The National Income White Paper

Part of Financial Statement – in the House of Commons on 25th April 1944.

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But the Paper, whose previous editions have been well received, has a much wider significance than merely to serve as an appendix to the Budget statement. For the purpose of a policy of full employment it will be necessary, year by year, to bring under review the income and expenditure not only of the Exchequer, but of the country as a whole, and not only its income but its capital expenditure and its savings. The Committee will be able to see from this Paper how closely related are the figures in it to the figures and explanations that I gave at the opening of this statement. Similarly, as the somewhat novel technique of this Paper is developed, I should hope that the Budget would increasingly be an occasion when the financial and economic health of the country as a whole can be reviewed, with a diagnosis of the causes of any unfavourable symptoms and a prognosis of the future, to explain the medicine or the tonic—or perhaps even the rest cure—which the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the future may be able to prescribe. I shall revert to this metaphor before I finish.