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New Capital Investment

Volume 526: debated on Monday 12 April 1954

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asked the Minister of Fuel and Power the total new capital investment of the nationalised coal, electricity and gas industries since vesting date in each case, and corresponding figures for the period prior to the outbreak of war in 1939.

In round figures, £240 million, £810 million and £205 million respectively. Corresponding figures of pre-war investment are not available for coal or gas. For electricity, the figure for the six years before 1939 was about £200 million—which would be equivalent to a figure perhaps three times as great in present day money.

Can my right hon. Friend say why it is that the increased investments in the coal mines resulted in no material increase in output last year?

That is rather a different and larger question, but I would point out that it takes up to 10 years to bring in a new pit, and about seven years to complete a major reconstruction.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that many experiments are taking place to find pit room for the men, which involves a delay in expenditure on the development of the coal field?

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, last year, there was an extra week's paid holiday, the Coronation Day holiday, and yet the output per man-shift went up?