HC Deb 23 April 1968 vol 763 cc15-6
24. Mr. Edward M. Taylor

asked the Minister of Power if he will refer the National Coal Board's pricing policy to the National Board for Prices and Incomes.

Mr. Gunter

No, Sir.

Mr. Taylor

Is the Minister aware that the people of Scotland are very dissatisfied with the situation whereby they pay£1 a ton more for their coal and 24 per cent. more for their gas? Does he realise the implications of that for Scottish development, and has he closed his mind to any change?

Mr. Gunter

As I have already said, we have accepted the Prices and Incomes Board's Report. The National Coal Board has accepted it and the Government have accepted it, and I offer no hope of changing that policy.

Mr. Lane

Will the Minister undertake that if the National Coal Board is seen to be following an increasingly discriminatory pricing policy he will remind it of its statutory duty?

Mr. Gunter

Of course I will. I am always a bit surprised at the zeal with which hon. Members opposite always want me to interfere with the management of nationalised industries.

Mr. Eadie

Will my right hon. Friend tell hon. Members opposite that this is the policy they started, although there is no good reason why he should cultivate their bad habits?

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