HC Deb 10 March 1953 vol 512 cc1107-8
25. Sir W. Smithers

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that, taking 1948 as 100, industrial production in Germany is now 253 and in Britain only 119; and, in view of the fact that Britain is not, and cannot become, self-supporting and must export at world competitive prices or starve, what steps he is taking to improve this state of affairs.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

The need for increased exports in the face of growing competition from other supplying countries is consistently stressed by myself and other members of Her Majesty's Government. I would add, however, that the figures quoted in my hon. Friend's Question are not really comparable; Germany's industrial production in 1948 was still at a far lower level than the United Kingdom, compared with pre-war.

Sir W. Smithers

Will the President of the Board of Trade ask the B.B.C. to allow him to broadcast the truth of the facts to the nation before it is too late, and is he aware that if he has not the time to do that I will willingly deputise for him?

Mr. Noel-Baker

Can the right hon. Gentleman give the figures for 1938 and for last year?

Mr. Thorneycroft

Not from memory.

Mr. Osborne

Can my right hon. Friend tell the House, if these figures are not comparable, what are the comparable figures between German production and British production for these years?

Mr. Thorneycroft

If my hon. Friend would like to put down a Question I will do my best to answer it. I do not carry all the production figures in my head.

Mr. Lewis

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the fact that during the whole period of the Labour Government production went up and up and that since this Government have been in office it has been going down and down? Is he not further aware of the fact that the best thing he can do is to ask the Prime Minister to hand in the resignation of this Government?

Mr. Thorneycroft

That is raising rather wider issues than those in the Question.