Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th March 1973.

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Photo of Mr William Hamling Mr William Hamling , Woolwich West 12:00 am, 12th March 1973

I note that the hon. Member for Hornchurch (Mr. Loveridge) got away from the usual cry of so many right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite that all our economic ills can be laid at the door of the trade unions and the activities of the working class. One of his obiter dicta was that the rate of interest and the cost of money was at the root of the control of our economy, not some of the matters to which a number of his right hon. and hon. Friends have been referring in recent years.

It is remarkable that when capitalism is in crisis the workers always get the blame. I recall that in 1926 all the evils from which our industrial and economic system suffered were laid at the door of the miners. It was said that we could save our economy only if their wages were cut and their hours increased.

Similarly, way back in 1931 we were told by the Press, the Conservative Party, and some of our own friends who were seduced by these doctrines that we could save our economy only if the standard of living of the unemployed were cut. Historically, they were proved wrong and the critics of the unions and the working class today will be proved equally wrong.