Budget Proposals

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th March 1952.

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Photo of Mr Reginald Maudling Mr Reginald Maudling , Barnet 12:00 am, 17th March 1952

I think that is very much a question on which the responsibility and statesmanship of the trade union movement will show itself. Undoubtedly, there will be a stronger case for wage increases among the lower-paid workers in industries where no piece work can be worked. It is equally true that if that is followed by a move upwards in wage rates throughout the whole of industry, then the possibility of increased production will be lost.

It is a difficult problem, although an important one. It is all very well to talk about "fair shares for all" but "fair shares of nothing at all" is less attractive. The position is that if we cannot increase production in this country, if we run into a financial crisis, then the people who will suffer most as a result of it will be those in the lowest level of incomes.