Mr Jack Diamond: It is one of the elements of the scheme which has been fully taken into account. Overall the scheme was thought to be, and has proved to be, advantageous.
Mr Jack Diamond: I will gladly bear in mind anything my hon. Friend puts to me
Mr Jack Diamond: My present judgment is that monetary policy is achieving a degree of overall credit restraint which is appropriate to our current situation. Relaxation would be premature at this stage; the answer to the second part of the Question is, therefore, "No".
Mr Jack Diamond: There is no question of complacency. This matter is under continual review. I am well aware of the feelings of industry. I am also aware of the estimates of investment. They are broadly satisfactory.
Mr Jack Diamond: That is a separate matter. This matter is under continual review and we shall keep it under review again when we get the November returns from the banks. Beyond that I do not think I can answer my hon. Friend more specifically.
Mr Jack Diamond: With your permission, Mr. Speaker, and that of the House, I would like to make a further statement about the situation at the Stationery Office. As the House knows, the difficulties at the St. Stephen's Press of Her Majesty's Stationery Office continue, and accordingly emergency arrangements to meet essential parliamentary requirements are in operation. The difficulties at this works arise...
Mr Jack Diamond: I share the right hon. Gentleman's views. It is unsatisfactory and there is inconvenience. I hope that the Services Committee will wish to go into the matter in full detail, in which case, if asked, I should be only too glad to give evidence.
Mr Jack Diamond: That is a view shared by the Leader of the House and, subject to the co-operation of those concerned, which means both sides of the House, the Committee, when reconstituted, would meet very early indeed.
Mr Jack Diamond: I will certainly look into that point.
Mr Jack Diamond: With respect to my hon. Friend, I should never attempt to limit the proper discretion of right hon. and hon. Members of the House who have been asked by the House to conduct a certain inquiry. I should be glad to give evidence on any matters which the Services Committee thought appropriate.
Mr Jack Diamond: We have never reached a situation where the House has been asked to discuss business without adequate documentation before it. I recognise that there is inconvenience, but the right hon. Gentleman is not on that point, but on the question whether it is proper, or indeed, possible, for the House to discuss business. We have not reached that position, and I hope to avoid it.
Mr Jack Diamond: As the right hon. Gentleman recognises, that is a different constitutional position. I recognise the serious aspect of this dispute, and that is why I think that it is a matter which has to be gone into and examined in full detail. This process of question and answer is not adequate for that.
Mr Jack Diamond: I made no such suggestion. I made it clear that my right hon. Friend would be putting down the necessary Motion. It is then for the House to deal with it as it thinks fit.
Mr Jack Diamond: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his words. I assure him that the matter to which he has referred is one to which we have given careful consideration.
Mr Jack Diamond: My right hon. Friend has heard what my hon. Friend has said, and he has authorised me to say that so far as it lies in his power he is taking steps for that to be done immediately.
Mr Jack Diamond: With your permission, Mr. Speaker, and that of the House, I wish to make a statement about dividend restraint. It is already known that further guidelines on the whole field of prices and incomes policy after 1969 will be set out in a new White Paper. In the meantime, however, the Government consider it desirable to give the earliest possible notice of the decisions which have been reached...
Mr Jack Diamond: As to the second part of that question, I can certainly say that the statement was intended to be read, and I hope will be read, as an encourage- ment to all companies to become more and more efficient. One of the methods of increased efficiency may be economies of scale and may involve increase of capital. It is because companies are inhibited and almost prevented from making proper...
Mr Jack Diamond: The statement made by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, if that is the statement, to which my hon. Friend refers, certainly still stands. This is not to be read as a trailer in any respect other than to what I hope will be increased efficiency in many companies which could have been unduly restricted if we had continued what was known at all times to be purely a short-term scheme.
Mr Jack Diamond: I am concerned with dealing with restraint of dividends. If the right hon. Gentleman wants to widen the question he will no doubt put down a Question to the First Secretary.
Mr Jack Diamond: The hon. Gentleman talks about parallel arrangements. I find it quite sufficient to exercise my responsibilities at the Treasury without exercising responsibilities for all my colleagues at the same time.