HC Deb 13 February 1973 vol 850 cc1142-4
Q10. Mr. Carter

asked the Prime Minister if he will place in the Library a copy of his public speech in Maidstone on Friday 26th January on inflation.

The Prime Minister

I did so on 30th January, Sir.

Mr. Carter

In that speech the Prime Minister did not refer to the Government's economic successes, about which he has constantly told us. Will he tell us this afternoon the Government's three principle economic achievements and successes?

The Prime Minister

I have constantly reiterated them. We have had considerable success in dealing with the inflationary pressures which were left by the present Opposition—success which we are pursuing through the statutory policy. We have also had success in the regional inducements which we have given, which are beginning to provide the investment that is required. Furthermore, we have established a firm base for the expansion of the economy in the European Community.

Mr. Tapsell

Will not the country have noticed that one of the reasons why sterling has so far not been in the front line of the international monetary crisis is the respect that the international community pays to the phase 2 proposals?

The Prime Minister

That is absolutely right. If those Members of the Opposition who are concerned with increasing the number of jobs in this country, increasing our trade and improving the standard of living would demonstrate their support for the stage 2 policy it would have an even greater effect.

Mr. Molloy

If the Prime Minister has time to spare and really wishes to know the truth about increasing jobs and opportunity, would he like to come with me this afternoon and meet a delegation of lobbyists from Rockware Glass, in my constituency—a viable firm which is increasing its productivity year in and year out, and which is to be closed with no prior consultation simply because land developers are after the land that it is on? Men and management with a first-class industrial relations record are being subjected to asset strippers and land developers. How can that be reconciled with the statement the right hon. Gentleman has just made?

The Prime Minister

The hon. Gentleman knows perfectly well that if he wants to send details of a particular case to me I am always prepared to consider it, without his abusing the time of the House at Question Time.

Mr. Wyn Roberts

Did not the ORC poll show 76 per cent. of those interviewed in favour of the Government's current policy against inflation? Does not that indicate that the Government have widespread support in the country at large?

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir. There is no doubt about the widespread support for the policy up and down the country, and there is absolutely no doubt that the great majority of the people want the policy to succeed and to deal with inflation.

Mr. Harold Wilson

Did not that same poll describe the right hon. Gentleman's offer for wages as £5 a week? Will he confirm that that is his offer?

The Prime Minister

The right hon. Gentleman knows perfectly well that the amount of the wage offer is £1 per head plus 4 per cent. of the wage packet as negotiated by those responsible for any group. As he also knows, there is an upper annual limit of £250. I under- stand that many in the trade union movement and Labour Members object to having an upper limit. That is most astonishing.

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