39. Mr. David Adams
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the expressed intention of the Government that no one should look at the present moment for an increase in income corresponding to the rise in the cost of living, he will take steps to ensure that all profits are rigorously controlled in accordance with this principle?
§ Sir J. Simon
The precautions taken to ensure, by costing and other devices, that the prices fixed in Government contracts are reasonable, and the operation of the Prices of Goods Act and other measures, may be expected effectively to prevent any automatic increase in the rate of profits. The hon. Member will also bear in mind that the rates of tax on private incomes have been raised to unprecedented levels.
Will the Chancellor of the Exchequer bear in mind that unless these steps which are suggested in the Question are adhered to there will be disparity of treatment between the workers and the employing classes?
40. Mr. Adams
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will consider the advisability of organising all firms engaged in the production of armaments and consumers' goods on a public utility basis, with a limitation on the rate of profit which they are entitled to earn, in view of the fact that this principle has worked satisfactorily in relation to the railways and other concerns?
§ Sir J. Simon
No, Sir. It would not be feasible, even if it were desirable, to make such a change in war time.
Am I to understand from that answer that the nationalising of the railways during war time is not a satisfactory experiment?