Orders of the Day — Economic Position

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

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Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Walthamstow West 12:00 am, 30th July 1952

I am much obliged to the Prime Minister for making the point, rather prematurely, that I was going to make. I am sure it is the belief of the whole House that the Prime Minister, in fact, told us very little. After all, the Estimates have been laid before us, and we have had debates on the Air Force, the Navy and the Army. We could not gather from the right hon. Gentleman, because of a lot of vague verbiage, what was actually happening or what actual changes were to take place.

The unfortunate Chancellor of the Exchequer gave an amiable recital of certain changes in our present position, and in so far as there are favourable changes we welcome them, as I am sure everyone does. The right hon. Gentleman realises, of course, quite well that a good many of these were not dependent on actions that he had taken. In these matters, every Chancellor of the Exchequer, whatever party he belongs to, is always necessarily influenced by world events of one kind and another.

The right hon. Gentleman also announced certain actions that had been taken such as restricting imports, but surely those have already been announced. Perhaps he can tell us, because the Prime Minister clearly did not know, whether what he was announcing were those that had already been announced or something new. Perhaps he will tell us now.