HC Deb 19 April 1955 vol 540 cc44-5

One success story of the past year of which we can all be proud is the record of the National Savings Movement. After passing through a difficult phase the Movement had begun to show signs early in 1954 of a change for the better. As the Committee will remember, I was able to report in my last Budget speech that in the first quarter of 1954 new savings had exceeded withdrawals by about £40 million, and that this was £30 million more than a year before. But in the same period this year new savings have exceeded withdrawals by £80 million—twice as good as a year ago. And over the financial year as a whole there is a net gain in savings of £120 million, compared with a net loss in 1953–54 of £12 million—an improvement of over £130 million.

I am sure that the Committee will greet this as a remarkable and heartening achievement in which we can take proper pride in this year's appraisal of our affairs. I am sure that hon. Members will wish me to congratulate the Movement on its success and thank all who work in it for the benefits their activity has brought to their country. Many of us on all sides of the Committee have taken part in the New Savers Campaign in the last six months. I am sure that hon. Members of all parties have been impressed by the hard work and enthusiasm shown by the voluntary savings workers all over the country. I have nothing but praise for their work, and I trust that the momentum of their campaign will carry them forward to still better results in the year before us.