HC Deb 17 June 1974 vol 875 cc23-4
31. Mr. Palmer

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will take steps to bring about a reconstruction of the shareholding of the National Nuclear Corporation on the lines recommended by the Select Committee on Science and Technology.

Mr. Varley

No, Sir. We must now concentrate on getting under way our nuclear programme, on which I hope to make a statement shortly.

Mr. Palmer

Does not my right hon. Friend agree, however, that the National Nuclear Corporation is as yet simply on paper? Is there not now an opportunity to reconsider the structure of this company to increase the State participation—a course which was recommended by the Select Committee on Science and Technology, which at that time had a Conservative majority in its membership?

Mr. Varley

I am well aware of the views of the Select Committee and of my hon. Friend on this matter, but the immediate priority is for the Government to come to a decision on nuclear reactor choice and to make sure that that programme goes ahead. It may well be that in the future we shall have to consider some of the more fundamental questions that have been raised by my hon. Friend.