Concentration of Industry.

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce. – in the House of Commons on 9th June 1942.

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Photo of Mr James Wootton-Davies Mr James Wootton-Davies , Heywood and Radcliffe

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether the Explanatory Memorandum, issued by his Department in March, 1941, on the Concentration of Industry is still the basis of concentration; and how many Departments or Ministries are now concerned with the initiation of concentration?

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Bishop Auckland

Yes, Sir. This Memorandum is still the basis of our policy. The Ministry of Food and the Ministry of Works and Buildings, in addition to the Board of Trade, are concentrating industries which fall within their province.

Photo of Mr James Wootton-Davies Mr James Wootton-Davies , Heywood and Radcliffe

Does not the right hon. Gentleman think it advisable to have more concentration under one head in order to get one definite policy? Is it not possible that with two or three Departments dealing with this there would be two or three different readings of the Memorandum?

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Bishop Auckland

I do not think so; we keep in close contact, and, of course, any matter relating to food more properly falls within the purview of the Ministry of Food than the Board of Trade.

Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon South

Has the retreat from concentration been conducted on the terms of the same Memorandum?

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Bishop Auckland

No, Sir. There has not been retreat; there has been reconsideration of the position in the light of the economic position. We must, of course, always be prepared to take account of any changes in the original situation which led to a particular scheme being advisable before.