HC Deb 29 June 1944 vol 401 cc790-1
42. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the total capital assistance made to contractors, capital commitments other than assistance, the amount of expenditure allowed for extensions to private firms, the amount on agency schemes; has an inventory been made of State-owned assets and has consideration been given to the Sixteenth Report from the Select Committee on National Expenditure, Session 1942–43, that dealt with State-owned assets; and what action has or is to be taken.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Sir John Anderson)

My hon. Friend will find full details of capital expenditure over the range covered by his Question in the reply of the Minister of Production to him on 9th February last, and that of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry, of 18th May. I do not think that a central inventory of State-owned assets would be either practicable or useful, but consideration has been, and is being, given to the question how such assets can best be utilised at the end of the war.

Mr. Ellis Smith

Are the Government considering utilising these assets as far as possible, in order to carry out the policy of State ownerhip and in order that industry will be efficient and able to play a bigger part in the post-war world than would otherwise be the case?

Sir J. Anderson

I can give my hon. Friend the assurance that the Government are considering how best to use this property in the public interest. I can say no more at present.