HC Deb 24 March 1964 vol 692 cc243-4
Q4. Mr. Webster

asked the Prime Minister what plans he has for the future of public ownership of industry.

The Prime Minister

I have no plans for adding new industries to those already in public ownership.

Mr. Webster

I thank my right hon. Friend for that Answer, but is he aware of the risk of reduced investment in the road haulage industry because of the fear that a Labour Government would direct traffics on to rail, would cause widespread bankruptcy in the industry, and would nationalise on penal terms of compensation?

The Prime Minister

Yes, I think that my hon. Friend is right. I consulted the last Labour Party manifesto just to make sure, and I found that the party opposite said that there was going to be straight renationalisation of road haulage. If right hon. and hon. Members opposite are hedging now, perhaps we have persuaded them to drop it.

Mr. G. Brown

Will the Prime Minister tell us what plans he has to prevent any take-overs of private enterprise and increasing monopolisation?

Hon. Members


The Prime Minister

The right hon. Gentleman asked me whether we would take over—will he repeat his question?

Mr. Brown

I am very happy to do so. Will the right hon. Gentleman tell us what plans he has to prevent any further take-overs of private enterprise and to prevent a further increase in private monopolisation?

The Prime Minister

I do not think that the right hon. Gentleman can have read the White Paper on Monopolies.

Mr. Skeet

Will my right hon. Friend agree that no case has been made out for the renationalisation of steel, that it has been rejected by all the workers in the industry, and that there is no point in trying to organise industry by the disorganising principle of nationalisation?

Mr. J. Morris

Will the Prime Minister confirm that he has confidence in the management of Richard Thomas and Baldwins and its efficiency to date, and, in order to allay any anxiety, will he confirm that it is no longer the intention of his Government to denationalise Richard Thomas and Baldwins in the lifetime of this Parliament?

The Prime Minister

On the latter part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question, I do not know that I can be quite clear. On the first part, yes, I can.