Part of Orders of the Day — Supply – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 21st June 1978.

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Photo of Mr Michael Heseltine Mr Michael Heseltine Shadow Secretary of State, Shadow Secretary of State for Environment 12:00 am, 21st June 1978

What the hon. Gentleman does not understand is that if we are misrepresenting the nationalisation plans of the Labour Government, it is in the gift of Cabinet Ministers to deny that there is to be any nationalisation of any companies in the construction industry. If the Prime Minister, when asked whether these plans are realistic, accepts that nationalisation is always on the agenda of the Labour Party, then it is realistic that we in the Conservative Party who are opposed to it will never cease to draw the attention of the country to the dangers involved. If we are distorting the Labour Party's plans, then all I ask the Secretary of State to say is that he does not believe in the policy. I ask him to explain why the Prime Minister, or any of his colleagues, did not deny its value at the Labour Party conference which opposed it.

I would be most grateful to understand why an unidentified Cabinet Minister had to go off to Sir Maurice Laing in order to try to persuade him—of course, behind closed doors—to drop the campaign. Why has that been done now that we are running up to a General Election campaign, when traditionally the Labour Party understands that nationalisation as an issue is widely unpopular with the public and will, therefore, do everything it can to suppress the contents?