HC Deb 18 February 1930 vol 235 cc1154-5
56. Mr. WISE

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been drawn to the continued slump in the world prices of primary products, including wool, cotton, flax, tin, rubber, grain, oilseeds, tea, and coffee; whether he is aware that this decline is causing unemployment on account of the reduced purchasing power of primary producers and also on account of the losses in curred by manufacturers and others in holding stocks; that the gold and deflation policies pursued by the central banks, by checking an increase in consumption, is mainly responsible for this situation; and what action he proposes to take to ensure that monetary policy conforms with the need of expanding employment?


I am well aware of the fall in the prices of the products referred to, but I do not think that a discussion of the economic causes or effects of this state of things could be compressed within the limits of a Parliamentary answer. So far as this country is concerned, as my hon. Friend is aware, I have anticipated his suggestion by three months and appointed a committee to inquire into banking and credit with special reference to the need of expanding employment, but the conditions referred to are common to the whole world.


Will it be within the power of the Committee to consider international action in connection with this matter?


Most certainly, I should think so. If I might make a suggestion, I feel sure that, if the hon. Member were to volunteer his evidence to the committee, they would be very glad to receive it.

Lieut.-Colonel Sir A. LAMBERT WARD

Is it not a fact that the first effect of the policy of inflation would be to reduce the real value of wages?


I do not think we can enter into a discussion of economic questions at Question Time.

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