Greater London and Counties Trust, LTD.

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport. – in the House of Commons at on 18 February 1929.

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Photo of Mr Wilfred Wellock Mr Wilfred Wellock , Stourbridge

60.

asked the Minister of Transport if he is aware that an American utility company has acquired through the Greater London and Counties Trust, Ltd., the control of seven British power companies and substantial interests in others, all of which enjoy a statutory monopoly; and if the Government will consider whether, and in what ways, this step may affect British interests?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley , New Forest and Christchurch

I have seen statements in the Press to the effect mentioned in the first part of this question. With regard to the general question raised it the second part, I do not think that I can usefully say more than that it has engaged my attention.

Photo of Mr Wilfred Wellock Mr Wilfred Wellock , Stourbridge

Is it the case that orders for various commodities for development are going to America as a result of this arrangement?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley , New Forest and Christchurch

I could not say. All I could say is that so far as I know no orders have gone.

Photo of Mr Wilfred Wellock Mr Wilfred Wellock , Stourbridge

Is it not rather a serious position that a monopoly created by this House should be controlled by foreign capital, and would not a Labour Government not only be justified but in duty bound to nationalise this service?

Commander LOCKER-LAMPSON:

Is it not the case that the more American money that comes here for development the better?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley , New Forest and Christchurch

It appears to me that what we have to look at is the efficient public control of all companies, whether the capital happens to be foreign or British. That is the matter we have to consider more than where the money comes from.

Photo of Sir Patrick Hannon Sir Patrick Hannon , Birmingham Moseley

Is it not a fact that in the particular case embodied in this question the control of this corporation will be under British directors?

Photo of Sir Nicholas Grattan-Doyle Sir Nicholas Grattan-Doyle , Newcastle upon Tyne North

Is it not a fact that in this particular company the control of the capital lies in British hands and that the majority of the directors are British?

Mr. MALONE:

Is it not a fact that an ex-member of the Government is going to be chairman of this company?