Amendment of the Law

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd May 1966.

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Photo of Mr William Wilkins Mr William Wilkins , Bristol South 12:00 am, 3rd May 1966

We know that the hon. Member for Ormskirk (Sir D. Glover) will find some dead horse which he can flog during the course of the next couple of days when he has had time to go home and ruminate on the Budget. I have no doubt that he will arrive back here tomorrow or the day after, having found something about which he can express his views.

The truth is that the Tories are bitterly disappointed with the Budget. They were hoping that it would be a weapon with which they could flog the Labour Party when they went to the country this weekend, but they have been disillusioned—no increased tax on tobacco, on beer, petrol or entertainment, no increase in Purchase Tax and the surcharge to be taken off in November. What do they have? I can well understand their disappointment that they do not have some whip with which to flog the Labour Party on the hustings this weekend. It is intriguing to read the newspapers. especially the Evening Standard headline at midday and the Evening Standard headline this evening. The newspaper prophets and the prophets of woe and doom have been bitterly disappointed.

I rose not only to deal with the outpourings of the hon. Member for Louth, but also to congratulate my right hon. Friend on breaking new ground and to congratulate him and his Friends in the Treasury on the almost stunning secrecy with which they were able to bring this about.