HC Deb 12 February 1953 vol 511 cc567-8
1. Mr. Dodds

asked the President of the Board of Trade how many bankruptcies occurred in England and Wales in 1952; and how this compares with 1950.

Mr. Speaker

Before the Minister answers Question No. 1, I feel sure that the House will continue the indulgence granted to him on the last occasion of remaining standing between the Questions addressed to him.

The President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Peter Thomeycroft)

I am much obliged, Sir.

Mr. Shinwell

It was agreed last week that the right hon. Gentleman should be permitted to stand while replying to Questions. Could he not sit down and reply to the Questions while seated? I suggest that that would be more sensible, Sir.

Mr. Thorneycroft

I am obliged to the right hon. Gentleman, but I prefer to stand.

Mr. Thorneycroft

The answer to Question No. 1 is as follows: In 1952 there were 2,043 bankruptcies, and in 1950, 1,823.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Is it not clear from these figures that, under Tory rule, "The Right Road for Britain" is, in fact, Carey Street?

Mr. Thorneycroft

I think that deduction would be a very dangerous one for the hon. and gallant Gentleman to draw, because there was a very substantial increase in the number of bankruptcies under the last Government.