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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It is not the fault of the industry if a gross miscalculation as to allocations has been made of 2,000,000 tons. That is not the industry's fault, but the fault of the people who are running the allocations. In spite of the coal hold up it has reached an output at the rate of 14,200,000 tons per annum; which is a record, or practically a record. As to prices—because prices are a good mark of efficiency—where coal has risen from an index figure of 100 in 1938 to 216 today, and general manufactured commodities to 202, in the case of steel the rise has been to a figure of only 158. The Government, therefore, know that to nationalise steel would be an act of criminal folly. It would be too much even for them—except, of course, for the Minister of Health, who differs from his colleagues, and accuses the managers of the steel industry of having betrayed the nation's interests.