Financial and Economic Situation

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 30th January 1952.

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Photo of Mr Peter Thorneycroft Mr Peter Thorneycroft , Monmouth 12:00 am, 30th January 1952

The point which I am making is that at the moment we have to get out of this ourselves; we cannot look to someone else to help us in this matter. It is much easier to live upon an overdraft than to live within one's own resources, but, in the long run, it is better to carry on as a nation by buying steel and paying for it, working with it and turning it into exports than by having to borrow gold.

I want to mention what I regard as one of the happiest features in this rather sombre scene. That is that we are not alone in this crisis. We have the British Commonwealth and Empire with us I was with my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer during the meetings of the Finance Ministers, and they faced very largely the same problems as we do. Their credit and their currency is at stake, as is ours. They have had to return to their countries to make the same kind of harsh and unpopular decisions as we in this country have to make.

I think that hon. Members on both sides of the House will agree with me that it is inspiring to see the efforts which are being made in the sterling Commonwealth. I saw in the papers the other day one incident which particularly interested me—the New Zealand dockers going out and working on their annual anniversary so as to shift meat to this country. That was a realisation that they have a great contribution to make. In this matter we are moving in close co-operation with the Commonwealth, and we shall continue to do so.