Chancellor of the Exchequer (Speech)

Oral Answers to Questions — Housing – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd March 1964.

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Photo of Mr Woodrow Wyatt Mr Woodrow Wyatt , Bosworth 12:00 am, 3rd March 1964

asked the Prime Minister whether the public speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer at Leeds on 24th January about economic matters represents the policy of Her Majesty's Government.

Photo of Mr Woodrow Wyatt Mr Woodrow Wyatt , Bosworth

Does the Prime Minister realise that that madly optismistic speech was made before the Bank Rate went up and before the publication of the bad trade figures for January? Is he not aware that we are now fast running into a balance of payments crisis which is particularly illustrated by the fact that a large part of our imports in January was due not to stocking up, but to finished manufactured goods? Will he say whether the Government have started conversations with the International Monetary Fund and the European central banks with a view to protecting our reserves before it is too late, in view of the balance of payments crisis which we are running into?.

Photo of Sir Alec Douglas-Home Sir Alec Douglas-Home , Kinross and West Perthshire

The hon. Member would be wise to await the February figures.

Photo of Mr James Callaghan Mr James Callaghan Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee

How does the Prime Minister reconcile that speech with what he said last night advising young people to jump on the Tory bandwagon? Can he explain how a free-for-all will assist us to recruit the nurses and the teachers and the postmen, and how an incomes policy fits into the Tory concept of a free-for-all? When he spoke of the congestion in the South and overcrowding and land shortage, did he ask his script writer who had been in power for the last 12 years?

Photo of Sir Alec Douglas-Home Sir Alec Douglas-Home , Kinross and West Perthshire

The last part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question has nothing to do with the original Question. I do not know that any member of the Government, certainly not the Chancellor of the Exchequer, has ever talked about a Tory free-for-all. [Interruption.] The hon. Gentleman asked a question and he must listen to the answer. The whole theme of my speech last night was that we were going ahead with a steady and controlled expansion. I must add that if it were a choice between a free-for-all and controls for all, I would choose the first.

Photo of Mr John Biggs-Davison Mr John Biggs-Davison , Chigwell

Is my right hon. Friend aware that not many young people will be tempted to jump on the one-man bandwagon?

Photo of Mr Michael Maitland Stewart Mr Michael Maitland Stewart , Fulham

When the Prime Minister used the phrase "controlled expansion", did that apply to rents and land prices, about which we heard earlier this afternoon?