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Capital Allocation

Volume 529: debated on Monday 28 June 1954

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asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he can make a statement on capital allocation; and whether he has obtained an assurance that the required capital will be available for the long-term needs of all forms of power and fuel.

I have no reason to doubt that it will be possible to meet these needs.

Is the Minister aware that the question of capital allocation in the Report of the Electricity Board causes some concern? In view of the great contribution being made to Britain's economic development by the Coal Board, the Electricity Board and the Gas Council, does the Minister not think that it should be his responsibility to see that these organisations have a long-term capital allocation so that they may plan a long time ahead?

Yes. There will be an opportunity for discussing that matter when the Gas and Electricity (Borrowing Powers) Bill comes before the House shortly.

In view of the low price—[HON. MEMBERS: "Low?"]—of British coal, is there any reason why the price should not be put up so that the Coal Board could provide out of their own earnings sufficient money to finance their own capital investment programme?

Would the Minister, for the benefit of some of his colleagues, say whether it is a fact that British coal is now the cheapest in Europe?