Orders of the Day — Finance Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 25th April 1955.

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Photo of Mr Douglas Houghton Mr Douglas Houghton , Sowerby 12:00 am, 25th April 1955

I do not wish to press this point, but I would offer one comment on that matter. I believe that it is becoming more and more necessary for companies to take their workers into their confidence regarding the financial structure and operation of the companies. I am very glad to see that many firms are now doing so. I have seen most interesting and lucid explanations printed in an attractive way and published by many firms for circulation among all their workers, so that they may clearly understand what their companies are doing, how the capital formation is made up, where the money is coming from, the dividends in past years, and so on.

I think that is a much more convincing way of doing it than by giving global figures to workers about industry generally, because each worker at least has an interest in the organisation for which he is working, and he takes a pride in his achievements and wishes to add to the prosperity of the company for which he is working. All he asks is that he should get a fair share of the increased productivity and prosperity of the organisation for which he works. That is something to be borne in mind by hon. Members opposite more than by hon. Members on these benches, because we are not the capitalists. Many of us are, of course, trade unionists and are able to speak from close contact with the trade union point of view.

I close by regretting the limited opportunity that the whole House has for considering the nation's economic and fiscal affairs this time. Although I do not question the judgment of the Prime Minister in reaching the decision he did, I think it is an ill service that any Government does the House of Commons to announce the dissolution while we still have the most important financial and economic Parliamentary business to do before we break up. This, after all, is the most important period of the Parliamentary year from every point of view. I think it very sad indeed that we have to rush through it with inadequate discussion, inadequate proposals and a Budget which has been roughly hewed out of an electoral situation and which I think is much less satisfactory on that account.