§ 14. Mr. Ridley
asked the Minister of Power whether 'the amount, and the terms, of the British Steel Corporation's commencing capital debt have yet been agreed.
§ Mr. Mason
No, Sir. The precise amount of the debt will not be known until the value of the unquoted securities, which are still to be valued, has been settled. The total may be in the region of£820 million. I hope to say something about the terms of the debt during the debate on the Resolution to increase the Corporation's borrowing limit next Friday.
§ Mr. Ridley
Why has this commencing capital debt not been agreed? It is now over a year since the Corporation was set up. Is the Minister aware that it is impossible to conduct business properly unless matters of this sort are known at the beginning? Will he take action where his predecessors have failed to get some progress?
§ 24. Sir Knox Cunningham
asked the Minister of Power what, taking account of the obligation to pay interest upon its commercial capital debt, was the appropriate profit or loss of the British Steel Corporation for its first half year.
§ Sir Knox Cunningham
Is it not likely that when the right hon. Gentleman has determined the debt the figure will show a substantial loss? If so, what steps is he taking to improve the position? In any event, will the taxpayer have to pay for the loss?
§ Mr. Berry
Would the Minister agree that his reply confirms that the public expect the right salary to be paid to the right man in the right job? Would he not further agree that this applies equally to the public and to the private sector? Will he bear in mind that those who are paid so-called "large" salaries pay a large part of them back to the Treasury in taxation?
§ Mr. Patrick Jenkin
Would the right hon. Gentleman like to set an example, and ask the nationalised industries in their annual reports to give the salaries of directors net after tax, as well as gross?
42. Mr. Edward M. Taylor
asked the Minister of Power what has been the result of his discussions with the British Steel Corporation about its price structure.
Is the Minister aware that shipbuilders, engineers and others in Scotland are greatly concerned that the Steel Corporation, like the gas industry and the Coal Board, will end by charging more for its product in Scotland? Will he give a guarantee that under nationalisation Scottish shipbuilders and engineers will not be expected to pay more for steel than those in England and Wales?
§ Mr. James Hamilton
Is my right hon. Friend aware that many steel firms in Scotland are closing because they cannot compete with competitors in the South? Will he give an assurance that there will be a unified policy about prices of steel?
§ Sir G. Nabarro
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that Selective Employment Tax premium and similar advantages given in Scotland are largely nullified by the excessive price which Scottish firms have to pay for coal, gas, electricity and other services under this iniquitous differential pricing scheme?