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Statutory Rules And Regulations

Volume 498: debated on Tuesday 1 April 1952

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48.

asked the Prime Minister if Her Majesty's Government will take steps progressivly to reduce the number of Statutory Rules and Regulations.

It is our constant endeavour to limit as far as possible the number of Statutory Rules and Regulations.

As a supplementary to both this Question and to Question No. 47, may I ask the Prime Minister whether he is aware that the only way to avoid economic collapse and another war is to remove all impediments and controls to trade as soon as practicable at home and abroad? If goods cannot cross frontiers, armies will do so, and if we restrict consumption we restrict production.

My hon. Friend is often represented as the representative of extreme Toryism. He is now putting forward the most extreme proposals of free trade and Liberalism.

May I remind the Prime Minister of his slogan: "Set the people free"?

Has the Prime Minister this time been sufficiently well serviced to have a note in anticipation of supplementaries as to how many Regulations and Orders have been added, since the present Government came into office, in the process of setting the people free?

I have stated our policy, which is to set the people free, but the rate at which this process can be accomplished depends upon the weight and strength of the shackles which have been laid upon them.