Orders of the Day — Steel Industry and Road Haulage

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th November 1951.

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Photo of Mr David Maxwell Fyfe Mr David Maxwell Fyfe , Liverpool, West Derby 12:00 am, 12th November 1951

I am asking hon. Gentlemen to take this as the highest common factor on which we are agreed. I take no statement of ours. I take the statement from the Trades Union Congress Report: No one should seek public ownership for the sake of public ownership, but only as the best method of doing the job. That is our common factor, on which we are agreed. In the case of one industry we have private enterprise and the admission that public supervision is necessary, and in the case of another industry we have an admission by both sides that there should be a part for private enterprise and a part for public ownership. Our problem is to find the dividing line.

When the dust and heat of the Election are gone down a bit, is it too much to ask that hon. Gentlemen in all parts of the House should try to find where that dividing line should be drawn and that we should make an effort -I know how everyone feels at this moment, but, after all, we have to look at the vista ahead —to find agreement as to what is the proper dividing line? [AN HON. MEMBER: "It was done a year ago."] I only ask the House to consider it. If hon. Members will consider it, I believe we shall have found one other matter in which our Parliamentary democracy is a proper example to the world.