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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Finally I want to know this: two right hon. Gentlemen in this Government, the Foreign Secretary and the present Minister for Economic Affairs, have declared themselves in favour of an Empire Customs Union. We heard today that there are probably to be serious inroads into Imperial Preference. Now where do those two right hon. Gentlemen stand? Do they believe in fostering trade within the Empire or not? If they do, it is their duty to say so frankly and not to be parties to whittling down Imperial Preferences. I warn this House that unless we stand solid with the Empire in our trade, we will do ourselves and the Empire great damage. The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the House said yesterday that he thought this was a useful Parliament. Of course I cannot agree with that statement in all its aspects but I will agree with him to this extent, that this Parliament will certainly be a useful Parliament if it shows the follies and ineptitudes of Socialism and the utter incompetence of its leaders.