HC Deb 28 July 1953 vol 518 cc1067-8
9. Sir W. Smithers

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware of the increasing burden of public expenditure, details of which have been sent to him; what action he proposes to take; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. R. A. Butler

Yes, Sir, I shall continue to search for all practicable economies in public expenditure.

Sir W. Smithers

Will my right hon. Friend always bear in mind that this is the one country in the world which is not and cannot become self-supporting, and that every increase in our national expenditure must increase our overheads and will destroy our chances of competing successfully in world markets, which we must do or starve? If he will not listen to me, will he read his own Bulletin for Industry?

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Member is now making a speech. If he wishes to ask a question, will he do so?

Sir W. Smithers

May I ask this question? Will my right hon. Friend read his own Bulletin for Industry for the month of June, which is headed "Production Recovers, but—" and act on it?

Mr. Butler

I can answer that question by saying that I am well aware of the contents of that document, as I had a good deal to do with it. In reply to the first part of the supplementary, any expenditure on production, of course, helps us.

Mr. Jay

Is the Chancellor doing anything to keep down expenditure on the National Debt interest which has risen so steeply in the last two years?

Mr. Butler

Had it not been for the monetary policy of the Government, we should not be in the good position that we are in now.