HC Deb 06 July 1959 vol 608 c865
5. Mr. Darling

asked the Paymaster-General how much the National Coal Board has paid to the Ministry of Fuel and Power, the Ministry of Power and the Treasury in interest on capital and loans in the 10 years 1949 to 1958.

Mr. Maudling

About £200 million.

Mr. Darling

As this is not a negligible figure, can the right hon. Gentleman tell the House why it is usually left out of account when Ministers are commenting on our nationalised industries? Further, can he tell us what his right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer meant when he said only a week ago that this industry was in a mess, in view of the fact that it is not only in a good financial situation but that British miners produce the cheapest coal in Europe and have the highest output per man-shift?

Mr. Maudling

I think that any figures which were published about the success of an industry and which omitted the capital charges involved would be quite unrealistic.