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Her Majesty's Government (Opposition Motion)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 9th June 1976.

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Photo of Mr Russell Fairgrieve Mr Russell Fairgrieve , Aberdeenshire West 12:00 am, 9th June 1976

I do not accept what the hon. Member has said. It is nothing more than a slur on British troops. His intervention was unnecessary, obscene and irrelevant.

If by some miraculous event a person who had been dead for 50 years could have popped up from his grave, I wonder what he would have thought of a front page story in today's newspapers about a security guard who lost his job because he was doing too well in preventing pilfering. Pressure was exerted by trade unions for him to be moved, the management did not come to his rescue, and we sit here silent. That is what I mean when I talk about the sick society to which we have contributed.

There is also the question of the attack on individuals who, after paying their taxes and rates, decide to use what is left to pay for medical insurance or their children's education. Apparently that is wrong. It seems that money is not for saving. Presumably it is for bingo.

Another of this country's problems is the continual attack on profits. Profit brings employment. If there were not the continual attack on profit and if every small business took on one more employee, unemployment would be solved forthwith.

But where is the encouragement from the Government? If a person builds up a successful business he is pilloried. Capital transfer tax ensures that he cannot pass it on to his children, even though he may have worked seven days a week to build it up. But if someone makes a mess of a business, the Government prop up the company. I do not claim that all the cases we hear about are not exaggerated, but there are circumstances in which it is only marginally better to work than not to work.

It should not be a censure motion that we pass tonight. The Government should be put in the stocks and pilloried.