HC Deb 26 April 1960 vol 622 cc14-7
20. Mr. Nabarro

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will publish, suitably tabulated, the amount of advances made to seven nationalised industries under Section 42 of the Finance Act, 1956, Section 36 of the Finance Act, 1958, and Section 36 of the Finance Act, 1959, in the aggregate sum of £1,620 million provided under the Finance Act, 1959, showing the amount of the advance to each of the seven industries each year during the period 1956 to 1960 in the total of £1,620 million for which statutory powers were taken for the period stated.

Mr. Amory

With permission, I will circulate the information in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Nabarro

Will my right hon. Friend apply himself to the principle inherent in this Question? Will he tell the House why, after seeking powers

£ million
Financial Year 1956–57 1957–58 1958–59 1959–60 Total
Electricity Council 148.0 123.0 139.0 206.0 616.0
North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board 19.9 17.4 15.5 15.3 68.1
South of Scotland Electricity Board 5.25 12.0 17.75 22.5 57.5
Gas Council 24.0 32.0 25.0 29.0 110.0
British Transport Commission 70.0 68.0 117.0 120.68 375.68
British Overseas Airways Corporation 9.9 32.6 30.3 17.0 89.8
British European Airways Corporation 7.05 10.0 8.0 14.0 39.05
Total 284.1 295.0 352.55 424.48 1,356.13
21. Mr. Nabarro

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will publish precise details of Treasury finance for nationalised industries in respect of the three years 1960–61, 1961–62, and 1962–63, showing a separate sum for each industry, each year, and the aggregate sum to correspond to the sum to be included in the Finance Bill, 1960, covering the Electricity Council, the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board, the South of Scotland Electricity Board, the Gas Council, the British Transport Commission, British Overseas Airways Corporation, and British European Airways Corporation.

Mr. Amory

I will circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT estimates of the advances to be made to each of the seven nationalised industries in the financial year 1960–61. Individual figures for later years are not yet available.

Mr. Nabarro

Would not my right hon. Friend agree that that reply demonstrated very aptly the difficulties of Private Members in this House? If he does take powers for three years' ahead and cannot give us the figures for those three years, is it reasonable to expect Parliament to

annually both in 1958 and 1959 so that Parliament had an opportunity to scrutinise the matter in the Finance Bill annually, he now proposes to take powers for three years ahead at one bite, thus effectively removing from Parliamentary accountability the opportunity to scrutinise these big figures before—and I emphasise before—the money is spent?

Mr. Amory

It is possible that I may have an opportunity of dealing with this subject during our discussions on the Finance Bill.

Following is the information:

pronounce upon these matters so far ahead of the actual money becoming available? Would it not be more appropriate to continue to deal with the matter on an annual basis?

Mr. Amory

I must ask my hon. Friend to await the issue of the Finance Bill, which will take place later this afternoon.

Mr. H. Wilson

Is it not a fact that this question was exhaustively inquired into by the Radcliffe Committee, which said that this was the right way of financing the nationalised industries? Is the Chancellor aware that, right from the time when the Prime Minister himself in 1956 started this system, then on a two years basis, we have ourselves supported the line taken by the Government?

Mr. Amory

My answer to the supplementary question of my hon. Friend on the last Question applies also to this one.

Mr. Jay

Will the Chancellor give us comparable figures for public loans and subsidies to private industry?

Mr. Amory

That is a separate question.

Following are the estimates:

Financial Year, 1960–61
£ million
Electricity Council 195
North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board 16
South of Scotland Electricity Board 20
Gas Council 32
British Transport Commission 160
British Overseas Airways Corporation 35
British European Airways Corporation 24
Total 482