HC Deb 03 March 1919 vol 113 c43W

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the proposal for the nationalisation of mines, railways, and other services, he will have an inquiry made by independent chartered accountants into the State trading during the War which has been carried on by the Ministry of Food, the Board of Trade, and the Ministry of Munitions, so that Members of this House can judge impartially whether State trading results in a profit or a loss?


Accounts on a commercial basis showing the results of the various trading operations undertaken by the State during the War are being prepared, and these will be examined by qualified auditors. I doubt, however, whether, in view of the exceptional conditions under which these operations have been carried on, such accounts would form any reliable guide to the probable results of State ownership of mines or railways in normal times.