HC Deb 05 February 1952 vol 495 cc802-3
48. Mr. Osborne

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the estimated national income available to the consuming public in 1951 and 1950; and how much had general prices risen in the year 1951.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. R. A. Butler)

The estimated total of personal income for 1950, as given in the White Paper on National Income and Expenditure (Cmd. 8203) was £11,042 million. An estimate for 1951 is not yet available; it will be published in the next National Income White Paper, which will also contain an estimate of the rise in consumer prices generally from 1950 to 1951. The Interim Index of Retail Prices prepared by the Ministry of Labour rose by 12.1 per cent. between December, 1950, and December, 1951.

Mr. Osborne

Allowing for the rise in prices between 1950 and 1951, can the Chancellor say whether the consuming public had more in volume in 1951 than in 1950?

Mr. Butler

I must ask for any such question to be put down.

Mr. Godfrey Nicholson

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us what proportion of the National income was absorbed by national and local taxation?

Mr. Butler

I think I should also need notice of that question.

Mr. Hugh Gaitskell

Will a White Paper on National Income and Expenditure be published before the Budget in accordance with the usual practice?

Mr. Butler

No, Sir. It will probably be published when the total figures are available in April.

Mr. Gaitskell

Will the Chancellor not reconsider that, as it will be more difficult for us to debate the Budget without having the essential figures available; and will he not perhaps see what can be published in that way before the Budget, even if the full figures are not available?

Mr. Butler

The right hon. Gentleman has put his question in a perfectly reasonable way, and I will certainly investigate what can be put before the House, either in the form of a statement or in any other way.