HC Deb 29 November 1956 vol 561 cc573-4
47. Mr. Lewis

asked the Prime Minister whether the speech made by the Lord Privy Seal at Cambridge on Friday, 23rd November, relating to the situation in Egypt and its outcome, represents the policy of Her Majesty's Government.

Mr. R. A. Butler

I have been asked to reply.

The hon. Gentleman may be assured that my right hon. Friend would be satisfied that his right hon. Friend's speech accorded with the policy of Her Majesty's Government.

Mr. Lewis

Am I, therefore, to take it that the prosperity Butler of the past is now the austerity Butler of the future? And may I ask what are the austerity measures that the Lord Privy Seal prophesied that the Government were to introduce? Can we have those austerity measures announced in the House, when the House is sitting, rather than when the House goes into Recess during Christmas?

Mr. Butler

Yes, Sir; I have had a certain amount to do both with prosperity and austerity, and in either case the hon. Gentleman may be assured that the Government will announce what they are to do. Petrol rationing, one of the measures, has already been announced.

Mr. Gaitskell

Does not the Lord Privy Seal agree, on reflection, that when, according to the report of this speech, he said, We have a united party and a united Government"—

Hon. Members

Hear, hear.

Mr. Gaitskell

—followed by the sentence, What is at stake is whether the Western alliance, the American Government and the Commonwealth will come in behind us … those sentences were more likely to lead to ridicule than to any effective solution of the problem?

Mr. Butler

The resounding cheers from behind me—[Interruption.]—indicate the extent of the unity and determination of both Her Majesty's Government and the supporters of Her Majesty's Government. Furthermore, the objectives of all of us are to give strength to the Atlantic alliance.