Public Expenditure

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th April 1954.

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Photo of Sir Waldron Smithers Sir Waldron Smithers , Orpington 12:00 am, 27th April 1954

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer in view of his announced policy to review public expenditure, what steps he proposes to take; and whether he will set up a committee of experienced business men, on the lines of the May Committee, to advise him.

Photo of Mr John Boyd-Carpenter Mr John Boyd-Carpenter , Kingston upon Thames

As my right hon. Friend made clear in the Budget debate, the Government are already conducting a careful review of public expenditure. The answer to the second part of the Question is in the negative.

Photo of Sir Waldron Smithers Sir Waldron Smithers , Orpington

Can my right hon. Friend tell the House if the Chancellor of the Exchequer does not realise that, although things are better, we are not yet out of the Socialist wood? Will he ask the Chancellor to study the letter in "The Times" today, called "High Construction Costs," as 'being typical of the whole of our present difficulties, and will he not take the advice of experienced businessmen who really know what they are talking about?

Photo of Mr John Boyd-Carpenter Mr John Boyd-Carpenter , Kingston upon Thames

I am sure that my right hon. Friend will bear in mind what my hon. Friend says, but my hon. Friend will himself have obtained great reassurance from my right hon. Friend's speech in winding up the Budget debate.

Photo of Mr Jo Grimond Mr Jo Grimond , Orkney and Shetland

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the Government have under consideration any fresh means by which this House could keep a check on expenditure and in addition prevent such occurrences as lately happened at Crichel Down?

Photo of Mr John Boyd-Carpenter Mr John Boyd-Carpenter , Kingston upon Thames

Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will put that Question on the Order Paper.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Walter Bromley-Davenport Lieut-Colonel Sir Walter Bromley-Davenport , Knutsford

Will my right hon. Friend do all he can to prevent this country being strangled to death between the pincers of the Welfare State in one claw and rearmament in the other by eliminating all waste and unnecessary expenditure?

Photo of Mr John Boyd-Carpenter Mr John Boyd-Carpenter , Kingston upon Thames

I think that my right hon. Friend's speeches in this House will indicate to my hon. and gallant Friend that my right hon. Friend is fully aware of the gravity of this problem.

Photo of Dr Horace King Dr Horace King , Southampton, Test

Will the right hon. Gentleman remember when considering this question that if it had not been for the May Committee we might never have had the necessity of debating education this afternoon and we might have saved 10 times the cost of schools which might have been erected had it not- been for the May Committee?

Photo of Mr John Boyd-Carpenter Mr John Boyd-Carpenter , Kingston upon Thames

I am not quite sure where that argument is leading us.