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This programme is concerned with the relationship, formal and informal, between a Minister and the Heads of Nationalised Industries. It looks at this relationship, through a case-study of decisions... on the future coal output stated in the 1967 White Paper on Fuel Policy. It concentrates on the pressures directed to changing the target figures for coal output. It consists of interviews with major figures concerned. Mr Richard Marsh then Minister of Power, Lord Robens, Chairman of the National Coal Board, and Sir Stanley Brown, Chairman of CEGB. There is also an interview with Mr Tom Swain, a leading member of the Miners' Group of MPs. The programme is presented by Leslie Wagner of The Open University. This programme is of particular interest partly because of the frankness of Mr Marsh and partly because of his views on heads of Nationalised Industries given at a time when he was a Member of Parliament and reflecting on his experiences as a Minister. Mr Marsh is now Chairman of British Rail.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: D203, Decision making in Britain
Item code: D203; 08
First transmission date: 05-05-1972
Published: 1972
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:23
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Producer: Francis Sealey
Contributors: Stanley Brown; Richard Marsh; Alfred Robens; Leslie Wagner
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): 1967 White Paper on fuel policy; Nationalised industries
Footage description: Wagner introduces the programme. It deals with the 1967 White Paper on fuel policy. Over a photo of a mine, Wagner sketches the decline in the demand for coal in the 1950s and 1960s. Richard Marsh is asked why a decision to review power policy in 1966 was taken. Marsh gives the reasons. Shots of coal conveyors, followed by shots of power station and drilling. Marsh, in response to Wagner's question, explains the delay between the publication of the White Paper and the accumulation of the figures used in the forecasts. Stills of a power station and North Sea gas installations, Marsh's voice over. Wagner outlines the Coal Board's fight against the White Paper's figures. Lord Robens is interviewed. He describes the Coal Board's case. Stills of miners and mining village. The social consequences of mine closure are emphasised. Wagner outlines subsequent developments up to the holding of the Selsdon Park conference of fuel industry leaders and government ministers. Marsh describes the events of the conference and its procedures. Film of the participants of the conference. Marsh outlines the results, as does Sir Stanley Brown from the C.E.G.B.'s point of view. Using a diagram, Wagner outlines the main decisions of the Government's White Paper of 1967. Wagner looks in greater detail at the main elements in the decision to run down coal. Roben and Marsh answer Wagner's question as to which of the arguments, economic or social, persuaded the government to slacken the pace of mine closure. Wagner recapitulates on Marsh's and Robens' answer, then goes on to analyse in greater detail the other and more organised pressures on Marsh to revise government policy. Tom Swain describes the activities of the group of miners' MPs at that time. The analysis of other pressures on government is continued. Film of meetings called to organise pressure on the government. Marsh describes the effects of these pressure groups. Film of miner's meetings, Marsh's voice over. Richard Marsh and Lord Robens answer the question of whether a Conservative government without special links with the miners and the union movement would have treated the matter differently. Wagner points out that pressures were exerted upon the government not only by the producers but also by the industrial consumers. Marsh describes his reaction to this double pressure. Wagner sums up the particular case and generalises on what has been said by the main participants. The programme closes with comments by Marsh, Robens and Stanley Brown. Credits.
Master spool number: 6HT/70219
Production number: 00521_2203
Videofinder number: 3405
Available to public: no