§ 40. Mr. Thornton
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware that two of the largest companies in the United Kingdom have increased their dividends by approximately 11 per cent. 27W and 14 per cent, details of which have been sent to him by the hon. Member for Farnworth; and whether he will revise the terms of reference of the National Incomes Commission, so that the subject of increased dividends may be referred to it by Her Majesty's Government.
§ Mr. Maudling
No. Unlike wage rates, which tend to rise steadily and more or less uniformly within an industry, profits and dividends vary considerably from firm to firm and from year to year. This diversity is essential in the interests of economic growth and greater efficiency. The National Incomes Commission is already required by its terms of reference to report from time to time on the need if any for action to be taken to implement the Government's pledge to restrain undue growth in aggregate profits following restraint in earned incomes.