HC Deb 09 March 1954 vol 524 cc1924-5
40. Sir W. Smithers

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if, in considering his Budget proposals, he will review the financial stability of all the social services and take appropriate action.

Mr. R. A. Butler

I cannot anticipate my Budget statement.

Sir W. Smithers

Has the Chancellor studied the three articles by Loud Beveridge recently published in the "Sunday Times" which show that the Welfare State is now "in the red"? Does he not realise that the Socialist policy of a comprehensive Welfare State kills initiative, ruins character and is the fundamental cause of our difficulties today because we have to import half our food and raw materials, that the cost of the Welfare State must be added to the cost of production, and that this prevents us1 from exporting our goods at world competitive prices which we must do, or starve?

Mr. Butler

I should not like to associate the existence of the Welfare State with imminent starvation. I should like to say that I have read the series of articles, by Lord Beveridge, and I have naturally studied them in company with the other expert opinion I get on this subject.

Sir W. Smithers

What is my right hon. Friend going to do about it?

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