HC Deb 24 February 1948 vol 447 cc1765-6
53. Sir Waldron Smithers

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will set up a committee of experts, to include the chairmen of the big five banks and representatives of other important bodies, to advise and suggest methods to overcome the crisis caused by inflation.

Sir S. Cripps

I am afraid that the hon. Member's suggestion does not commend itself to me.

Sir W. Smithers

Is the Chancellor of the Exchequer afraid that a few facts and an element of truth would blow his Socialist principles sky high?

Sir S. Cripps

No, Sir, but having read the statements of the chairmen of the five banks I think I might get different opinions.

Mr. Stokes

Was it not these very gentlemen who created the national inflation, which was once aptly described as "Wind in the national belly"?

62. Mr. M. Lindsay

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer by what date, if present trends continue, will British capital resources be exhausted; and whether he will issue a statement giving the cuts in food which will then be necessary and an estimate of the unemployment which it is anticipated will then result from lack of imported raw materials in order to make the general public conscious of their peril and to obtain increased production.

Sir S. Cripps

The hon. Member should await the Economic Survey. In the meantime, Cmd. 7324 has, I am sure, emphasised to the House the dangers of our position.

Mr. Lindsay

Is the Minister aware that it is an exceedingly disappointing reply, although it is only on all fours with Government policy to deal with the crisis?