HC Deb 03 June 1954 vol 528 cc1444-5
35. Mr. Grimond

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will now abolish the Capital Issues Committee.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

No, Sir.

Mr. Grimond

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell the House the principles on which the Committee is at present operated?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Its purpose is to advise my right hon. Friend with regard to certain of the responsibilities imposed on him by this House under the Act of 1946. The full value of this arrangement was expounded by my hon. Friend the Economic Secretary on 19th November last, to which explanation I refer the hon. Gentleman.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

Would the Financial Secretary admit that the Capital Issues Committee, which is an extension of the capital investment programme of the Government, is the only instrument for controlling inflation which is not subject to any democratic procedures in this House? At a time when the whole country recognises and welcomes the philosophy of derationing and free markets, why does this instrument of the Government remain uncontrolled and un-discussed by the House?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I think that my noble Friend has misunderstood the purpose of this Committee. It tenders advice to my right hon. Friend, and my right hon. Friend is, of course, responsible to this House for the decisions he takes.

Mr. Langford-Holt

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether it is intended that this Committee should be a permanent feature of our economic life?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I do not think that that arises on this Question.