HC Deb 25 January 1956 vol 548 c192
50. Sir J. Hutchison

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation if he will give general directions to those nationalised industries for which he is responsible, instructing them to undertake not to raise their prices for a fixed period in order to arrest the rise in prices and to provide a background for restraint in wage claims.

Mr. Watkinson

No, Sir. I do not think it would be desirable or practicable to bind the British Transport Commission or the Air Corporations in this way.

Sir J. Hutchison

Is my right hon. Friend aware that a considerable section of industry has already taken this helpful and public-spirited step? Is nationalised industry really going to fall behind in giving a lead or following a step which has an importance of the kind I have indicated?

Mr. Watkinson

I am in great sympathy with what my hon. Friend says. All I say is that I believe the better way of doing this is for me to work closely with my nationalised industries to improve their efficiency—and that is what I propose to do.

Mr. Blenkinsop

On a point of order. We seem to be making a big jump in Questions, Mr. Speaker. I did not get an opportunity of asking my Question No. 49.

Mr. Speaker

I called the hon. Gentleman quite clearly, and he did not rise. I thought he must have left the Chamber. I am sorry; I cannot go back.