HC Deb 18 July 1977 vol 935 cc1139-40
19. Mr. Adley

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he has any specific plans for further nationalisation of industry.

Mr. Kaufman

The Government's policy towards public ownership is set out in their White Paper on the regeneration of British industry.

Mr. Adley

Will the Minister answer the Question "Yes" or "No"?

Mr. Kaufman

I have answered the Question. The hon. Gentleman cannot understand the answer.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

From the Minister's reply, do I understand that the recent report of the home policy sub-committee of the National Executive of the Labour Party is totally rejected by the present Administration? Does the Minister think that if it comes to a battle with the present members of the National Executive the Government are likely to lose again?

Mr. Kaufman

If the hon. Gentleman wants to put a question about the home policy committee of the Labour Party, he should address it to Mr. Ron Hayward, who will be able to give him whatever necessary information that he feels is available. As for the Government's policies, the Department of Industry has put before the House, and received its acceptance of, the legislation which brought the aircraft and shipbuilding industries into public ownership, greatly to the benefit of those industries and not at all to the credit of the Conservative Party.

Mr. Heffer

Perhaps my hon. Friend can advise the hon. Member for Rushcliffe (Mr. Clarke) to have a word with me. Does my hon. Friend understand that at the next General Election the Labour Party will fight its policies on the basis of an extension of public ownership according to the policy and programme carried by Labour's conference?

Mr. Kaufman

Far be it from me to differ with a member of the Labour Party National Executive on the question of the authority of the Labour Party National Executive. My understanding, however, is that our party will fight and win the next General Election on the basis of the manifesto agreed through the usual procedure—that is, a joint committee of the Cabinet and the National Executive.