Nationalised Industries (Return on Capital)

Oral Answers to Questions — Technology – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13th July 1970.

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Photo of Mr John Golding Mr John Golding , Newcastle-under-Lyme 12:00 am, 13th July 1970

asked the Minister of Technology whether he proposes to change the planned rates of return on capital required of the nationalised industries.

Photo of Mr John Eden Mr John Eden , Bournemouth West

This is a matter which must be kept under review.

Photo of Mr John Golding Mr John Golding , Newcastle-under-Lyme

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?

Photo of Mr John Eden Mr John Eden , Bournemouth West

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.

Photo of Sir Peter Emery Sir Peter Emery , Honiton

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.

Photo of Mr John Eden Mr John Eden , Bournemouth West

I think that that is an important matter.