HC Deb 07 December 1939 vol 355 cc810-1
46. Mr. Mander

asked the Prime Minister whether he will consider the advisability, with a view to securing the utmost war effort in the economic field, of appointing a Member of the War Cabinet as Minister of Economic Co-ordination, with responsibility for the work of the Board of Trade, Department of Overseas Trade, Ministry of Food, Ministry of Supply, Ministry of Shipping, and the Ministry of Economic Warfare, in so far as they are engaged in the use of economic weapons during the present war?

The Prime Minister

The arrangements now in operation for the co-ordination of our economic effort have been fully explained to the House by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and I have nothing to add.

Mr. Mander

Will the Prime Minisťer be good enough to bear in mind that there is hardly anybody outside the Government who agrees with him about this, and would it not be better ťo act now rather than in three years' time?

The Prime Minister

The hon. Member is not entitled to speak for the whole population of this country.

Mr. Attlee

Has the right hon. Gentleman noticed the very wide consensus of opinion of people of experience in business and in finance that there is need for a Minister in the Cabinet who would deal with economic co-ordination, and that so far there does not seem to have been any public opinion in support of the view which the right hon. Gentleman takes?

The Prime Minister

I have noticed a certain number of letters in ťhe Press to the effect that the right hon. Gentleman mentions, but I have not noticed that those who have written them have been people who have had any experience of government themselves.

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