National Coal Board (Borrowing Powers)

Oral Answers to Questions – in the House of Commons at 10:11 pm on 24th July 1980.

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Photo of Mr John Moore Mr John Moore , Croydon Central 10:11 pm, 24th July 1980

I beg to move, That the draft Coal Industry (Borrowing Powers) Order 1980, which was laid before this House on 17 July, be approved. I shall briefly explain the reasons why the Government have laid the draft order. It is laid under existing legislation to raise the limit on the National Coal Board's borrowing powers from £2,200 million to £2,600 million. Perhaps I should explain why we are doing this when the Coal Industry Bill is before Parliament.

The NCB borrowings stood at £2,120 million on 21 July and the board expects to pass its existing limit of £2,200 million on 31 July. While the Government still seek to secure Royal Assent to the Bill before the Summer Recess, it would be quite wrong to risk leaving the NCB unable to carry on its affairs.

Photo of Mr Alexander Eadie Mr Alexander Eadie , Midlothian 10:12 pm, 24th July 1980

The Opposition understand fairly well what prompts the Minister to move the order on behalf of the Government. We could in normal circumstances have had a debate, according to the rules laid down by the House, but the whole House will agree that we have welcomed the fact that we have had a very long and very substantial Third Reading debate on the Coal Industry Bill.

The view of the Opposition, therefore, is that, since the order that the Minister has moved is necessary, we wish to give it an unopposed passage through the House.

Question put and agreed to.