§ 61. Mr. Milne
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will introduce legislation empowering the National Coal Board to draw up a register of land and houses owned by it under the Coal Nationalisation Act, 1947; and if he will make a statement.
§ Sir J. Eden
Legislation is not necessary. If the hon. Member requires more detailed information than is given in Volume I of the National Coal Board's Annual Report, I am sure the Board will be glad to do its best to help him.
§ Mr. Swain
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if, as a result of the Wiberforce Inquiry and the need to inject public money into the National Coal Board, he will now seek to rescind the hiving-off Section of the Coal Industry Act, 1971.
§ Mr. John Davies
No. As I made clear in the House on 21st February, the financial position of the Board is to be considered urgently. In any exercise of the powers conferred by section 7 of the Coal Industry Act, 1971, I should of course pay full regard to the effect on the Board's finances but that is a separate issue.
§ Mr. Ridley
I would refer the right hon. Member to the reply given to his Question of 17th February by my hon. Friend the Minister for Industry.—[Vol 831, c.153.]
§ Mr. Mason
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what plans he has in mind to help the National Coal Board with a financial reconstruction of their present financial position, especially writing down their capital debt;
(2) whether he will give consideration to helping the National Coal Board in its present financial difficulties by introducing public dividend capital in a similar fashion to the financial assistance afforded the British Overseas Airways Corporation and the British Steel Corporation.
§ Sir J. Eden
I have nothing to add to what my right hon. Friend told the right hon. Member for Newton (Mr. Frederick Lee) on 21st February.—[Vol. 831, c. 909–10]