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Capital Investment

Volume 495: debated on Monday 11 February 1952

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asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what sums were expended for capital development in 1951, respectively, by the National Coal Board, the British Electricity Authority and the Gas Council; and what sums for capital development have been authorised, respectively, to these three bodies during 1952.

In regard to the first part of the Question, accurate figures cannot yet be given for expenditure on capital development in 1951, but it is estimated that expenditure by the National Coal Board was approximately£30 million, by the area gas boards£40 million and by the British Electricity Authority and area boards£140 million.In regard to the second part of the Question, it is difficult in present circumstances to forecast accurately future expenditure on capital development. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer indicated, however, in his recent statement on the financial and economic situation that the fuel and power industries are so far as possible to be protected this year from any cuts in capital investment, and I expect therefore that expenditure during 1952 will not vary very much from that in 1951.