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Government Expenditure

Volume 527: debated on Tuesday 4 May 1954

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proposals he has for a closer control of Government expenditure.

My right hon. Friend is examining this question in connection with the review of Government expenditure to which I referred in my answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Orpington (Sir W Smithers) on 27th April.

So far as administrative expenditure is concerned, will the right hon. Gentleman consider better control by this House, and also whether, so far as the more extravagant excesses of State expenditure are concerned, it would not be possible to establish some personal responsibility?

My right hon. Friend, as my original answer indicated, is reviewing the whole subject, and I have no doubt that the particular points which the hon. Gentleman has in mind will not escape attention.

Will it be possible for my right hon. Friend to say when he expects that the Chancellor will be able to make any answer as a result of this examination which is taking place?

Is the Financial Secretary fully satisfied with the Chancellor's economic efforts to date, which reveal that total Government expenditure is more than £1,000 million higher than it was under the Labour Government?

So far as I understand it, the criticism which the right hon. Gentleman has made has been that we have economised too much rather than too little.