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.

Alert me about debates like this

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

I am anxious to conclude, I have given way quite a lot. The right hon. Member for Vauxhall announced the intention of his party, as I understood it, to re-nationalise steel. I think it right to examine how, in fact, the attitude of the party opposite has been formed on this issue. They recommended nationalisation in 1934. They went to the country in 1945 and brought out exactly the same proposal. Having had a majority they claimed they had a mandate. But then they committed what always seemed to me a gross constitutional error. They claimed that the mandate was not just permissive, it was obligatory. Once they said that they were caught; they could not get out. If once they tried to get out of it someone would say to them, "Oh, you are betraying the party programme." And so, laughingly and gleefully, hon. Members opposite declare now that they will stand for ever and ever exactly where they stood in 1934—and theirs is the party of enlightenment.