§ 21. Mr. Dickens
asked the Secretary of State for Economic Affairs if he will introduce legislation to establish a national investment board.
§ The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Mr. Frederick Lee)
No, Sir. Since the proposal for a national investment board was first put forward there 853 has been a considerable development in our techniques for economic planning including the co-ordination of private investment. In the circumstances an investment board is not necessary.
§ Mr. Dickens
Is my right hon. Friend aware that that reply is most disappointing? Can he now tell the House how the Government propose to control the investment of, for example, insurance companies and banks, over which they seem to have no control?
§ Mr. Lee
My hon. Friend should remember that the Board of Trade and the C.B.I. quite separately collect a lot of information on the investment functions of private industry and the system of industrial development certificates also yields us material information. The work of the E.D.C.s also contributes to it and we are well aware of the intentions in their own industries.
§ Mr. Biffen
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that one of the pioneers of the suggestion of a National Investment Board was his right hon. Friend the Prime Minister? Does he now suggest that the information collected by the C.B.I. is in such detail and carries with it such sanctions that it can replace that idea of the Prime Minister?