Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Privately-Owned Firms (Acquisition)

Oral Answers to Questions — Technology – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 18th March 1968.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Hon. Nicholas Ridley Hon. Nicholas Ridley , Cirencester and Tewkesbury 12:00 am, 18th March 1968

asked the Minister of Technology if he will lay down the criteria upon which his decision to acquire privately-owned firms will be based.

Photo of Mr John Cronin Mr John Cronin , Loughborough

asked the Minister of Technology if he will state the reasons upon which his decision to acquire privately-owned firms will be based.

Photo of Mr Tony Benn Mr Tony Benn , Bristol South East

As I have taken no such decision, the need for criteria does not arise. The Industrial Expansion Bill now before the House sets out the criteria and arrangements in regard to Government subscription of equity capital with the consent of the firm concerned.

Photo of Hon. Nicholas Ridley Hon. Nicholas Ridley , Cirencester and Tewkesbury

Will the Minister be more specific? It is no good his having a haphazard shopping list. Will he say under what circumstances he intends to acquire firms, so that we can judge whether he is meeting his own criteria?

Photo of Mr Tony Benn Mr Tony Benn , Bristol South East

I have not a shopping list. The hon. Gentleman has a list of a lot of things which he thinks that I want to buy, but he knows that this is not the provision of the Bill. The provision is that there would be participation only by consent. No compulsory powers are being taken. There is the procedure for the Advisory Committee. In any case, the House of Commons would be required to make an order on individual schemes. I recommend the hon. Gentleman to read the Bill.