Orders of the Day — Economic Position

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

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr David Griffiths Mr David Griffiths , Rother Valley 12:00 am, 30th July 1952

I am amused and even amazed at the attitude displayed by right hon. and hon. Members opposite in this debate on what we call the financial crisis. From 1945 to 1951, whatever difficulties arose, we were told that they were due to the maladministration, and so forth, of the wicked Socialists. But unfortunately, the party opposite had to wait until they were elected by a minority vote to take office before they realised the realities of life. Now, they tell us that the reasons why we are in this dilemma are, first, the war in Korea, and second, world events and stockpiling. Not until they were elected to office did hon. Members opposite realise that these difficulties confronted the nation.

The hon. Member for Doncaster (Mr. Barber) has said that we need incentives. I suggest that the Budget presented this year by the Chancellor of the Exchequer has been an incentive more for the "spivs" than for the industrial worker. What were the suggestions that the hon. Member for Scarborough and Whitby (Mr. Spearman) had to propose? First, it was that if the Government want to save and to make economies, we must have a lower standard of housing. But for whom? It would be for the working man and woman.

The hon. Member's second suggestion was that we must also cut off the housing subsidies. Many people would suffer if such an illogical step was taken. Throughout my experience in local authority matters, I have learned that housing must be let at economic rents. Obviously, if subsidies were withdrawn, the particularly low paid workers would not be able to be tenants of the council houses. If those are the kind of incentives about which hon. Members on the Government benches are talking, I fail to see how they will achieve the desired results.

The first and foremost product for the salvation not only of this country, but of the world, is coal.