Preamble.

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 Gilbert McAllister Mr Gilbert McAllister , Rutherglen 12:00 am, 11th August 1947

I have listened to nearly the whole of the Debate on this Bill, and the thing which has struck me most is that the party opposite has selected the two most innocent passages for the greatest denunciation. I should have thought that nothing could have been more simply stated, and that nothing could have been more true, than that it is largely by reason of the war and the dislocation of trade consequent thereon that supplies and services are, or are likely to become, insufficient to meet the essential needs of the community. Yet that is the phrase singled out by the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Hillhead (Mr. J. S. C. Reid) as the one which should be deleted from the Preamble. Was the right hon. and learned Gentleman actuated by the same motive in selecting paragraph (c) of Clause I for special denunciation? Yet if we consider this phrase in relation to the Bill, in relation to the crisis, the right hon. and learned Gentleman should realise better than most that this is a fundamental statement of a national principle, to which he and every hon. Member should subscribe.

We say, it should be noted, not that supplies or services are insufficent, but that they are insufficient for meeting the essential needs of the community! That is just the difference between the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Hillhead and the Socialist Members for the West of Scotland. We do believe that the articles, the commodities, the raw materials, the machine tools which are in short supply should be used for the whole community and not for the part of the community he happens to represent. We know the West of Scotland as it was between the two wars. We knew crises of a different kind which occurred in the West of Scotland after the first world war, and we know the kind of crisis which obtained in the West of Scotland in 1931 under the National Government. I can assure the right hon. and learned Gentleman that the people in the West of Scotland do not regard this crisis as in any way similar to the crises of the past. They regard it as a national crisis, as a crisis involving the whole community, and they are prepared to help make good these deficiencies—for the community.