Note on Nationalisation
Under the various methods employed by the Government when fixing the compensation to be paid to the shareholders when their industries are nationalised some groups of shareholders do better than others. It looks as if the shareholders of McNamara & Co., the transport contractors who have for a hundred years carried mails for the Post Office, do not do so badly. It is reported in the Evening News (13th August, 1948) that the purchase price paid by the British Transport Commission will work out at about 33s. for the 12s. stock units. Nevertheless the shareholders were expecting more and the same paper reports that when this purchase price was announced the market price of the shares dropped from their recent high level of 33s. 9d. But, says the Evening News, the shares were selling at only 23s. 6d. last October when the negotiations began.
Another interesting note was published in the Sunday Express (15th August, 1948) on the possibility of the Government nationalising the tobacco industry. Some stockbroker has been calculating how much the shareholders of the Imperial Tobacco Co. might expect to get if nationalisation takes place. If the compensation were to be worked out on the same basis as that applied to road haulage nationalisation the compensation would be 119s. 7d. per share. If the basis is that applied to the coal maines it would be 114s., and if the Government paid the market price of the shares before the General Election it would be 160s. As the shares are now standing at 101s. 3d., the Sunday Express sees that nationalisation on either of the three bases would be a good thing for the shareholders and “it’s bad luck for shareholders that there is no talk of nationalisation yet.” !