Basic Petrol Ration

Part of Orders of the Day — King's Speech – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th October 1947.

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Photo of Mr Daniel Lipson Mr Daniel Lipson , Cheltenham 12:00 am, 29th October 1947

It must be clear from the speeches which have already been made that opposition to the abolition of the basic petrol ration is by no means confined to the Members of one party, and I hope it will be possible to get this discussion on such a level as to be free from party, because it is not a party question. As a matter of fact, if I were unfriendly to the Government I should do all I could to persuade them to continue with their abolition of the basic ration, because I believe that no action which they have taken up to now has made them more unpopular. I want to say to the Government in all seriousness and as one not unfriendly to them, that I believe that, in proposing to abolish the basic petrol ration, they have committed a blunder of the first magnitude psychologically, because they have exasperated the people affected. The people are not convinced that it is fair; they are not convinced that it is necessary, and the result of all that is bound, in my opinion, to reflect itself in the efforts we are asking the people to make in the production drive. I am sure the Government will lose far more from the point of view of our recovery from the economic crisis by insisting on the abolition of the bask petrol ration than can be possibly gained by saving dollars. It seems to me to be a "penny wise, pound foolish" policy, I hope, therefore, that the Government will think twice about this matter and will be prepared to listen to reason and make some reasonable concession to meet reasonable needs.