Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 20th April 1970.

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Photo of Mr Reginald Maudling Mr Reginald Maudling , Barnet 12:00 am, 20th April 1970

This money was not spent on anything useful to the country. It went entirely to line the pockets of speculators. They spent £365 million—£1 million a day. I am prepared to have all the figures which I have given refuted if the Chancellor can refute them, but they are in his own official statistics.

The other loss—£426 million—represents the increased cost to this country of our overseas debts guaranteed in terms of gold. I have the table here. That figure again, is almost equivalent to the capital outflow in 1964, but the difference is that the capital outflow then went to increase British investment overseas and to increase the invisible exports that matter so much to this Government, whereas the £426 million in 1967 was a sheer loss to this country—a measure of the additional British resources that we have to generate and sell to meet the same indebtedness that we had before devaluation.

I hope that the Chancellor will answer these points. Perhaps I am wrong—perhaps the Government figures are wrong—but on the figures that we have at the moment it appears that disaster struck this country at the time on a scale that we had never seen before in financial terms. No one has yet fully realised it yet, but people will realise it. We shall see to that.

Those are the main points that I wanted to make in answer to the Chief Secretary and his attack upon me about the 1964 Budget, which I think that I have answered.