HC Deb 17 November 1960 vol 630 cc525-6
7. Mr. P. Williams

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress Her Majesty's Government have made over the last three years with equating demand and resources.

Mr. Barber

The policy of the Government is directed to keeping the economy in balance. This is a continuous process and not one which can be done once for all. In 1958 and the early part of 1959, demand was deficient and policy was directed towards expansion. In 1960 it became excessive and policy was one of restraint.

Mr. Williams

Is my hon. Friend aware that my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer used this phrase three times on 25th October and that it really is oversimplifying things too much? Is he aware that it is using a planner's phrase too much to talk about "equating demand with resources"? Is not this more likely to be the guiding phrase for stagnation rather than for advance?

Mr. Barber

I am afraid that I cannot agree with what my hon. Friend has just said. It is, of course, impossible as I would have thought he would have realised, having put down a Question, to deal at Question Time with a matter of this kind otherwise than by using, as it were, shorthand phraseology. But I think that there is no doubt at all that the action which has been taken by the Government in the last three years has been both timely and in the right direction.