HC Deb 06 April 1965 vol 710 c221
6. Mr. Ridsdale

asked the Minister of Power what he estimates will be the capital requirements of the coal, gas and electrical industries over the next five years.

Mr. Frederick Lee

Estimates of the industries" capital expenditure in 1965–66 are given in the White Paper, Loans from the Consolidated Fund, 1956–66. I am not in a position to give figures for any later year. My Department is currently engaged in its yearly examination of the industries' programmes with a view to determining the industries' capital allocations for 1966–67 and to settling provisional allocations for 1967–68.

Mr. Ridsdale

Is it fair for these capital requirements to be met out of current charges? Cannot they be met by loans to which the public have subscribed and possibly tax free?

Mr. Lee

I should have thought that the Government of which the hon. Gentleman was a member had a lot to do with the present system. At present I have no intention of changing it.