HC Deb 23 October 1956 vol 558 cc463-4
15. Mr. Lewis

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, now that the cost-of-living figure has been stabilised and the country has overcome its economic difficulties, he will increase the salaries of Members of Parliament to compensate them for the rise in the cost of living during the past few years.

Mr. H. Macmillan

I am naturally grateful for the hon. Gentleman's generous praise of the Government's economic performance. But, while we have achieved for the present a steady Retail Price Index, I would not claim more than that the country is in process of overcoming its economic difficulties. For the reasons which my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister gave to the House on 12th July, it would be an error of judgment for the Government to prejudice that process by moving to increase the salaries of hon. Members now.

Mr. Lewis

Whilst, naturally, expecting the Chancellor of the Exchequer to disagree with his right hon. Friend the Leader of the House, I would ask him whether he is not aware that at Llandudno the Leader of the House said that all the Election promises had now been fulfilled, and one of those was that the cost of living would be reduced and the £ sterling would again be worth something ; and if, in fact, the Leader of the House is right, surely, then, should not the Chancellor of the Exchequer implement this promise which he gave, namely, that when the cost of living was stable he would deal with the admitted grievance of M.Ps., or is this another promise which is going to be broken?

Mr. Macmillan

I think the hon. Member is rather complicating an issue which he made particularly simple in the form of his Question.