I suggest that it is better to take action now than to wait until a Dollar Crisis is upon us.
It occurs to me that we may be faced with a Dollar Crisis, and I would like to ask the Minister whether that has anything to do with this new provision - whether it is his intention to make use of this power in the next year, say.
The discussion which took place on 30th June and again on 8th July undoubtedly served to focus world attention on This Dollar Crisis, and on 6th August the Prime Minister announced certain dollar saving measures which we were going to take.
I fear that he looked at it from rather a short-term point of view and referred to it most inconclusively as being a Dollar Crisis.
asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning whether, arising out of the Acute Dollar Crisis and the need for increased home production from the land, he will now give an assurance that no productive agricultural land will be sacrificed for development while suitable land of an inferior value is still; available.
The real issue the House has to face is that we are in the middleof a very Grave Dollar Crisis.
and what action he is taking on the matter; (2) what instructions have been issued to the Governments of the British West Indies regarding the limitation of imports to meet the Dollar Crisis; and what discussions took place between the Colonial Office and local elected governments, chambers of commerce and other similar bodies before these instructions were issued.
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies (1) if his attention has been drawn to the protests of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce that the cuts in imports imposed by the Colonial Office were made without any consultation in Barbados and are likely to cause hardship locally; and what action he is taking on the matter; (2) what instructions have been issued to the Governments of the British West Indies regarding the limitation of imports to meet the Dollar Crisis; and what discussions took place between the Colonial Office and local elected governments, chambers of commerce and other similar bodies before these instructions were issued.
It is not a very impressive record, even for the days before the Dollar Crisis broke, when there were far more substantial supplies available for reconstruction purposes.
Squadron-Leader Sir Gifford Fox asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what arrangements have been made in each of the principal British Colonies to deal with the problems of the dollar cost of American cinematograph films consequent upon the Dollar Crisis.
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what arrangements have been made in each of the principal British Colonies to deal with the problems of the dollar cost of American cinematograph films consequent upon the Dollar Crisis.
We have heard a great deal in recent times of the Dollar Crisis, of inflation, Communist infiltration and overworked Ministries - in fact of our prosperity hanging in the balance.
When a year ago we were faced with the Dollar Crisis, the Prime Minister said:The maximum supply of feedingstuffs must be obtained.
That is the important, the pressing, necessity which has this year compelled the recalling of Parliament, whereas the Dollar Crisis of last year, and the cuts that had to be imposed as a result of it, were not supposed to be sufficiently important to necessitate our return.
The figures in Table I of this White Paper show how these favourable results of 1946 were reversed in 1947, and how the Dollar Crisis swept over the greater part of the world and most grievously affected our own position as the mainspring of the sterling area, so that the drain on our gold and dollar resources became almost disastrous.
We made a cut in the capital development programme ayear ago because of the Dollar Crisis of that time, but since E.R.P. became a certainty we have been planning and have set in motion a steadily expanding programme both at home and in the Colonies, and we shall make that one of our main objectives of economic policy throughout the next four years.
Last Autumn when the Dollar Crisis broke, we all of us frankly expected a belt-tightening period during the winter months.
I think it comes as a surprise to many of us that Marshall Aid, far from giving us a rise in our standard of living - which no one expected, of course - apparently is going to stabilise it, not at the 1947 level, but at a new level which is even lower than that which obtained immediately before the Dollar Crisis hit this country.
While our development plans are bound to be affected by the Dollar Crisis, we might as well see, while being fully prepared to co-operate with any country that wants to develop the Colonies, that we get the maximum possible prices during this transitional stage in the economic life of the Colonies.
At all events, that undertaking was given, and I might remind the Committee that the Dollar Crisis had already burst upon us.
but if we think that within a few years we can solve the Dollar Crisis we are making a mistake.
I do not deny that the Budget conclusions are the only ones to which any one could come today; but if we think that within a few years we can solve the Dollar Crisis we are making a mistake.
I should like to draw the attention of the Committee to the fact that, even with the concessions in this Clause, British companies, mining and oil, still suffer a handicap, and it may well be that, if the Dollar Crisis develops with great seriousness, the Committee in future years will have to consider ways of equalising the burdens upon British companies with those sustained by foreign companies.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer has told us about the Dollar Crisis.
But if that is his view, that the problem cannot be solved by increasing dollar exports, why do he and his right hon. and hon. Friends come to this House and pretend that the Dollar Crisis is due to our high costs in this country, to excessive Government expenditure and the level of the social services?
What does the right hon. Member for Woodford say about the Dollar Crisis in that book?
This Debate is taking place under the shadow of the two days we have devoted to the Dollar Crisis, and therefore it is important not to give full and free rein to what our hearts desire but to concentrate our minds on what is possible, or how we can make it more possible by a correct economic policy.
I believe, therefore, that it will not be amiss if I devote the time at my disposal to studying the Malayan question, particularly in regard to tin and rubber which, for many years to come, in spite of what the hon. Member for Central Bristol has said, and even with the policy of the right hon. Gentleman, with which we all agree, of spreading away from those two main crops into others - at any rate, as long as the Present Dollar Crisis lasts - must be the two main factors.
Have the Government informed the United States that, owing to the need for economy in Government expenditure, we propose to cut all expenditure on atom bomb manufacture until the Dollar Crisis is over?
It is perhaps not surprising that the Government who the week before last produced that disastrous statement showing no positive policy at all for dealing with the Dollar Crisis - the Government who so mishandled the dock situation - should be rushing us into this disastrous experiment which could so easily and with so little cost to themselves be put off for a few months.
I was about to come to the American market in view of the remarks of the hon. Member for Scarborough andWhitby, who accused people of ingratitude who attribute any portion of the Present Dollar Crisis to the United States of America, and I feel that in doing so he is allowing emotion, no doubt due to his friendship with America - and I am not saying this in an offensive way - to interfere with a recognition of the true facts.
This is how the Dollar Crisis suggests itself to me.
The Minister of Health, who is fascinated by historical parallels, might find a close correspondence between This Dollar Crisis and the fuel crisis of the former Minister of Fuel and Power.
In view of the great importance of the Colonial areas in the Dollar Crisis, will an opportunity be given to the Colonial Secretary to make a statement and for the House to discuss the subject in the near future?
Two-thirds of our wheat imports come from dollar countries, but the Conservative election address in that by-election said there was no need for bread rationing at all even though there was then a Dollar Crisis.
My hon. Friend the Economic Secretary to the Treasury said a few days ago that the Dollar Crisis would be with us for a lifetime.
and Dollar Crisis, Debate question, 761.
In my submission, the price of coal is not only making our position in the home market a very difficult one, but it played no inconsiderable part in the Dollar Crisis that we have recently been discussing.
In a recent speech the Financial Secretary to the Treasury used these words:I am afraid that the Dollar Crisis is probably here for our lifetime.
I am informed - I do not know whether correctly or not - that the hon. and learned Gentleman accused me of saying that the Dollar Crisis would last for our lifetime.
When we are faced with a Dollar Crisis and imminent bankruptcy, we should not talk about building permanent houses overseas for married soldiers.
The reason for this order, so far as I can see, apart from the Dollar Crisis, which has quickened matters at St. Andrew's House, is that our cropping targets have not been reached, and that there is a tendency to lay down land to grass.
That would be just as false as to suggest that European recovery is only required to meet the Dollar Crisis.
It was chiefly the high rate of expenditure which led to the most Recent Dollar Crisis, which was only ended by devaluation.
We feel these figures are taken at a venture and where the Government are lacking a great deal is in their failure to push on with something which they should have pushed on with three or four years ago before the Dollar Crisis, and have sent people like Mr. Dudley Stamp to get out a proper survey of this country to get to know what land should be treated.
Each is doing its part in producing something or other to help in the Dollar Crisis.
We know we have been through a Dollar Crisis, but since the American loan has been forthcoming a lot of money has been spent in the United States on a lot of unnecessary items.
We should all have liked to see it taken before, but I would draw the attention of hon. Members to the fact that we have had various crises in recent years, and on several occasions - in 1947, and again in the Dollar Crisis of 1949 - we had to undertake various economies in capital expenditure.
We then come to the 1947 Act, which was introduced as a result of the Dollar Crisis for the purpose of expanding our exports and increasing our imports.
In fact dollars were allocated to the purchase of the supplies available even during the worst period of the Dollar Crisis.
I remember that it was in the last week of October, 1949, that the Deputy-Leader of the Opposition told us in this House that Another Dollar Crisis was not many months away.
Even in the worst phase of the Dollar Crisis, dollars were not restricted below the supplies the industry wanted to buy and the supplies physically available in the United States.
Indeed, the official Opposition at that time, so far from urging us to spend dollars more freely, were, of course, warning us that Another Dollar Crisis was likely.
Our reserves are much bigger and I do not think it is a problem which is going to lead to a crisis this summer in the sense that we had a crisis in 1947 or 1949, because it is not, of course, primarily a Dollar Crisis which we are facing at the moment.
Therefore, I hope that the figures will probably improve and I shall be extremely disappointed if, at the end of the second quarter, we do not get an improvement in our reserves; but I am afraid that unless we can have a clear and definite Commonwealth policy,which we understand as well as the other countries in the Commonwealth, we shall be running again into Another Dollar Crisis later in the year or early next year.
I was looking only this morning at a book by the eminent economist, Thomas Balogh, "Dollar Crisis," a work with which, as hon. Members opposite will not be surprised to know, I have many points of disagreement; but it is interesting to notice that in his chapter on the backward areas, to which he gives the title, "Beyond the Marshall Plan," he wrote that he regarded the Fourth Point as a kind of development of Marshall Aid.
He will remember that last March we were in a very desperate foreign exchange and particularly Dollar Crisis.
This never happened when the Raw Cotton Commission had full control, even in the period when raw cotton in the world was desperately short, or even in the more acute stages of the Dollar Crisis.
In this connection, I hope hon. Members will read - or re-read - a book called "The Dollar Crisis," by Mr. Thomas Balogh, especially the chapter on Britain and the Problem of European Planning, because a book more absolutely steeped in the spirit of a lust for power I have never read.
How does the President think that the present dual system, or, worse still, an entirely private system, would operate if we run into a new Dollar Crisis?
Again, what is the position if we run into a Dollar Crisis?
Does the hon. Gentleman really say that he does not regard the danger of a Dollar Crisis as a real one in which all the scarcities of these commodities will be repeated once again?
Apprehension is felt in many quarters that the impending change-over will add substantially to our dollar expenditure on raw cotton and be responsible in some degree in bringing forward Another Dollar Crisis.
The question of a Dollar Crisis has been mentioned.
It is most extraordinary that, when we know that the country is threatened as seriously as at any time in the last few years with an acute dollar shortage, an essential mechanism in the protection of our economy, an essential part of our bulwark to protect us against a Dollar Crisis, should be destroyed in this way.
Therefore, once we run into a Dollar Crisis, we shall find that Lancashire will be in a serious position simply because production will have been cut back in certain Colonial Territories, and Lancashire will be more dependent on the United States.
While not all the disasters we then forecast have yet happened, for the very obvious reason that the Liverpool cotton market has been operating against a favourable economic background, we warned the Government then that if Another Dollar Crisis came it would have a very serious effect on Lancashire and the Liverpool cotton market.
While not all the disasters we then forecast have yet happened, for the very obvious reason that the Liverpool cotton market has been operating against a favourable economic background, we warned the Government then that if another Dollar Crisis came it would have a very serious effect on Lancashire and the Liverpool cotton market.
Since this Question relates to dollar imports, and since hon. Gentlemen on both sides of the House consider that a great number of dollars are being wasted on inessentials - including dollar coarse grains - would he not say that it is more a question of forward to a Dollar Crisis once again rather than the way in which he put it?
The quick answer to that has already been given - the Dollar Crisis and devaluation in September, 1949.
We could not have survived the Dollar Crisis without the help of the Colonies.
Are we not to have some Commonwealth conference of Ministers to consider This Present Dollar Crisis at any time in the coming months?
Because of all the factors which are on our side, and which I have mentioned, I certainly am not suggesting that we are facing an Immediate Dollar Crisis.
Did the Chancellor tell him that the Dollar Crisis is due to the big expenditure on armaments and that the best plan for the United States would be to cut that and not try to soak either the Germans or the British taxpayer?
Can the right hon. Gentleman say what discussions are taking place between Her Majesty's Government and the Government of the United States about the Dollar Crisis and the need for some co-ordination of interest-rate policies between the two countries?
The Chancellor pretended at one time that this was almost wholly a Dollar Crisis but it is primarily a sterling crisis.
As the Sunday Times put it,The United Kingdom faces a Massive Dollar Crisis bill.
The Recent Dollar Crisis affirms the extent to which trade patterns have changed.
We have experienced the Dollar Crisis, and the fact that the Americans at long last are finding the cost of supporting so much of the world, both in its defence and its economy, can no longer be carried.
But it should be remembered that in 1971, when we were also faced with a Dollar Crisis, following the American measures of 15th August of that year, the series of major international meetings did not reach a solution until December and the exchange markets were substantially upset for the whole of that period from August to December.
I doubt whether the Chancellor yesterday, or any other finance Minister, has been bold enough in dealing with the oil and petro - Dollar Crisis which is at the root of nearly all of our troubles today.
Those who understand these problems know that a Dollar Crisis or something similar can occur within a few hours and they know the sort of flexibility that is needed.