§ 4. Mr. Ridley
asked the Secretary of State for Trade what consultations he has had with the trade unions concerned upon the possible nationalisation of banks and insurance companies.
§ Mr. Ridley
Is the Minister aware that the unions concerned are thoroughly against this proposal? Is it not a typical example of the democracy of the NEC of the Labour Party that it should propose to proceed despite the fact that there is opposition from those who work in these industries?
§ Mr. Davis
The unions concerned have made their position clear, as have the Government. The Prime Minister made a categorical assertion about this issue nearly three years ago. Sometimes I am as hesitant to accept the advice of the hon. Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury (Mr. Ridley) as was his right hon. Friend the Member for Sidcup (Mr. Heath), who summarily dismissed him from his Government in 1972.
§ Mr. McCrindle
Would the Minister be more prepared to accept the advice of employees in banking and insurance who, apart from opposing nationalisation of their industries, are equally opposed to the control of their investments? Are the Government as opposed to that as they are, by implication, to nationalisation?
§ Mr. Nott
Is the Minister aware that my hon. Friend the Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury (Mr. Ridley) was a most distinguished and successful member of the Conservative Government? Is it not possibly a commentary on the present Government that the Under-Secretary has lasted so long in the same position?
§ Mr. Davis
Actually, I have had tributes paid to me from Conservative Members on the way in which I have carried out my duties. I must say that that makes me a little worried sometimes. I am surprised that the hon. Member for St. Ives (Mr. Nott) found that the hon. Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury was so successful. Perhaps that is yet another example of his differences with his former leader, the right hon. Member for Sidcup.