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Public Expenditure (Control)

Volume 645: debated on Tuesday 25 July 1961

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asked the Prime Minister what steps he proposes to take, in the light of the recommendations of the Plowden Committee, to secure effective Government machinery for taking collective decisions with regard to the control of public expenditure.

My right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer will be making a statement at the end of Questions which will be relevant to this matter.

Does not the Prime Minister realise that the Plowden Report amounts to a condemnation of the Government's failure in ten years of Tory rule to plan the economy effectively, and that this failure has produced the present crisis?

Those are matters which no doubt the hon. Member and others will deal with in the two-day debate which we are to have tomorrow and the next day.

But does the right hon. Gentleman remember that when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer he pledged himself to cut Government expenditure by £100 million, since when it has gone up by £1,200 million?

I think that I succeeded in my efforts during that period. Of course, Government expenditure is rising. The Plowden Report does not say that it should not rise. It says that it should be related to gross national product.