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Prime Minister (Speeches)

Volume 649: debated on Tuesday 21 November 1961

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

Q1.

asked the Prime Minister whether he will make available in the House of Commons Library the full text of his speech upon national policies at the Mansion House on 13th November, 1961.

Is the Prime Minister aware that I am particularly interested in his belated defence of his phrase "We have never had it so good" as a warning? In view of the fact that the Prime Minister has always been ready to ignore it himself and in view of what the Chancellor of the Exchequer said today, will he undertake to remove it from the mausoleum and to bury it in some appropriate seclusion?

I thought that the hon. Member had asked for a copy of the speech to be placed in the Library in order that he might ask questions after he had read it, not before.

Q7.

asked the Prime Minister whether he will place a copy of the speech he made to industrialists in Glasgow on 3rd November on the subject of the Scottish economy in the House of Commons Library.

No, Sir. My speech at Glasgow on 3rd November was made at a private luncheon, and I do not think that it would be usual or appropriate to place a copy of it in the Library.

Does the right hon. Gentleman recall that he created the impression in the House last week that this occasion was of great moment for the Scottish economy as a whole and that it was important for him to meet industrialists? Is he aware that the president of the Scottish Unionist Association, a former Secretary of State for Scotland, said that the primary purpose of the Prime Minister's visit was to reorganise the Scottish Tory Party? Will the right hon. Gentleman therefore place in the Library a copy of his speech so that we may find out whether his journey was really necessary?

I feel sympathetic towards the hon. Gentleman's request because it is always very flattering if people want to read one's speeches after they have been made. One of the difficulties is that no copy of it exists.

Does not the right hon. Gentleman recall that he told us last week that this speech referred to the need for expansion in the Scottish economy and that he was appealing to businessmen? Does he understand that we are anxious to see what in fact he said because, according to the reports, his speech was followed by an appeal from Sir Hugh Fraser to a great many men who had made huge sums of money in capital gains on which they had paid no tax to be generous in their contributions to Tory Party funds?

The other difficulty is that the hon. Gentleman seems to take too narrow a view. Of course, I spoke largely about the future of the economy of Scotland and of course, it is true that the strength and future success of this island depends very much upon the return of the Conservative Party to power.

Would not the amount of money which the Prime Minister raised for Conservative Party funds at this lucrative luncheon be quite sufficient to provide for the extra old-age pension at Christmas?

That kind of observation is not only foolish but is quite out of scale with the problem.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the general view expressed in Scotland is one of great pleasure that he visited our country recently, that we hope he enjoyed his luncheon, and we hope that he will return many times to give us the benefit of his views on the economy in which he takes so much personal interest?

Is the Prime Minister aware that there is strong public opinion in the West of Scotland that it is below the dignity of a British Prime Minister to travel to Scotland to get money for the Tory Party funds out of take-over bidders?

Of course I understand the hon. Gentleman's views about the people in the West of Scotland and their feelings and he is quite at liberty to express them. He is not a Scotsman and perhaps he expresses them all the better for that, but I have as much right to express my views, just as much as anyone elseā€”just as much as any Welsh hon. Member.

In view of the grossly unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I give notice that I shall raise this matter on the Adjournment.