The Birmingham Post offers no apology for returning - again - to the question of whether or not Jaguar Land Rover should receive any Government aid to help it survive the most savage economic downturn in the peacetime history of the car industry.

The answer, we firmly believe, should be an unequivocal yes.

The national Press, which has unanimously argued against intervention, would doubtless accuse us of special pleading.

To which our response would be - too right! Jaguar Land Rover is a special case, although one can sympathise with the dilemma that the Government finds itself in. To grant the company the commercial loans, or loan guarantees, that it needs to survive until such time as the global money markets begin to function again would open the floodgates to claims from other equally hard-pressed manufacturers.

But just as in normal markets, any application for credit should be judged upon its merits. And the merits of JLR’s case are, we are convinced, strong. As Professor David Bailey of Birmingham Business School points out, the cost to the taxpayer in unemployment benefit for some 16,000 JLR employees, plus many thousands more in the supply chain, on top of the accompanying loss of tax revenues should JLR fail, would far outstrip the cost of any short-term cash aid repayable at commercial rates of interest.

Add to that the fact that JLR is the country’s seventh biggest investor in engineering research and development and is at the cutting edge of developing the new generation of low fuel- consumption, low carbon-emission cars and the case for aid becomes, we believe, imperative.

After all, this is not a situation of JLR’s own making.

It is not British Leyland. It is a modern, efficient company that builds technological advanced cars that the world wants to buy.

The fact that neither it, nor its suppliers and partners, nor its customers can get the credit they require to keep the wheels turning is a problem that can only be addressed by government.

The critics of state intervention may be only 100 miles away in London, but in terms of their understanding of manufacturing they might be on another planet.

It accounts for 30 per cent of the economy of the West Midlands and 20 per cent of that of the UK - that compares with ten per cent in the US.

It, particularly in the form of JLR, is well worth supporting in these virtually unprecedented times.

* The Birmingham Post says that Government should save Jaguar Land Rover - let us know your opinion on our News Blog.

* Read David Bailey's original blog post: "Jaguar Land Rover: It's NOT a bail-out, we're running out of time, and the costs of inaction could be huge."