Debate on the Address

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 6th November 1951.

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Photo of Mr Jack Browne Mr Jack Browne , Glasgow Govan 12:00 am, 6th November 1951

I trust that the hon. Member for Edge Hill (Mr. Irvine) will excuse me if I do not follow him in setting up Aunt Sallies and then knocking them down again. This is indeed a momentous day for the country, and my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has set an example right from the start. At last we are free from the shackles of the Labour Party, who took the easy way out every time. They had only one policy, and that was to soak the rich, and they pursued it in the face of economic facts. They have left the country insecure, and, after six years which could have been spent on getting us back on our feet, we are facing the worst financial crisis since the end of the war.

But I am stimulated by our difficulties. The magnitude of the task that we have inherited is also the measure of our opportunity. If we have the courage to do what is right and not what is popular with hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite; if we explain to the people, as we should, the necessity for our action, then in my humble opinion today heralds a period of economic retrenchment, of material advancement and of growing world importance to Britain that has been denied the British people since 1945.

What of the Opposition? As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister said, the air is still full of the propaganda of the Election. I feel that the success of the Opposition—and it was an undoubted success—was due to two factors.