Exelarc Engineering Co. Ltd., QI (Europe) Ltd., and Rolls-Royce Ltd. The Board gave my right hon. Friend notice of its intention to acquire new or additional shareholdings in Agemaspark Ltd., ASR Servotron Ltd., Bull Motors Ltd., James Howorth Ltd., Inmos Inter national Ltd., Innotron Ltd., Microform Communications International Ltd., Middle East Building Services Ltd., Momex (UK) Ltd., Muirhead Office Systems Ltd., Nexos Office Systems Ltd., Sinclair Radionics Ltd., Sonicaid Ltd., and Thermax Ltd. In these cases the Board was acting either under its own statutory powers or within statutory approvals given by the right hon. Member for Chesterfield.
asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether there is any limit to the number of projects for which the National Enterprise Board may invest sums of up to £10 million in British Leyland Ltd. without either seeking his approval or informing him of its intention, as laid down in paragraph 13 of the draft guidelines for the National Enterprise Board.
The draft guidelines will not take effect until after the Industry Bill is enacted, but the substance of the relevant provisions of paragraph 13 of the draft is in paragraph 9 of the current guidelines.Any investment by the Board in BL Ltd. would have to be contained within the public expenditure provision approved by the Government for this purpose. In addition, any investment by the Board in the shares of BL Ltd. would require the consent of my right hon. Friend under section 10(1)(
b) of the Industry Act 1975.
asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will define more clearly the phrase development or exploitation of advanced technologies in paragraph 4 (ii) of the draft National Enterprise Board guidelines; and if he will list the industries included in his definition.
I have nothing to add to my right hon. Friend's statements of 19 July—[Vol. 970, c. 2005–16]—and 6 November—[Vol. 973, c. 240–60].