asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will list the statutory powers that require him to approve, or enable him to prevent, the sale of subsidiary companies by the British Steel Corporation; and whether he has yet received any approach on the exercise of these powers from the corporation in connection with the sale of Redpath Dorman Long to the Dutch company De Groot or any other bidder.
The Secretary of State has no powers to prevent the sale of subsidiary companies by the British Steel Corporation, nor do BSC require his consent for such disposals. He does, however, have the power, under section 4(5) of the Iron and Steel Act 1975, to direct the BSC to dispose of assets which are not used in the production of iron and steel. No such directions have been given.
asked the Secretary of State for Industry if any grants or loans to the British Steel Corporation are outstanding in connection with Redpath Dorman Long; under what statutory powers these were granted; what conditions were placed upon the grants particularly in connection with equipment; and whether there will be any variation in conditions if Redpath Dorman Long is disposed of.
I shall reply to the hon. Member as soon as possible.