Divisional Coal Boards (Salaries)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 15th November 1946.

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Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham 12:00 am, 15th November 1946

If the hon. Member had waited for a moment I would have informed him on that point. I shall do so now. Hon. Members who are acquainted with the provisions of the Measure must be aware that the National Coal Board must present their annual accounts to the Ministry; indeed, they are ordered to do so by Statute. Then the accounts will go before the Public Accounts Committee and the Committee can at any time ask for information on any item connected with those accounts. That is traditional and no one can take exception to It. When we come to consider the annual report of the National Coal Board's transactions, as we may in due course, hon. Members may wish for information about sums expended on salaries. I cannot say at this stage what I would be prepared to say if I were then in the position of Minister of Fuel and Power. But I think I could content myself with giving a global figure and refusing to disclose the salary of each person, regarding the Coal Board as a commercial organisation and putting it in the same category as a commercial organisation. I have yet to learn that shareholders in a commercial concern are furnished with information as to the salaries of every person in the organisation.