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 Aubrey Jones Mr Aubrey Jones , Birmingham, Hall Green 12:00 am, 12th November 1951

Surely I cannot explain it more clearly than that. I am giving hon. Members my clearest possible understanding of the proposal as I see it—[Interruption.] Hon. Members need not get wild. None of their arguments has taken this proposal into account. Why did the T.U.C. make this particular proposal? It is important to ask this. It made it for this reason: Hon. Members opposite have nationalised certain compact industries, what they call basic industries.

The problem concerning the T.U.C. was how to go beyond this; how to establish a form of public control over industries such as the chemical industry and the engineering industry which, in the words of the T.U.C. report, are a whole number of inter-connected industries. Once we try to nationalise those we run into difficulties of definition. Therefore, said the T.U.C., for these industries we recommend as a method of public control a supervisory board on the lines of the Iron and Steel Board with newer powers. Surely the iron and steel industry is the supreme example of an inter-connected industry of that kind. If the method is applicable to the field it is supremely applicable to this particular instance drawn from the field. This afternoon the right hon. Member for Vauxhall—