§ 30. Mr. Cronin
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what further steps he will take to increase fixed capital expenditure by manufacturing industry, in view of the sharp decline in the first quarter of the year shown by the provisional figures recently published by the Board of Trade.
The Budget, by restoring the investment allowances and increasing the flow of purchasing power, was designed to create conditions favourable to an increase in fixed capital expenditure by manufacturing industry. The figures recently published by the Board of Trade are consistent with the expectations I had previously formed, and I do not see any present need to introduce further measures of encouragement to capital expenditure.
§ Mr. Cronin
Do not the Board of Trade figures at least show that the Chancellor's expansionist policy has come rather too late? Would he not have done better to have accepted the advice given from this side of the House last year?
I think that the general indications are that the encouragement of expansion has come at exactly the right moment.