HC Deb 14 July 1975 vol 895 cc1039-40
8. Mr. Moonman

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will publish a statement of the Government's industrial strategy in which would be set out his industrial priorities for different sectors of the economy, the relevance of industries of innovation, such as the electronics industry, marking forecasts, and the development of five-to-10-year time cycles.

Mr. Kaufman

We have published our general industrial strategy in the White Paper "The Regeneration of British Industry". This will be developed further through the medium of planning agreements and discussions with industry.

Mr. Moonman

Does my hon. Friend concede that the object of the planning agreement procedure will be to obtain this sort of basic information and that the quality of decision-making in industry and in the trade unions will depend on his spelling out powers for the industries of innovation such as the computer industry?

Mr. Kaufman

I accept what my hon. Friend has said. We shall be able to get hold of information not only through the planning agreements but through the disclosure provisions of the Industry Bill when it is enacted. I know of my hon. Friend's particular interest in the computer industry. It is satisfying that the British computer industry, which was saved by the Labour Government when they came to office in 1964, is preventing the domination of our computer consumption by IBM in the way that happens on the Continent of Europe.

Mr. Biggs-Davison

In the Government's industrial strategy, will they take care to listen to the voices of the men on the shop floor? Those voices may not always entirely agree wih the Government. For example, there are those who are utterly opposed to further nationalisation. Will the Government listen to the people on the shop floor?

Mr. Kaufman

We shall certainly listen to the people on the shop floor. In addition to the tiny majority against public ownership, we shall listen to the large majority in favour of it.