HC Deb 14 February 1956 vol 548 c2171
48. Mr. Lewis

asked the Prime Minister whether the recent speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the National Production Advisory Council on Industry on the question of inflation represents the policy of Her Majesty's Government.

The Prime Minister

My right hon. Friend made it clear that the speech was a diagnosis and not a statement of policy.

Mr. Lewis

Is the Prime Minister aware of the fact that in that diagnosis the Chancellor stated that during 1954 retail prices rose 1½ times as fast as in the previous year, that imports rose by 15 per cent., which was three times as much as exports—[HON. MEMBERS: "Quoting."]—and that our reserves fell by about a quarter? Yes, I am quoting. Is the Prime Minister aware of the fact that the housewives want to see the hole in their purse mended, the hole in their husbands' pocket mended, and the pound really worth something? When will the Government do something about that?

The Prime Minister

I understand that there is shortly to be an economic debate, in which perhaps a repetition of the speech which we have just heard will be appropriate.