The Capitalist Press has found a new hero in Sir Stafford Cripps. They congratulate him on having taken firm control of Government economic policy on standing up manfully to the trade unions on the wages issue. In his recent speeches and in the Government declaration. "Statement on Personal Incomes, Costs and Prices," he announced plans to avoid increases of prices and profits and, if possible, to reduce them and told the trade unions there must be no more wage increases unless accompanied by a substantial increase in production, or for the purpose of attracting workers to undermanned industries, or in the event of a future marked rise in the cost of living. And if we do not obey (Sir Stafford warns us) we face “a serious and prolonged set-back in our economic reconstruction accompanied by a persistent low standard of living.” He follows it up with the threat of dictatorship.
“We must all subordinate our own interest to those of the nation. Otherwise someone will be called upon to force us to comply as the only alternative to disaster” (Speech at Edinburgh, Observer, 8/2/48.)
A typical Press comment on the Government s new statement of policy was that in the Daily Mail (6/2/48). Under the heading “The Truth at Last" the Mail wrote: “The Government have taken their courage in both hands . . . Not only have they for the first time made far-reaching economic proposals without the prior permission of the T.U.C., but they are facing up to the hard facts of our economic situation. This is a refreshing change from the weak and hesitant attitude we have come to expect.”
(From front page article by ‘H', Socialist Standard, March 1948)