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The forthcoming Transport Bill will include legislation to introduce private capital into the board's undertaking. That will reconstitute the board and enable me to sell shares. It will also free the business from public sector constraints.
Is it not encouraging that the board, which has a good record in commercial terms, has welcomed the Government's proposals? What effect does my right hon. Friend think the capital reconstruction will have in terms of investment by private industry?
One of the major effects will be that the new company will be free from public sector restraints on investment. The board greatly welcomes that, and I think that it will do extremely well in the private sector.
Does the Minister agree that the British Transport Docks Board has been successful ever since it was set up? Is he aware that even in times of difficulty it has shown profitability and that it has been a successful part of public enterprise? Is he further aware that at this time it does not want meddling interference from people who know nothing about the industry?
The hon. Gentleman has just made an extremely good case for the policy the Government are adopting. We are to take away the meddling interference in the board's activities. For the reasons that the hon. Gentleman gave, the board should be responsible for its future.