7. Mr. Geoffrey Wilson
asked the Minister of Power what is his latest estimate of the deficit of the National Coal Board in the current financial year.
§ 60. Mr. Cronin
asked the Minister of Power if he will give an estimate of the National Coal Board's deficit for the current year.
§ Mr. Marsh
The Chairman informs me that, on recent trends, the financial result for the year seems likely to be better than the possible deficit of £10 million envisaged when the Coal Industry Bill was debated last December.
While that Answer indicates that it is rather better than the deficit for the first half of the financial year, may I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman is satisfied that the financial objective set out in the White Paper, of breaking even, will be reached?
§ Mr. Cronin
Is it not the case that with the remarkable increase in productivity achieved by the coal industry recently and with the capital reconstruction brought about as result of the Coal Industry Act, 1965, there will be a steady and continuous improvement in the results?
§ Sir C. Osborne
Would the Minister care to hazard a guess about how soon the National Coal Board will be working without a loss?
§ Mr. Ridley
Can the Minister say what other action the Coal Board is taking to reduce or to eliminate this loss?