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Former Mineowners (Compensation)

Volume 523: debated on Monday 1 February 1954

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asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what amount of the £203,773,258 compensation paid since 1947 to the previous owners of the coalmining industry represents interest payment.

:The right hon. Gentleman has not answered my Question. Can he say whether the whole of this £203 million is chargeable to the industry? If that is so, will he confirm that without this charge the nationalised coal industry would have made a handsome profit since 1947?

I have answered the Question correctly, but the hon. Gentleman's supplementary is quite a different proposition.

:With great respect, the right hon. Gentleman has misunderstood the point. Is it not true that some part of the amount stated in the Question includes interest paid on the capital sum? Surely, it must do. Surely some interest has been paid.

I understand that £164 million was the valuation on the industry originally, but it is now more than £200 million. There must be some explanation.

:As the mining industry now belongs to the nation, can the Minister say what considerations the Government have given to this question of compensation being transferred from the mining industry and placed upon the Treasury?

:Are we to take it, then, that no consideration is being given to this aspect of the matter?