Taxpayers will be protected if the Walt Disney Company fails to follow the timetable for repaying its $5.6 billion government loan, lawmakers were told yesterday. A provision was clearly laid out in the Hong Kong Disneyland contract between the US entertainment company and the Government, Secretary for Treasury Denise Yue Chung-yee told a special House Committee. 'Under certain circumstances, we will need to turn the outstanding interest [on the government loan] into shares,' Ms Yue said. But Commissioner for Tourism Mike Rowse was more cautious, saying he would prefer to supply a written answer. 'I feel that Ms Yue and I are tiptoeing along a tightrope in terms of commercial sensitivity,' he said. 'We have taken great care in the loan contract document to protect the government position. 'In addition, during the early years of the contract when we have commercial lenders present, there will be . . . an extra policeman on duty to help us keep order.' James To Kun-sun of the Democratic Party urged the administration to supply a list detailing the number of areas contained in the deal which could not be divulged. But Mr Rowse only pledged to try to think that through in more depth between now and Monday morning. He said the deal was mutually advantageous. 'My instruction from the Financial Secretary was to be prepared to walk away even at the last minute if the terms were not mutually acceptable,' he said. Ms Yue said no taxes would have to be raised nor spending cut to compensate for the $22.45 billion ploughed into Disneyland. Lee Cheuk-yan of The Frontier asked if the Government could finance the project without a drain on resources. 'We should not be distracted by the magic atmosphere brought by the Disneyland . . . [nor] prone to boasting and exaggerating. We should be business-like,' he said. Ms Yue said the $22.45 billion would be spent over 10 years. 'We are not spending it overnight. The amount of money spent each year will not be very great,' she said. Ms Yue said the loan granted and equity injected into the joint venture would amount to only $2 billion in 2003-04. Under the deal, the Government has to inject a total of $3.25 billion and grant a loan of $5.6 billion. Officials temporarily withdrew a suggestion to create 50 new civil service posts for the project at a cost of $60 million a year, due to be presented to the establishment subcommittee on Wednesday.