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Review Of 1953–54

Volume 526: debated on Tuesday 6 April 1954

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The objective of my first Budget was to rectify and strengthen our balance of payments. This was done. The tasks for the 1953 Budget were to continue to fortify our overseas account and to seize every opportunity for expanding production at home. In the last Budget we restored initial allowances, to encourage investment. We reduced taxes, to increase economic incentives and to stimulate demand and production.

But since our balance of payments, though it had improved, was still insecure, and since we could not risk any renewal of inflation, I decided that there must be limits to the extent to which we could deliberately expand the economy. We had to steer a middle course. Looking back over 1953, I think we can fairly say that our policy has been justified by events. In that year industrial production reached heights never before recorded in our country's history.