§ Mr. Trotter
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry which companies with headquarters in Tyne and Wear have been privatised since 1983; what steps he takes to promote (a) their compliance with the terms of the agreement which established them and (b) their commercial performance; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Giles Shaw
A year ago, the Secretary of State gave his consent for British Shipbuilders to sell Swan Hunter Shipbuilders Limited to its management. The purchasers have fully complied with the terms of the sale. I congratulate the company on its first year and wish it a long and successful future.
Other privatisation of Tyne and Wear companies in the Secretary of State's area of responsibility since 1983 were the sales by British Shipbuilders of the following subsidiaries: British Shipbuilders (Training, Education and Safety) Limited, K and L Marine Equipment Limited, Sunderland Forge Limited, Tyne Shiprepair Limited and Wallsend Slipway Engineers Limited. I understand that in some of these cases British Shipbuilders has agreed to variations in the terms of sale where this was in its commercial interest. The greatest assistance to the commercial performance of all these companies is their freedom, now that they are in the private sector, to respond to the market.