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Monetary Policy

Volume 465: debated on Thursday 2 June 1949

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, with a view to preventing an increase of unemployment and with special regard to the increasing supply of goods available, and the lack of public purchasing power, he will now give some indication as to the duration of the present policy of deflation or disinflation.

I do not accept the implication in the hon. Member's Question, that circumstances call for an alteration of present policy. As my right hon. and learned Friend explained in his Budget Speech, our planning must be flexible so as to enable us to adjust our fiscal and financial situation rapidly once we are convinced that an important change is really taking place.

Can the Minister give an assurance that the Government will take some action when unmistakable signs of trouble are apparent; and is he not aware that those unmistakable signs of trouble are well apparent at the present time? Will he not acknowledge the truth and do something about it? What is the use of trying to pretend that it is not there?

I must advise the hon. Gentleman to await the May figure of unemployment before he commits himself on this.