Clause 1. — (Extension of powers under 9 & 10 Geo. 6 c. 10.)

Part of Orders of the Day — Supplies and Services (Transitional Powers) Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 11th August 1947.

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Photo of Mr Reginald Manningham-Buller Mr Reginald Manningham-Buller , Daventry 12:00 am, 11th August 1947

I am grateful to the right hon. and learned Gentleman for so clearly stating what the doubt is, but I should have thought he would have resolved that doubt if he had read the Lord Chancellor's speech in introducing the Supplies arid Services Bill in another place in 1945. After all, the purposes of this Bill, as expressed in Clause 1, are for the purposes of: promoting the productivity of industry, commerce and agriculture; for fostering and directing exports and reducing imports, or imports of any classes, from all or any countries and for redressing the balance of trade, or, as the hon. and learned Member for Northampton said, to deal with the economic crisis. May I remind the right hon. and learned Gentleman of the arguments used by the Lord Chancellor in favour of the 1945 Bill that it was really to deal with those very same problems? He said this—and I am quoting from the Second Reading Debate made in another place—when introducing the Bill: … so long as those shortages continue the principle of 'fair shares' must go on. It is not only a question of foodstuffs."— so that foodstuffs were considered then— and clothing; there is a very great shortage of raw materials of all kinds, and the difficulty of getting the necessary raw materials is very closely bound up with the manifold difficulties relating to the dollar exchange. It is obvious that we must continue to produce at home everything that we can, both in our fields and in our factories. He then goes on to talk about the inflationary difficulties and the necessity of controlling other costs. I suggest to the right hon. and learned Gentleman that if he examines that speech—and I do not want to weary the Committee by reading it at any length—he will see that the argument used then was for powers to enable regulations to be made for the very same purposes as are covered by Clause 1 (a and b) of this Bill. If the right hon. and learned Gentleman agrees with that, then, so far as Clause 1 (a and b) are concerned this Bill is unnecessary, because the right hon. and learned Gentleman has now agreed that any orders made under the existing regulations for the purposes set out in Clause 1 (a and b) can be made under the existing Act.