HC Deb 19 December 1967 vol 756 cc1088-9
Q7. Mr. Dodds-Parker

asked the Prime Minister if he will now change his economic advisers, in view of Her Majesty's Government's new economic policy.

The Prime Minister

No, Sir.

Mr. Dodds-Parker

Is not the taxpayer due for a refund from the failures of Dr. Ballogh and Dr. Kaldor?

The Prime Minister

I know that it will not be possible to curb the xenophobic views of some hon. Gentlemen opposite. Both of these gentlemen and all the other Government economic advisers, including the British ones, have rendered very valuable service for very many years. Like the former Administration, it is the Government who take the responsibility for decisions, and not their advisers.

Mr. Hugh Fraser

Is not one of the Prime Minister's troubles his disregard of the economic advice which is given to him and which he has destroyed, so that devaluation has been totally unplanned and has led to the trouble we are in today?

The Prime Minister

The right hon. Gentleman makes a mistake in believing an article which appeared in The Times and which was quite false, although it excited the interest of hon. Gentlemen opposite.

Mr. Heath

The Prime Minister said in his last election manifesto that the pursuit of solvency and the defence of the £ were his over-riding aims. Does that still remain the case?

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir, and three or four weeks ago we debated the events which occurred on 18th November. As I said yesterday, the right hon. Gentleman might now help by using such influence as he has with British industry—[Interruption.]—first, to seize on the opportunities available to us on devaluation, and, secondly, to refrain from provocative and unnecessary price increases—instead of giving many people in. the City and in industry the lead, which he does give, of always knocking Britain.