Spies at Work, Appendix 1: Companies Supporting the League

From Powerbase
Jump to: navigation, search

Back to Chapter Index

Companies Making Donations or Subscribing to the Economic League and/or with a Director on the League's Central Council 1975-1989

This is a list of slightly more than 600 companies known to have been connected with the Economic League in the last twenty years. Of these about 400 paid a subscription or made a donation to the League while the remainder are known to have had a director who has been on the Central Council of the Economic League.

The list has been compiled from reliable sources including "Labour Research" and "State Research", which obtained their information from the annual reports of the companies making donations. Some were published by World in Action and the Observer. Others were taken from internal documents in the author's possession.

The details of directorships are taken from the company records of The Economic League Co. Ltd.

After 1988 a number of companies claimed to have broken their links with the League in some way or another and others qualified their support for the League. Such claims were usually worded cautiously, and sometimes in a downright misleading way. Amec, for example, told one council with whom it was entering a £20m contract, that it did not subscribe to the Economic League but did use the services of The Services Group.

This is not to suggest that all such claims are merely public relations exercises. It does however suggest that some companies were less than frank in their response to straight questions.

It is also known that some companies employed indirect methods of making payments to the League: Boots for example used the British United Industrialists, others have made payments via a solicitor's and at least one, British Leyland, handled its contacts with the League through a small and little-known subsidiary.

A very brief comparison of this list with the "Times 1000" for 1986 reveals some interesting facts: six of the top ten, twenty of the top fifty and thirty-seven of the top one hundred UK companies occur in this list. Together in 1986 these companies alone employed more than 2.1 million people. The list also includes: 9 of the top 50 investment trusts, 10 of the top fifty life insurance companies and 10 of the top fifty non-life insurance companies.

Companies marked with a "+" are those which have a director in common with the Economic League.