HC Deb 29 July 1965 vol 717 cc684-5
Q5. Mr. Box

asked the Prime Minister whether the public speech of the Postmaster General in Cardiff on 19th June on rising prices represents the policy of Her Majesty's Government.

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Box

Is the Prime Minister aware that the speech contained the statement that the Government do not raise prices but that they are raised by the business community, often without justification? Does not the Prime Minister agree that this was an extraordinary statement from a Minister who, only a few weeks ago, gave an unprecedented rise to postal workers and increased the cost of stamps by 33⅓ per cent.? Will the Prime Minister now refute this irresponsible and stupid statement of Government policy?

The Prime Minister

What my right hon. Friend said about the business community is in many respects justified and that is why we have set up the Prices and Incomes Board to which we can refer cases when prices are put up irresponsibly. Postal charges were increased only after the most careful scrutiny and after very full collective consideration. The hon. Gentleman really should not raise this matter, because he knows perfectly well that the last Government knew that there was a deficit of £100 million on the Post Office account but did not tell the country. They did not put up the charges. They left it for us to do after the election.

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