Nucleus and Closed Firms.

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce. – in the House of Commons on 2nd June 1942.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Arthur Colegate Mr Arthur Colegate , The Wrekin

asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) whether he will give a list of the nucleus firms in the toy trade in this country;

(2) whether he will give the reason for refusing to supply lists of nucleus and closed firms to members of the trades concerned?

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Bishop Auckland

It would be contrary to the interests of public security to publish the names of nucleus and closed firms in any industry. The names are, however, given on request, and in confidence, to representative trade associations. I am sending to my hon. Friend, for his confidential information, a list of nucleus toy firms.

Photo of Mr Arthur Colegate Mr Arthur Colegate , The Wrekin

Is there any reason why individual traders, who will be very badly affected by these closing Orders, might not have the information, assuming, for example, that they are not members of any trading associations?

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Bishop Auckland

It is important, for the reason that I have suggested, to keep this information within as narrow a circle as possible. I am sure that my hon. Friend will appreciate that the enemy would like to know the details about our concentration of industry.

Photo of Sir Percy Harris Sir Percy Harris , Bethnal Green South West

Is it seriously suggested that the toy industry is of strategic importance?

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Bishop Auckland

No, Sir, but the reason why we are carrying out concentration in this and other industries is in order to put to a strategical purpose premises, machinery and labour, previously used for non-strategical purposes, for war production and the storage of war material. It is not desirable to tell the enemy about those matters.

Photo of Mr Arthur Colegate Mr Arthur Colegate , The Wrekin

Does not the right hon. Gentleman realise that there is grave anxiety among people whose small businesses have been closed? Surely there is no reason why a list should not be given in confidence to such individual firms of firms which have been closed, or even made nucleus firms, so that they can get into touch with each other?

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Bishop Auckland

There is no difficulty about getting into touch with other firms for the purpose of combining.