HC Deb 28 October 1953 vol 518 cc2790-1
41. Mr. Nabarro

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation the aggregate sum still owing to road hauliers, at 30th September, 1953, or at the latest convenient date, in respect of assets nationalised under the 1947 Act; when it is proposed to pay this money; and what special arrangements will be made to allow the creditors to employ their credits as a contra when repurchasing road haulage assets from the Disposals Board within the provisions of the 1953 Act.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Compensation ascertained and outstanding at 30th September, 1953, amounted to £2.2 million. Part of this sum is the balance, after making payments on account, of agreed compensation awaiting confirmation by the Transport Arbitration Tribunal. The rest is in course of payment, subject in some cases to completion of formal agreements with the transferors.

The total amount of the Commission's outstanding liability cannot yet be stated. In some cases determination by the Transport Arbitration Tribunal of the amount payable is required; in others, final agreement between the Commission and the transferor has yet to be reached. There is no statutory provision which would enable the Commission to offset sums payable for compensation, which for the most part is payable in Transport Stock, against consideration for the sale of road haulage assets under the Transport Act, 1953.

Mr. Nabarro

Here is a very real difficulty in the instance of people who hold credit for assets formerly nationalised, and who wish to go into business——

Hon. Members


Mr. Speaker

The hon. Member must ask a question.

Mr. Nabarro

Are they not to be placed in the position of being able to repurchase their assets and use the funds that are legitimately due to them?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I think we must get this in perspective. Of this £50 million likely to be paid in a very short while, all but £4 million will have been paid.