Clause 1. — (Extension of powers under 9 & 10 Geo. 6 c. 10.)

Part of Orders of the Day — Supplies and Services (Transitional Powers) Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 11th August 1947.

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Photo of Mr David Grenfell Mr David Grenfell , Gower 12:00 am, 11th August 1947

I submitted the Amendment after I read the Bill, and I want to say why I wish to see it added to the Bill. So far from being a suitable instrument, this Bill is intended to add to the powers of the Executive, and I think it is highly dangerous that the Executive should be strengthened in the way that it is possible under the Bill—that is, by weakening the authority of the House and Parliament itself. This Bill does not in terms abrogate the powers of Members of Parliament, but it does derogate from the real power of the House and of the Members and of their standing as public representatives in this House.

I have put down my Amendment because I have a particular example of the ill effects of Government planning and the use of natural resources to which I must refer in order to make my point fully clear and to justify a change in the proposed legislation which the Government are now putting forward. I have tried to call attention in this House to a particular case on several occasions, but because of the absence of the provisions which I now propose in my Amendment, I have been unable to secure any effective attention to the subject. I am proposing, that before any change in location of industry or the proposed transfer of industry shall take place, joint consultation with the appropriate representatives of industry, of local authorities, and of Members of Parliament for the area concerned, shall take place. That is the only effective way of preventing a repetition of a case in my constituency which has very largely prejudiced opportunities of making full use of the resources of this country.

We are passing through not only an economic crisis but an industrial revolution, which it would be dangerous to ignore. There are now changes in production which only men who are in close touch with industry have observed. There is a great plan for reorganisation of the steel industry. An enormous sum of capital is to be expended. Large and powerful machines, previously unknown in the industry in this country, are to be imported from abroad. American machinery is to be imported into this country at great expense, and it behoves the House that we should now at this opportunity call to mind and direct our attention to the need for establishing a condition in which the machinery can be used to the best purpose and the expenditure, largely incurred abroad, equally justified. The particular project to which I have tried to draw the attention of the House I have endeavoured to bring before the Ministers on several occasions and this controversy, which began with no responsibility of mine on 6th May, when eight Members of Parliament presented——