§ 56. Sir Reginald Blair
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has considered the resolution from the Association of British Chambers of Commerce relating to the recent increases in the costs of coal and transport; and whether he proposes now to take action to ward off the effects of inflation and prevent increases in the cost of living?
§ Sir K. Wood
Yes, Sir, and I agree that an increase in the cost of coal production, if it led to any substantial increase in the charges to the public for rail transport and other services, would be likely in present circumstances to have an injurious effect. The policy of His Majesty's Government in this matter was fully set out in my Budget statement of 7th April. That statement did not imply an immediate and absolute ban on all increases in the price of coal irrespective of every other consideration, but it did express the intention of His Majesty's Government to endeavour to secure the greatest possibly stability in the cost of living. That intention is being steadily pursued. In particular, I have under close consideration, in conjunction with the Departments concerned, the application of the policy to transport and other services. I would point out that there has not been any recent increase in rail transport charges.