Economic Situation

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1st March 1966.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Edward Heath Mr Edward Heath , Bexley 12:00 am, 1st March 1966

What I am stating is the truth and the Prime Minister knows the truth. This has been said everywhere in America and Europe. People will ask what the Chancellor's statements are worth compared with what he has been saying recently. I will quote the Chancellor's words about his economic policy. [Interruption.] The Prime Minister wants words quoted about economic policy. I will give them to him in order to deal with the whole situation of the Government over these past 17 months, apart from the fine words that we have been hearing from the Chancellor this afternoon. On the 21st January the Prime Minister told his own party that the economic crisis, with the unpopular measures demanded was now virtually over. We now turn to the events which followed that.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer said on 7th June: I think we are round the corner, or at least turning the corner. We know what measures he took after that. Then he came on to the Third Reading of the Finance Bill and said: There is a temptation to assume that because the effects of these measures are not immediately obvious we should rush into further measures which have the effect of restraining the economy even more.This would be an unfortunate thing to do and I am resisting the temptation to do it."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 15th July, 1965; Vol. 716, c. 911.] We know the measures he took after that, in the fourth Budget. This is the whole history of the Government and it is time that it was said publicly.