§ 23. Mr. Cronin
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will take steps to obtain some measure of international agreement between the major industrial countries to concert an expansionary fiscal policy.
Regular international consultation about the economic situation and outlook takes place in such organisations as the International Monetary Fund and the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation. Commonwealth Ministers and civil servants also meet regularly for discussion of economic prospects and policies. There is general agreement that in the present phase it is desirable to foster expansion while remaining on guard against the recurrence of inflationary tendencies. Production is in fact on a rising trend in the major industrial countries.
§ Mr. Cronin
Will the Chancellor of the Exchequer bear in mind that as he and his predecessors have almost completely dismantled our external financial defences it is now difficult for this country to go it alone with an expansionist monetary policy?
I would not agree with the first part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question. I think that he must agree that we have always made clear our belief in economic interdependence and common action by all countries in the direction of strengthening and increasing world trade.