HC Deb 10 February 1948 vol 447 c213
49. Sir Waldron Smithers

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether in view of the fact that during the last half of 1947 4,000,000 workers got an average increase of 7s. a week and that the normal hours of work of 5,000,000 were reduced by about 3½ hours a week he will take an early opportunity of broadcasting to the nation the bad effects of this inflationary tendency.

Sir S. Cripps

I would refer the hon. Member to the statement on personal incomes made to the House on Wednesday last by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and to his subsequent broadcast.

Sir W. Smithers

The right hon. and learned Gentleman will realise that this Question was put down before he did the decent thing and made a statement to the nation. Does he not now realise the failure of Socialist policy and of the promises made at the elections, and is he not aware that circumstances have compelled him to take the action I urged him to take three years ago?

Sir S. Cripps

The answer is "No, Sir" on each occasion.

Mr. Mikardo

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that, in addition to the inflationary sources mentioned in the Question, during 1947 the average rate of dividend of some 2,000 companies went up from 12.4 per cent. to 15.5 per cent., and how does that measure up with his policy of 2½ per cent.?

Sir G. Jeffreys

May I ask the right hon. and learned Gentleman whether these profits did not pay a very large sum into the Exchequer?

Sir S. Cripps

They also paid a very large sum into other people's pockets.

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