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George Kent And Cambridge Instruments (Takeover)

Volume 769: debated on Monday 22 July 1968

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asked the Minister of Technology whether he is satisfied with the operation of the machinery for cooperation between his Department, the Department for Economic Affairs and the Industrial Reorganisation Corporation as regards the assistance given to George Kent in their successful takeover bid for Cambridge Instruments; and if he will make a statement.

Yes, Sir. The Corporation kept my Department and the Department of Economic Affairs in touch with the situation as it developed. The arrangements by which close relations are maintained with the Corporation worked well.

Is not the position becoming a little absurd in view of the large number of Departments involved in such cases—presumably in this case my hon. Friend's Department, the D.E.A. and the Board of Trade? Would my right hon. Friend consider having discussions with his colleagues with a view to bringing all matters of this sort under the auspices of one Department and one Minister?

Questions of the machinery of Government are for my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister. There was no difficulty in this case because I am the sponsoring Minister for the electronics industry and the Department of Economic Affairs is concerned with the I.R.C.