asked the Secretary of State for Wales why, as agent for the European Coal and Steel Community, he permitted £2½ million advanced by the European Coal and Steel Community and intended for working capital for the Parrot Corporation, Cwmbran, to be used as a guarantee against a loan; why he permitted this sum to be frozen in the American bank Northern Investments; why the guarantee was not disclosed by the Welsh Development Authority to the National Coal Board pension fund and other City institutions; and what steps he is now taking to protect the employees of and the public funds invested in the Parrot Corporation.
My Department is not an agent for the ECSC. Its involvement in the original financing of the Parrot Corporation project was confined to making an offer of regional selective assistance and exchange risk cover on the ECSC loan. My consent for the Welsh Development Agency's original investment was not required. On 8 October the chairman of the Parrot Corporation announced that a refinancing package, including further investment both by the WDA, to which I had given my approval, and by the other original investors, had been agreed to secure the future of the company.The circumstances of the original investment are under investigation by the police.