HC Deb 29 January 1970 vol 794 c1708
34. Mr. Brooks

asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity whether she will take steps to ensure that the National Board for Prices and Incomes or the proposed Commission for Industry and Manpower automatically investigates the affairs of those firms where profits rise in the wake of large scale redundancies deliberately induced by the management.

Mrs. Castle

The movement of profits in relation to prices is one of the matters which may point to a need for a reference to the N.B.P.I. The basis on which it is proposed that references should be made to the Commission on Industry and Manpower is spelt out in the consultative document, copies of which have been placed in the Vote Office.

Mr. Brooks

Would my right hon. Friend agree that the fashionable drive towards ever-bigger organisation, with all its rationalisation and so-called shakeout of labour, is motivated not necessarily by an urge for efficiency but simply by an urge for monopoly profits? Is it not time for this process to be investigated far more regularly and scrupulously by the body which she has in mind?

Mrs. Castle

One of the purposes of the Commission for Industry and Manpower, which we are proposing to set up, and about which we will shortly be introducing legislation, is to ensure that monopoly profits are not made at the expense of the consumer and that the public interest is safeguarded in a situation in which we are having larger and larger units of industry.

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