I recognise, Sir William, that I was led somewhat astray by the Economic Secretary into giving more detail on the point than I wished to give, because I had thought that the facts were well known to the hon. Members and that it would be quite sufficient to illustrate them by one or two examples. I think that I have established the point. One can refer, also, to the limitation on the building of hospitals required by hospital management committees to show that the Government do, in fact, restrain public investment because there is a limit to the amount of physical resources available at any given time for these admittedly necessary and worth while purposes.
All I ask is that we should do the same for private industry. We should tell private industry that, if it stakes a claim to use scarce national resources for worthless projects or projects of limited value, we shall not give it a 30 per cent. tax free hand-out. If industry wishes to squander national resources on frills and trimmings, there should be no taxpayer's money forthcoming as a gift.
On the other hand, if industry uses its money for promoting exports, for investment, to save imports by making the kind of sophisticated equipment which we are at present importing, for providing equipment for schools, and hospitals, for building roads and rolling stock, for enhancing the growth of the more advanced sections of our industry in telecommunications, nuclear power, plastics and so forth, then it should have its reward.
If industry wishes to employ national resources on useless or worthless purposes, purposes which are not in the national interest and which do not accord with our conception of a national plan and social value, there should be no gift.