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Profits And Wages

Volume 527: debated on Tuesday 11 May 1954

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13, 14 and 15.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) the United Kingdom net trading profits, including stock appreciation, in 1948 and each year to 1953; and what was the percentage rise from 1948 to 1953;

(2) the net profits of public corporations, including stock appreciation, in 1948 and each year to 1953; what was the percentage rise from 1948 to 1953, given separately; and what was the percentage rise from 1948 to 1953 for companies and corporations combined;

(3) what was the rise of wages from 1948 to 1953; and what was the percentage rise.

As these Questions involve tables and figures, I will, with permission, take them together and circulate the answer in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Is the Chancellor aware that the net profits, as indicated in Cmd. Paper No. 9118, rose from £970 million in 1948 to £1,374 million in 1953, an increase of 42 percent.; that wages only increase by 38 per cent, in that period, from £4,140 million to £5,736 million; that in 1950 the wage rise over 1948 was only 10 percent, against the rise in profits of 38 percent., and that in 1951 a rise of 23 percent, in wages against a 40 percent, rise in profits, and that in addition dividends and interest had risen 30 percent, in money income, as shown in the Government publication, Cmd. Paper No. 9118?

The hon. Member seems to be conveying information rather than asking for it.

If the Minister cares to-give an answer to three Questions in one, surely I am entitled, having put three Question, to have at least a longer supplementary question?

The hon. Member seems to be asking one very long question. If he will ask his three questions shortly I would not object.

Because of this very unsatisfactory answer, I shall try to raise the matter on the Adjournment.

Following is the answer:

(1) Gross trading profits (including stock appreciation) of companies, public corporations and other public enterprises in the United Kingdom in:—£ million
19482,048
19492,144
19502,505
19512,919
19522,582
19532,798
The figure for 1953 is 37 per cent, higher than that for 1948.

(2) Gross trading surplus (including stock appreciation) of public corporations in the United Kingdom in:—
1948121
1949160
1950199
1951255
1952273
1953302
The figure for 1953 is 150 per cent, higher than that for 1948.
(3) The total paid in wages in 1948 was £4,140 million, and in 1953 £5,740 million—an increase of 39 per cent.

NOTES:

(a) All these figures are necessarily estimated, and most have been published in Preliminary Estimates of National Income and Expenditure, 1948–1953 (Cmd. 9118).

(b) The figures for trading profits and surpluses are given gross (i.e., before deduction of provision for depreciation) for the reasons given in National Income and Expenditure 1946–1952 (H.M.S.O., August 1953) on page 95.

(c) The scope of the classification "public corporations" changed between 1948 and 1953, the most important changes being caused by the nationalisation of gas (1st May, 1949) and steel (15th February, 1951).