Can the Minister say how the nationalised industries can be expected to achieve these target rates of returns if prices are controlled artificially? Will he state whether the levels of investment in the nationalised industries are to continue to be dependent upon these industries achieving the target rates of returns?
There is a direct correlation between price control and the targets which the industries have been set. I hope that the industries concerned here will be able to meet their targets by placing themselves in as competitive a position as possible.
Will my hon. Friend make certain that, in contrast to the practice adopted by the previous Government, the return on capital required by the Government is given to the nationalised industries well in advance of the period in which it is to operate? If that is not known it is impossible for the industries to operate properly.