chapter  2
The Select Committee on the Nationalized Industries
WithC. D. Foster
Pages 5

The Select Committee recognizes that circumstances may need something more than laying down policies, in their sense: ‘Where necessary must have in reserve the means of seeking to improve the efficiency of management. In their report on Ministerial Control, the Select Committee plainly saw the issue: how to fix the limits of ministerial control and of Board freedom. The Select Committee itself recognizes that there are two major concerns of a Minister on behalf of Parliament. The first is that a Board should pursue certain social and national ends; the second is that a Minister should have ‘oversight’ over the efficiency with which Boards pursue the policies laid down for them. While the strains were probably greater on the railways than on any other nationalized industry, a serious element of muddle and obfuscation exists for all nationalized industries until their objectives have been similarly sorted out, as was attempted for several transport industries by the 1968 Act.