HC Deb 12 October 1943 vol 392 cc706-7
53. Sir H. Williams

asked the Prime Minister whether the speech made by the Secretary of State for the Home Department on 3rd October, on the future of controls in industry, represents the policy of the Government?

The Prime Minister

I have seen some reports of this speech, and of others too. It is common ground that, in the words of the late Chancellor of the Exchequer in this House on 3rd February: a considerable measure of control of our economic life will have to continue after the war. This is very much what my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary said. In a National Coalition formed to carry on the war, a certain diversity of opinion or at least of emphasis is indispensable to political sincerity. I earnestly hope, however, that party controversy will be avoided, at least until we are nearer to our goal. This is a time when all combative impulses should be reserved for the enemy.

Sir H. Williams

Would it not be worth while for my right hon. Friend to follow the example of, I think, Lord Melbourne, who said, "It does not matter what we say as long as we all say the same thing"?

The Prime Minister

I think that would be imposing undue rigidity upon the affairs of a National Government.

Mr. Shinwell

Are we to understand from my right hon. Friend's reply that it is an instruction to junior Ministers not to embark upon further controversies?

The Prime Minister

I do not think I need add at all to the answer which I have given.

Mr. Stephen

Will the Prime Minister draw the attention of his colleagues to the answer which he has given to-day?

Sir L. Lyle

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider suggesting to the Home Secretary that he should join the National League for Freedom?