chapter  6
Financial Obligations: The Minister’s Function
WithC. D. Foster
Pages 11

The powers of a Minister, and by delegation of his department, are greater than those of a minority shareholder but less than those of a majority shareholder or holding company. The Minister’s powers are more like those of a merchant banker – a simile also used – with the differences that, the Government is the sole channel of long-term funds for a Board; and also that a Minister does not use his powers as a merchant banker would. Though the statutes gave the Minister Powers to control investment funds and borrowing, the fundamental feeling seems to have been that even these were secondary to the Board’s responsibility to Parliament for its overall financial position. The economists’ commercial and financial background and slant helped to make the questions more pointed and, one might hope, more like the questions that an industrialist or merchant banker would first think of.