§ 16. Mr. Cronin
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give an approximate figure in millions of pounds indicating by how much the gross national product would have increased in 1956 if industrial production had increased in that year to the same extent as the average increase of the preceding four years.
§ Mr. Birch
In 1951 to 1955, the average increase in the gross domestic product, at 1955 factor cost, was £ 460 million a year; in the same period, industrial production increased on average by 4 per cent. a year.
There is no fixed mathematical relation between the level of industrial production and the gross national product.
§ Mr. Cronin
Is the right hon. Member aware that I was not asking for a fixed mathematical figure but for an approximate estimate? Is he not forgetting his lines—that two weeks ago he expressed complacency about the statistical information available to the Treasury? Will he accept the figure of Mr. Roy Harrod in the recent issue of the "Director" which indicates that last year there was a loss of £ 700 million gross national product as a result of the failure of production to increase? Does not that indicate that there should be an urgent change in Government monetary policy?
§ Mr. Cronin
Surely the right hon. Gentleman will not quarrel with Mr. Harrod's approximation. He is, after all, more a friend of the Government side of the House than a friend of ours.