HC Deb 28 June 1974 vol 875 cc7-8W
Mr. Skeet

asked the Secretary of State for Industry (1) whether he proposes, in his plans for Government participation in industry, that selective financial assistance should necessarily involve participation in a company by the National Enterprise Board;

(2) whether he proposes that prices and domestic investment by the 100 largest companies should be controlled by planning agreements irrespective of market considerations or subject to them;

(3) why he proposes that planning agreements should cover product development;

(4) what is intended by the phrase "Key Sector Leaders in Manufacturing Industry" which he proposes that the National Enterprise Board should be empowered to purchase in reference to machine tools and the chemical industry;

(5) whether the planning agreements on a tripartite basis referred to in his policy document on Government participation in industry with the 100 companies initially to be covered are mandatory; and what sort of sanctions are involved;

(6) if he will make a statement on the trade unions' rôle in planning agreements; and whether in companies which are associated with a number of trade unions all such unions will be required to be party to the agreements;

(7) in the case of multinational companies, how he proposes to reconcile the British Government's economic objectives with those of overseas Governments in whose territory the parent operates through subsidiaries.

Mr. Heffer

When the Government are ready to come forward with proposals for a National Enterprise Board and planning agreements, these will be published in a Green Paper.

Mr. Robert Taylor

asked the Secretary of State for Industry how many of the Financial Times list of the top 75 exporting companies are under consideration for public ownership; and if he will indicate an approximate maximum total for combined home and export turnover to which a company may grow before it is considered for public ownership.

Mr. Heffer

The Government's proposals for the extension of public ownership will be announced in due course.