HC Deb 18 June 1956 vol 554 c1022
3. Mr. Hamilton

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether, in view of the country's economic difficulties, he will introduce legislation whereby compensation payments to the ex-coal owners are withheld in the same way as post-war credits.

The Minister of Fuel and Power (Mr. Aubrey Jones)

No, Sir. Practically all the compensation has already been issued.

Mr. Hamilton

Even admitting that only a tiny proportion of this compensation is left, does not the Minister agree that these figures provided by the National Coal Board have an adverse effect on the figures provided in the Annual Report? In view of the fact that these ex-coal owners have always taken out of the industry much more than they ever put in, will he give an assurance that they will be treated at least as meanly as the holders of post-war credits?

Mr. Jones

I would remind the hon. Gentleman that the compensation terms were determined by his own Government.

Mr. Callaghan

In view of the deplorable conditions in which the pits were taken over, would it not be appropriate if these ex-owners paid compensation to the nation?

Mr. Jones

Again, I see no reason why conditions now should be different from when the nationalisation Statute was passed.