HC Deb 08 May 1968 vol 764 c390
1. Sir G. Nabarro

asked the Minister of Transport what revised estimate of the deficit and losses of British Railways he has made following the Budget and devaluation, for the year ending 31st March 1969.

The Minister of Transport (Mr. Richard Marsh)

No revised estimate has been made because I still expect the deficit to be in accordance with the estimate.

Sir G. Nabarro

Having regard to the fact that last year's losses were more than £150 million—quite staggering in character—and that losses this year are proceeding at a higher level, may I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman can confirm or deny that authoritative sources putting losses at £200 million for this year are nearer to the mark?

Mr. Marsh

No, the hon. Gentleman is committing the mistake of believing all that he reads.

Mr. Webster

May I congratulate the Minister on his first appearance at the Dispatch Box to answer Questions? Is he aware that we expect him to reduce the deficit, as was done in the years when the Tory Party was in office, without shuffling this on to the P.T.A.s and other bodies?

Mr. Marsh

It is not unreasonable that we should be able to give the Board some relief from what are totally unrealistic, inherited capital burdens. This is the purpose of the policy.

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