I intend to bring forward legislation very shortly enabling me to change the corporation into a limited company with a view to selling the controlling interest to private investors.
Have these proposals been approved by the National Freight Corporation board? Will some shares be available for employees?
Will the Minister explain why, in May, he was talking about a minority private share in NFC, why, in August, he was talking about a majority private share and why, three weeks later in September, he was talking of the whole NFC being sold off to private industry? What guarantee can he give that he will not hive off other subsidiary companies of British Rail, such as Sealink, British Transport Hotels and British Rail Engineering Limited?
I have always tried to make clear that my concern is to get the National Freight Corporation into the private sector. I do not believe that the hon. Gentleman's comments on my previous position are accurate. I have been absolutely frank about what I intended. That remains the aim and intention of the Government.