HC Deb 30 June 1964 vol 697 cc1129-30
24. Mr. Small

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the value of the £ sterling measured in terms of January 1952; and what has been the decline in value in each of the last 12 years.

Mr. Maurice Macmillan

As the reply includes a table of figures, I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Small

Does not a cursory glance at the figures show a further deterioration since 1952 in the value of the £? What confidence can small savers have in Government securities and in postwar credits?

Mr. Macmillan

The hon. Gentleman has reinforced the point which my right hon. Friend the Chancellor and, indeed, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister have been making constantly about the need to combat inflation. As regards small savers, if the hon. Gentleman examines the figures of the increase in savings over past years he will find that, whatever he thinks, they have a certain confidence in the future of the country under a Conservative Government.

Mr. Ross

Surely the first part of this Question involves only one figure? Can we have that figure, and thus find out how successful the Government have been in "mending the hole in the purse"?

Mr. Macmillan

The Question asked for a whole table of figures. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] The£ was worth 14s. 6d. in May 1964, compared with 20s. in January 1952.

Dame Irene Ward

Why does not my hon. Friend state what security people have who invested in Daltons? Why does not my hon. Friend tell hon. Gentlemen opposite that?

Following is the table: The table below shows the purchasing power of the £ sterling in each of the years 1953 to 1963 inclusive and in May 1964, taking its value as 20s. in January 1952. These estimates are based on changes in the consumer price index for calendar years adjusted by reference to the movements of the retail price index in the months at the beginning and end of the period.
s. d.
January 1952 20 0
1953 19 2
1954 18 9
1955 18 2
1956 17 4
1957 16 10
1958 16 5
1959 16 4
1960 16 2
1961 15 9
1962 15 2
1963 15 0
May 1964 14 6