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Budget Proposals And Economic Survey

Volume 486: debated on Tuesday 10 April 1951

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3.35 p.m.

The debate on which we shall be engaged for the next few days is about the Economic Survey as well as the Budget; and if I were to follow recent precedents I should have to deal in this speech not only with the traditional fiscal and financial issues, but also with the whole of our economic prospect, with exports and imports, sterling balances and dollar reserves, productivity and manpower, prices and wages and lots of other things besides. But there is a real difficulty, especially this year, to find the time to say it all.

Having no desire to introduce into our proceedings this afternoon an element of physical endurance—which may become very prominent in the next few weeks—I have come to the conclusion that in this respect I must depart from the example of my predecessor and say little myself in detail about the Economic Survey or the other recent Treasury White Papers. I plead in excuse not only that even so I am afraid my speech will be rather long, because the purely financial issues will take up much more time this year than in the last year or two, but also that I did cover a good deal of what must be omitted today during the defence debate last February.