River Quality

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Environment – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th May 1989.

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Photo of Michael Howard Michael Howard Minister of State (Department of Environment) (Planning) 12:00 am, 24th May 1989

The hon. Gentleman's comments are entirely incorrect, and I refer him to the Hansard of what my noble Friend Lord Caithness said in the other place. The write-off of the £5·5 billion refers only to the debt to the national loans fund which takes place on every privatisation. It will be replaced by securities with which each company will enter the private sector, and we shall announce our decisions on those securities at the appropriate time. If Opposition Members are really interested in these matters, I suggest that they read in Hansard precisely what was said in the other place, rather than relying on totally inaccurate reports of what was said by my noble Friend.