Industry: The Thankless Marriage Broker

In its effort to encourage the unprecedented wave of corporate mergers now sweeping the country, Harold Wilson's Labor government has acted on the belief that Britain can best compete in world markets with bigger, more efficient companies. Wilson's detractors are not so sure. And they have been particularly suspicious of the Industrial Reorganization Corporation, a quasi-governmental group that has produced more than its share of bickering in its role as Britain's official corporate marriage broker.

Set up by the government in late 1966, the I.R.C. is authorized to draw up. to $360 million from the national treasury to promote and...