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Capital Projects (Examination)

Volume 640: debated on Monday 8 May 1961

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asked the Minister of Transport if he will give estimates of the annual cost involved to his Department and to the British Transport Commission, respectively, of the detailed examination by his Department of capital projects costing more than £250,000 which has been made since February, 1960; and what savings have been effected.

The full value and purpose of this examination, which it would not in my view be right to modify until a more satisfactory system has been developed for scrutinising the investment of the very large sums of public money involved, do not rest on specific savings in those projects which are actually submitted to me by the British Transport Commission. I would refer the hon. Member to my observations on this subject in the debate on 30th January, 1961 (HANSARD, col. 625) and to the Select Committee on Nationalised Industries (House of Commons Paper 163). In these circumstances, I do not think any useful purpose would be served by attempting to calculate the figures sought by the hon. Member.