HC Deb 28 May 1968 vol 765 c1522
3. Mr. Biffen

asked the Minister of Power if he will introduce legislation to denationalise the brick-making activities of the National Coal Board.

Mr. Freeson

No, Sir.

Mr. Biffen

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the profit performance of private brick companies, particularly in contrast to that of the subsidiaries of the National Coal Board, makes this a preeminently suitable activity for free enterprise?

Mr. Freeson

The hon. Gentleman should be aware if he is following the brick-making capacity of the National Coal Board that it is pre-eminently a suitable activity for the Board. Over the years, in spite of difficulties in the last year or so, it has done very well with its brick-making capacity.

Mr. Ridley

Will the hon. Gentleman give an undertaking that the brick side of the National Coal Board's activities will not be allowed to have its capital written off as it did the last time the House wrote off £415 million?

Mr. Freeson

The question of the capital reconstruction of the industry is looked at as a whole from time to time over the years, and at the present moment there is no intention of reconstructing its capital.

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