§ 55. Lieut.-Colonel Lipton
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what action he will take in cases where insurance and cement companies have raised their dividends and thus contravened his request for limitation of dividends.
§ Mr. Jay
The policy of dividend limitation is based on the voluntary co-operation of industry generally and 1447 this precludes action by the Government in individual cases. I am still satisfied with the general results, and I do not consider that the failure of individual insurance or cement companies to co-operate would justify departing from present policy.
§ Lieut.-Colonel Lipton
Can the Minister say whether such dividend increases are designed to influence the share values of industries that may be suitable for nationalisation, and whether they do not represent an attempt to hold up the community to ransom?
§ Sir W. Smithers
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that, since the Prime Minister made his appeal in February, 1948, wages have risen on an annual basis by £108 million?