In view of the chairman's wish to follow up the result of the ballot on the corporate plan and the ballot currently being organised on pay and productivity arrangements for the work force, if the chairman asked at the last meeting how long the Government would take to consider a request for funds, what reply did my right hon. Friend give?
The hon. Gentleman misses the point that was made by a number of hon. Members, including his hon. Friend the Member for Nuneaton (Mr. Huckfield). What the Government will need to consider is the performance, and likely performance, of British Leyland management and workers. The reaction of the work force to the current pay and conditions proposals put to them by British Leyland management will have more significance in the Government's mind than the result of the ballot.
Will my right hon. Friend take the occasion to discuss with the chairman of British Leyland, quite apart from any question of hiving off, whether the large factories are not too big? Is not there a great deal of evidence that modern British managers and workers are not very good when the unit sizes are as large as they are in British Leyland, and that all the evidence points to the small being beautiful in manufacturing?
Does the Minister agree that British Leyland is under the control of the National Enterprise Board only because private enterprise failed the motor industry, and that it cannot be expected to turn round in 12 months? It could well mean a decade of public investment in this industry. Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that we cannot face the prospect of Britain without a viable motor industry, which might mean selective import controls?
Will my right hon. Friend please take this opportunity to confirm that it is no part of the philosophy of the Government to allow the management of British Leyland to create a State subsidised monopoly in sports car production if there are private enterprise buyers willing and able to carry on competitive production of other cars in the range that British Leyland seem unfit or unable to carry on producing?