HC Deb 18 January 1968 vol 756 cc1942-3
22. Mr. Marten

asked the Secretary of State for Economic Affairs if he will now give an approximate estimate of the date when the National Plan will be published.

Mr. Shore

The first stage in a new planning exercise will be presented to the National Economic Development Council at its next meeting in February. This will be a review of the medium term economic outlook in the light of devaluation. This will form the basis of further detailed planning work. It is too soon, however, to say when we shall be in a position to publish a revised National Plan.

Mr. Marten

If the Minister really cannot give even an approximate date 18 months after the last plan was modified, does not this mean that planning under this Socialist Government, with its long history of failure, has become almost meaningless and worthless?

Mr. Shore

No, Sir. On the contrary, we shall, I hope, be doing a great deal of very useful work in planning during this coming year. Quite clearly, following devaluation, there have been very large changes in the strategy of the economy, and this requires some very serious work.

Mr. Peyton

Does not the Minister think, after the last fiasco, that it is time there was an outbreak of modesty induced both in "Neddy" and in his own Department?