Conservative Party Television Election Broadcasts 1966
Note: The text is based on transcripts by Dr Michael Pearce
held at the Labour History Archive at the National Museum of Labour History. Some sections have been divided into paragraphs for ease of reading
18th March 1966
People. And people who will be going in their millions
to vote on March the thirty-first. But of course the people who change
governments are those who change their political allegiance. Perhaps from
Conservative to Labour, or from Labour to Conservative. Now, what is it
that makes a man change his party? Perhaps he's worked for it for years
and believed in it, and why does he suddenly change? In the last parliament,
there were a number of Conservative Members of Parliament who'd been Socialists.
Indeed there were two who had been junior ministers in Lord Attlee's government,
and one of them is in the studio tonight. Aidan Crawley.
My disillusion with socialism really began with nationalisation.
I had honestly believed that when an industry was nationalised those engaged
in it would gradually feel themselves the owners and would work with a
new interest and enthusiasm. But, for six years, I represented a constituency
which had many thousands of railwaymen in it and I found exactly the opposite
was true. The boss was still the boss. The job was still just a job and,
if anything, management seemed more remote and work more frustrating. And
I came to realise that nationalisation is the most expensive, the least
efficient and is very often the most soulless way of running an industry.
And yet in spite of this and in spite of the fact that every advanced country
has turned its back on the idea, nationalisation remains the core of the
Labour Party's programme.
Now don't be misled because Mr. Wilson and his
colleagues are trying to play this down. Remember it was Mr. Wilson who
defeated Mr. Gaitskell and insisted that nationalisation remain the keystone
of the Labour Party's constitution. And he's not just supported in this
by his left-wing. He's under constant pressure from all the major trade
unions and all their representatives in parliament. He couldn't abandon
nationalisation even if he wanted to. And what he's put in his manifesto,
the nationalisation of steel, of the aircraft industry, of the docks and
the integration - as he calls it - of road transport, which really means
state control, is, of course, simply the beginning of socialism. Mr. Wilson
and his colleagues have made it very plain they intend to take control
of what they call the economic heights, which means all the main industries
of this country. And, of course, this can only make us poorer.
country wants is exactly the reverse. It wants an immense liberation of
the skill and effort which is available. And this brings me to the main
topic of this programme - the trade unions. I think we're all beginning
to understand that the trade unions are holding us back. Because of the
restrictions which the unions impose upon the way people work, in industry
after industry three men are doing the job that one man should do. And
it goes deeper than that. People who want to work and work more efficiently
are all too often intimidated. What has emerged since that first "noose
trial" was reported I think has woken the country up to how widespread
this intimidation is, and this is an ugly thing and it can't be laughed
off by anybody. Now these things have got to be tackled. But what is abundantly
clear is that no Labour Government could ever tackle them. Neither Mr.
Wilson, nor any other Labour leader, is ever going to be able to reform
his paymasters. But Ted Heath has pledged the Conservative Party to a radical
reform of the conditions in which trade unionism will operate. And I believe
this is much the most important issue facing the country and to be decided
at this election.
Aidan Crawley pinpoints the first and perhaps the greatest
issue of this Election - trade union reform. Well, what are we going to
do about restrictive practices? About wild-cat strikes? And how are we
going to make bargains between unions and employers legally enforceable?
Aidan Crawley and myself are joined by Quintin Hogg.
I've tried to look at this thing primarily from the point
of view of law-making and the law, although, of course, it's very highly
political as well. Can we afford to leave it all alone, as a heckler suggested
to me last night? Well, for many years I thought we should. I was wrong.
I don't think we can afford to sweep it under the carpet any longer. Can
we afford to leave it to The Royal Commission, as Ray Gunter suggested
to me a little later last night? No. I think it's too urgent. And the subjects
are too crucial and controversial for any Royal Commission to come to a
unanimous conclusion. Can we afford to leave it to the Labour Party? Well,
no we can't. They're in the pay of the unions, five-sixths of the votes
of the Labour Party conference are controlled by them and no-one can reform
his masters. Well then what can we do? Well surely the answer is this.
Too long we have gone piecemeal at one little bit of the subject after
another. We've got to bring the unions out into the clear light of law.
We've got to do for them what we did for the companies over a hundred years
ago, in 1862. We've got to establish a court, we've got to establish a
code of behaviour, we've got to establish a Registrar, we've got to give
them a definite list of privileges and immunities in return for a definite
code of responsibilities. They can't go on in this twilight existence,
half-way in the law and half-way out any longer. And so that is what we
have got to do now.
Of course there is one aspect of this immense problem
which is only a matter of law in the last resort. I mean restrictive practices.
The Labour party is always saying this is something that can only be tackled
very gradually. I don't believe that for a moment. I think the answer is
really quite simple and very like the system we've adopted for tackling
trade, restrictive trade practices, monopolies and so on. We need some
machinery to examine restrictive practices and, if they're considered against
the public interest, then to report them to the industry itself, and, of
course, most of these practices are agreed between unions and management;
and only if the industry refuses to put them right, should they be referred
to the Industrial Court which could impose sanctions on either management
or union, or both. Now do you see any difficulty in that?
No I don't think I do. You see the longer term the matter
is the more important it is to deal with it at once. And I must emphasise,
of course that when I'm talking about the law I don't mean the criminal
law. I mean the great, broad body of legal precept of practice which governs
all our lives. Now there are three things I think we can do. The first
is to redefine trade dispute, so that a dispute in support of an undesirable
restrictive practice is not protected. The second is, as you say, to have
the court discuss what is and what is not in the public interest because,
of course, there are practices which are connected with health and safety.
And the third is that when you get a union demanding more money, as they
quite probably do from time to time, and the Court, or the Prices and Incomes
Board, is able to say to the union - like it can in the liner trains -
"look you're doing this or that", they're entitled to say: "Oh no, if you
want to have more money, you must let your industry earn it". And so, of
course, you can do all three but the important thing, of course, is the
Well let me sum up our main proposals. Now, first, we intend
to pass a new Industrial Relations Act to set up an industrial court. And,
second, we're going to insist that bargains, freely made between unions
and employers, are legally enforceable on such matters as procedure and
dispute. In other words, if you've given your word, you should keep it.
Thirdly, we're going to repeal the act, passed last year by the Labour
Government, which gave the green light to intimidation and we're going
to deal with the closed shop. And, lastly,
we're going to have a Registrar of Trade Unions and it's going to be
his job to see that the rules are fair and he'll see to it that there is
disciplinary action which has to be taken and that there's a proper right
of appeal. What happened at Cowley, of course, is only a symptom and we
intend to strike at the disease.
Now, of course, it's true that it's best
if all this can be done by agreement. It's best if restrictive labour
practices can be got rid of, by management taking the initiative and
unions co-operating with them. And all Ministers of Labour, including myself,
for many years patiently followed this course. More perhaps we went on
too long. But now we feel, as Quintin Hogg has said, that we must bring
in the law and here, once more, we feel that the real call is for action,
not words. You know, you've heard in this programme three people talking
about this very difficult problem. You've heard Aidan Crawley, partly because
of his experience as a member of the Labour Party. You've heard Quintin
Hogg, out of his deep knowledge of the law. And you've heard myself, with
four years experience of being Minister of Labour. And each of us has come
to the conclusion, separately, that legislation in trade union reform is
vital. Well I dare say you'll go on arguing this question amongst yourselves.
For the moment we leave it there. And now, to comment on some of the main
issues that are arising in this general election campaign, Reggie Maudling.
The main issues are now emerging clearly. At home,
there is this great dispute about the size of intimidation in some parts
of our industry. In Rhodesia, we say the time has come to try and find
a solution, within the constitution, by discussion with Mr. Smith or his
colleagues. In Europe, the challenge of the Common Market has sprung alight,
calling for clear, determined Conservative action. The clouds are darkening
around our economy. The threat of inflation looms more seriously as months
go by. Industrial production is no higher than it was twelve months ago
but costs of production certainly are. Coal has just gone up sharply and
steel will follow. The price dam can never be held indefinitely. The failure
of Mr. Brown's incomes policy is now apparent to all.
From these great
issues, you can see emerging the most fundamental question of all. Personal
liberty and the rights and duties of the individual as citizen, parent,
businessman, trade union member - here there is a clear divergence between
the Socialist, who would increase State control and dictation, and the
Conservatives who emphasise individual opportunity, incentive and the protection
of personal freedom and human rights. You can see, in the press, disturbing
examples of the dictatorial attitude of the Labour Party. Take, for example,
Mr. Crosland's attempts to threaten or cajole local authorities who are
not prepared to toe the Government line on comprehensive schools. "Go comprehensive,
or you'll get no money," he says. Take Mr. Pannell' s attempts at government
by intimidation, threatening builders who start upon projects perfectly
legally but ones that don't fit in with the ideas of Mr.Pannell and his
colleagues. These are some particular examples. Wider than them, the failure
of Mr. Brown's incomes policy is leading the Labour Party steadily down
the road to more state intervention, control and compulsion. Here is the
parting of the ways between Labour and Conservative. No country can be
stable and prosperous unless it has a discipline of its own. We're passing
through a stage of transition and you can see the uneasy symptoms, along
with the growth of prosperity and the growing passion for education. Along
with the strength of voluntary endeavour. Along with the thrusting and
the questing qualities of our modern youth. You can see also the unhealthy
symptoms. The growth of crime and irresponsibility. The half hearted managements
who will not venture into the export business. The wild-cat strikes, the
restrictive practices. The inefficiency in many public services. The "couldn't
care less" attitude that we see all too often. The truth is there'd be
full employment in the Welfare State, the old harsh disciplines have been
banished. They must never return. But we must find something to put in
their place. The Labour Party turn always to compulsion and to state control.
Our answer is precisely the opposite. We rest our faith in individual responsibility
and in self-discipline. The health of our country depends, not on more
centralisation and more state control. It depends on releasing the energies
of our people in a society based on the recognition of the individual's
rights and of his duties to his fellow-men. In this election, you have
to choose which path Britain shall tread. It is a solemn choice.
21st March 1966
In the studio Mr. Heath, leader of the Conservative Party.
Peter Walker, front-bench spokesman on economic affairs - and myself. And
the themes - the last ten days of the general election, and the future
of young people in this country. And on that, Peter Walker:
Many young people were attracted by the promises that
Labour made at the last election. There were those young couples who were
saving up to buy a home - they were attracted by the promises of cheaper
homes. There were those young couples who were already repaying their mortgages,
and they were very attracted by the promises of cheaper mortgages. And
then, of course, there were the slogans of the campaign. Do you remember
them? Slogans like "Get the country moving"; "Let's Go with Labour." And
all the emphasis on technology. These slogans, these promises, were all
designed to attract the votes of the young people, and they succeeded.
Many young people did vote Labour. Don't you think that these young people
have been let down? What of the cheaper homes now? Last year the price
of homes in this country rose by a greater amount than in any previous
year. And as to Mr. George Brown's three percent mortgages - we all know
that we don't have three percent mortgages. They're now six and three-quarter
percent, and there's talk of them going up still further - to seven and
a quarter percent. And what of the slogan "Get Britain moving"? Not much
movement as far as production is concerned. We've had twelve months of
stagnant production. And what of technology? Do you remember that speech
of Harold Wilson, the speech in which he talked about the Brain Drain,
and he said: "We want those of you who have left Britain to think about
coming back, because the Britain that is going to be is going to need you."
What would these people come back to today? To higher mortgages; to
higher rates; to higher taxation; to rising prices. Not the type of Britain
to attract the young, the energetic, the skilled and the technologists.
Harold Wilson hasn't stopped the Brain Drain he's speeded it up. We want
to retain the young and the energetic of this country. We know that the
one way to do that is to see that people can own more and earn more. Our
policies are designed to encourage ownership and to encourage earnings.
We will see that everybody will enjoy either tax relief or rebate on their
mortgage repayments and that young people saving to buy a home will receive
a cash grant towards their deposit. We'll see that greater tax incentives
are given to savings, and we'll also see that people are encouraged to
earn more. And you know there's only one way of doing that, and that's
by lowering taxation. The last Labour Government was a government of higher
taxation. This Labour Government, now coming to an end, has increased taxation.
In thirteen years of a Conservative Government, in nine out of fourteen
budgets, we lowered taxation. We've done it before and we'll do it again.
Yes, we can do it and we can pay for it. Now how? There's,
one argument that's common to every general election that I can recall
- the traditional dispute between the Conservative and the Labour parties
on the cost of their programmes. Last time, Mr. Maudling, Mr. Callaghan,
this time myself and Mr. Callaghan. As far as we're concerned I don't ask
you to decide between us this time - we can't prove it yet, but I can show
you a flashback to what happened over the identical argument in October
1964 which is now part of history. Because, just before the last election
Mr. Maudling predicted that the cost of the Labour Government's programme
would mean increases in petrol tax, beer duty, income tax, cigarettes,
whisky and National Insurance contributions. Mr. Callaghan got very cross.
Mr. Callaghan said: " Infant school stuff. Nursery school stuff. Hardly
worth serious attention. These figures of Mr. Maudling are getting screwier
Well it was pretty tough talk wasn't it? But you know, quite apart from
Labour breaking so many promises in so many fields, Mr. Maudling in his
estimates was proved right. Now just look: Mr. Maudling said that petrol
would go up by sixpence, and petrol went up sixpence. Mr. Maudling said
that the beer duty would go up by a penny, and the beer duty went up by
a penny. Mr. Maudling said that income tax would go up by ninepence; it
only went up by sixpence, but on the other hand, Mr. Maudling said that
cigarettes would go up by fourpence a packet and they went up sixpence
a packet, and he said that the whisky duty would go up by three shillings
and indeed it went up by four shillings - and that's the rising price of
socialism. In other words, we were right before, and we are right now.
You know, there's little to be said for a Minister of Transport who can't
drive, but there's nothing at all to be said for a Chancellor of the Exchequer
who can't add up.
And now, the last full week of the general election campaign. The issues,
the challenges. Here is the leader of the Conservative Party, Mr. Heath.
This election ought to be about the future, about your
future, but it's impossible to get the Socialists to talk about it. They
dare not face the future. Over the past seventeen months the present Labour
Government has stood truth on its head. They said they would get Britain
moving again. In fact, when they took over we were expanding fast. Yet
over the past year the output of industry has not risen at all. It is stagnant.
We have had rising prices. Well, you all know that too well. But no rise
in production. Do you want prices to go on shooting up under a Labour Government?
Or would you rather see a Conservative Government really slowing down the
rise in prices - as we did before? I got the act through parliament which
stopped price fixing in the shops.
That's the sort of thing we would aim
at everywhere. Cutting costs in industry; propping up the nationalised
industries; cutting out the waste in the government machine. It's the only
way to get prices down and it's the only way to sell more exports. If we
really want to stop the rise in prices, if we really want to make this
country more efficient, then you know as well as I do that something has
got to be done about the trade unions.
That is another of the big issues
at this election. Our policy is to pass a new Industrial Relations Act,
bringing the whole trade union Movement up to date. The Labour Party does
nothing: which do you think is right? Our first responsibility must always
be to the old, and to the sick and to the lonely. We've worked out plans
for giving them more help and mere care. Do you agree with us that as the
country grows richer the extra money should be concentrated on those who've
got the greatest needs? Or do you agree with the Socialists who want to
spend the extra money thinly everywhere? They want to give it to the rich,
just as much as to those in need. Like the prescription charges. Of course
it was very popular at first to take them off, but it doesn't make sense
to give free medicines to everybody, however big their incomes at the same
time as the government are cutting it back on the hospital services, aren't
You know, I get angry with the Socialists when they say one thing and
mean another. Particularly in the case of Europe and the Common Market.
They say they are keen to join, but only on certain conditions. Of course,
there must be special arrangements for us but the Socialist conditions
mean that under a Labour Government Britain could never, never hope to
become a member of the Common Market. The decision whether we go into Europe
or stay out is far too important for that sort of double talk. It's a decision
that is going to affect the whole future of this country. We believe that
a united Europe has a great and inspiring future ahead of it, and we believe
that Britain, as a part of Europe, with its industry on the same scale
as American industry, can be far more prosperous. That is why you should
decide at this election that you want to go into Europe.
Well, to sum up, these are the issues - the issues you have to decide.
We will get the economy straight. They won't. We will reform the trade
unions. They won't. We believe in bringing the Welfare State up to date
- they don't. They aren't getting the houses built. We will. They won't
be able to lead Britain into Europe - we shall.
24th March 1966
Have you noticed, as I have, a great difference between
this election and the last? Last time the Labour Party were full of promises
and we all know how few of their promises have been kept. Well this time
we don't hear so much about what they intend to do. What we do hear is
a lot of smears and scare stuff about what they say the Tories are going
to do - the means test, prescription charges and the like. These are the
old tired arguments - we've heard them all before. Personally, to me, what
matters is the future. There's the rising cost of living, as anyone managing
a household budget knows only too well, but perhaps above everything else
I want to see a good education for our children, so that they can get on
in life. For me, these are the key issues of this election.
Mrs Peggy Fenner, candidate and housewife, speaking for
herself but I would guess for millions of other people as well. And also,
in the studio, Edward Boyle, Ernest Marples and Reggie Maudling. New let
me first dispose of the two smears that Mrs Fenner mentioned and both of
which came into the Labour Party's television programme last Tuesday. First
of all, the suggestion that we would introduce a prescription charge at
four or five shillings. This, I tell you categorically, is a lie. Mr. Heath
has already made it quite plain, and I repeat to you, that it would be
at the former level of two shillings and with special exemptions. Now of
course there is a conflict of priorities here. We believe, for example,
that one should build more hospitals rather than give free drugs to everybody,
however wealthy they may be. Can I give you a simple illustration? In the
seventeen months of socialism they've added eleven thousand Civil Servants
and that at a cost of eleven million pounds, and this money could build
eleven hospitals a year. Well don't you think it would make more sense
if it did?
The second smear - this is the old one about the means test. It's rubbish,
but they love raising it and let's just look, therefore, at what Miss Herbison,
the Minister of National Insurance, said in the House of Commons on the
seventh of March: "We never hid that the income guarantee would be based
on means. This scheme will also be based on means. We have never tried
to hide that."
And, of course, she's talking about the socialist schemes, so much for
them. And, finally, the suggestion that the Tories want unemployment. In
fact there was full employment all these thirteen Tory years. And the socialists
are indeed now claiming that unemployment is at its lowest level for ten
years. Right. So it is. Ten years ago I was Minister of Labour and I'm
grateful to them for the compliment. Now let me put, quite quickly to you,
the key points of our welfare proposals.
One. See that everybody has a good pension with their job on top of
the state basic pension, and no means test. Two. Ensure that everyone can
either transfer or preserve their pension when they change jobs. Three.
To give more generous aid to children in families where the income is below
minimum need, to the very old, to the chronically sick, to the severely
disabled and to others most in need. Four. Help people who have put by
some savings by raising the amount which can be disregarded before a supplementary
pension is granted. And fifthly, provide a pension for those too old to
be covered by National Insurance. And on this last point let me remind
you that a Bill to provide pensions for the very old was introduced into
parliament by a Conservative member and it was concerted action by the
socialists which defeated it. And Mrs. Fenner finished on the question
of the education of our children. Now we want to talk to you about priorities
in education: Edward Boyle.
Our policy on education - the service with which I've
been proud to be associated with for nearly ten years now - starts with
a need to get more teachers and improve the primary schools. Primary school
teachers have done a magnificent job with children of very varied abilities,
coming from very different homes, and they've done this job often under
conditions of extreme difficulty and large classes. That's why we mean
to go on as we did before, beating the targets we set ourselves in the
admission of student teachers to the colleges, encouraging married women
to return to teaching by a drive for more nursery classes, and, as I promised
when I was Minister of Education, we shall spend millions of pounds each
year on improving old primary school buildings.
Now, coming to secondary education, as Peggy Fenner said, we shall encourage,
as we've always done, local authorities to extend full opportunities to
every child. But we, as a party, repudiate the socialist doctrine set out
in Mr. Crosland's two circulars that the only way to achieve this is to
impose nothing but comprehensive schools everywhere, irrespective of local
needs and the performance of good existing grammar and secondary modern
schools. Of course we agree there are areas of the country where comprehensive
schools make good sense. But we are dead against the bogus comprehensive
- joining together two or three widely separated school buildings and calling
them a single school.
And don't let any of us forget what a first-class grammar school in
a big city has often meant to the bright child from a poor area. Or, for
that matter, what many first-class secondary modern schools have been able
to do for late developers.
The sixth-form standards in our grammar schools are admired all over
the world and we just cannot afford, as a nation, to see these devalued.
And then, finally, we shall restore the cuts the Socialists have made in
the university and technical college building programmes. Now really what
a very extraordinary decision that was. The universities, I believe, must
expand as the sixth forms expand. We need much mere trained manpower in
this country and how on earth can Mr. Harold Wilson reconcile the cuts
in his Government's provision for higher education with all that he himself
said at the last election - you may remember his words about what he called
forging a new Britain in the white heat of the scientific revolution.
Yes, indeed. Education. It's the best investment of all
in our future. But all our plans for that future depend on the management
of our economy and on the efficiency of our administration. Reggie Maudling.
The Labour government's economic record has been
one of muddle, incompetence and broken promises. They were to expand production.
In fact it has stagnated. Taxes were not to go up. They've gone up right,
left and centre. Mortgage rates were to come down to three per cent. They've
gone up to nearly seven. The rise in the cost of living was to be halted.
In fact the value of the pound has fallen already by more than a shilling.
For all this, Mr. Wilson offers one hackneyed excuse. He says he inherited
from us a deficit of seven-hundred-and-fifty-millions and that he has already,
by his measures, reduced this by half. His argument is entirely bogus.
I'll explain to you why this is so.
In 1964, we invested abroad three-hundred-and-fifty millions, in oil
wells, mines and factories - new assets to bring income and strength to
Britain, not what you and I generally understand by a deficit. Production
was rising rapidly, we were building up stocks and preparing for the export
boom of 1965, as the export orders came pouring in. I'm being quite clear
that this would have been a strain in 1964 and that rather than restrict
the growth of industry we would draw on our reserves, just as an expanding
business borrows more working capital for a time from its bank.
main fact is that what Mr. Wilson inherited from us was not the problems
of 1964 - 1964 was more than three parts over when the Election came -
its problems had been handled by the Conservative Government without any
loss of confidence abroad. What he inherited, in fact, was the prospects
of 1965, an entirely different matter. Production and exports were rising
fast. There were adequate reserves to deal with any trade deficit. In fact,
Mr. Callaghan made it clear at the time that, without any action at all
being taken, the deficit would come down by half in 1965. And this is what
Mr. Wilson now boasts is the great achievement of his economic policies.
The truth is that, despite the benefit of the stocks built up in our day,
despite an improvement in international prices, worth a hundred million
a year to this country, despite this the Labour Government with their higher
taxes, intense credit squeeze, high interest rates, industrial stagnation,
they have achieved no more improvement in our balance of payments than
would have come about automatically anyway. This is why I said to you that
their hackneyed excuse is completely bogus and this appears clearly from
their own evidence. The need for restriction, high taxes, high interest
rates, arose from the collapse of confidence in the pound brought about
by the initial follies of the Labour Government and now the total failure
of Mr. George Brown's incomes policy, by their inept handling of the bank
rate, the imports surcharge, by their threats of new taxes, by their first
inflationary budget in November '64, but, above all, by the way they went
around deliberately exaggerating the difficulties Britain was facing, the
Labour Government destroyed confidence abroad. They brought about the sterling
crisis. They have left this country now saddled with an additional nine-hundred-million
pounds of overseas debt that must be repaid over the next few years. The
prospects for the future are, frankly, ominous. Pressure on prices and
pressure of imports must continue to grow so long as production remains
stagnant and a torrent of new demand pours through the holes in Mr. Brown's
To restore confidence, to resume economic progress, there must
be a change in the management of our affairs. There must be a return to
a policy of incentives, of competition, of modernisation and the attack
on restrictive practices of all kinds, a return - in a word - to Conservative
management and to Conservative policies.
One of the earliest car-stickers said: "Come Back Marples"
and when you see the hash the Socialist Ministers of Transport have been
making you can understand why. Now Ernest Marples has been making an intensive
study both here and in many countries abroad, including America and Japan,
of the latest methods of cutting costs. To summarise his conclusions, here
is Ernest Marples.
My trip abroad was the most exciting, stimulating and
rewarding trip I have ever made in my life. And my most vivid impression
was about the American government. There has been a shattering managerial
explosion. The American Government had insisted, both by contract and other
methods, that private enterprise gives great value for money. I've brought
back with me the whole details of how it is done and how they cut costs.
Let us look at an example of how they really have cut costs. In the Department
of Defence alone, they've saved one-thousand-five-hundred-million pounds
in one year and not by cancelling aircraft carriers or reducing the number
of aircraft. They've saved it by having the same number of aircraft, the
same number of aircraft carriers but at a lower price. Now how are we going
to do it here? We're going to set up a cost effectiveness department under
the Prime Minister who will be Mr. Heath. And this cost effectiveness department
will issue instructions and directives to other Government departments
in a number of ways. It'll alter the buying policy of most of the government
departments. It will set a target for the cost reductions they've got to
achieve. It will insist on progress being reported to the Prime Minister every so often and it will really be affected in every
possible way. They'll have skilled personnel who will be available to give
advice on the most modern managerial techniques to all Government departments.
But all this, you know, means a change in our attitude.
The lesson I learned from the Japanese was this. The manufacturer of
the famous radio firm who made the first transistorised radio said to me
the motto of his firm was: "If our product won't change and can't change
then we're in a dying industry and we ought to get out of it". And, therefore,
we've got to do the same. He then went on to say to me but in Britain you
have a handicap because you have a proverb which says you mustn't change
for changes sake. He said but if we change, and we're all in a world market
together, and you in Britain don't change, then you're out of business
and we're in business, so you've got to change. I'm sure we can. Now, if
the Tories are returned at this election under Mr. Heath, and we have a
cost effectiveness department, I will stake my reputation that that cost
effectiveness department will be successful.
The last time I heard Ernest Marples make a pledge like
that was thirteen years ago when we became the government and he promised
that we would build three-hundred-thousand houses and we did. So there
it is. As Mrs. Fenner said, it's the future that really matters. There's
nothing new, there's nothing exciting about the Labour proposals. But there
is about ours and we'll achieve them. Goodnight.