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Public Works Schemes (Review)

Volume 463: debated on Tuesday 5 April 1949

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asked the Lord President of the Council if, in view of the urgent necessity for concentrating the maximum effort on export trade and in view of the acute housing shortage, he will review works proposed or in progress, such as the Festival of Britain site and Cultural Centre, and postpone them until such time as the economic conditions of the country improve.

No, Sir. As regards housing I would refer the hon. Member to the reply made by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on the 1st November, 1948. As regards the export drive, I hope and expect that the Festival of Britain will itself contribute indirectly to the export drive by attracting to this country a very large number of visitors, and by improving the standard of design industrial products which may be included in Festival exhibitions.

Is it not a fact that owing to the maladministration of this Government we are compelled to live on borrowed money? Does a bankrupt family buy a new piano or live on champagne and oysters, and why should America go on giving us dollars to pour down the Socialist drain?

—propaganda, inaccuracies and sheer misrepresentation that it defies reply. The hon. Member had better put it on the Paper, if he can.

In view of my right hon. Friend's original reply, will he reconsider the scheme, which he has studied, for making the grounds of Chiswick House a site for the Festival of Britain, in view of the very modest expenditure and labour involved and of the substantial financial return which this scheme might yield?

My hon. Friend is proving himself to be a worthier Member for Brentford and Chiswick than the hon. Member for Orpington (Sir W. Smithers) is for Orpington.