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National Nuclear Corporation

Volume 897: debated on Monday 4 August 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the signing of the agreement for shareholding in the National Nuclear Corporation, giving the proportion of shares to be held by both public and private interests.

Discussions for the restructuring of the shareholding of the National Nuclear Corporation are still in progress. I am therefore not yet ready to make a statement.

Does my right hon. Friend agree that this is a matter of the utmost national importance? Will he give an assurance that there will be no automatic General Electric Company monopoly and that details of any agreement reached will be made known in full to the House of Commons?

I recognise the importance of the point. The GEC has a supervisory contract. When I am in a position to make a statement I shall do so.

As the pressure tube reactor programme has now slipped a full year since the Minister's predecessor announced the Government's decision last year, is it not becoming a matter of great urgency that the structure of the National Nuclear Corporation should be sorted out so that Dr. Ned Franklin, managing director of NPC, should be given clear and firm terms of reference to get on with what is, in the view of the right hon. Gentleman, an essential part of the Government's energy strategy?