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 Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse 12:00 am, 29th October 1947

—with the limitations we have at the present time in raw materials, fuel and the rest of it? It is perfectly impossible. The right hon. Gentleman talked a great deal about this free enterprising society that he wanted. I thought he was admirably corrected by the right hon. Member for Aldershot From the speech of the right hon. Member for Woodford, one would have thought that there was no industrial activity in this country at all, and that everything was smothered and frustrated by the Government. Then we had the right hon. Member for Aldershot, who himself is engaged in industry, and he gave a very different picture indeed. He said, quite rightly, that we should not allow ourselves to be denigrated all over the world, and have it said that the people were not working properly and were work shy. I very much regret that that should be done. We certainly have never done that.

I come now to what the right hon. Gentleman thinks we ought to do in the present circumstances. As I understand it from reading his speech, he considers that if we could set everything free from controls we should soon get over our difficulties. But I want to get down to concrete points. He believes in the free play of competition, prices finding their own level and the rest. Would he do away with food rationing now? We want to know, because he talked about it rather vaguely.