HC Deb 29 April 1948 vol 450 cc82-3W
Sir W. Smithers

asked the Prime Minister if he will set up a Royal Commission to inquire into and report on the workings of the National Coal Board; and what is the extent of the loss which falls on the British taxpayer.

The Prime Minister

The answer to the first part of the Question is, "No" as regards the second part, under Section 1 (4) (c) of the Coal Industry Nationalisation Act, 1946, the National Coal Board are required to direct their policy to securing that their revenues shall not be less than sufficient for meeting all their outgoings properly chargeable to revenue account on an average of good and bad years. No part of any loss which might be incurred by the Board in a particular year would fall on the British taxpayer, since losses in one year are to be made good in later years, and meanwhile are financed as necessary either out of reserves or out of temporary borrowings authorised under Section 27 of the Act.