Balance of Payments (Publicity)

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th July 1951.

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Photo of Mr David Gammans Mr David Gammans , Hornsey 12:00 am, 24th July 1951

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish a short popular pamphlet to explain the significance of the widening trade gap to the ordinary citizen of this country.

Photo of Mr Hugh Gaitskell Mr Hugh Gaitskell , Leeds South

I will consider this, though I am not sure that a special pamphlet is appropriate.

Photo of Mr David Gammans Mr David Gammans , Hornsey

Is it not obvious that exhortations have completely failed to make most of the people of this country realise that we have not earned our living as a country since the war, and is it not better for some special steps to be taken to point this out rather than that the harsh economic facts should teach us what is in fact true?

Photo of Mr Hugh Gaitskell Mr Hugh Gaitskell , Leeds South

I should have thought the hon. Member was well aware of the magnificent efforts made by the British people, with very considerable success, to achieve not merely a balance but a surplus last year.

Photo of Mr David Gammans Mr David Gammans , Hornsey

is it not a fact that the surplus last year was not due to the earnings of this country, but to the earnings of the Empire and the sterling area?

Photo of Mr Hugh Gaitskell Mr Hugh Gaitskell , Leeds South

I am referring to the United Kingdom balance of payments.