HC Deb 09 December 1952 vol 509 cc238-9
45. Mr. Erroll

asked the Prime Minister if he will publish in the form of a White Paper an up-to-date comprehensive list of all members appointed to central and regional nationalised boards of a commercial character, with details of individual salaries, pensions and expenses allowed, and contract dates, together with a separate list showing all individuals holding more than one appointment; and what those appointments are.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Winston Churchill)

A White Paper of this character will be published shortly. I should like, however, to take this opportunity of acknowledging the valuable services rendered by those to whom the Question refers.

Hon. Members

Hear, hear.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Could the Prime Minister give us what he felt unable to give last year—some information about the salaries and expenses paid to the directors and managers of the larger financial, industrial and commercial undertakings carried on under private enterprise?

The Prime Minister

I thought I gave a fair answer to the Question asked, and I put in something at the end which gained the approval of the party opposite, because I recognise all the loyal effort that is given in all these services; but I am not going to embark on a comparison of the cost of running capitalist enterprises or Socialist enterprises.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Since such a comparison is very frequently made, and aspersions are cast on members of nationalised boards, would the Prime Minister at least consider giving us information about the salaries and expenses paid to directors and managers of private coal companies and electricity undertakings before they were nationalised?

The Prime Minister

I certainly do not feel called upon to embark on official returns of that character. There is, of course, a general feeling that private enterprise manages things much cheaper for the general public.