Wales (Economic Situation)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 22nd June 1978.

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Photo of Mr Nicholas Edwards Mr Nicholas Edwards , Pembroke 12:00 am, 22nd June 1978

I recently came across a speech by a Labour Cabinet Minister which seemed to sum up effectively the Government's present political approach. It presented a vivid scene of the political situation in Britain. The Minister said: Yes, I am pretty sure that we shall have a fine autumn. There will be beautiful autumn tints of happiness in many a home and many people will say with increased conviction 'Labour gets things done'. That has the ring of Sunny Jim and an election about it, but those were the words of Dr. Dalton, speaking to the Labour Party conference in 1946—just about six months before the Government closed two-thirds of British industry at two days notice given on a Friday afternoon in the House as Britain entered the 1947 fuel crisis. Soon there were 2 million people temporarily out of work.

In the light of that experience, perhaps I may be forgiven a little scepticism as I consider the picture that is being painted now and the whole question of economic planning.