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Industrial Production (Figures)

Volume 438: debated on Wednesday 18 June 1947

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asked the Lord President of the Council what are the specific industrial production figures which must be reached in the current six vital weeks; and if he will give these results immediately they are available and make a statement on the actual response to his appeal.

In appealing for a supreme production effort during June and the first half of July at my Press Conference on 4th June, I pointed out that if we did not do extremely well in that period all hope of achieving our targets would be lost. The targets for 1947 have already been made public in the Economic Survey and the progress made in fulfilling them is published as soon as it becomes available by the Departments concerned and in the monthly Statistical Digest prepared by the Central Statistical Office.

May I ask the Leader of the House what specific production figures he had in mind when he made this statement to his Press Conference, and does he not think that the House and the country should have those figures in mind so that they can judge the results immediately they are available?

It was not a question of the particular figures one had in mind but of a fact in relation to the economic situation following upon the crisis as to fuel, etc., in the early part of the year.

Can the right hon. Gentleman say how he reconciles what he has just said about the publication of figures as soon as they become available, with the recently announced decision of the Ministry of Fuel and Power to cease publication of the weekly output of coal?

If the right hon. Gentleman wants to have a dig at the Ministry of Fuel and Power he had better put down a Question to them.

Did the right hon. Gentleman like the production in Lower Regent Street yesterday?

Does the Leader of the House think that there are any real hopes of a better result from this appeal than from those which have failed in the past?

We shall do much better if the hon. Gentleman will cease using the time of the House for spreading alarm and despondency.

On a point of Order, Mr. Speaker, may I have your protection? My questions were perfectly fair and straightforward, and has the Minister the right to answer me in that way?

I cannot direct the right hon. Gentleman as to the way in which he should answer. That is up to him.