The Industrial Reorganisation Corporation was created by a Labour Government in 1966 and dissolved by the incoming Conservative Government in 1971. It might have faded into oblivion had it not been for the controversy generated by its highly unusual constitution which gave control of public spending to private sector industrialists and bankers. The IRC used both its influence and its cash to direct or even to thwart market forces in the ‘national interest’. It was involved in the key industrial issues of the time, such as the mergers of GEC-AEI-English Electric and the formation of British Leyland. It defeated Rank in its bid to take over Cambridge Instruments, and stopped the Swedish SKF from buying the UK’s leading ball-bearing manufacturer. It also moved towards a development bank role, and its small executive team went on to play further leading roles in UK business. This book, first published in 1983, provides the first comprehensive analysis of the IRC.

part One|45 pages


chapter 1|17 pages

The Origins of the IRC

chapter 2|7 pages

The Structure and Powers of the IRC

chapter 3|19 pages

The IRC at Work

part Two|112 pages

Mergers and Industrial Restructuring

chapter 4|23 pages


chapter 5|19 pages

Rank, Kent and Cambridge

chapter 6|28 pages

The Ball-Bearing Industry

chapter 8|20 pages

Machine Tools

part Three|72 pages

Rescues and Restorations

chapter 10|6 pages

The Plant Makers - Whessoe

chapter 11|17 pages

The Plant Makers - Davy Ashmore

chapter 12|22 pages


chapter 13|23 pages

Cammell Laird

part Four|23 pages

The IRC’s Contribution

chapter 14|16 pages

Review and Appraisal

chapter |5 pages