Economic Measures

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 20th July 1966.

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Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Huyton 12:00 am, 20th July 1966

We considered this very carefully indeed. It has been considered by successive Governments. I know that it was considered by our predecessors. I have a lot of experience of administering import controls. [Laughter.] I have a lot of experience of administering import controls, and I probably know quite a bit about them. I got rid of a lot, and was very glad to do so.

I was saying that we considered this very carefully indeed, but, having regard to our commitments not only under the G.A.T.T., the I.M.F. but more particularly under the E.F.T.A., and the powers, possibilities and likelihood of retaliation, we reached the conclusion, after studying it very carefully—as I think our pre- decessors would have done—that this was not the right policy in the circumstances. I believe that it is necessary for us to try to get the maximum economy in the use of imported raw materials, in, for example, cutting out waste in some of them—this could be done—and in reducing the call on certain imported raw materials in favour of indigenous materials produced in this country.