HC Deb 21 November 1961 vol 649 cc1115-7
8. Mr. H. Wilson

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proposals have been put before the Organisation for European Co-operation and Development for a plan for industrial expansion involving a growth of 50 per cent. in industrial output by 1970; and whether Her Majesty's Government have informed the Organisation of their support for this plan.

20. Mr. Jay

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether Her Majesty's Government will support the proposals for a planned 50 per cent. economic growth in the Atlantic community by 1970, made by the United States Government to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

With permission, I will circulate, in the OFFICIAL REPORT the full text of the communiqué issued after the first Ministerial meeting of O.E.C.D., which took place in Paris on 17th and 18th November. The meeting set as a collective target for the Organisation the attainment during the decade from 1960 to 1970 of a growth in real gross national product of 50 per cent. for the twenty Member Countries taken together. This initiative has the full support of H.M. Government.

Mr. Wilson

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that Treasury sources were briefing the Press before last Thursday's meeting to the effect that the original American plan was too much for this country and that the Chancellor would argue for it to be cut down? Is it not time that the Government introduced an economic policy which will stop this country being a drag on our allies?

Mr. Lloyd

I do not accept that for a moment. As regards this target, I believe that it certainly is within the collective possibilities of the alliance. With regard to the briefing beforehand, I should like to make it quite clear that I had some doubts about the wisdom of bringing this forward at this meeting. I thought that further time was required to consider its presentation, in particular so that it would not appear to be a rich man's club meeting together to decide how to increase its own productivity without regard to the poorer countries of the world.

Mr. Jay

As the Chancellor says that the aim has the support of the Government, will his policies be designed to carry it out?

Mr. Lloyd

My policies are designed to carry out growth on a sound basis.

The following is the communiqué: