HC Deb 08 February 1960 vol 617 cc13-4
14. Mr. Nabarro

asked the Minister of Power, having regard to his loans to the National Coal Board, what estimate he has made of the trading losses of the Board during 1960, after taking fully into account the Board's costs entailed in continuing undistributed coal stocks valued currently at £142 million, approximately.

Mr. Wood

The Board's "Revised Plan for Coal" made clear its objective to secure a substantial reduction in the accumulated deficit over the whole period from 1960 to 1965. I am not now prepared to go beyond this or to give forecasts for individual years.

Mr. Nabarro

While not wishing in any way to press my right hon. Friend for a forecast which clearly he is unable to give, may I ask whether it is not a little unsatisfactory that he should come to the House to ask for large sums of money in increased borrowing powers for the National Coal Board without giving the House any guidance whether he expects in 1960 a continuance of the large trading losses which the Board has suffered in the last two years? How can we survey his proposals intelligently unless he has formed an estimate which he can give us?

Mr. Wood

The only way in which my proposals can be viewed intelligently is if they are seen against the background of the Board's revised plan, which was the basis on which I came to the House for the extra borrowing powers last year.

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