Orders of the Day — Economic Affairs

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 25th November 1975.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Eric Heffer Mr Eric Heffer , Liverpool, Walton 12:00 am, 25th November 1975

I accept that absolutely—if it means just that and that only. But I am not certain that that is precisely what is meant in relation to the right hon. Gentleman's argument.

I did not come to the Chamber purely to debate with the right hon. Gentleman, obviously, and I want to turn to other matters. I agree entirely with my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer that we are in the most serious economic crisis that this country has known since before the Second World War. We have, as it were, two crises in one. On the one hand, there is the world crisis, which affects us. On the other hand, we have the peculiar British crisis grafted on to the world crisis.

The British crisis is very much due to the fact that our capitalists, as capitalists, have actually failed. Whereas capitalists in other countries were not taking the maximum out in profit and were putting a great deal back into their companies and industries in the form of investment, machinery and growth in technology, our capitalists were taking a maximum out without putting very much back. [HON. MEMBERS: "Rubbish.") Hon. Members may say "Rubbish", but it is a fact that we are now taking out of Cammell Laird, for example, machinery that was installed in 1904. That is pretty outdated, and I should have thought that if we went to Japanese, American or continental shipyards we should find that they had got rid of that sort of machinery years ago. That is one of the reasons why we are in our present situation.