Orders of the Day — Budget Proposals and Economic Situation

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 21st April 1955.

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Photo of Mr Douglas Houghton Mr Douglas Houghton , Sowerby 12:00 am, 21st April 1955

The hon. Member for Morecambe and Lonsdale (Sir I. Fraser) began his speech by accusing my right hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, South (Mr. Gaitskell) of talking claptrap when in his speech yesterday he referred to companies as being the Chancellor's favoured children. That was not claptrap; it was a figure of speech, and it happens to be true.

The hon. Member evidently came to this Committee to speak in praise of companies. We all recognise that companies are very important units in our economic and industrial system, but that does not mean that we have to fall down and worship them; nor does it mean that we should necessarily give them a disproportionate share of remissions in taxation. There is no doubt that without the activities of companies our economy would collapse so long as we are trying to run, with all its difficulties, a mixed economy composed partly of socialised industries and capitalist concerns.

Then the hon. Member referred to seaside landladies. We are not a hardhearted people, but it takes a lot to move us to compassion for seaside landladies.