HC Deb 22 June 1971 vol 819 cc1193-4
Q5. Mrs. Castle

asked the Prime Minister whether the public statements on unemployment made by the Secretary of State for Employment in Washington on 26th May represent the policy of Her Majesty's Government.

The Prime Minister

My right hon. Friend did not make a public statement on unemployment in Washington. He did, however, discuss Government policy when talking to British Press correspondents there.

Mrs. Castle

It is to those public discussions with the Press that I am referring. They were reported in this country, of course. Does the Prime Minister agree with his Secretary of State that the Government have no intention of giving any stimulus to the economy until wage increases have been stabilised at around 8 per cent.? What level of employment is the right hon. Gentleman prepared to tolerate to achieve that stabilisation?

The Prime Minister

The right hon. Lady is not entirely correct. My right hon. Friend did not say that wages had to be stabilised at the level of 8 per cent. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has always made it quite plain—he did so in the Budget—that when he considers that a further stimulant to the economy is required, he will not hesitate to provide it.

Mr. Roy Jenkins

Will the Prime Minister tell us when the measures correcting the Budget judgment are to be announced.

The Prime Minister

I should have thought that the right hon. Gentleman, as a former Chancellor of the Exchequer responsible for the economy of the country, would not have thought it worth his while to try to put a trick queestion like that. My right hon. Friend is doing what the right hon. Gentleman did, which is to study the way that events are working out.