Capital Investment (White Paper)

Part of Orders of the Day — Princess Elizabeth's and Duke of Edinburgh's Annuities Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 18th December 1947.

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Photo of Major Lyall Wilkes Major Lyall Wilkes , Newcastle upon Tyne Central 12:00 am, 18th December 1947

If the solution of this crisis that faces us lay wholly with the people in this country, I must confess that I should be feeling more easy in my mind than I do tonight; but the serious fact is that, until there is a better relationship between the world price levels for food and raw materials and those of manufactured products, so long as there is no better relationship than has existed during the last few years, I am afraid that world price levels will gradually move increasingly against us, as they have done. Consequently, that places us in a situation in which, as now when compared with last year, we may well be continuing to export more and more, to import less and less. I have been struck during this Debate by the fact that hon. Members on the other side of the House seem to have realised for the first time the true, grim nature of our economic crisis. [Laughter.] The last time the Leader of the Opposition spoke in this House, he pithily analysed the nature of our crisis by saying it was due to the fact that Socialist maladministration and red tape had broken the mainspring of the watch. Let hon. Members laugh at that.