HC Deb 27 July 1971 vol 822 cc206-7
Q3. Mr. Joel Harnett

asked the Prime Minister how many letters he received in his first 12 months of office on inflation; and what replies he has sent.

The Prime Minister

About 1,600. The replies set out the various measures which the Government have taken over this period to combat the rapidly rising inflation we inherited.

Mr. Burnett

When the Prime Minister replied did he speak, as he did last Saturday, about the great success of the Government and say that it was due to the culmination of a year's hard work? As there has been a net price inflation of 10.3 per cent., will the Prime Minister not work so hard next year? Will he confirm that his policy has not changed and that he has nothing else in mind than leaving prices to find their own level?

The Prime Minister

I quite understand that the hon. Gentleman does not know the nature of hard work, because the Administration which he supported never resisted wage increases.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

Is it not inflationary to perambulate from bookshop to bookshop signing copies of one's memoirs in the hope that when they are remaindered this will keep the price up?

The Prime Minister

I shall obviously have to consider that carefully. I do not think it is necessarily inflationary, certainly not if it helps to keep down the level of bank advances.

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