Labour Governments and Private Industry: The Experience of 1945-1951

By H. Mercer; N. Rollings et al. | Go to book overview

APPENDIX 2.2 Edited version of GEN343/4 'Revised draft of the Bill', 6 February 1951

Draft 'Full Employment Bill'

Introduction
Whereas it is expedient [for the purpose of making full use of the skill and energies of the people of the United Kingdom and raising their standard of life] to carry out a policy of full employment:And whereas that policy involves, on the one hand, the maintenance of an adequate demand for goods and services and, on the other, the taking of any measures necessary to check inflation and to secure the provision of goods and services required by the community:And whereas it is necessary, for the successful carrying out of that policy, that there should be available to His Majesty's Government, on a permanent basis but subject to Parliamentary safeguards, powers --
(a) to stimulate and facilitate the provision of capital for the financing of trade and industry,
(b) to undertake the purchase of capital goods on public account,
(c) to encourage the planning and carrying out of public works,
(d) to control prices and secure fair distribution of goods and services,
(e) to regulate production and supply so as to secure the requisite priorities for export and defence and to satisfy the needs of the community, and
(f) to regulate building operations.

Clauses of the bill
Part I (Clauses 1-5) Measures for Maintaining Demand
Part II (Clauses 6-8) Price Control
Part III (Clauses 9-12) Control of Production, Distribution and Consumption of Goods and Building Operations
Part IV (Clauses 13-32) Miscellaneous and General
More specifically this meant the introduction of
1. positive powers concerning
a) Stimulation of investment in the private sector;
b) Public purchase of capital goods;
c) Stimulation of investment by public authorities and of
2. negative powers concerning
a) price control;
b) allocation of raw materials, and fair distribution of essential consumer goods;
c) control of building.

Import and export licensing were not included and it was recommended that these should be covered by separate legislation (although ministers do not seem totally convinced by this). Also the powers should not include positive directions to industry.


NOTES
1.
Hansard (Commons) 5th Series Vol. 480 Col. 174 14/11/ 1950, speech by R. A. Butler. The author would like to thank Sir Alec Cairncross for comments on a draft of this paper.

-32-

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Labour Governments and Private Industry: The Experience of 1945-1951
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Notes on the Contributors vi
  • Preface vii
  • One: Introduction 1
  • Part One the Policies 13
  • Appendix 2.2 Edited Version of Gen343/4 'Revised Draft of the Bill', 6 February 1951 32
  • Notes 33
  • Three: Productivity Policy 37
  • Four Anti-Monopoly Policy 55
  • Conclusions 69
  • Notes 70
  • Five: Private Industrial Investment 74
  • Six Whatever Happened to the British Warfare State? the Ministry of Supply, 1945-1951 91
  • Notes 113
  • Seven: Taxation Policy 117
  • Part Two the Sectors 135
  • Eight the Cotton Industry: A Middle Way Between Nationalisation and Self-Government? 137
  • Notes 160
  • Nine: The Motor Car Industry 162
  • Ten the Shipbuilding Industry1 186
  • Appendix 10.1 204
  • Appendix 10.1 208
  • Eleven: The Film Industry 212
  • Index 237
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