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

I do not intend to attribute too much influence to the British Government, which is an insular outlook. I can remember the same thing being done in 1931, when all the ills which afflicted the whole world were put down to the fact that we had what was called a "wicked Labour Government" at that time. The right hon. Gentleman suggested that there was a very serious falling away in the support for this Government. I do not find that in the countryside. [HON. MEMBERS: "You will."] From talking with ordinary men and women, I believe that they have a far greater apprehension of what are the facts of the situation, and the difficulties the Government have had to face, than is always credited to them. People sometimes forget that we have a far more educated democracy than we had 40 years ago. Still less do I find that there is any confidence whatever in the Opposition. I listened with interest, as I always do, to the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Ayr Burghs (Sir T. Moore), who said that we could have national unity tomorrow if only the Labour Party would follow the Conservative Party. He gave us a detailed list of what we should have to give up to obtain his support, and it was quite a long one.

I now come to my final point. It is a favourite cry of the Opposition to charge this Government with being too late. They say that we should have taken action earlier. I heard today that we were said to have been complacent—