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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.