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Information Technology Centres

Volume 12: debated on Monday 9 November 1981

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will make a statement about the location of information technology centres in the London area.

The locations of the first 20 centres will be announced in a few weeks' time, as my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister indicated last week.The Manpower Services Commission and the information technology centres consultancy unit are working with potential sponsors on their applications; it would not be appropriate to specify precise locations until these discussions are successfully completed.


asked the Secretary of State for Industry if, before approving any extra investment in British Leyland, he will require that the compamy increase its purchases of British-made components.

The Government believe that component purchasing must be decided by the company on a commercial basis. Overall, BL has a good record in this area.


asked the Secretary of State for Industry when next he plans to meet the chairman of British Leyland to discuss investment plans for 1982; and if he will make a statement.

I meet the chairman of BL whenever the need arises to discuss various topics including if necessary investment plans and the corporate plan. I do not consider a statement to be necessary.


asked the Secretary of State for Industry what recent consultations he has had about Government investment in British Leyland.

I discuss such matters with the chairman of BL when the need arises, and expect to consult my colleagues in the Government about BL's 1982 corporate plan as soon as officials have had an opportunity to study it.


asked the Secretary of State for Industry what decisions on the future of BL taken by the board require the approval of Her Majesty 's Government.

I, in my capacity as Secretary of State for Industry, own over 99 per cent. of the shares in BL. I therefore have all the rights of any majority shareholder, but, having confidence in Sir Michael Edwardes and the board of BL, am concerned to leave the responsibility for day-to-day commercial matters with BL. I consider BL's annual corporate plan and any consequent funding requirements, and give approval for major investment proposals.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will publish in the Official Report the total amount of public subsidies given to BL Ltd in each year since it was constituted.

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Bath (Mr. Patten) on Friday, 23 October 1981 [Vol. 10, c. 193.]