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Clause 1. — (Machinery and Plant.)

Part of Orders of the Day — Industrial Development Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 11th August 1966.

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Photo of Mr George Darling Mr George Darling , Sheffield, Hillsborough 12:00 am, 11th August 1966

It comes to the same thing in the end. If the hon. Member has read the OFFICIAL REPORT of our proceedings in Committee he will know that on more than one occasion it was pointed out that the purpose of investment grants is not to increase dividends paid to shareholders or to increase profits but to encourage people to invest more money in the machinery and equipment which is needed to increase the rate of productivity. We can argue these points on another occasion.

8.45 p.m.

I was intrigued by the arguments of the hon. Member for Barkston Ash (Mr. Alison) about pit props. He probably knows that the purpose of the Coal Board's modernisation schemes at the moment is to get rid of things like pit props. I see the argument, but the machinery and the equipment required at the sawmills, because this is a productive, manufacturing process, would, of course, attract investment grants. It ought to be made clear, and the right hon. Member for Argyll skated over this——