Orders of the Day — Economic Situation

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 11th March 1947.

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Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Cuthbert Headlam Lieut-Colonel Sir Cuthbert Headlam , Newcastle upon Tyne North 12:00 am, 11th March 1947

I would like first to comment upon one or two remarks made by the hon. Member for Shettleston (Mr. McGovern). I would remind him that the appeal for national unity came from the Prime Minister; that the Prime Minister pointed out that we must have the Dunkirk spirit, and that the crisis was so great that we must all unite in the common interest. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that those of us who do not share the hon. Gentleman's political views might suggest, as my right hon. Friend the Member for the Scottish, Universities (Sir J. Anderson) suggested just now, that if there is to be that national unity which is asked of us, it would be only fair that there should be a little give and take. Although the hon. Member for Shettleston, and no doubt the whole of the party opposite, are convinced that "Socialism in our time" is the right and proper policy for this country, there is a large body of opinion throughout the country which believes that that is not the case, and that, therefore, this hurried policy of nationalisation which has been adopted by the Government has aroused a vast amount of opposition against it throughout the country, Surely it is not unreasonable for us, in this time of national crisis, to ask that the Government might go a little more quietly in their nationalisation programme, and so avoid those violent party politics which are what we least desire and which are so undesirable in the present circumstances.

I wish to address myself to two or three particular points. My real reason for in tervening in the Debate is that, as a result of that unfortunate last Election, I regret to say that I am the only Conservative Member from the whole of Tyneside, and, therefore, I represent a vast body of opinion which is otherwise unrepresented in this House.