HC Deb 22 October 1919 vol 120 cc34-5

asked the Prime Minister whether during the coming winter he proposes to take any further steps of an organised nature to bring before the public the need for increased national economy?


If my hon. Friend refers to an organised propaganda at the public expense, I do not think that this should be necessary. I hope that Members of the House are fully impressed by the need for economy, and will not only help to enforce it in the House, but will also make it the subject of addresses to their constituents. If, in particular, Members will refrain, and will induce their constituents to refrain, from pressing for new expenditure, a first step will have been made in the right direction.


That is in the future.


What about the new world the Prime Minister promised?

Sir DONALD MACLEAN (by Private Notice)

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the great anxiety in the House and the country as to the grave financial position in which the country is placed, he will give an early opportunity for discussion of the subject in this House, and if he will state the date he will propose to give that opening; on that occasion will the right hon. Gentleman give us the widest possible Parliamentary opportunity for discussion?

The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Lloyd George)

As already stated, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer is laying White Papers on the Table which he hopes will be in the hands of hon. Members at the very latest by Monday—some may he in the hands of Members at the week-end. The Government propose that immediately afterwards there should be a discussion of the general financial position. I suggest that the exact date, and the nature of the discussion which best suits the convenience of Members, should be settled in the usual way between the parties.


Will the right hon. Gentleman give the House his assurance that no matter to what extent there is agitation, either inside or outside the House in favour of economy, he will not be deterred from carrying out the reconstruction programme to which every Member of the House is pledged?


That will be fair matter for observation in the course of the discussion.

Colonel WEDGWOOD (by Private Notice)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether any steps are in contemplation to fund the floating debt, or otherwise to restrict the unlimited creation of credit by the unrestricted issue of Treasury notes?


I would ask the hon. and gallant Gentleman to await the discussion which the Prime Minister has just promised, in the course of which I hope to deal with that and other matters.