HC Deb 23 April 1968 vol 763 cc7-8
16. Mr. Emery

asked the Minister of Power whether, because of the high level of public expenditure, he will give a general direction to the fuel and steel nationalised industries to prepare contingency plans, showing the effect of cuts of 10 per cent. and 15 per cent. in their capital programme.

Mr. Gunter

Substantial cuts have already been made and of course the need for stringent economy will continue to be taken fully into account.

Mr. Emery

Taking the figures already published, which would work out at over£5,000 million capital expenditure in the next five years, does not the Minister think that a 10 or 15 per cent. reduction in this sum would be of major benefit in meeting the capital programme with which this country must deal?

Mr. Gunter

That is a matter for continuing review. When the annual reviews take place the need for stringent economy must be accepted on both sides. I hope that the hon. Gentleman will not give the idea, which I am sure that he does not want to give, that there must be excessive zeal in dealing with this capital expenditure, which is so essential for the future well-being of the country's economy.

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