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Economic Survey

Volume 439: debated on Monday 30 June 1947

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asked the Prime Minister if he will arrange to have produced, before the end of July, an economic survey, 1947–48, showing the estimated economic position of this country, together with the Government's proposals for achieving an import-export balance.

No, Sir. An economic survey for the calendar year has already been published, and I do not think it is desirable to issue a fresh survey for an overlapping period. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer will make a statement about the import programme today.

Is the prime Minister aware that this import-export deficit is increasing monthly, and is it not about time that the Government produced plans for dealing with it? Has not the country the right to know what is happening?

In view of the fact that many of the figures given in the economic survey are now palpably out of date, does the Prime Minister contemplate any action that will put the country into possession of a more up-to-date conspectus of the situation which we have to face?

Statements will be made from time to time. The specific question I was asked was whether there should be another economic survey. The hon. Gentleman will know that Government publications necessarily get out of date after a certain time. We cannot have annual surveys published monthly.

Questions Nos. 32, 36 and 44 were taken together. I looked at the hon. Gentleman, thinking that he would ask a supplementary question.

I regret I did not hear my Question called. Question No. 44 is really quite a different and wider question.

I am sorry, but I did look at the hon. Gentleman, thinking he might want to ask a supplementary question.