Cab 195/19 cabinet minutes

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But seek authy. at appropte. time, to open discns. with l.a.’s Ldn. & Lancs are firm on commencement date.
Amendment suggd. in annex is best way to legislate, probably, but want time to consider further with J.M.
J.M. I am announcg. equivalent of 14% from 1st July.

On structure : don’t want alteration in principle but wd. like my assessor to be present at all stages on employers’ side. Will keep in touch with D.E.

D.E. Timing – E. & Sc. – may be better further apart than simultaneous.
S.L.I. Support suggd. amendment. Also agree D.E. shd. open talks with l.a.’s.

J.H. Support memo. But there will be strong pressure for arbitration, which is widely available in other walks of life. Must consider this carefully.

J.M. I’ve got it to some degree already.

10. Suez Finance Company.

S.L.I. Wish now to dispose of our share holding.

Agitation for compensation to B. subjects (Egypt) is bldg. up.

If we have to make more money available, appropte. tht. proceeds of our share shd. help twds. it.
Timing : prefer to have latitude on that. Want to sell on rising market & get best price.
P.M. If you sell soon, you will be asked to give all proceeds in compensn.
E.H. Will be 3 yrs. before that is finally settled.
P.M. Points b and c in brief.
S.L.I. Wd. consider all these points of tactics, if we can decide in principle.
Agreed : in principle we need not hold these shares.

Method & timing reserved to S.L.I.

11. Civil Aviation : Airport Policy.

P.M. If we present W. Paper, we shall be expected to legislate. If Bill can’t be introduced next session shd. we not delay?
P.T. We shd. lose initiative. We shd. at least make statement.
Agreed : policy approved : timing of announcement to be

considered further.

C.C.32(61) 16th June 1961

1. Labour : Restrictive Practices. [Enter Perth, Godber, M.R.

J.H. What has bn. done to date.

New alternatives i) Labour Practices Commission. Legn. Other diffies.

Para.6. Esp. lack of powers.

ii) Continue to examine by industry, one by one : follow up Adv. Cttee.’s work : ad hoc enquiries etc., paras. 7-8

P.M. On i) Monopolies Commn. had no power : merely let light in.
P.T. Restrictive Practices approach is preferable : reqn. followed by count.

If, with labour, we cd. publish in a register what practices are, that wd. be v. helpful.

J.H. Can be done in reports on particular industries.
R.M. Some new initiative is needed. Employers are being knocked about.

Wd. prefer i). Existg. methods don’t make enough impact.

J.H. Individual approach only just started. Hope we can give it time.
P.M. If course i), don’t have a count : only means of letting light in.

Choice therefore is between regularised machinery or ad hoc.

K. M. Commn. was a failure. Pure inquisitional body doesn’t suit Br. ethos I wd. greatly prefer ii).
M. Support ii). Industrial relns. are being improved thereby. i) mght. harm them.
S.L.I. Prefer to note R.M.’s view but proceed with (ii).

Discussion to be resumed.

2. Economic Situation.

S.L.I.. Preliminary discn.
i) B/p. deteriorated last 2 yrs. & again this year.

Adverse balance £340 m. last year. Drop of £210 m. in invisibles :

soft loan aid increased by £100 m. :[mil. oversea expre. £50 m. &direct grant aid is included in £210.] W’falls : Ford & G. debt repayment. R.s.a. holdings dropped by £250 m.
Central bankers have helped – drop therefore concealed – but now we are heavily in debt to the bankers. This will carry us over June & prs. July : but can’t continue. Don’t want to draw on Fund & use it all to pay off bankers. They know tht. if £ goes, $ will too : they are therefore keen to hold £. Their confidence in us is waning, however – living beyond our means etc.
ii) State of economy. Licensed demand, labour force, investment but no

increase in prodn. [R.M. We have more capacity than labour : also effect of shorter working week. J.H. Suspicions of prodn. figures. P.M. Report on this.]

Forecast for ’62 : increase in demand, investment, no further drop in stocks : h.p. debt rising : unemploymt. dropping.
These trends will cancel out the room for increased exports which we expected at Budget time. Thus, boom. Ought therefore to reduce demand – by at least £300 m. p.a. Must consider effect of such action in increasg. industrial costs.
iii) Considered various alternatives open to us:-
a) Regulators. Finance Bill can’t be thro’ H/L. before 20/7.

At full extent wd. be 4d. on 20 cigs. & corresp. amounts elsewhere producing £230 m. at maximum of 10%. Wd. increase c/l. by 1½%. This cd. take effect at once.

Second regulator cdn’t operate until Nov. £200 m. gross at 4/= p. wk. Direct increase in costs.
First alone : but not second alone.
b) Fiscal measures. Bank rate : increase wd. have no effect externally. Mght. have some psychol. effect at home : but not novel. To be judged mainly on internal merits.
H.P. rate. Useful last year, but at expense of prodn. p’mmes of 3 big indies. – mistake to do it again.
Bank advance. Sp. deposit scheme or otherwise. For a steady increase is going on.
Generally, not much here – save Bank rate & appeal to banks to restrict advances.
c) Govt. expenditure. Capital investment : 58/9. 1470. 59/6 1575

61/62 1763. (130 up on last year) 62/63 bids up to 2.000.

We shall have to look at that again – eg. restrict to 1600.
Current expenditure : 10.000 m. 61/2.

If this is to be contained unpleasant decns. – eg. education, hospitals to be cut back : agric. subsidies, defence to be held at present levels.

We mustn’t say what we can’t do. Nor in terms of propy. of g.n.p. which makes no impact.

Expenditure overseas : more important in short term. 350 in ’58 now nearing 500. Defence & aid have risen substantially. Distinction betwn. tied & untied aid is important. Time now to act. Eg. in Germany we must set ceiling – low one, too : £25 m. – as target for next [a future] year. Accords with W.E.U. oblign. because of b/p diffies. Wd. force Allies to find means of paying for our troops. Look again at £60 m. in F/E & S.E.A. Can’t longer rely on exports to produce surplus – must now reduce outgoings. Also ceiling on untied aid – cf. the Cameroons.
d) Exchange Control. Travel allowance : eg. £50 from 1/Nov. £20 m.

legacies & remittances : no money in it & psych. damaging.

e) Import Control. Have a plan wh. wd. save £150 m. But how do you

cure too much money chasing too few goods by reducing goods available – unless you have control over consumption. Cumbersome, and slow to start operating.

f) Building controls. Adminve. cost (300 at H.Q.) – forestalling (?)

Can we check private bldg. : show public by other means.

Eg. higher deposits by bldg. societies : planning control delays.

There is a certain overload on this industry, resultg. in inefficiency.

Tho’ signs of shift, in mid. investment. fr,. bldg. to plant.
g) Remittances from overseas. We invest abroad, but yield from it is not

increasing. Cases where cos. have not remitted, tho’ at liberty to do it. B/E. are considering this – fear little money in it.

iv) Positive Action.

T.U.C. suggest we shd. take risks. Believe we are – eg. investment allowances not reduced.

Unilateral tariff redns.

Savings : long term eg. for house on marriage.

More central planning – possibly on advisory basis, as in France.

Check wage increases.

R.A.B. B/p. is v. dangerous. Can’t allow to continue. Disappearance of invisible earnings. V. dang. in summer.
Effect on £ - psychol. as well as physical. Foreign fear we aren’t competitive. Confidence.
If economy, esp. b/p. deteriorates our political stock will slump.

Need therefore for drastic action before recess. Avoid autumn budget.

Regulator, happily, is available. Use it all end/July, with one or two other things incldg. oversea expenditure & assurance of future limit on Govt. expenditure. Bldg. : what we need is control over starts. Import controls : wd. like to see plan.
P.T. V. disappointing after such a large surplus on Budget. Odd there shd. be lack of confidence. Underlying pressures have bn. too strong – not only Govt. expre. : pressure of increased wages & salaries. No sense therefore in cutting £300 m. if it is to be thrown away in higher wages.
I wd. favour 1 regulator : increased public expenditure to be w’in increase in prodn. : rejection of an important wage claim.

Better than mosaic of minor measures.

R.M. Believe posn. will improve – b/trade certainly. Prodn. will rise & exports will expand.
Use 1st regulator at maximum soon.
But will look ‘same again’. Fear we can’t expand economy and m’tain exchange at $2.80. W’out radical change in outlook of employers & men. Consider floating rate. Can’t reconcile our comfort at home with responsibilities of £ abroad.
M. Exports won’t be increased by restrictions at home if, as I believe, cause is rising costs. On contrary anythg. we do to increase costs will damage exports. Real need is to curb wage increases.
Remittances from abroad – agree shd. be considered.

Increase in “undesirable” imports – consumer goods.

A few simple measures better than a mosaic.

Need for quick action.

Hail. B/p. deficit of £350 m. This is what we pay abroad in defence and aid.

We ought, if that can’t be abolished, to limit other outgoings. Eg. oversea investment : free export of capital not compatible with our f. policy.

The economy : B. rate + h.p. worked last time. Why prefer the regulators : The second wdn’t work.

But agree – urgent action.

H.W. Need for shock at home. Restrict next round of wage increases.

Top priority for that. Eg. let teachers strike rather than give more pay. Shan’t be thought to be in earnest if we don’t tackle wages.

Defence overseas : £230 rising to £270. Trying to cut to £200 m.

Wd. mean leaving H.Kong and reducing in S.E.A. But N.A.T.O. is much more diff. Reducing. troops or f’casting it now is hardly on in view of Berlin. Consider blocked arrangemts. for payment. This is kind of decn. we shd. have to take.

Godb. These suggns. raised v. big issues of f. policy – esp. when we are accused of being “soft” on Berlin.

J.M. Agree on need for apparent and firm action.

Wd. deprecate 2nd regulator & plain addn. to costs.
J.H. Agree with R.M. tht. expansion of prodn. is beginning – also tht. more export consciousness will produce more exports before long.

Don’t overlook opinion overseas wh. believes expansion, not restriction, is right answer.

Wage restraint. Diff. h’to because profits so high. They are now dropping. On next round this will influence employers, who cd. be influenced too by Govt. action July. All v. well to talk of firmness : but an engineering strike wd. seriously damage whole economy. Don’t plan for a strike (H.W.) : we shd. have to run away from it in end.
Ch.H. New thought needed on wages. Govt. has not influenced private sector in this: correct means have failed : consider whr. Govt. shd. not take public posn. v standstill. Hail : Parallel line on profits?
P. We have bn. spending more on O.C.S. – but much of it spent here.

H.Kong : must consider as a whole (incldg. textiles, C. Market) to see wthr. we can get increased def. contn.

Aren’t profits rising, on long term? Wage increases matched by prior increases. What about tariff redns. via import restns.

Industry has had it too easy. Remedies wd. be classic.

Hail. Free movement of capital – hedging investment in C. Market countries. Can it be right to allow this and spend on N.A.T.O.
K. Recently too frightened of exhortation. We must now explain & encourage : as we have recently done on exports.
Four basic needs : more selection for capital investment : restraint in wages & profits : increases productivity & improved industrial practices : [no fourth stated].
C.S. If we use 1st regulator, we can’t allow effect to be whittled away by wage increases.
N.A.T.O. This isn’t reducg. effort propn. to n. income : it is solely a ques. of cost across exchanges. Not imposs. to find agreed solution to that : wthr. blocked money or otherwise.
Worried about redn. in F/E. Greater danger to W. world now is outside Europe. Can we be weaker in S.E.A. - Laos eg.
P.M. Situation serious because unexpected & alarming changes - invisibles : defence and aid £500 m. yet lectured by those who do nothing on how to run our economy : liquidated Empire & pay out to new countries where we previously received help (eg. Indian Army) : must reduce this burden.
At home, we assumed we cd. return to normalcy. Had we the powers we used to hold, we cd. limit imports.
Short term : we shall get thro’ because central banks must see us thro’.

But long term, if we can’t rely on invisibles, greater changes will be needed.

Mil. expre. : must make it plain tht. payment over exchanges for troops in G. can’t continue indefinitely.
Attitude of govt.: must be cheerful but firm. Hardest problem – wages, esp. when home demand is buoyant. Also, our own record on p. service wages is v. bad : largely because our control is incomplete. Change of legn. re teachers’ salaries mght. be helpful fr. this angle.
No more limited loans to less developed.

C.C.33(61) 19th June 1961

1. Federation of Rhodesia : Nyasaland. [Enter M.R.

P.M. Explained situation reached – as in brief.

Africa Cttee. met this a.m. and agreed first task was to get R.W. to take our concessions seriously.

D.S. Spoke on ‘phone to Robinson, who has spoken to Salisbury. There has bn. mtg. of Cab. : R.W. has said he will examine middle roll scheme and has asked for details of it. Wants, still, to come here on Wed., but will not announce it until tomorrow.
I.M. Explained middle roll plan : for “national” seats.
P.M. Upper roll now = 25.000 Europ : 3.000 Africans : 2.000 Asians.

If R.W. comes here, he will talk in general terms to Tories & others.

We must in that event let public know our proposals.
R.A.B. Lobbying here is less serious than African re-actions to a violent public declaration & election in Rhodesia.
D.S. Must have some talk about middle roll, in order to keep R.W. in play.
[Enter E.Hone.
E.Hone. Explained disadvantage of middle roll plan.

i) less certain because of equalising operatns. in advance of voting vice after. (W.P.)

ii) If Africans are allowed to vote for national seats, will be said they are fit to vote on upper roll.

iii) Abandoning minimum percentage is difficult for Moffatt.

P.T. Better to send someone out to explain it all to R.W., rather than have him here.
I.M. Moffatt is coming here now and Kaunda soon. No point now in dropping it out beyond Thursday.
D.S. But R.W. will nail his colours publicly to the mast when he comes here.
H. If. R.W. breaks away, he will declare Fedn. independent and link up with S. Africa and Portugal.
I.M. Doubt if S. Africa wd. be willing to abort Fedn.
D.S. They wd. support Europeans – with troops etc.
P.M. We can’t impose our will, materially – tho’ Br. public opinion thinks we can.
Message to R.W. Had report and hope it means he is shrinking from extreme course : send us yr. ideas on m. roll, a.m. Will send you ours (simultaneously).
I.M. But if we start new negotn. with R.W. & impose m. roll equalising rolls & with minimum percentage, African reaction wd. be v. bitter.
D.S. R.W. will also insist on anti swamping provision.
C.S. This means increasing qualifns. at each election – impossible.
I.M. You can’t guarantee success of U.F.P. in elections and anything less he won’t accept.
P.M. Message : Had this message thro’ H. Commr. Cab. will meet again Tues. M’while he shd. know we put aside m. roll some days ago, because thght it unacceptable to him & to others. But, if we had worked on it, it wd. have to take follg. form. Enough to equalise races (?). Don’t know if (it) wd. be acceptable because wd. be a form of equalisation. Diff. to combine with minimum %age – guarantee v. irresponsible. Thus, wd. like him think again at 60/40 tempered with %age system which wd. give adv. to Europeans.
D.S. Then he wd. reject it out of hand. Wd. dispose of m. roll.

But if you want to play for time, reserve these arguments con for Alport.

I.M. Must add min. qual. %age built in, on m. roll : otherwise Moffatt will resign.
D.S. Don’t want to put detailed proposals to him at this stage. Better let Alport talk to him.
D.E. But telling A. we don’t believe in it.
P.M. Answer must take form of inspn. to Alport to talk to R.W. – to extract from him what his proposals are for a middle roll. (Avoid appearing to be putting new proposal of our own.)
P.M. If R.W. comes here, we must have our plan (with 5 new points) announced – so that public know where we stand.
D.S. Awkward timing, if he is coming to make a last appeal. Wd. need to delay it until after he has seen P.M.
P.M. Then prevent him from making statement at airport.

C.C.34(61) 20th June 1961

1. National Theatre. [Enter M.R.

S.L.I. Deputn. : L.C.C. + interests if Ty. will put up £1 m. we will pay rest of cost of bldg.
Running costs: no further Govt. contn. beyond promised.

Components : S. Wells : Old Vic : Stratford : promised total of £400.000.

Parlt. in effect passed the £1 m. in ’49. Wd. like to promise that.

Ty. assistce. to running costs will be limited as above.

We must be allowed to approve scheme and be repd. on Bd.

Advantage : gets L.C.C. involved. Otherwise we shall also be b’mailed into giving more to Old Vic & Stratford.

Gives chance also of keeping Govt. out of details.
H.B. Will L.C.C. be content indefinitely to meet mounting deficits w’out asking Govt. for more?
S.L.I. Better prospect of getting private money on this plan. And as mine I shd. be under pressure to give more to Old Vic etc. separately.
C.S. Condn. that all 3 shd. join?
S.L.I. Strong pressure for that via absolute condn.
M. Thought we were v. concept of N. Theatre

Also? consistent with attitude v economy & likely action on that.

S.L.I.. No bldg. for 18 months at least.
D.E. Might increase appetites elsewhere – Co. boros.
H.B. Project now for national theatre in Cardiff.
J.M. Also demand for new hall in Edinburgh.
S.H. On timing : I cd. avoid saying yes : merely say I’m not saying no – let me see a scheme.
P.M. Better to do this behind the scenes – no announcement.
Agreed : put it back into Chandos’ court.

2. Federation of Rhodesia. [Enter E.H.

Draft telegram to R.W. tables.
K. Had not realised double member constituency wd. increase minimum no. to 400.
Greenfield may think this too high – he spoke of 100.

Wd. it be better to reduce to 10% (Via 12½%) giving 300.

I.M. 400 will be hard to defend in H/C. gt. advantage to Europeans.

Wd. prefer to reduce %age. Favour 10% or 400. The number 300 is only 3% of Africans.

D.S. If you reduce to 10% number shd. also go down. 10% or 300.
E.H. Good case for 10%. For Europeans reliance on no. and 400 is as low as Moffatt wd. go.
Hail. Between 300 and 400 is matter for negotiation, not a matter on which he will decline altogether.
P.M. Agree : not an issue which will decide him to come here. That is the 60/40 and 50/50. Don’t make concession now on the detail.
R.A.B. Re-arrange. Paras. 1: 5-11 : 12 then 3 : 2.
H. No chance on this of any alternative – esp. if para.3 included – unless some middle roll solution is taken to be w’in W. Paper.

May have trouble in Laos and over Berlin. Can’t afford to break with R.W. on this. I wd. be willing to consider 5 : 4 : or equalisation of races on middle roll – as w’in Wh. Paper.

Agreement reached on amended text.

3. East/West Relations.

H. R. not interested in negotn. with West. Laos Tests etc.

Tests Confce. will go on in skeleton form, but no reality.

Laos : if Princes agree, may be progress. But Troika principle is being introduced there also. If Conf. fails, & fighting recurs, no alternative but S.E.A.T.O. intervention..
Berlin. R. losing interest in negotiated settlement. Looks as tho’ K.

will make his treaty in Oct.

P.M. Change of mood in U.S.

C.C.35(61) 29th June 1961

1. Parliament. [Enter M.R.

R.A.B. Business for next week.
P.M. W. Benn (Stansgate). Can’t yet table resoln. for Sel. Cttee. But if we invite them to submit interim report on suppression of Peerages, Labour might not boycott – awkward if they did so, over whole field, in both Houses.

2. Kuwait.

H. Iraqi tanks likely to move to Basra qua. Cd. be there by 1/7; thereafter no warning – w’in a few hours. Korea may be preparing to make a dash : mght be deterred if he knew he wd. meet our forces. Our troops are alerted – Bulwark en route : tanks in l.c.t.’s.
Must inform Ruler : warn him we can’t act w’out formal request.
H.W. Prepns. are in hand : but need Def. Cttee. to run over them.

C.-in-C. directed to remain at H.Q.

H. Can we now ask for request – in form in which we need not act until time is ripe.
Have warned U.S. – no reply. Shall now give them latest informn.
S.L.I. Vital that U.S. shd. give immediate political support. Agreed : warn them of this at once.
Paid off in past if we have warned Nasser in advance. Useful if this cd. be done on this occasion. Ask him if Arab League cdn’t help to restrain Iraq. Agreed.
P.M. E.H. to warn Healey – today.

3. Laos.

H.W. Anglo.U.S. mil. talks – C’wealth Brigade at 7 days’ notice : but equipped only on light scales for anti. insurgency operations.

U.S. have bn. stocking heavier equipment in Thailand & wd. be ready for limited war opns. Those are unlikely; but awkward if our troops were less well equipped. By pre-positioning equipment we cd. be at same level of equipment after 14 days.

Not v. expensive.
S.L.I. Admy. mil. : W.O. ½ m. : Air miny. ¼ m. And prob., more.
H. Pol. posn. not bad : U.S. want pol. situation : Phonma, however, has gone pro-Communist in feeling, tho’ Fr. are working on him.
P.M. Get pol. approval for this – fr. A. & N.Z. But defer further movement for a while, at least until we have consulted Macdonald.

4. South Africa : Supply of Arms.

H.W. Minister has agreed to buy small arms from Belgium. But, apart from this & any other sensitive (politically) items, they are in market for heavy supplies – & we shall sell them. They are stocking up – on basis they will now stand alone.
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