HC Deb 27 January 1947 vol 432 cc599-600
48. Mr. Butcher

asked the Prime Minister what further steps, in addition to the issue of a White Paper, he proposes to take to enable both sides of industry to discharge their responsibilities in the light of the economic situation of the country.

The Prime Minister

The question is very wide, but, so far as the recent White Paper (Command Paper 7018) is concerned, all possible steps will be taken to inform both sides of industry of the facts and considerations presented in the White Paper. These facts and considerations will form the basis of talks by speakers in factories, and the Central Office of Information are now working on a series of factory posters setting out the salient features of the paper. It is hoped, also, that the subject matter of the paper will be fully covered in broadcasts. As will be seen from the Foreword to the White Paper, the National Joint Advisory Council has agreed to cooperate with the Government in disseminating information as widely as possible about the general economic state of the country. In addition, my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour and National Service proposes to discuss with the National Joint Advisory Council certain important problems to which the White Paper draws attention.

Mr. Butcher

Has the right hon. Gentleman seen the suggestion in "The Times" of Saturday last that the Labour policy of the Government is failing to keep pace with the march of events?

The Prime Minister

I am afraid that I missed that one.

Colonel Ropner

Is it proposed to issue a second White Paper as a supplement to the first, as has also been suggested by the Press, and, if so, when?

The Prime Minister

Not as a supplement to the first. We have proposed to issue later on a fuller White Paper. [HON. MEMBERS: "When?"] This one was issued particularly in regard to the work of the joint council. There will be another one later on, but I cannot give the exact date.

Captain Crookshank

Did the right hon. Gentleman say that it will be disseminated by broadcasting? I thought that was what I heard. If so, may I ask whether it is to be disseminated by a Minister of the Crown, or by members of the Labour Party, or by impartial people?

The Prime Minister

I said it was hoped that the subject matter in the White Paper would be fully covered by broadcasts. With regard to the other part of the right hon. and gallant Gentleman's supplementary question, I should have to have notice before replying.

Lieut.-Commander Braithwaite

It there is to be dissemination by His Majesty's Ministers, will the Prime Minister arrange for counter-dissemination by representatives of the Opposition?

The Prime Minister

That is a hypothetical question. "Dissemination" is not my word, nor did I suggest it would be applied.

Mr. Prescott

Could the Prime Minister be a little more specific as to when a second White Paper will be issued? Will it be in a week or a month?

The Prime Minister

It certainly will not be in a week. I cannot say exactly how many weeks.