Rolls-Royce

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Industry – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th February 1972.

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Photo of Mr Hugh Dykes Mr Hugh Dykes , Harrow East 12:00 am, 7th February 1972

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether his Department has now assembled all the data and figures necessary to establish the final valuation for Rolls-Royce (1971) Limited.

Photo of Mr Frederick Corfield Mr Frederick Corfield , Gloucestershire South

Both sides have now largely completed their preparatory work, and detailed negotiations are about to begin.

Photo of Mr Hugh Dykes Mr Hugh Dykes , Harrow East

In view of that reply, may I ask whether my right hon. Friend and his colleague the Secretary of State will be prepared to make a definitive and detailed statement to the House in the near future about the final results?

Photo of Mr Frederick Corfield Mr Frederick Corfield , Gloucestershire South

As I have explained previously in the House this is a very complex business, and I should hesitate to name a date on which it will be possible to announce any final solution.

Photo of Mr Kenneth Baker Mr Kenneth Baker , St Marylebone

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what parts of Rolls-Royce Limited have already been returned to private ownership; what parts he expects will be sold in 1972; and whether he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr Frederick Corfield Mr Frederick Corfield , Gloucestershire South

Disposal of the assets of Rolls-Royce Ltd. is a matter for the receiver and joint liquidators of that company. The Government-owned company, Rolls-Royce (1971) Ltd., bought from the receiver the greater part of Rolls-Royce Ltd's. gas turbine divisions. The remainder of the Rolls-Royce assets is being sold to private enterprise, including Rolls-Royce Motors which, I understand, the receiver intends to float publicly during 1972.

Photo of Mr Kenneth Baker Mr Kenneth Baker , St Marylebone

Do I take it from that reply that after the Rolls-Royce motor division has been sold, and if the carbon fibre division can be sold, the only part of the old Rolls-Royce company which will remain in public ownership later this year is the original aero-engine division?

Photo of Mr Frederick Corfield Mr Frederick Corfield , Gloucestershire South

Yes, Sir, subject to the qualification that I cannot control the timing of the receiver's activities.

Photo of Miss Joan Quennell Miss Joan Quennell , Petersfield

What will be the position of shareholders in the former Rolls-Royce company if the receiver floats the motor-car division from the publicly-owned company?

Photo of Mr Frederick Corfield Mr Frederick Corfield , Gloucestershire South

It is the receiver's function to endeavour to dispose of the assets to the best possible advantage to the creditors and shareholders, but until all the assets are sold and the prices are agreed for the Rolls-Royce (1971) assets it will not be possible for him to indicate how much money is available.

Photo of Mr Bruce Millan Mr Bruce Millan , Glasgow Craigton

Is not the present situation unsatisfactory for the creditors of the old Rolls-Royce company and for the shareholders, including the worker shareholders? Would the right hon. Gentleman indicate when the assets of Rolls-Royce (1971) Ltd. in particular will be valued so that steps can be taken to pay sums to the creditors, many of whom are still in quite serious financial difficulties because of the collapse of Rolls-Royce?

Photo of Mr Frederick Corfield Mr Frederick Corfield , Gloucestershire South

I cannot go further than I have already except to remind the House, as I have done many time before, that this is a complex operation. All I can guarantee is that there will be no unnecessary delay on the part of the Government or Rolls-Royce.