HC Deb 30 January 1969 vol 776 cc1518-20
Q1. Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

asked the Prime Minister what plans he has for making a Ministerial broadcast on the state of the economy.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Harold Wilson)

None at present, Sir. All the facts and statistics relating to the nation's economic situation are available to the broadcasting authorities.

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

Nevertheless, now that the Prime Minister is on speaking terms with the B.B.C.—presumably not for very long—does he not owe it to the country to explain the extent to which it is the Government's intention to balance the books by selling off the underlying assets in the form of British companies to American companies? Can he assure us that the next time he addresses us on this subject, he will avoid another fit of the miracles?

The Prime Minister

I have never been other than on speaking terms with the B.B.C, and did a number of broadcasts last year. On the second point, I answered a Question on Tuesday about this. If the hon. Gentleman is unhappy about the question of take-over bids from abroad, and would like my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer to use powers, which the hon. Gentleman opposed the Government having, then I am prepared to put that suggestion to him.

Mr. Cant

Would my right hon. Friend remind hon. Members opposite of the large number of articles, highly favourable to the Government's economic efforts, which are appearing in the Right-wing newspapers, such as the Financial Times, and the most wonderful glossy magazines, like The Director, and Management Today? Surely further broadcasts would be superfluous.

The Prime Minister

I am not responsible for what appears in any newspapers.

Mr. Ridsdale

When the right hon. Gentleman makes another Ministerial broadcast, would he say what he is doing to prevent British industry being bought too cheaply from abroad? Is not one way of preventing this to stop attacking British capital and British savings over here?

The Prime Minister

That seems a little illogical. If the hon. Gentleman is suggesting that people are denigrating British firms, it is rather difficult to understand why he finds that there is such keenness to buy them from abroad. I answered a question on this in a broadcast on "Panorama" last week, I think. I would be prepared to send a copy of that to the hon. Gentleman, if I am right in that remembrance.