§ 6. Mr. Stanbrook
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is the value of investments in firms in the private sector held by the National Coal Board or its nominees.
§ Mr. Giles Shaw
The book value of the NCB's holdings in private sector associated companies or partnerships in the United Kingdom was £22.4 million as at 27 March 1982. Corresponding figures for March 1983 will appear in the board's accounts which will be published shortly.
§ Mr. Stanbrook
Is it not thoroughly undesirable that a public institution that makes huge losses at the taxpayer's expense should nevertheless have money tied up in private companies, the directors of which include former chairmen of the National Coal Board?
§ Mr. Shaw
I fully understand my hon. Friend's view on this matter. Indeed, I must concur that we share a general view on privatisation. Steps will be taken with regard to the National Coal Board. My hon. Friend should know that both the board and the other shareholder in Sankey are taking active steps to sell that company.