PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES

HOUSE OF COMMONS

OFFICIAL REPORT

Second Standing Committee on Statutory Instruments, &c.

DRAFT AIRCRAFT AND SHIPBUILDING INDUSTRIES (REPEALS) (NORTHERN IRELAND) ORDER 1992

Tuesday 15 December 1992

LONDON: HMSO

£7·50 net

Members who wish to have copies of the Official Report of Proceedings in Standing Committees sent to them are requested to give notice to that effect at the Vote Office.

No proofs can be supplied. Corrigenda slips may be published with Bound Volume editions. Corrigenda that Members suggest should be clearly marked in a copy of the report—not telephoned—and must be received in the Editor's Room, House of Commons.

not later than

Saturday 19 December 1992

STRICT ADHERENCE TO THIS ARRANGEMENT WILL GREATLY FACILITATE THE PROMPT PUBLICATION OF THE BOUND VOLUMES OF PROCEEDINGS IN STANDING COMMITTEES

© Parliamentary copyright House of Commons 1992

Applications for reproduction should be made to HMSO

HMSO publications are available from:
HMSO Publications Centre HMSO Bookshops HMSO's Accredited Agents
(Mail, fax and telephone orders only) 49 High Holborn, London WC1V 6HB (071) 873 0011 (Counter service only) (see Yellow Pages)
258 Broad Street, Birmingham B1 2HE (021) 643 3740
PO Box 276, London SW8 5DT Southey House, 33 Wine Street, Bristol BS1 2BQ (0272) 264306 and through good booksellers
Telephone orders 071-873 9090 9–21 Princess Street, Manchester M60 8AS (061) 834 7201
General enquiries 071-873 0011 16 Arthur Street, Belfast BT1 4GD (0232)238451
(queuing system for both numbers in operation) 71 Lothian Road, Edinburgh EH3 9AZ (031) 228 4181
Fax orders 071-873 8200
Printed in the U.K. by HMSO

1

The Committee consisted of the following Members:

Chairman: MR. JAMES HILL

Atkins Mr. Robert (Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office)

Byers, Mr. Stephen (Wallsend)

Day, Mr. Stephen (Cheadle)

Dicks, Mr. Terry (Hayes and Harlington)

Fry, Mr. Peter (Wellingborough)

Gardiner, Sir George (Reigate)

Hutton, Mr. John (Barrow and Furness)

Lightbown, Mr. David (Staffordshire, South-East)

Peacock, Mrs. Elizabeth (Batley and Spen)

Prentice, Mr. Gordon (Pendle)

Purchase, Mr. Ken (Wolverhampton, North-East)

Ross, Mr. William (Londonderry, East)

Stevenson, Mr. George (Stoke-on-Trent, South)

Stott, Mr. Roger (Wigan)

Temple-Morris, Mr. Peter (Leominster)

Thornton, Sir Malcolm (Crosby)

Tipping, Mr. Paddy (Sherwood)

Wheeler, Sir John (Westminster, North)

Mr. F. J. Reid, Committee Clerk

2
3 Second Standing Committee on Statutory Instruments, &c. Tuesday 15 December 1992

[MR JAMES HILL in the Chair]

Draft Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries (Repeals) (Northern Ireland) Order 1992

10.30 am

Motion made, and Question proposed. That the Committee has considered the draft Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries (Repeals) (Northern Ireland) Order 1992.—[Mr. Atkins.]

Mr. William Ross (Londonderry, East): This is a short order. It seems from the Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries (Northern Ireland) Order 1979 and repeals the part of that order which provided assistance to the shipbuilding and aircraft industries in Northern Ireland at that time. Since the privatisation of those industries and the two companies concerned, one assumes that the need for assistance has disappeared. The order does not repeal all the 1979 order; it leaves a number of bits and pieces in place. One wonders why some parts are being left, or were they repealed at an earlier stage? That may well be the case and it may have escaped me. However, it is clear that the Order repeals paragraphs 6, 7, 8 and 10 in their entirety, and paragraph 2(2)(b) is also repealed. I should be grateful for an explanation why some of the 1979 order has been left in place. Is it to provide a framework for future assistance to the companies and industries in Northern Ireland should that be desired or considered necessary or expedient at some future date? 4 I note that "a relevant company" is also a principal company. We are actively repealing that term in the first line of paragraph 3, but leaving it in other paragraphs, which seems to suggest that the term is left intact. May we have a general explanation of the position once those measures are repealed, and some idea of how much will be left of the original Shipbuilding Industry (No. 2) (Northern Ireland) Order 1975, which was superseded by the 1979 Order? What relevance does it have to shipbuilding in Northern Ireland.

10.32 am

The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office (Mr. Robert Atkins): The Department of Economic Development retained ownership of the old company, Harland and Wolff Plc, and is responsible for its remaining liabilities. The Member for Londonderry, East (Mr. Ross) is not wrong in pointing to that fact. In addition, the Department retained responsibility for those subsidiaries of Shorts which had financial obligations relating to aircraft sales financing. For technical legislative reasons, the relevant companies were made subsidiaries of Harland and Wolff Plc. Harland and Wolff Plc has continuing obligations and the Department may need to assist that company. Only those paragraphs of the 1979 order which are no longer relevant are being repealed at this stage. I am sure the hon. Gentleman will realise that financing aircraft is an inexact science, which it is difficult for the market to accept. To that extent we have to retain some control, although we should like to be rid of it as soon as possible.

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved, That the Committee has considered the draft Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries (Repeals) (Northern Ireland) Order 1992.

Committee rose at twenty-six minutes to Eleven o 'clock.

THE FOLLOWING MEMBERS ATTENDED THE COMMITTEE:

Hill, Mr. James (Chairman)

Atkins, Mr.

Day, Mr.

Gardiner, Sir George

Lightbown, Mr.

Peacock, Mrs.

Prentice, Mr. Gordon

Ross, Mr. William

Stott, Mr.

Thornton, Sir Malcolm