HC Deb 27 February 1947 vol 433 cc2274-5
46. Mr. Tiffany

asked the Prime Minister if it is, intended to issue an attractive resumé at a popular price, of the Economic Survey, Cmd. 7046.

47. Mr. Wyatt

asked the Prime Minister what steps he will take by asking the B.B.C. to initiate frequent discussions, by numerous documentary films produced by C.O.I., by distributing simplified leaflets free to every household, and by any other means to ensure that every adult fully understands all the implications of the White Paper entitled "Economic Survey of 1947."

The Prime Minister (Mr. Attlee)

A popular bookstall edition of Cmd. 7046, containing the full text, will be published on or near 4th March. Numerous films dealing with the main points of the Economic Survey are ready, in production, or under consideration. It is proposed to distribute poster-charts for use in all factories. Lecturers are already giving addresses to factory and other audiences on its subject matter. It is hoped that the British Broadcasting Corporation, which has already given special treatment to the White Paper in its news bulletins, will find further means of dealing with its contents and implications. My hon. Friends will have noticed that the Press gave its readers full accounts of the White Paper, and I trust that both the newspapers and the periodicals will continue to assist in securing full public understanding of its contents.

Mr. Wyatt

Would my right hon. Friend consider issuing leaflets so that every householder in the country would receive a leaflet in exactly the same way as leaflets about A.R.P. were issued before the war, because we consider it is every bit as important to try to get everyone to understand this White Paper as it was to instruct them how to put out an incendiary bomb during the war?

The Prime Minister

I should have thought that this does not lend itself to the leaflet method. The White Paper is written in simple language, and I am sure the bulk of the people can read it and understand it without it being put in leaflet form.

Mr. Keeling

Would the Prime Minister repudiate the suggestion in Question No. 46 that the purpose of this document was to make the future more attractive?

Mr. Hogg

Would it not have been a better way of telling the people of the serious economic situation if this document had been published in 1945 under the title, "Let us Face the Future"?

The Prime Minister

I am sure the hon. Member will realise that conditions in 1945 were difficult on which to make a forecast when dealing with figures of this kind. Therefore, his suggestion is not a very good one.

Mr. Tiffany

Is my right hon. Friend aware that, as exemplified in the recent crisis, the workers are prepared to follow a lead, and that publicity of this character will be of the utmost value?