Government Policy

Part of Orders of the Day — King's Speech – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th October 1947.

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In the legislative field, perhaps the fairest thing to say is that certain great experiments have been launched. The National Coal Board has a great, an enormous, an almost superhuman task. In my view, success will require a great deal of devolution and decentralisation, which seems not yet forthcoming. The psychological weaknesses of State capitalist monopoly are just as great as, if not greater than those of private monopoly. In the field of transport, as the right hon. Gentleman the Lord President of the Council reminded us yesterday, the experiment has not yet begun. The railways have a fine staff in all ranks; and I believe that, in spite of much heartburning, their sense of loyalty and tradition will be at the service of their new masters. But on the road side we cannot but feel that the new system is handicapped by a sense of deep injustice. The road hauliers feel that they have been beaten down and destroyed. They look for freedom in the future—and they will not look in vain.