Fifty years ago

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 08 August, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 08 August, 1999, 12:00am

MANCHESTER, (August 13): THE former Foreign Secretary, Mr Anthony Eden, told a Conservative Party rally here today that 'Britain needs a resurgence of the Dunkirk temper in order to combat the realities of the country's present economic and financial situation'.

The Conservative leader said, 'The nation that could withstand triumphantly the military ordeal of 1940 has certainly no cause to haul down the flag before the economic storm signals of our times.' He said the present national situation presented five salient factors which could not be challenged: (1) The sellers' market which Britain enjoyed since the end of the war has come to an end and Britain is entering an era of keen competition where price, quality and date of delivery are vital factors.

(2) Since the war Britain has received the most generous help, financial or otherwise, from countries of the Common-wealth. He said that after paying a visit to those countries, he is more convinced that the only way to get mutual prosperity is by closer co-operation between the sister nations of the Commonwealth Empire and the mother country.

(3) But for Marshall aid, 'we should have to-day on the admission of Ministers themselves at least 1,500,000 unemployed.' But this aid is due to cease altogether in 1952 and by that time Britain must be able to stand upon her own feet.

(4) Britain's accumulated investments were almost exhausted and the only way for Britain to earn a livelihood was to sell its manufactured goods competitively in the markets of the world.

(5) There has been a serious fall in the value of gilt-edged stocks, 'in other words, in the strength of Government credit.' He said the Conservative Party's conception of Government 'is totally different from that of the Socialists. We believe that the very existence of this country depends on a wide variety of its industrial and commercial activities. It is the Government's duty to assist industry to be its partner and helpmate and not try to direct it'.

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