Government Policy

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 Anthony Marlowe Mr Anthony Marlowe , Brighton 12:00 am, 29th October 1947

I do not want to pursue that matter any further, but the hon. Gentleman has completely failed to answer the attack which was made upon him. I think he deliberately evaded the point, and he did so in the same manner as every speaker from the other side of the House in this Debate has done. Although I have sat through the two days of this Debate I have scarcely heard one single speech from hon. Gentlemen on the opposite side which has been directed towards the Amendment which stands on the Order Paper and is the matter now before the House. Hon. Gentlemen opposite have complained of the absence of constructive ideas from this side, but every speech that I have heard coming from hon. Gentlemen opposite has been directed apparently towards solving our present problem by going over what happened between the years 1805 and 1945. How that is going to contribute to a solution of the present crisis I do not know.

I only heard one speech from the opposite side which even purported to be constructive, and it was from the hon. Gentleman the Member for Devonport (Mr. Foot) last night. He said he wanted to put forward constructive ideas, and I listened eagerly for them. What was his solution for the present crisis? He had three proposals. The first was to appoint a Royal Commission to examine the Civil Service, which presumably would report in about five years time and which would not be a great help in the present situation. The second proposal was to comb out the greengrocery trade which I do not believe would be very helpful at the moment. His third was that, having travelled abroad, he discovered foreign sellers like Government bulk purchasing. I bet they do. The whole of our objection to bulk purchasing is that it is favourable to the seller, and I am not surprised that the hon. Gentleman fortified our criticism of bulk purchasing by pointing out that the sellers want to retain it.