§ 45. Mr. Ellis Smith
asked the Prime Minister if he will have a public inquiry made into the growth and effects of monopoly development, cartel and trade arrangements; the arrangements made by the I.G. German combine in this country before the war; the arrangements made for the agencies of I.G. to continue business in the British Empire during the war, with a view of steps being taken to safeguard the national interests in the future?
§ The Deputy Prime Minister (Mr. Attlee)
No public inquiry will be made; but the subject is being carefully studied by the Departments concerned.
§ Mr. Smith
Is my right hon. Friend aware that the Prime Minister stated in America that he had always been against monopolies? In view of the increasing evidence which is being produced in all parts of the world, and in view of the evidence contained in the recent publication "Germany's Master Plan," may I ask when the Government are going to take active steps to allay the suspicion which prevails in regard to monopoly development?
§ Mr. Shinwell
Has my right hon. Friend seen the report of a speech by Mr. Biddle, the United States Attorney-General, on the effect of cartels on the British war effort and in America; and will he take 974 steps to see that monopolies are not permitted to interfere either with the British ar effort, or with reconstruction when the war is over?
§ Sir Percy Harris
Does not the Deputy Prime Minister realise that there is great public concern, and can he give us an assurance that, if he cannot set up a special committee, the Cabinet itself is studying the matter and will report in due course?
§ Mr. Attlee
The matter is being considered by Ministers, in connection with the general question of post-war economy.
§ Mr. Shinwell
When the right hon. Gentleman, speaks of "the Government," to which Department, dealing with this matter, does he refer?
§ Mr. Ellis Smith
Will the right hon. Gentleman consult the Prime Minister, with a view to reconsidering policy in connection with this matter?
Mr. De la Bère
Will the Deputy Prime Minister bear in mind that it is not a question of "due course," but of the right course?