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National Finance

Volume 889: debated on Monday 24 March 1975

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Gross National Product


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the increase in gross national product of Great Britain, France, Germany and Italy, respectively, from 1958 to the latest date for which figures are available.

With permission, I will circulate the figures in the Official Report.

Is the Chief Secretary aware that the figures, which I presume he has studied, will show that the original Six have benefited enormously, particularly after the first few years of the Community? What evidence has he to show that this country will not benefit equally materially once we are able fully to take advantage of entry as a full member of the Community?

The hon. Gentleman has put a very complicated question. I hope that he will wait until he has seen the answer in the Official Report.

Following are the details:

The increases in gross national product at current market prices, from 1958 to 1973, measured in their own currencies on the internationally used definition are as follows:

Per Cent.

Equivalent annual rate (per cent.)

United Kingdom2097£8
West Germany2719£1

Estimates of gross national product at constant prices are not available internationally. The estimated annual rates of increase in gross domestic product at constant prices between 1958 and 1973 are as follows:

Per Cent.

United Kingdom3£1
West Germany5£0

Members Of Parliament (Pay And Conditions)


asked the Lord President of the Council in view of the fact that the majority of Members of Parliament are members of their appropriate trade unions, whether he will arrange to meet the general secretaries of these unions to negotiate a trade union agreement on hours, wages and working conditions of Members of Parliament. within the social contract.

I have been ask to reply.

This would not be appropriate.

You will recollect, Mr. Speaker, as will all hon. Members, that we have recently had an unfortunate dispute affecting the efficiency of the House. Is the Minister aware that the only body of workers now working for any reputable organisation but not having trade union recognition are those who work for the Government and that, irrespective of party, the Government have persistently and consistently refused to grant Members of Parliament trade union rights and recognition comparable with the rights given to every other worker, including every State employee? If other Members do not want to have their trade union recognised, am I not entitled to call for recognition myself?

We in this House are part of a sovereign Parliament, and we should take the responsibility for these matters ourselves. Members' pay and allowances are already referred to the Top Salaries Review Body.

Questions To Ministers

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Question No. 30 on the Order Paper is a Question to my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister by my hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield. Attercliffe (Mr. Duffy). who is not here. I had always understood that Questions to the Prime Minister could be put only in the last quarter of an hour of Question Time on Tuesday and Thursday. Is it now possible to put them on any day? [HON. MEMBERS: "Yes."] I am much obliged.