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Road Haulage Industry

Volume 959: debated on Wednesday 29 November 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to expand public ownership in the road haulage industry.

Will the Minister say how he thinks the public interest would be served, if at all, by an extension of nationalisation in the road haulage industry?

It is important that we set good standards in the industry. There are notoriously many cowboys in it, many bad employers. Although the average standard may be good, the existence of a good public sector employer in this area redounds to the health of the industry as a whole.

Does the Minister appreciate that we understand his difficulty, which is that he and his right hon. Friend want to drive on the right but his party keeps pulling to the left? Can he explain to the public and the road haulage industry whether the commitment in Labour's programme for 1976 to nationalise a substantial part of the industry represents his party's policy?

I refer the hon. Gentleman to the White Paper on transport policy, where we firmly, clearly and very simply—so simply that the hon. Gentleman should be capable of understanding —set out our views.