Labour manifestos


Labour Party: 1945


Let Us Face the Future:

A Declaration of Labour Policy for the Consideration of the Nation






Victory is assured for us and our allies in the European war. The war in the East goes the same way. The British Labour Party is firmly resolved that Japanese barbarism shall be defeated just as decisively as Nazi aggression and tyranny. The people will have won both struggles. The gallant men and women in the Fighting Services, in the Merchant Navy, Home Guard and Civil Defence, in the factories and in the bombed areas - they deserve and must be assured a happier future than faced so many of them after the last war. Labour regards their welfare as a sacred trust.


So far as Britain's contribution is concerned, this war will have been won by its people, not by any one man or set of men, though strong and greatly valued leadership has been given to the high resolve of the people in the present struggle. And in this leadership the Labour Ministers have taken their full share of burdens and responsibilities. The record of the Labour Ministers has been one of hard tasks well done since that fateful day in May, 1940, when the initiative of Labour in Parliament brought about the fall of the Chamberlain Government and the formation of the new War Government which has led the country to victory.


The people made tremendous efforts to win the last war also. But when they had won it they lacked a lively interest in the social and economic problems of peace, and accepted the election promises of the leaders of the anti-Labour parties at their face value. So the "hard-faced men who had done well out of the war" were able to get the kind of peace that suited themselves. The people lost that peace. And when we say "peace" we mean not only the Treaty, but the social and economic policy which followed the fighting.


In the years that followed, the "hard-faced men" and their political friends kept control of the Government. They controlled the banks, the mines, the big industries, largely the press and the cinema. They controlled the means by which the people got their living. They controlled the ways by which most of the people learned about the world outside. This happened in all the big industrialised countries.


Great economic blizzards swept the world in those years. The great inter-war slumps were not acts of God or of blind forces. They were the sure and certain result of the concentration of too much economic power in the hands of too few men. These men had only learned how to act in the interest of their own bureaucratically-run private monopolies which may be likened to totalitarian oligarchies within our democratic State. They had and they felt no responsibility to the nation.


Similar forces are at work today. The interests have not been able to make the same profits out of this war as they did out of the last. The determined propaganda of the Labour Party, helped by other progressive forces, had its effect in "taking the profit out of war". The 100% Excess Profits Tax, the controls over industry and transport, the fair rationing of food and control of prices - without which the Labour Party would not have remained in the Government - these all helped to win the war. With these measures the country has come nearer to making "fair shares" the national rule than ever before in its history.


But the war in the East is not yet over. There are grand pickings still to be had. A short boom period after the war, when savings, gratuities and post-war credits are there to be spent, can make a profiteer's paradise. But Big Business knows that this will happen only if the people vote into power the party which promises to get rid of the controls and so let the profiteers and racketeers have that freedom for which they are pleading eloquently on every Tory platform and in every Tory newspaper.


They accuse the Labour Party of wishing to impose controls for the sake of control. That is not true, and they know it. What is true is that the anti-controllers and anti-planners desire to sweep away public controls, simply in order to give the profiteering interests and the privileged rich an entirely free hand to plunder the rest of the nation as shamelessly as they did in the nineteen-twenties.


Does freedom for the profiteer mean freedom for the ordinary man and woman, whether they be wage-earners or small business or professional men or housewives? Just think back over the depressions of the 20 years between the wars, when there were precious few public controls of any kind and the Big Interests had things all their own way. Never was so much injury done to so many by so few. Freedom is not an abstract thing. To be real it must be won, it must be worked for.


The Labour Party stands for order as against the chaos which would follow the end of all public control. We stand for order, for positive constructive progress as against the chaos of economic do-as-they-please anarchy.


The Labour Party makes no baseless promises. The future will not be easy. But this time the peace must be won. The Labour Party offers the nation a plan which will win the Peace for the People.




Britain's coming Election will be the greatest test in our history of the judgement and common sense of our people.


The nation wants food, work and homes. It wants more than that - it wants good food in plenty, useful work for all, and comfortable, labour - saving homes that take full advantage of the resources of modern science and productive industry. It wants a high and rising standard of living, security for all against a rainy day, an educational system that will give every boy and girl a chance to develop the best that is in them.


These are the aims. In themselves they are no more than words. All parties may declare that in principle they agree with them. But the test of a political programme is whether it is sufficiently in earnest about the objectives to adopt the means needed to realise them. It is very easy to set out a list of aims. What matters is whether it is backed up by a genuine workmanlike plan conceived without regard to sectional vested interests and carried through


Point by point these national aims need analysis. Point by point it will be found that if they are to be turned into realities the nation and its post-war Governments will be called upon to put the nation above any sectional interest, above any free enterprise. The problems and pressures of the post-war world threaten our security and progress as surely as - though less dramatically than - the Germans threatened them in 1940. We need the spirit of Dunkirk and of the Blitz sustained over a period of years.



The Labour Party's programme is a practical expression of that spirit applied to the tasks of peace. It calls for hard work, energy and sound sense.


We must prevent another war, and that means we must have such an international organisation as will give all nations real security against future aggression. But Britain can only play her full part in such an international plan if our spirit as shown in our handling of home affairs is firm, wise and determined. This statement of policy, therefore, begins at home.


And in stating it we give clear notice that we will not tolerate obstruction of the people's will by the House of Lords.


The Labour Party stands for freedom - for freedom of worship, freedom of speech, freedom of the Press. The Labour Party will see to it that we keep and enlarge these freedoms, and that we enjoy again the personal civil liberties we have, of our own free will, sacrificed to win the war. The freedom of the Trade Unions, denied by the Trade Disputes and Trade Unions Act, 1927, must also be restored. But there are certain so-called freedoms that Labour will not tolerate: freedom to exploit other people; freedom to pay poor wages and to push up prices for selfish profit; freedom to deprive the people of the means of living full, happy, healthy lives.


The nation needs a tremendous overhaul, a great programme of modernisation and re-equipment of its homes, its factories and machinery, its schools, its social services.


All parties say so - the Labour Party means it. For the Labour Party is prepared to achieve it by drastic policies and keeping a firm constructive hand on our whole productive machinery; the Labour Party will put the community first and the sectional interests of private business after. Labour will plan from the ground up - giving an appropriate place to constructive enterprise and private endeavour in the national plan, but dealing decisively with those interests which would use high-sounding talk about economic freedom to cloak their determination to put themselves and their wishes above those of the whole nation.




All parties pay lip service to the idea of jobs for all. All parties are ready to promise to achieve that end by keeping up the national purchasing power and controlling changes in the national expenditure through Government action. Where agreement ceases is in the degree of control of private industry that is necessary to achieve the desired end.


In hard fact, the success of a full employment programme will certainly turn upon the firmness and success with which the Government fits into that programme the investment and development policies of private as well as public industry.


Our opponents would be ready to use State action to do the best they can to bolster up private industry whenever it plunges the nation into heavy unemployment. But if the slumps in uncontrolled private industry are too severe to be balanced by public action - as they will certainly prove to be - our opponents are not ready to draw the conclusion that the sphere of public action must be extended.


They say, "Full employment. Yes! If we can get it without interfering too much with private industry." We say, "Full employment in any case, and if we need to keep 8 firm public hand on industry in order to get jobs for all, very well. No more dole queues, in order to let the Czars of Big Business remain kings in their own castles. The price of so-called 'economic freedom' for the few is too high if it is bought at the cost of idleness and misery for millions."


What will the Labour Party do?


First, the whole of the national resources, in land, material and labour must be fully employed. Production must be raised to the highest level and related to purchasing power. Over-production is not the cause of depression and unemployment; it is under-consumption that is responsible. It is doubtful whether we have ever, except in war, used the whole of our productive capacity. This must be corrected because, upon our ability to produce and organise a fair and generous distribution of the product, the standard of living of our people depends.


Secondly, a high and constant purchasing power can be maintained through good wages, social services and insurance, and taxation which bears less heavily on the lower income groups. But everybody knows that money and savings lose their value if prices rise so rents and the prices of the necessities of life will be controlled.


Thirdly, planned investment in essential industries and on houses, schools, hospitals and civic centres will occupy a large field of capital expenditure. A National Investment Board will determine social priorities and promote better timing in private investment. In suitable cases we would transfer the use of efficient Government factories from war production to meet the needs of peace. The location of new factories will be suitably controlled and where necessary the Government will itself build factories. There must be no depressed areas in the New Britain.


Fourthly, the Bank of England with its financial powers must be brought under public ownership, and the operations of the other banks harmonised with industrial needs.


By these and other means full employment can be achieved. But a policy of Jobs for All must be associated with a policy of general economic expansion and efficiency as set out in the next section of this Declaration. Indeed, it is not enough to ensure that there are jobs for all. If the standard of life is to be high - as it should be - the standard of production must be high. This means that industry must be thoroughly efficient if the needs of the nation are to be met.




By the test of war some industries have shown themselves capable of rising to new heights of efficiency and expansion. Others, including some of our older industries fundamental to our economic structure, have wholly or partly failed.


Today we live alongside economic giants - countries where science and technology take leaping strides year by year. Britain must match those strides - and we must take no chances about it. Britain needs an industry organised to enable it to yield the best that human knowledge and skill can provide. Only so can our people reap the full benefits of this age of discovery and Britain keep her place as a Great Power.


The Labour Party intends to link the skill of British craftsmen and designers to the skill of British scientists in the service of our fellow men. The genius of British scientists and technicians who have produced radio-location, jet propulsion, penicillin. and the Mulberry Harbours in wartime, must be given full rein in peacetime too.


Each industry must have applied to it the test of national service. If it serves the nation, well and good; if it is inefficient and falls down on its job, the nation must see that things are put right.


These propositions seem indisputable, but for years before the war anti-Labour Governments set them aside, so that British industry over a large field fell into a state of depression, muddle and decay. Millions of working and middle class people went through the horrors of unemployment and insecurity. It is not enough to sympathise with these victims: we must develop an acute feeling of national shame - and act.


The Labour Party is a Socialist Party, and proud of it. Its ultimate purpose at home is the establishment of the Socialist Commonwealth of Great Britain - free, democratic, efficient, progressive, public-spirited, its material resources organised in the service of the British people.


But Socialism cannot come overnight, as the product of a week-end revolution. The members of the Labour Party, like the British people, are practical-minded men and women.


There are basic industries ripe and over-ripe for public ownership and management in the direct service of the nation. There are many smaller businesses rendering good service which can be left to go on with their useful work.


There are big industries not yet ripe for public ownership which must nevertheless be required by constructive supervision to further the nation's needs and not to prejudice national interests by restrictive anti-social monopoly or cartel agreements - caring for their own capital structures and profits at the cost of a lower standard of living for all.


In the light of these considerations, the Labour Party submits to the nation the following industrial programme:


1.Public ownership of the fuel and power industries. For a quarter of a century the coal industry, producing Britain's most precious national raw material, has been floundering chaotically under the ownership of many hundreds of independent companies. Amalgamation under public ownership will bring great economies in operation and make it possible to modernise production methods and to raise safety standards in every colliery in the country. Public ownership of gas and electricity undertakings will lower charges, prevent competitive waste, open the way for co-ordinated research and development, and lead to the reforming of uneconomic areas of distribution. Other industries will benefit. 2.Public ownership of inland transport. Co-ordination of transport services by rail, road, air and canal cannot be achieved without unification. And unification without public ownership means a steady struggle with sectional interests or the enthronement of a private monopoly, which would be a menace to the rest of industry. 3.Public ownership of iron and steel. Private monopoly has maintained high prices and kept inefficient high-cost plants in existence. Only if public ownership replaces private monopoly can the industry become efficient.

These socialised industries, taken over on a basis of fair compensation, to be conducted efficiently in the interests of consumers, coupled with proper status and conditions for the workers employed in them. 4.Public supervision of monopolies and cartels with the aim of advancing ;industrial efficiency in the service of the nation. Anti-social restrictive practices will be prohibited. 5.A firm and clear-cut programme for the export trade. We would give State help in any necessary form to get our export trade on its feet and enable it to pay for the food and raw materials without which Britain must decay and die. But State help on conditions - conditions that industry is efficient and go-ahead. Laggards and obstructionists must be led or directed into better ways. Here we dare not fail. 6.The shaping of suitable economic and price controls to secure that first things shall come first in the transition from war to peace and that every citizen (including the demobilised Service men and women) shall get fair play. There must be priorities in the use of raw materials, food prices must be held, homes for the people for all before luxuries for the few. We do not want a short boom followed by collapse as after the last war; we do not want a wild rise in prices and inflation, followed by a smash and widespread unemployment. It is either sound economic controls - or smash. 7.The better organisation of Government departments and the Civil Service for work in relation to these ends. The economic purpose of government must be to spur industry forward and not to choke it with red tape.






Agriculture is not only a job for the farmers; it is also a way of feeding the people. So we need a prosperous and efficient agricultural industry ensuring a fair return for the farmer and farm worker without excessive prices to the consumer. Our agriculture should be planned to give us the food we can best produce at home, and large enough to give us as much of those foods as possible.


In war time the County War Executive Committees have organised production in that way. They have been the means of increasing efficiency and have given much practical assistance, particularly to the small farmer. The Labour Party intends that, with suitable modifications and safeguards, their work shall continue in peacetime.


Our good farm lands are part of the wealth of the nation and that wealth should not be wasted. The land must be farmed, not starved. If a landlord cannot or will not provide proper facilities for his tenant farmers, the State should take over his land at a fair valuation. The people need food at prices they can afford to pay. This means that our food supplies will have to be planned. Never again should they be left at the mercy of the city financier or speculator. Instead there must be stable markets, to the great gain of both producer and consumer.


The Ministry of Food has done fine work for the housewife in war. The Labour Party intends to keep going as much of the work of the Ministry of Food as will be useful in peace conditions, including the bulk purchase of food from abroad and a well organised system of distribution at home, with no vested interests imposing unnecessary costs.


A Labour Government will keep the new food services, such as the factory canteens and British restaurants, free and cheap milk for mothers and children, fruit juices and food supplements, and will improve and extend these services.




Everybody says that we must have houses. Only the Labour Party is ready to take the necessary steps - a full programme of land planning and drastic action to ensure an efficient building industry that will neither burden the community with a crippling financial load nor impose bad conditions and heavy unemployment on its workpeople. There must be no restrictive price rings to keep up prices and bleed the taxpayer, the owner-occupier and the tenant alike. Modern methods, modern materials will have to be the order of the day.


There must be a due balance between the housing programme, the building of schools and the urgent requirements of factory modernisation and construction which will enable industry to produce efficiently.


Housing will be one of the greatest and one of the earliest tests of a Government's real determination to put the nation first. Labour's pledge is firm and direct - it will proceed with a housing programme with the maximum practical speed until every family in this island has a good standard of accommodation. That may well mean centralising and pooling of building materials and components by the State, together with price control. If that is necessary to get the houses as it was necessary to get the guns and planes, Labour is ready.


And housing ought to be dealt with in relation to good town planning - pleasant surroundings, attractive lay-out, efficient utility services, including the necessary transport facilities.


There should be a Ministry of Housing and Planning combining the housing powers of the Ministry of Health with the planning powers of the Ministry of Town and Country Planning; and there must be a firm and united Government policy to enable the Ministry of Works to function as an efficient instrument in the service of all departments with building needs and of the nation as a whole.




In the interests of agriculture, housing and town and country planning alike, we declare for a radical solution for the crippling problems of land acquisition and use in the service of the national plan.


Labour believes in land nationalisation and will work towards it, but as a first step the State and the local authorities must have wider and speedier powers to acquire land for public purposes wherever the public interest so requires. In this regard and for the purposes of controlling land use under town and country planning, we will provide for fair compensation; but we will also provide for a revenue for public funds from "betterment".




An important step forward has been taken by the passing of the recent Education Act. Labour will put that Act not merely into legal force but into practical effect, including the raising of the school leaving age to 16 at the earliest possible moment, "further" or adult education, and free secondary education for all.


And, above all, let us remember that the great purpose of education is to give us individual citizens capable of thinking for themselves.


National and local authorities should co-operate to enable people to enjoy their leisure to the full, to have opportunities for healthy recreation. By the provision of concert halls, modern libraries, theatres and suitable civic centres, we desire to assure to our people full access to the great heritage of culture in this nation.




By good food and good homes, much avoidable ill-health can be prevented. In addition the best health services should be available free for all. Money must no longer be the passport to the best treatment.


In the new National Health Service there should be health centres where the people may get the best that modern science can offer, more and better hospitals, and proper conditions for our doctors and nurses. More research is required into the causes of disease and the ways to prevent and cure it.


Labour will work specially for the care of Britain's mothers and their children - children's allowances and school medical and feeding services, better maternity and child welfare services. A healthy family life must be fully ensured and parenthood must not be penalised if the population of Britain is to be prevented from dwindling.




The Labour Party has played a leading part in the long campaign for proper social security for all - social provision against rainy days, coupled with economic policies calculated to reduce rainy days to a minimum. Labour led the fight against the mean and shabby treatment which was the lot of millions while Conservative Governments were in power over long years. A Labour Government will press on rapidly with legislation extending social insurance over the necessary wide field to all.


But great national programmes of education, health and social services are costly things. Only an efficient and prosperous nation can afford them in full measure. If, unhappily, bad times were to come, and our opponents were in power, then, running true to form, they would be likely to cut these social provisions on the plea that the nation could not meet the cost. That was the line they adopted on at least three occasions between the wars.


There is no good reason why Britain should not afford such programmes, but she will need full employment and the highest possible industrial efficiency in order to do so.




No domestic policy, however wisely framed and courageously applied, can succeed in a world still threatened by war. Economic strife and political and military insecurity are enemies of peace. We cannot cut ourselves off from the rest of the world - and we ought not to try.


Now that victory has been won, at so great a cost of life and material destruction, we must make sure that Germany and Japan are deprived of all power to make war again. We must consolidate in peace the great war-time association of the British Commonwealth with the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R. Let it not be forgotten that in the years leading up to the war the Tories were so scared of Russia that they missed the chance to establish a partnership which might well have prevented the war.


We must join with France and China and all others who have contributed to the common victory in forming an International Organisation capable of keeping the peace in years to come. All must work together in true comradeship to achieve continuous social and economic progress.


If peace is to be protected we must plan and act. Peace must not be regarded as a thing of passive inactivity: it must be a thing of life and action and work.


An internationally protected peace should make possible a known expenditure on armaments as our contribution to the protection of peace; an expenditure that should diminish as the world becomes accustomed to the prohibition of war through an effective collective security.


The economic well-being of each nation largely depends on world-wide prosperity. The essentials of prosperity for the world as for individual nations are high production and progressive efficiency, coupled with steady improvement in the standard of life, an increase in effective demand, and fair shares for all who by their effort contribute to the wealth of their community. We should build a new United Nations, allies in a new war on hunger, ignorance and want.


The British, while putting their own house in order, must play the part of brave and constructive leaders in international affairs. The British Labour Movement comes to the tasks of international organisation with one great asset: it has a common bond with the working peoples of all countries, who have achieved a new dignity and influence through their long struggles against Nazi tyranny.


And in all this worth-while work - whether political, military or economic - the Labour Party will seek to promote mutual understanding and cordial co-operation between the Dominions of the British Commonwealth, the advancement of India to responsible self-government, and the planned progress of our Colonial Dependencies.




Quite a number of political parties will be taking part in the coming Election. But by and large Britain is a country of two parties.


And the effective choice of the people in this Election will be between the Conservative Party, standing for the protection of the rights of private economic interest, and the Labour Party, allied with the great Trade Union and co-operative movements, standing for the wise organisation and use of the economic assets of the nation for the public good. Those are the two main parties; and here is the fundamental issue which has to be settled.


The election will produce a Labour Government, a Conservative Government, or no clear majority for either party: this last might well mean parliamentary instability and confusion, or another Election.


In these circumstances we appeal to all men and women of progressive outlook, and who believe in constructive change, to support the Labour Party. We respect the views of those progressive Liberals and others who would wish to support one or other of the smaller parties of their choice. But by so doing they may help the Conservatives, or they may contribute to a situation in which there is no parliamentary majority for any major issue of policy.


In the interests of the nation and of the world, we earnestly urge all progressives to see to it - as they certainly can - that the next Government is not a Conservative Government but a Labour Government which will act on the principles of policy set out in the present Declaration.


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Last Modified: Sunday, 23-Feb-97 17:13:44 GMT





Let Us Win Through Together:


A Declaration of Labour Policy for the Consideration of the Nation




When the Labour Party published Let Us Face the Future in 1945 those five words were more than the title of the Election Manifesto; they were five words which crystallised the minds of our people at that time. By hard work, good sense and self-discipline the people have laid the foundations of a future based on free social democracy. They have helped Parliament and Government to carry into effect all the main proposals in that Manifesto.


Now in 1950 the country is facing another General Election. We ask our fellow citizens to assert in their free exercise of the franchise that by and large the first majority Labour Government has served the country well. The task now is to carry the nation through to complete recovery. And that will mean continued, mighty efforts from us all. The choice for the electors is between the Labour Party - the party of positive action, of constructive progress, the true party of the nation - and the Conservative Party - the party of outdated ideas, of unemployment, of privilege.




Socialism is not bread alone. Economic security and freedom from the enslaving material bonds of capitalism are not the final goals. They are means to the greater end - the evolution of a people more kindly, intelligent, free, co-operative, enterprising and rich in culture. They are means to the greater end of the full and free development of every individual person. We in the Labour Party - men and women from all occupations and from every sphere of life - have set out to create a community that relies for its driving power on the release of all the finer constructive impulses of man. We believe that all citizens have obligations to fulfil as well as rights to enjoy.


In contrast, the fainthearted feel that only fear of poverty will drive men to work for the nation. 'Empty bellies'. one Tory has said, 'are the one thing that will make Britons work.' Labour for its part declares that full employment is the corner-stone of the new society.


The Labour Government has ensured full employment and fair shares of the necessities of life. What a contrast with pre-war days! In those days millions of unwanted men eked out their lives in need of the very things they themselves could have made in the factories that were standing idle.


Even when at work each man often feared that the next pay-day would be the last. The wife feared that the housekeeping money would suddenly vanish. Often it did. Her husband was handed his cards, he drew the dole, then she had to make do with a fraction of her previous money - and despite all her sacrifices the children suffered. The queue at the Labour Exchange was repeated in the queue of small traders at the bankruptcy court. Clerks and professional people saw their hopes destroyed and their savings swept away by the slump.


Big Business did not believe in Britain - it believed only in profit. So money went into cinemas, not coal; into luxury flats, not looms for Lancashire; into land speculation, not into agriculture.


Whatever our Party, all of us old enough to remember are in our hearts ashamed of those years. They were unhappy years for our country and our people. They must never come again.




Full employment is the main, but not the only achievement. Six years of war ate away our wealth - crippled our trade, blitzed our homes and factories, sank our ships, and axed our overseas investments. The world has been desperately short of food since the war. But Britain has accomplished a recovery unsurpassed by any other country. No doubt there have been mistakes. But judge on what basis you will - by the standard of life of the general body of citizens, by employment, by the infrequency of serious industrial disputes, by the stability of the nation, by social security - by any fair comparison, the British people have done an infinitely better job than was done after the first World War.


By explaining to the people what needed to be done, by giving the facts, by appealing to the patriotism of the people, by vigorous, sensible leadership, the Labour Government has led Britain to the first victories of peace. Now let us win through together.




The supreme aim that we set before the nation is the maintenance of full employment. Here is Labour's policy.


The nation's greatest need is to export more, especially to North America, so that we can pay for enough food to eat, and enough raw materials to keep our factories running. Labour will not dodge this problem as Tory Governments did before the war. If mass unemployment came again, people would once more be too poor to buy much food from abroad, and idle factories would not need imported raw materials. If social services were cut, wages slashed and full employment lost we might once again succeed in masking our overseas trade problem - but only at the cost of human misery, queues at the Labour Exchange and a nation divided by industrial bitterness. That was, and still is, the Tory way. It is not ours.


Labour's way - the way of full employment - is to produce more and to export more, to increase efficiency and to lower costs.


Purchasing power and production must march together. Just as we have aimed at keeping purchasing power within limits in the last few years when there have been too few goods and too much money, so we will be prepared to expand purchasing power if the danger is too little money and too many goods.


Labour will encourage the introduction of equal pay for equal work by women when the nation's economic circumstances allow it.


Finance must be the servant and not the master of employment policy. Public owner ship of the Bank of England has enabled the Government to control monetary policy. Subject to the will of Parliament, we shall take whatever measures may be required to control financial forces, so as to maintain full employment and promote the welfare of the nation.


Publicly owned industry will be ready to expand its investment when employment policy demands it. The public sector will, by speeding up necessary capital development, help to maintain employment.


Special measures for areas of special need. The rebuilding of the Development Areas, which has transformed the lives of many thousands from destitution to active work, will be vigorously continued. To aid one of the chief industries in these Areas, a Development Council will be established for shipbuilding and ship-repairing. Labour will take all steps necessary to ensure that this great industry is never again neglected as it was between the wars.




Unless we continue to increase production as we have done in the last four years, we cannot improve or even maintain our present standard of life; the social services cannot advance or even survive; and our national freedom and independence cannot continue. This is a lob for every one of us, pulling together. Private enterprise must not shelter behind price rings and rigged markets. Public enterprise must be vigorous, not easy-going. Drive, public spirit and initiative are required throughout, and from us all.


There can be no advance without planning. Exports must be sold in the right markets at the right price, and imports arranged according to our needs. Only by price control and rationing can fair shares of scarce goods be ensured. Only control over capital investment, distribution of industry, industrial building and foreign exchange can enable us to overcome the dollar shortage and build up a permanently thriving national economy. Yet many Tories still cry 'Scrap controls'. Nothing could be more disastrous.




We have begun to build up a flourishing partnership between Government, management and workers. More has to be done, both in public and private enterprise. Too many managements still pay lip-service to joint consultation and then do little to make it effective. They should consult with workers' representatives before decisions affecting them are taken, and not after; they should make available to these representatives the accounts and records on which managerial decisions are based. Upon the trade unions lies the responsibility for further equipping and training their members for service to industry and the country.




The long decline and demoralisation of the coal industry has been halted. In 1949 out put was 28 million tons higher than in 1945. Output per manshift - the best measure of efficiency - has gone up steadily and is now above the 1938 level. For the first time British miners are getting a square deal. Justice for the miner has meant fuel and power for the nation. Nationalisation of coal has saved British industry from collapse.


The vital electricity and gas industries are able to plan ahead for expansion on a large scale. Already new generating stations are supplying more electricity for the home, and more horsepower for our factories.


Britain's public transport system, as road and rail services are increasingly unified, will bring an ever better service to industry and passengers.


And when private monopoly is replaced by public ownership, the steel industry will be responsible to the nation.


Labour will not be content until each public enterprise is a model of efficiency and of social responsibility. The Government must be free to take all necessary steps to that end. The initiative and public spirit of the individual manager must be fostered. New leadership should be given its chance to emerge. The public will be encouraged to make much more use of the Consumers' Councils which have been created for all nationalised industries: consumers should assume the important place which is theirs by right as the owners of the whole concern.




Private enterprise must be set free from the stranglehold of restrictive monopolies. Labour's aim is to give a fair chance to everybody in industry, above all to the small concerns which have been the most ruthlessly exploited by trusts, cartels and rings. The less efficient firms will be helped to raise themselves to the standards of the best.


Development Councils on which management, workers and the public are represented will be set up, compulsorily if need be. The drive to apply the results of scientific research throughout industry will be sustained. Technical education will be extended. The Government will be ready in suitable cases to provide manufacturers with buildings and general purpose equipment for sale or hire, as well as finance for approved capital expenditure.


But where private enterprise fails to meet the public interest, the Government will be empowered to start new competitive public enterprises in appropriate circumstances. For private and public enterprise to compete fairly and squarely in the public interest will be good for both.


The Government will also take practical steps to prevent monopolies from continuing to exploit the public. The Monopolies Commission has been established to expose anti-social restrictive practices. Monopoly concerns which cannot be dealt with in other ways will be socialised.


The private sugar monopoly was buttressed by Conservative legislation which is due to expire early in the next Parliament. We propose that beet sugar manufacture and sugar refining shall be transferred to national ownership for the benefit of the consumer. Fair compensation will be paid in this as in the other cases where it is proposed that an industry should be transferred from private to public ownership.


The cement industry is controlled by a tightly organised private monopoly which allows high profits to be made. Labour will convert this essential industry to public ownership.


One industry which will be carefully examined is the chemical industry. If necessary to assure vital national interests, Labour will transfer to public ownership any appropriate sections of this vital industry.




We must grow more food at home. The more we grow the more there will be to eat, and the more we shall save on imports. The nation's duty to farmers and landworkers is to give them all the help they need; their duty to the nation is to produce as much as they can with the greatest possible efficiency.


Under the Tories agriculture was plunged into a depression from which it was rescued only by war. Today agriculture is thriving. The hard work of farmers and farm workers is taking us towards our immediate target of a 50 per cent increase in production over pre-war by 1952. There are and will be assured markets at guaranteed prices for as much of the main products of our farms as our farmers can produce. Labour will continue the policies which have transformed the life of the countryside.


We have not reached the limit of British agricultural capacity. Production needs to be raised still further. The first method of doing so is by increasing the standard of efficiency. The 1947 Agriculture Act has given ample powers to ensure good husbandry; they will be used to the full.


In the battle for food the nation cannot afford wasted land. There are still in Britain many thousands of acres of marginal land - idle at a time when every productive acre is needed - upon which food can and will, with Government support, be grown. Where the job is too big for individual farmers to tackle, public ownership will be used as the means of bringing into sound cultivation good food-producing land not fully used.


Steps will be taken to promote more efficient marketing and preparation of horticultural produce.


The country's natural resources must be treated and developed as a whole. Britain's vital fishing industry will be encouraged so that its efficiency, both in production and distribution, is further improved. Britain's woodlands will be developed on a large scale and efficiently run by the Forestry Commission and by private and municipal owners. Britain's minerals are an essential and often neglected part of Britain's wealth; all suitable minerals will be placed in public ownership.




A prosperous agriculture is the foundation of the good life for all our country towns and villages. Labour's aim is to improve the amenities of the countryside as fast as resources permit. Rural areas will continue to enjoy a special provision in housing. Every year more out of date rural homes will be replaced by good houses designed for the housewife and, wherever possible, grouped together in sociable villages. When the Rent Restrictions Acts are dealt with in the new Parliament, the position of tied cottages will be reconsidered and the Unions consulted about the best means of giving to farmworkers the security in their homes enjoyed by other workers.


Nationalisation is bringing electricity to more homes and farms every year. In the next five years, more rapid progress will be made with rural electrification.




Far too many rural houses, farm buildings and fields are still without piped water. There is plenty of water - in times of flood too much - but not enough in pipes. Great progress has been made in extending piped supplies since 1945. But the work must be speeded up still further and the whole organisation for the purpose improved. Labour therefore proposes that water supply should become a wholly public responsibility so that as soon as possible plentiful water will be brought into every rural area. There will also be an extension of drainage and sewerage for country homes and farms.




In the last five years we have waged a successful defensive battle against inflation. Food subsidies, rationing, price control of essentials, rent control, and the freest possible competition where supplies have been plentiful - these are all helping to keep down the cost of living.


Food subsidies have saved the average family of four about 14s. a week on its food bill. Tory spokesmen clamour for large cuts in the subsidies. A vote for the Tories is thus a vote for dearer food. Labour on the other hand will continue the present policy of subsidies as long as present circumstances continue and the need to keep down the cost of living is paramount.


No trade union movement in the world has such a proud record as the British. With unexampled restraint and loyalty, it has co-operated to hold wages steady through these difficult years. The great Co-operative Movement has also exerted a steadying effect on retail prices. It is a fine example of democratic co-operation to meet the needs of the people.


But many prices are still far too high and a burden to every housewife. Our aim for the future is to bring down excessive prices, by increasing the efficiency of production and distribution. Labour proposes to overhaul distribution in the following ways.



Fruit and Vegetables. More wholesale and retail markets under municipal or other public ownership, together with improved storage facilities, will reduce the present waste in marketing.


Cold Stores. The development of cold storage, an essential service in food distribution, will be effected through public ownership.


Meat Trade. The nation needs larger supplies of better quality meat. Since the Ministry of Food took over the importing and wholesaling of meat ten years ago, the job has been done efficiently and economically. The present system of distribution should be come a permanent public service.


Public Buying. Labour proposes to extend buying by public bodies so that well-made goods can be supplied to the housewife through the ordinary distributors at reasonable prices. This will benefit the public and the retailers, and also maintain the supply of Utility goods.


Retailing. Competition among private retailers will be encouraged. Subject only to the needs of town planning, any citizen should be able to open a shop. Anti-social private agreements to keep prices too high will be dealt with.


Value for Money. An independent Consumer Advice Centre will be set up to test and report on the various consumer goods on the market. Good manufacturers will be protected and unscrupulous advertising exposed.




Labour has honoured the pledge it made in 1945 to make social security the birthright of every citizen. Today destitution has been banished. The best medical care is available to everybody in the land.


Great Acts of Parliament - the National Insurance, Industrial Injuries, National Assistance and National Health Service Acts - have been placed on the Statute Book. This social legislation has benefited all sections of the community, including members of the middle classes. Hundreds of thousands of middle class and professional families have been relieved of one of their worst anxieties - the fear of the sudden illness, the expensive operation, the doctors' crippling bills. What is needed now is not so much new legislation as the wise development, through efficient and economical administration, of the services provided by these Acts.




In this task local authorities have a vital role. The necessity to transfer some functions has not reduced the importance of local authorities. They are performing essential duties, above all in the expanded services of housing, education, town planning and health. Councils have been given new powers to provide fuller opportunities for citizens' leisure hours. Local government will continue to be fostered in all possible ways.


The Conservatives say they fought for Social Security. Against whom? Who was resisting? They voted against the second and third readings of the National Health Service Bill. A year after taking office, Labour had begun to pay out family allowances. But the Tory spokesman in the House declaimed against this as a hasty action and said the same about the increase in old-age pensions. When devaluation made economies necessary, they clamoured for more drastic cuts. Can these Conservatives be trusted to safeguard the welfare of the sick, the poor and the old?


We pledge ourselves to go forward on the sure foundations already laid. The rate of progress will be determined by one thing only - the productive effort of the people.




Labour has placed the needs of our children in the forefront of national policy. Never before have our babies been so healthy; our youngsters so well fed, clothed and shod. Labour has raised the school leaving age. New schools are being built. The door to higher education is being opened ever wider by the provision of scholarships and grants to Universities. More teachers are being trained so that the size of classes - often still too large - can be reduced. Fees in secondary schools have been abolished.


The policy of putting the children at the head of the queue will be continued. Cheap and free milk and food supplements will go on. Education will in every way be expanded as fast as our straitened means allow. While improving physical standards in the schools, we should never forget we are dealing with people, not statistics, and that the community needs more and more people of individuality who can think for themselves as co-operative members of our democratic community.




Labour has shown its determination to give the old people a square deal. The guiding principle of our policy is that old age should be a time of recreation and useful service, not a burden of loneliness and sorrow. Pensions have been raised for old people - as also for disabled ex-Servicemen. The Poor Law has gone, and National Assistance stands ready to help whenever insurance cannot do the full job. Old people have benefited much from the National Health Service. More labour-saving homes are being built for old people.


These policies will be continued. And in the next Parliament there will be a review of the working of the National Insurance Act in the light of the economic situation at that time. It will be as well not to leave this review to the Tories; old people know too much of Tory meanness for that.




Those who supplement their standard of life in old age or protect themselves against any of the hazards of life by voluntary saving through the Industrial Assurance Offices should receive the best possible return for their money. The Labour Party, believing that the interests of policyholders should be paramount, therefore proposes that the Proprietary Companies should be taken out of the realm of private profit and mutually owned by the policyholders themselves instead of by private shareholders. The interests of the staffs will be safeguarded.




Since the war more than a million new homes have been provided. Yet in spite of this great achievement, the demand for new homes is pressing. We must move forward until every family has its own separate home, and until every slum is gone. Rent controls and rent tribunals will be continued. The law of leasehold will be reformed so as to do justice to householders, shopkeepers and business men.


Labour intends to see that the countryside is not despoiled, that the fastest possible progress is made with the great adventure of the New Towns and that housing estates are developed into communities where people can enjoy life to the full.




The Government has already added greatly to opportunity for the full enjoyment of leisure. We shall continue to do all that can legitimately be done to support the Arts without interfering in any way with the free expression of the artist.


National Parks will be established in the fairest parts of Britain. Footpaths will be preserved and access to the countryside will be secured for all hikers and cyclists. There is also need for more playing fields for the children, and wherever possible these will be provided. A Holidays Council will be established to promote more holiday centres with reasonably priced accommodation for families.




In the days of Munich, when the Tories decided British foreign policy, the prestige of Britain sank to its lowest ebb for a century or more.


The selfish and cowardly bungling of the Conservative Government landed us in a war which collective security could have prevented and for which the Government had not prepared. The Colonies were shamefully neglected and the democratic aspirations of the Indian people met with continuous frustration and delay. During the last five years, under Labour leadership, Britain has regained her moral position in the Western world and has won the confidence of many millions in Africa and Asia. By applying the moral principles of Socialism to our relations with other peoples, the Labour Government has made Britain a symbol of justice and social advance.


We will continue if returned to power, to work realistically for peace. We will stand firm against any attempt to intimidate us or to undermine our position in the world. But we will remain ready at any moment to co-operate fully with Russia, as with any country that is prepared to work with us for peace and friendship.


Labour believes that the purposes of the United Nations are best served by still closer associations between friendly countries within the Charter. The Labour Government has put particular energy into strengthening the associations of the Commonwealth, the Atlantic community, and Western Europe. These associations are, we believe, not only compatible but necessary to each other as bastions of world security.


In Europe great strides have been taken towards the creation of a new economic and political unity. No country has given more leadership to this great movement than Labour Britain. We shall continue this support and leadership in the years to come, always remembering that we are the heart of a great Commonwealth extending far beyond the boundaries of Europe.




By recognising the desire of Commonwealth countries for complete national self-determination, the Labour Government has immensely helped to strengthen the essential unity of the Commonwealth. In April, 1949, all the Commonwealth Prime Ministers welcomed the free choice of India, Pakistan and Ceylon to join the Commonwealth as full and equal members, and accepted India's decision to be a Republic while recognising The King as head of the Commonwealth. These decisions marked an event of epoch-making importance. They created a bridge of friendship and co-operation between the peoples of East and West which will prove increasingly essential as the movement towards world-wide unity proceeds. These decisions would never have been taken under a Tory Government in Britain.


The natural confidence and mutual affection existing between the peoples of the Commonwealth are one of the world's greatest assets in its struggle for stability and peace. We will continue to strengthen these powerful bonds of union by practical measures of co-operation. Already we have vastly expanded Commonwealth trade through long-term con tracts and bulk purchase agreements. Moreover, by finding new sources of supply within the Commonwealth we are helping to bridge the dollar gap.


In the Colonial territories our purpose is to help in creating the economic and social basis for democratic self-government. Moreover we believe that world peace and prosperity will not be secure so long as vast areas are suffering from bitter poverty.


The Colonies are now engaged in a great ten-year plan of development and welfare largely financed by Britain. This plan aims to root out poverty, ignorance and disease. Since 1945, there has been a great increase, compared with pre-war, in the volume of capital goods sent to the Colonies to help in raising their production. Trade unionism, co-operation and social welfare are now fostered so that this new investment shall bring freedom instead of exploitation. A new confidence and energy are springing up throughout Britain's territories overseas.


In the whole of our overseas policy we are proud of the new strength that our country derives from the support of hundreds of millions in all parts of the world who seek a way of life that is neither capitalist nor communist. To these millions Labour Britain is a beacon of inspiration and encouragement.




We have now set before our fellow citizens the principles and policy upon which the Labour Party will fight the General Election of 1950.


Our appeal is to all those useful men and women who actively contribute to the work of the nation. We appeal to manual workers - skilled, semi-skilled and so-called unskilled; farmers and agricultural workers; active and able managers and administrators in industry and the public services; professional workers, technicians and scientists; and housewives and women workers of all kinds. And just as we in this declaration have put the general public interest first, we ask the electors of all classes to do the same. For if they put sectional interests in front of the general good of the people as a whole, they will tend to damage, not only the nation, but themselves.


The fundamental question for the men and women of the United Kingdom to determine when they vote is this: Shall we continue along the road of ordered progress which the people deliberately chose in 1945, or shall reaction, the protectors of privilege and the apostles of scarcity economics be once more placed in the seats of power, to take us back to the bleak years of poverty and unemployment? Those years must never return.


We are successfully going forward with the great and inspiring adventure of our time. Let us win through together.


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Last Modified: Sunday, 23-Feb-97 17:13:46 GMT





Labour Party Election Manifesto




Labour - proud of its record, sure in its policies - confidently asks the electors to renew its mandate.


Four major tasks face our nation: to secure peace; to maintain full employment and increase production; to bring down the cost of living; to build a just society. Only with a Labour Government can the British people achieve these aims.




Our first aim is to save the peace of the world. Labour has striven hard since 1945 to bring all the nations together in world-wide co-operation through the United Nations. We have had grievous disappointments, particularly with the Soviet Union, but we shall persevere. We do not for one moment accept the view that a third world war is inevitable. We arm to save the peace.


The Labour Government decided without hesitation that Britain must play her full part in the strengthening of collective defence. Britain must be strong: so must the Commonwealth.


But peace cannot be preserved by arms alone. Peace depends equally on bringing freedom from poverty to lands where hunger and disease are the lot of the masses. Britain's Labour Government has given a lead in economic assistance to these lands. As our armed strength grows, more attention must be given to the under-developed regions of the world. Only a Labour Government would do this.


The Tory still thinks in terms of Victorian imperialism and colonial exploitation. His reaction in a crisis is to threaten force. His narrow outlook is an obstacle to that world-wide co-operation which alone makes peace secure. He would have denied freedom to India, Pakistan, Ceylon and Burma.


It is this that makes the election so critical, not only for the people of Britain but for the whole world. Anxious eyes will be watching what we do. If the election were to result in a Tory victory there would be no major power in the councils of the Western nations represented by Labour.


Surely now, even more than ever before, it is vital to the fate of civilisation that the voice of Labour should be heard wherever and whenever the issues of war and peace are discussed between the spokesmen of the Great Powers.




Full employment through six years of peace is the greatest of all Labour's achievements. It has never happened before. It has meant a revolution in the lives of our people. To-day, there are half a million unfilled vacancies at the employment exchanges. Under Labour - more jobs than workers. Under the Tories - more workers than jobs.


Largely due to full employment, with everyone contributing to the national product, production in Britain since 1945 has risen twice as fast each year as under the Tories. Our industrial and agricultural output is now 50 per cent above pre-war, but we must do better still to improve our living standards, to fulfil our obligations in collective defence and to play our part in assisting under-developed regions. Almost 20 per cent of the national income is now devoted to new capital equipment for the nation. This is higher than ever in British history.


World shortage of raw materials has steeply raised the prices of our imports and re opened the dollar gap. The difficulties are great. But we can conquer them.


We shall do everything possible to stimulate production at home and to expand our exports. We shall press on with the development of new sources of raw materials, particularly within the Commonwealth.


We shall attack monopolies and combines which restrict production and keep prices and profits too high. We shall prohibit by law the withholding of supplies to traders who bring prices down.


We shall take over concerns which fail the nation and start new public enterprises wherever this will serve the national interest. We shall help industry with scientific and technical aid.


We shall establish Development Councils, by compulsion if necessary, wherever this will help industrial efficiency.


We shall associate the workers more closely with the administration of public industries and services.


The British countryside which was being ruined and depopulated before the war is more prosperous under Labour than ever before. Our farmers and farmworkers have beaten all records in the production of home-grown food. We shall continue the policy of guaranteed prices for the farmer and good conditions of labour for the farmworker.


We shall further extend electricity and water supplies and sewerage in rural areas. We shall encourage agricultural co-operatives. We shall stop the creation of new tied cottages under the cottage certificate system as the first step towards a just and comprehensive solution of the tied cottage problem.


Under the Tories there was never full employment. Year after year millions were with out work. The Tories gave us the distressed areas. They betrayed agriculture; they encouraged monopolies and cartels. They are condemned by their record.




Rising world prices have increased the cost of living, but much less in Britain than in most other countries. Our people have been sheltered against rising prices by Labour's policy of price control; by rent control; by food subsidies worth 12s. a week to the average family; by utility production and by bulk purchase which has kept down the cost of imports.


Though long overdue improvements in the miners' wages and working conditions have been made, the price of coal under nationalisation is less than in any other country in Europe, or in the United States.


Our Government has started international discussions for a fairer distribution of raw materials and for lower and more stable prices. Largely through this initiative the prices of textiles and clothing, including children's clothing, have recently been much reduced. This brings great benefit to the housewife and is a welcome change from the previous upward movement of the cost of living.


We hope to see this fall extend to other prices soon. With this object we shall extend and strengthen price controls. We shall set up new auction markets in provincial towns to reduce the price of fruit and vegetables to the housewife. She will have fresher supplies, and when unnecessary middlemen are cut out the grower will get better and more stable prices. We shall overhaul marketing in other trades with the same object.


Tory policy would cause a catastrophic rise in the cost of living. They are for high profits and against controls. They demand the abandonment of bulk purchase. They want to end the utility scheme. They would allow landlords to raise rents.




Contrast Britain in the inter-war years with Britain to-day. Then we had mass unemployment; mass fear; mass misery. Now we have full employment.


Then millions suffered from insecurity and want. Now we have social security for every man, woman and child.


Then dread of doctors bills was a nightmare in countless homes so that good health cost more than most people could afford to pay. Now we have a national health scheme which is the admiration of the post-war world.


Then we had the workhouse and the Poor Law for the old people. Now we have a national insurance system covering the whole population with greatly improved pensions and a humane National Assistance scheme.


Then only 39 per cent of the nation's personal incomes after taxation went to the wage earner, and 34 per cent to rent, interest and profit. Now, following Labour's great reforms in taxation, 48 per cent goes in wages and only 25 per cent in rent, interest and profit.


There has, indeed, been progress, but much more remains to be done in the redistribution of income and of property to ensure that those who create the nation's wealth receive their just reward. Half of Britain's wealth is still owned by 1 per cent of the population.


Labour will press forward towards greater social equality and the establishment of equal opportunities for all. We shall extend our policy of giving all young people equal opportunities in education. We shall encourage a spirit of hope and adventure in the young.


As soon as tax reductions become possible we shall still further reduce taxation of wages, salaries, moderate incomes and moderate inheritances. We shall also take steps to abolish the differences between the payment of men and women in the public services. On the other hand, we shall limit dividends by law, increase taxation on the small minority who own great fortunes and large unearned incomes, and take measures to prevent large capital gains.


The Tories are against a more equal society. They stand, as they have always stood, for privilege. In Parliament they proposed cuts in taxation on large incomes and fought the profits tax. They opposed the dividend freeze.


In order to reduce the taxes of the well-to-do they would cut down the social services and penalise the great mass of people. They now suggest 'some sort of an excess profits tax'. In the interests of the nation Labour would stop all excess profits.


They have voted in Parliament against the National Health Service, and they condemned the Labour Government for being 'too hasty' in introducing family allowances and raising old age pensions.


Under Labour more than 1,300,000 new dwellings have been built since the war. We shall maintain the present rate of 200,000 new houses a year and increase it as soon as raw materials and manpower can be spared. Most of these houses will as now be built for rent and not for sale, and for the benefit of those whose housing need is greatest.


We shall give security to householders and shopkeepers by leasehold enfranchisement and by other changes in the law.




We ask the electors to renew their vote of confidence in the Labour Party. It is a simple choice - Labour or Tory.


Look first at the past records, for we have both made history. But what kind of history? To-day, after six years of Labour rule and in spite of post-war difficulties, the standard of living of the vast majority of our people is higher than ever it was in the days of Tory rule. Never have the old folk been better cared for. Never had we so happy and healthy a young generation as we see in Britain to-day.


Scotland and Wales have a new vitality. The great areas of depression have gone. There has been much devolution of administration from Whitehall and this will be carried further.


Welfare at home, peace abroad, with a constant striving for international co-operation - this is Labour's aim. The Tories with their dark past, full of bitter memories for so many of our people, promise no light for the future. They would take us backward into poverty and insecurity at home and grave perils abroad.


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Last Modified: Sunday, 23-Feb-97 17:13:46 GMT





Forward With Labour:


Labour's Policy for the Consideration of the Nation




As we in Britain prepare to go to the poll, the Hydrogen Bomb looms over all mankind. What can we do to meet that menace? The existence of this terrible weapon on both sides of the Iron Curtain maintains an uneasy balance under the threat of mutual destruction. But deterrents can at best only give us a breathing space. We are faced with the choice between world co-operation and world annihilation. The time is short.


The Labour Party approaches the problem in no party spirit. In April, 1954, we moved a motion in the House of Commons asking for immediate high-level talks. This was carried unanimously. Despite our pressure, those talks have not taken place. Labour believes that the first task of a British Government is to end this delay.




But to insist on high-level talks is not enough. The Prime Minister who takes part in them must stand for a positive peace policy. Labour's peace policy is threefold:-


1.Disarmament - Labour will ensure that Britain gives her full support to the United Nations as the world-wide organisation for peace and security. Ultimately the menace of the H-bomb can only be removed by world disarmament, which covers all kinds of weapons. We shall co-operate in any genuine plan for disarmament which provides for effective international control, even though it involves, as it must, sacrifices of national sovereignty. As a first step, we believe that Britain should propose the immediate cessation of H-bomb tests. 2.Relaxing World Tension. - If the great powers are to disarm, the causes of world tension must be attacked. In Europe the chief of them is a divided Germany. Labour believes that the time has now come to make another effort to achieve the reunification of Germany by means of genuinely free elections.

In the Far East the war crisis centres on Formosa. Labour has constantly urged that this crisis can only be overcome by the evacuation of the off-shore islands, now held by Chiang Kai-Shek's forces; by the long overdue admission of Communist China to the United Nations; and by the neutralisation of Formosa under the United Nations to enable its inhabitants to make their own choice. 3.The Under-Developed Areas. - There can be no lasting peace until we have met the most profound challenge of our time - the gap between the highly developed industrial nations of the West and the peasant millions of Asia and Africa. The Labour Government responded to this challenge and earned the confidence of the colonial peoples. For this reason alone no one is better fitted to represent Britain at high-level talks than Clement Attlee - the man who freed India, despite Conservative jeers of 'Socialist scuttle'.






Labour worked to transform the British Empire into a Commonwealth of free and equal peoples. We helped India, Pakistan, Ceylon and Burma to achieve their freedom; we encouraged West Africa to move rapidly towards self-government; and we began to tackle backwardness and poverty in South-East Asia through the Colombo Plan.


We shall continue the transformation from Empire to Commonwealth as each Colonial people becomes ready for independence. Meanwhile, it is our responsibility to protect the weaker peoples from being exploited, and to develop communities free from racial and colour discrimination.




Faced with actual aggression in Korea and the threat of it elsewhere, the Labour Government did not shirk the heavy burden of rearmament. It took the lead in building up the North Atlantic Alliance.


We believe that in the absence of all-round disarmament, the democratic powers must be strong and united, and their defensive power sufficient to deter aggression. But recently, after three years of Tory Government and despite heavy defence expenditure, grave deficiencies have been revealed both in the equipment of the Royal Air Force and in the use of man power in the Services.


A Labour Government will at once submit all problems of defence to a searching inquiry. In particular, it will review the period of National Service.




The Tories' main claim is that the nation is more prosperous as the result of their decision to scrap socialist planning and return to a free-for-all to suit big business. What are the facts? Industrial production - the key to prosperity - has gone up since they took office at only half the rate by which it rose while Labour was in power. Exports have hardly increased at all since 1951. They went up in the last three years of the Labour Government ten times as fast as under the Tories.


Our gold and dollar reserves have been falling for the past nine months, and to-day they are two hundred million pounds less than they were at the time of the last General Election.


Such improvements as there have been in the last three years have been, mostly due to the movement of world prices in our favour which has reduced the cost of our imports. Moreover, the gain has been precarious and most unfairly distributed.


Dividends have gone up faster than wages or salaries. Speculators and investors, whose shares have risen in value 50 per cent. in the last two years, have done best of all. Even the long overdue increase in pensions is being financed by making workers and employers pay a shilling a week more in contributions.


It was the policy of the Labour Government to protect consumers from the full effect of rising world prices; and up to 1951 the cost of living rose far less here than in other countries.


The Tories fought last time on a pledge to bring prices down, and Mr. Butler promised not to cut food subsidies. In less than a year he broke this promise, and thus deliberately drove up the cost of living. Although import prices are down by 3s. in the pound, prices in the shops at home have continued to rise and food in particular costs 4s. in the pound more than in 1951. This, of course, has hit hardest the old age pensioners and others living on small incomes.


Labour's policy is to keep the cost of living steady long-term agreements with Commonwealth countries; firm action against monopolies which, through price-fixing and restrictive practices, exploit the public; cutting out waste in the present antiquated system of food distribution; and re-imposing price-controls on essential goods where necessary.




The charge that a Labour Government would re-introduce rationing is a deliberate Tory lie.




Labour will take powers to protect the public against shoddy goods and unscrupulous trade practices, and enforce clean food standards in shops and restaurants.


We will encourage manufacturers to produce better goods by enforcing quality standards and accurate labelling.


We shall establish a Consumers' Advisory Service.




Labour believes that security should not be a privilege of the few but the right of all, and is determined to assure it to every family - security in the home, security against the burdens of old age and sickness, and an equal chance for every child at school.


(1) Housing. - Labour believes that housing is a social service and will therefore go on subsidising the building of houses to let by local authorities. It will also begin to tackle the vast problem of old, rent-restricted houses in private hands.


The failure of the Tory Rents and Repairs Acts has proved that the landlords will not repair those houses without steeper increases of rent than even a Tory Government would dare to permit. Labour will therefore ask local authorities to submit schemes for gradually taking over and modernising rent-controlled private property, subject to fair compensation. We shall help those who wish to do so to own their own homes. We shall give leaseholders an opportunity of purchasing the freeholds of their houses.


(2) Health and Old Age. - Through the National Health Service and National Insurance, the Labour Government began to abolish the fear of old age, sickness and disablement which haunted working-class life before the war. We shall go forward with the job.


In order to restore a free Health Service, we shall abolish all charges, including those on teeth, spectacles and prescriptions. We shall stop queue-jumping by ensuring that the need for treatment and not ability to pay shall be the test for obtaining a bed in National Health Service hospitals.


Now social security must be carried one stage further. In order to remove the last taint of 'public assistance', a Ministry of Social Welfare will be established to take over the work not only of the Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance, but also of the National Assistance Board.


To maintain the real purchasing power of these benefits, pensions and allowances, we shall institute an annual review, and in any year in which there has been an increase in the cost of living, the scale of payments will be increased accordingly.


One of the first acts of the next Labour Government will be to improve the rates of National Assistance fixed last February by the Tory Government, an increase which we regard as quite inadequate. We shall also deal with the anomalies of the National Insurance and Industrial Injuries schemes.


We welcome the growth of superannuation schemes in industry and commerce as valuable additions to National Insurance pensions. We shall consult with the T.U.C. and industry with a view to extending similar schemes on a voluntary basis to all kinds of employment and will seek, wherever possible, to arrange for pensions to be made transfer able.


(3) Education. - Labour is determined on a radical reform of our education service. Our first objectives are:-


•(a) to increase the number of teachers and to improve, especially in rural areas, the standard of our schools; and •(b) to remove from the primary schools the strain of the 11-plus examination.




This cramps the free and happy life which should stimulate the children's early years. It penalises the children who develop late and gives an inferior place in our education to the practical skills increasingly essential to our industrial efficiency.


Local Authorities will be asked to submit schemes for abolishing the examination and, to realise the fulfilment of the Education Act, 1944, we shall encourage comprehensive secondary schooling. We shall insist on the inspection of all private schools.


To prevent children being removed from school or denied a University education for lack of means, a national scale of Maintenance Allowances will be established, and every student admitted to a University will be entitled, in case of need, to a State Scholarship.


For those who leave school at the age of 15, we shall begin to carry Out those parts of the 1944 Education Act which make provision for part-time education.


We shall provide more playing fields. We shall abolish the tax on sport and the living theatre.


Television is a growing influence for good or ill. Labour will establish an alternative public television service, free from advertising.




The Tories have reduced taxes on profits and unearned income, and granted tax reliefs which give most help to those who need help least. With their encouragement, higher dividends are being paid at the expense of the re-equipment of industry.


Labour will once again use the Budget as an instrument for the twin purposes of remedying social inequality and increasing production. We shall review the working of the tax system to ensure that it is efficient and just. We shall encourage those who earn their money by hard work and ability; we shall assist National Savings and investment. But we shall deal firmly with tax dodgers, and we shall see to it that a fairer share of the burden will be carried by those who get their money too easily through excessive profits, capital gains and the inheritance of large fortunes.


We shall speed up the repayment of post-war credits which was inevitably delayed in the difficult years immediately after the war.


Labour re-affirms its belief in equal pay for equal work and will immediately extend it to industrial workers in Government service and so give a lead to industry.




In order to strengthen our Welfare State still further and at the same time to play our part in assisting the under-developed areas of the world, our own production must rise every year. Only a government prepared to plan the nation's resources can do this.


Labour will ensure that the claims of investment and modernisation come first, and will use taxation policy to help productive investment - thus providing more efficient plant and equipment for the workers.


Even the Tories have had to praise the nationalised industries for their high rate of in vestment and advances in technical efficiency.


Public ownership of the steel and road haulage industries is essential to the nation's needs and we shall re-nationalise them.


We shall bring sections of the chemical and machine tools industries into public owner ship. Where necessary, we shall start new public enterprises.


The Labour Government brought new hope to the old distressed areas. The Tory Government have scrapped many of the essential controls, and now, once again, some areas face the danger of unemployment. Labour will use the Development Area powers to the full, and where necessary, extend them in order to provide new jobs.




Atomic energy and other new inventions can bring dramatic increases in productivity and therefore in wealth and leisure. They will also demand new skills. To meet this demand, Labour will enlist the help of scientists, trade unions and progressive managements, and begin a real drive for better technical education.


We will encourage schemes of industrial democracy and introduce long overdue legislation to improve working conditions in shops and offices.




Labour in power revitalised the countryside. Britain needs a continuously expanding and efficient farming industry. The farmer must be able to produce in the confidence that he will find a market. This was Labour's policy under the 1947 Agriculture Act - a policy which the Tories are undermining.


The housewife is paying more than she need for food because there are too many middlemen between her and the grower. Yet the grower, too, is threatened with insecurity again.


Labour will return to a system of fixed guaranteed prices for the main commodities so that the farmer can plan ahead, and will abolish the costly system of private auctions and deficiency payments.


We shall encourage the setting-up of producer marketing boards to organise distribution more efficiently in the interests of the consumer as well as the farmer. Advisory services and credit facilities for farmers will be improved.


Labour will cheapen fruit and vegetables by opening more markets and thus bring the produce of our market gardens into the shops more quickly and efficiently.


There will be a square deal for the farm worker and his family, and the injustices of the tied cottage system will be brought to an end. Safety regulations will be applied to farms.


Water supplies, still pitifully inadequate in the countryside, will be greatly extended and brought under public ownership.


Labour's aim is to revive the best in country life and to bring the benefits of modern living to our hamlets and villages.




Under the Tories, there had been hunger and misery, idle pits and shipyards and bankrupt farms. Labour in power brought new life to Scotland and Wales. Thriving industry justified triumphantly Labour's system of controls and priorities.


But unemployment in some parts of these countries remains high. Labour will ensure full employment in Scotland and Wales, and will begin to overtake Tory neglect by bringing new industries to Northern Ireland.


We respect and will safeguard the distinctive national cultures of these countries.




Labour believes in a vigorous local democracy. But at present local authorities do not have adequate revenue to do their job properly. Immediate relief will be provided by the repeal of the de-rating of industrial properties. We shall review local government structure and finance, and consider the possibility of rating of site values.




In the dangerous world in which we live we must seek to unite all those who earnestly desire peace and disarmament and who recognise the need for a positive policy to remove the causes of war.


Faith, vision and enthusiasm are needed if civilisation is not to be destroyed by man's many inventions. A Party that proudly claims for its inspiration the brotherhood of man is best fitted to grasp the opportunity of building a world of peace, freedom and justice.


In Britain our goal is a society in which free and independent men and women work together as equals.


The signposts along our road are Work for All, Abolition of Want, Fair Distribution of Income and Property, Better Education.


The powers we ask for will be used in the interests of the whole nation, fully respecting the rights of human personality. Our aim is to make men more truly free. In 1945, Britain started out along the path of social justice.


Now is the time to go forward with Labour.


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Last Modified: Tuesday, 25-Feb-97 20:26:28 GMT





Britain Belongs to You:

The Labour Party's Policy for Consideration by the British People




We welcome this Election; it gives us, at last, the chance to end eight years of Tory rule. In a television chat with President Eisenhower, Mr. Macmillan told us that the old division of Britain into the two nations, the Haves and the Have Nots, has disappeared. Tory prosperity, he suggested, is shared by all. In fact, the contrast between the extremes of wealth and poverty is sharper today than eight years ago. The business man with a tax-free expense account, the speculator with tax-free capital gains, and the retiring company director with a tax-free redundancy payment due to a take-over bid-these people have indeed 'never had it so good'.


It is not so good for the widowed mother with children, the chronic sick, the 400,000 unemployed, and the millions of old age pensioners who have no adequate superannuation. While many of those at work have been able to maintain and even improve their standard of living by collective bargaining, the sick, the disabled and the old have continually seen the value of state benefits and small savings whittled away by rising prices. Instead of recognising this problem as the greatest social challenge of our time, the Prime Minister blandly denies it exists.




One of the dangers we face as a nation is the mood of complacency and self-deception engendered by the vast Tory propaganda machine. The Tory Manifesto claims that the Government has 'now stabilised the cost of living while maintaining full employment' and that it is 'succeeding in creating one nation at home'.


These claims are largely without foundation. The cost of living has not been stabilised.


Full employment has not been maintained. There are many millions of 'have nots' in Britain.


The best way to ensure you do not reach your goal is to pretend that you are there already.


This is what the Tories have been doing.


We do not say that the task of combining an expanding economy with full employment and steady prices is an easy one. Indeed it will remain impossible until we have a Government which is prepared to use all measures, including the Budget, in order to expand production and simultaneously to ensure that welfare is developed and prosperity fairly shared. Labour's five-year programme of action has been carefully worked out to achieve these aims.




Rising living standards depend upon a steady expansion of production. The Tory record, whether measured against that of the Labour Government or of other countries, is deplorable. Far from leading in the race for higher productivity, Britain in these last years has been outpaced by almost every other industrial nation.


After the Thorneycroft crisis of 1957, the Government deliberately created unemployment in an attempt to halt inflation. Unemployment is still heavy in some areas. Throughout the country it has led to broken apprenticeships; and many school-leavers this autumn are having difficulty in finding jobs.




The living standards of more than half our old-age pensioners are a national disgrace. About a million are driven by poverty to seek National Assistance, and another 500,000 would be entitled to receive it but are too proud to do so. True, the small minority who draw a really good superannuation pension are comfortably off, but they are the exception.


Our emergency plan for tackling this problem is to raise the basic pension and other social security benefits at once from £2 10s. to £3 a week; and their purchasing power will be maintained by an automatic increase to cover any rise in prices that may have taken place in the previous year.


The Government have turned down both the basic £3 pension and the guarantee of its value. All they have done is to improve slightly the scales of National Assistance, from which no one can benefit without a means test.


The contrast between our long-term scheme and that of the Tories is equally striking. Our plan for National Superannuation will not affect those already covered by good superannuation schemes. But every other employed and self-employed person will be brought into National Superannuation and enjoy all the advantages of the best kind of private scheme. The scheme will be financed by graded contributions, 5 per cent from employer and 3 per cent from employee, and an Exchequer grant equivalent to 2 per cent of average national earnings. In five years it will be providing a useful addition to the basic pension. When it is in full operation, it will provide half-pay on retirement for the average wage-earner, and up to two-thirds for the lower paid workers, both men and women.


The Tories have put on the Statute Book a bogus imitation of National Superannuation, due to come into force in 1961. This does not give an immediate increase to existing pensioners; it does not raise pensions if prices rise; it does not cover those earning less than £9 a week; and, though the contributions are heavy, it does not provide anything approaching half-pay on retirement. Indeed, only a third of the graded contribution comes back in graded benefit to the contributor. The rest is taken by the Chancellor for other purposes.


The Tory scheme is really a financial device for shifting most of the burden of paying for pensions from the better-off taxpayers to workers earning between £9 and £15 a week.




Among widows - especially widowed mothers with growing children - there is a great deal of hardship and want. We shall review all widows' pensions, paying particular attention to the earnings rule, and increase to £1 the basic pension of the '10s. widow'.




Money spent on education is an investment for the future. We propose, therefore, a great drive to abolish slum schools, to reduce the size of classes to 30 in primary and secondary schools, and to expand facilities for technical and other higher education.


One of the greatest barriers to equality of opportunity in our schools is the segregation of our children into grammar and other types of school at the age of 11. This is why we shall get rid of the 11-plus examination. The Tories say this means abolishing the grammar schools. On the contrary, it means that grammar-school education will be open to all who can benefit by it. In our system of comprehensive education we do not intend to impose one uniform pattern of school. Local authorities will have the right to decide how best to apply the comprehensive principle.


At present, children whose parents cannot pay fees often suffer from an unfair disadvantage in secondary education. By improving the system of maintenance grants, we shall make sure that no child is deprived of secondary schooling by the parents' lack of money. In the same way we shall ensure that any student accepted by a university will receive a really adequate State scholarship.




Labour's policy has two aims: to help people buy their own homes and to ensure an adequate supply of decent houses to let at a fair rent.


As a first step we shall repeal the Rent Act, restore security of tenure to decontrolled houses, stop further decontrol, and ensure fair rents by giving a right of appeal to rent tribunals.


The return of a Tory Government would mean further rent increases and the decontrol of many more houses. We say this despite the official Tory assurance that there will be no decontrol during the life of the next Parliament-for we remember what happened last time.


During the 1955 Election Mr. Bevan prophesied that rents of controlled houses would be increased if the Conservatives came back to power. Two days later the Conservative Central Office denied this, and said there was no truth in his statement. In 1957 the Conservative Government introduced the Rent Act.


Under the Tories, home purchasers have been subject to unpredictable and burden-some increases of interest rates. Labour will bring interest rates down. We shall also reform leasehold law to enable leaseholders with long leases to buy their own homes.


Council building of rented houses has been slashed under the Tories chiefly as a result of higher interest rates and the abolition of the general housing subsidy. We shall reverse their policy by restoring the subsidy and providing cheaper money for housing purposes. We shall encourage councils to press on with slum clearance.


At the last count there were seven million households in Britain with no bath, and over three million sharing or entirely without a w.c. The Tories have tried to induce private land lords to improve their property by means of public grants, with very small success. Labour's plan is that, with reasonable exceptions, local councils shall take over houses which were rent-controlled before 1 January, 1956, and are still tenanted. They will repair and modernise these houses and let them at fair rents. This is a big job which will take time and its speed will vary according to local conditions.


Every tenant, however, will have a chance first to buy from the Council the house he lives in; and all Council tenants in future will enjoy the same security of tenure as rent-restricted tenants.




The creation of the National Health Service was opposed by the Tories. Since they took office they have starved the Service of money.


Although the period of post-war scarcity is long since over, the Tories have completed only one new hospital. As a minimum we shall spend £50 million a year on hospital development, and we shall also restore the free Health Service by abolishing all charges, starting with the prescription charge.


One gap in the Service is that at present no provision is made for health care at work. We shall close that gap by creating an occupational health service.


The family doctor will, however, remain the basis of health care. We shall help him by reducing the permitted maximum number of patients, without loss of income, and encourage


group practice by a substantial increase in the group practice loans fund. We shall safeguard the health, welfare and safety of people employed in shops and offices by carrying out the recommendations of the Gowers Committee.


We shall also establish a free chiropody service for old people.




As our plan for expansion develops, people will be increasingly able to choose between more money and more leisure. How the balance is struck is largely a matter for the trade unions in negotiation with the employers. How leisure is spent is a matter for the individual. Governments should not interfere in either. The individual, however, can only have real freedom to use his leisure as he wants to if proper facilities are available to all and not merely to a privileged few; and this is where both the Government and the local authorities can help.


We shall make much better provision for the enjoyment of sport, the arts and the countryside. A Sports Council will be set up with a grant of £5 million. The Arts Council grant will be increased by £4 million annually. The National Theatre will be established. In order to ensure that the countryside is open for the enjoyment of all, the powers of the National Parks Commission will be increased.


We shall get rid of out-of-date restrictions on personal liberty. Anomalies in the betting laws will be removed; an enquiry will be held into the Sunday observance laws; and a Royal Commission will be set up to review and recommend changes in the licensing laws. But, as these are all matters of conscience, there will be free votes on them for Labour M.P.s.


We do not propose to end commercial television, but evasions of the Television Act must stop. When it is technically possible we shall welcome a third choice of television programme. There is a strong case for granting this neither to the B.B.C. nor to the I.T.A. but to a new public corporation. But a decision will be deferred until the views of an in dependent committee have been obtained.


Labour will end the Cinema Entertainments Duty.




The Youth Service, which should provide recreation for boys and girls leaving school, has, year after year, been starved of funds. Many youth club premises are dingy and unattractive, trained leaders are too few, and facilities for sports and games are quite in adequate.


Over the next five years we have got to cater for a million more teenagers leaving school. Our new Sports Council will go some way to meet their needs. But we shall also require (1) a sustained drive to re-equip the whole youth service, (2) a rapid increase of apprenticeships and other forms of training, and (3) economic expansion sufficient to provide a million new jobs.


We are also convinced that the affairs of the community will benefit from more active participation by young people. Among the many proposals which Labour will consider is the lowering of the voting age. As this would be a major change in our electoral law and social practice, we shall in the next Parliament initiate discussions on it with the other parties.




Tory propagandists allege that a Labour Government would have to put up taxes in order to pay for these improved social services. This is quite untrue. The finance required would be raised in two ways. The chief way of raising it will be through planned expansion. For four years under the Tories industrial production scarcely rose. In 1958 alone this cost the country £1,700 million, of which the Exchequer would have received £450 million. With


this increased revenue we could have paid for great improvements in the welfare services, and we could have reduced taxation and extended the repayment of postwar credits. So, too, the steadily expanding national income will enable us to pay for our five-year programme with out increasing the present rates of taxation.


Secondly, we shall change the tax system to deal with the tax-dodgers and limit tax- free benefits. These benefits are now so extensive and lavish that the ordinary wage or salary earner who has no access to them pays more than his fair share of taxation.


In particular:


(1) We shall deal with the business man's expense account racket and the tax-free compensation paid to directors on loss of office;


(2) We shall tax the huge capital gains made on the Stock Exchange and elsewhere;


(3) We shall block other loopholes in the tax law including those which lead to the avoidance of death duties and surtax.






The nationalised industries have played a great part in Britain's postwar development. Pits have been modernised, atomic power stations built, a massive modernisation of the rail ways started. But one crying need is to clear up the present muddle by an overall national fuel policy.


The work of our nationalised industries has been made much more difficult by the Tories. Big business and the Tory Party itself have invested huge sums in propaganda campaigns, designed to discredit the idea of public ownership. Many of the Government's policies have, indeed, been activated by prejudice-for example, their transference of work from publicly owned railway workshops to private firms and the favouritism they have shown to private airlines. Under a Labour Government, the nationalised industries will be given an opportunity once again to forge ahead.


As part of our planned expansion, it will be necessary to extend the area of public ownership. The private steel monopoly will be restored to public ownership, in order to ensure its expansion and give the taxpayer value for the large sums of public money still in vested in it. Commercial long-distance road haulage will be renationalised and built into an integrated transport system.


With half a million new cars coming on the roads each year, the Government's road programme is entirely inadequate. But, to solve the problem, road-building must be related to a national plan which covers all the transport needs of an expanding economy. It must also deal with the appalling problem of road casualties.


We have no other plans for further nationalisation. But where an industry is shown, after thorough enquiry, to be failing the nation we reserve the right to take all or any part of it into public ownership if this is necessary. We shall also ensure that the community enjoys some of the profits and capital gains now going to private industry by arranging for the purchase of shares by public investment agencies such as the Superannuation Fund Trustees.




To achieve planned economic expansion and full employment without raising prices requires a buoyant demand to stimulate British industry; a high rate of investment as the basis of raising productivity; an energetic application of science in all phases of our economic life; a favourable balance of payments including the development of Commonwealth trade; and a strong pound.


Under the Tories the cost of living has risen by a third. Eventually the Government were forced to take action and apply the traditional Tory remedy: they cut production and deliberately created unemployment.


This use of unemployment to halt rising prices is as obsolete as it is cruel. But it is unavoidable under a Government with a doctrinaire prejudice against controls-a Government, moreover, which antagonises the unions. Every wage-earner realises the futility of wages chasing prices and wants to see a stable cost of living combined with full employment. But the unions can only co-operate if the Government, too, plays its part. If we want lasting prosperity it must be prosperity which is fairly shared.


Only a Labour Government is ready to use the necessary controls and able to win full co-operation from the unions by such measures as a fair-shares Budget policy and the ex tension of the Welfare State.




We shall begin a vigorous campaign of consumer protection. Buyers will be protected against hire-purchase ramps and shoddy goods. A tough anti-monopoly policy will lower prices and we shall make it compulsory to show clearly the net weight or quantity of pack- aged goods. Existing consumer protection organisations will be encouraged and we shall examine the need for further consumer protection-a task in which the Co-operative Movement will obviously have a great part to play.




Our policy for planned expansion without inflation requires the full co-operation of the private sector of industry. Our tax policy will be directed towards helping industry to mechanise, modernise and expand and make a maximum contribution to exports. As for the industrial giants which dominate our economic life, we shall ensure that these firms plan their operations in accordance with our national objectives of full employment and maxi mum efficiency.


With employers and trade unions we shall work out a Code of Conduct. This will include a Workers' Charter, designed to raise the status of the wage-earner and extend privileges, such as sickness pay, already provided for most salaried employees.




One of our first tasks will be to help industries at present suffering depression and contraction. Despite the Government's 'scrap and shut down' policy, we shall at once put into effect our own Plan for Cotton and guarantee to what survives of the industry a much more hopeful future. Shipbuilding and ship-repairing is another hard-hit industry, where vigorous action must be taken if full employment is to be restored.


Wherever there is a danger of local unemployment arising, we shall use the full powers of the Distribution of Industry Act. The activities of the industrial estates companies will be greatly expanded. The Government will build 'advance' factories to encourage firms to move to places where they are needed. Additional areas with high unemployment will be scheduled for development purposes. From 1945 to 1951 it was Labour's policy to bring the work to the workers. We pledge ourselves to do this again


Unemployment pay will be raised to £3 a week. By discontinuing Section 62 of the National Insurance Act, the Tories have ended long-term unemployment benefit. We shall restore it.




The Labour Government gave the farmer reasonable security for the first time in this century; but since 1951 this security has been whittled away. It must be restored. Protection will be given against unfair foreign competition. The tenant farmer will obtain real security of tenure and an effective rent arbitration system such as existed until the Tories recent wrecking measure. A special credit organisation will be set up to provide loans at reasonable and stable rates of interest. Agricultural co-operation will be encouraged. We shall introduce measures to improve agricultural and horticultural marketing.


The farm worker is leaving the land. If he is to stay there he needs a better life. We shall:


(1) enable the Wages Board to introduce a 'payment during sickness' scheme;


(2) end the evils of the tied cottage; and


(3) through National Superannuation provide security in old age for workers in an industry in which there are virtually no private occupational schemes.


Labour will also improve rural amenities. Slum schools will be abolished, education in the countryside brought up to the town level. The publicly-owned industries have already done much: thanks to nationalisation, 110,000 more farms than in 1948 now have electricity.


We shall carry out the long overdue reorganisation of water supplies under public ownership. This will not only help the countryside, but industry as well.




Each of the various nations that make up the United Kingdom has its special problems.


Labour has recognised this by issuing the policy statements Let Scotland Prosper and Forward with Labour-Labour's Policy For Wales. The Northern Ireland Labour Party has issued its own policy statement on the problems of Ulster, to which Labour's National Executive has given general approval.


Labour's plans for expansion, restoring full employment and increasing welfare will benefit all these areas. In particular we will take vigorous measures to increase and diversify industry and to stimulate agriculture. Improvements in communications will include such major enterprises as the building of road bridges over the Severn and the Tay.


The time has now come for the special identity of Wales to be recognised by the appointment of a Secretary of State.




All our hopes of building a decent, happy society at home are vain without peace abroad. Our very existence depends on ending the nuclear arms race.


This summer a new opportunity has come for breaking the East-West deadlock. There is now every chance of the Summit Conference for which Labour has pressed for two long years.


It seems to us that there are three tests to which anyone who claims to represent Britain at the Summit should be prepared to submit himself.


(1) Has he proved beyond doubt that he believes in promoting the rule of law in inter national relations, and that he rejects as obsolete the resort to violence in order to achieve his ends?


(2) Can he show by his past actions that he will make Britain the leader in securing a disarmament agreement?


(3) Has he faced, in a way that will gain the confidence of Asia and Africa, the problem of a world divided between rich and poor nations, subject and free peoples?






The Tories pay lip-service to the rule of law but ignore it whenever it seems to conflict with their interests. That is the lesson of Suez. Ignoring an overwhelming vote by the United Nations Assembly, they put Britain into a hopeless military venture which split the Commonwealth and all but destroyed the Anglo-American alliance. The Suez gamble was not only a crime, it was also an act of folly, hopelessly misconceived, bungled in execution and covered with a tissue of lies told by the leading Ministers concerned, including the present Premier and Foreign Secretary. By refusing to express any compunction or regret about Suez, Mr. Macmillan and Mr. Selwyn Lloyd have shown the world how little respect they really feel for the rule of law.


The Labour Party, on the other hand, upheld the decision of the United Nations on Suez. Since then our proposals for disengagement in Central Europe, the Middle East and the China Sea have all been designed to substitute the rule of law and negotiated settlements for the power politics of conflicting blocs. We have also insisted that the West should not violate the spirit of the Charter by preventing the admission of Communist China to the United Nations.


We have always realised, however, that power is required to make the rule of law effective. That is why during the period of the East-West deadlock we have stood resolutely by our defensive alliances and contributed our share to Western defence through N.A.T.O. It is our view that any weakening of the alliance would contribute to a worsening of international relations.


For this reason we have repeatedly exposed the blunders in planning and expenditure committed by no fewer than seven Tory Defence Ministers in eight years. We have vigorously opposed the Government's dangerously one-sided reliance on nuclear weapons; and we urged that highly trained, well-paid regular forces should be substituted for conscripts.




In the field of disarmament Labour has set the pace. We led the demand for an end to all nuclear tests; after years of delay the tests are now temporarily suspended, and we declare that, even if other countries break the truce, we would not start our tests again but would immediately convene a new conference. This year we have taken the lead on another urgent problem-the spread of nuclear weapons to other countries. We have put forward the only concrete proposals designed to stop this dangerous development and so to leave the way open to world-wide disarmament, which is our paramount objective. We have pro posed a comprehensive disarmament treaty which would reduce arms, manpower and military expenditure, destroy all stocks of nuclear weapons and their means of delivery, abolish all chemical and biological weapons, and provide new safeguards against surprise attack.


In contrast, the Tory record has been negative and, sometimes, obstructive. They opposed a disarmament agreement unless it was tied to the settlement of political problems. They opposed a nuclear test agreement unless it was part of a general disarmament agreement. They opposed the suspension of tests when Russia offered to stop her own. They opposed Labour's proposals for disengagement in Europe. They opposed a Summit Conference. Only with a change of American policy and in time for a General Election in Britain has Mr. Macmillan emerged as a sponsor of a Summit Conference.




Two worlds, one white, well-fed and free, the other coloured, hungry and struggling for equality, cannot live side by side in friendship. In their attitudes to the Colonial and ex Colonial peoples of Asia and Africa the Labour and Tory records stand in sharp contrast.


No action of the Attlee Government evoked greater enthusiasm than the freeing of nearly 500 million people in India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon. The transformation of the old British Empire into the first inter-racial Commonwealth of free nations was the supreme achievement of the Labour Government.


What of the Tory record? In Cyprus foolish words and a stubborn refusal to face facts led to disturbance and bloodshed-and, in the end, the Government had to agree to a settlement that could have been obtained years earlier. An opportunity to integrate Malta into the United Kingdom was thrown away. In Kenya eleven African prisoners were beaten to death. Above all, the Tories ignored Labour's solemn warnings that nine-tenths of the peoples of Nyasaland and Northern and Southern Rhodesia opposed the Federation which the Tories were forcing on them. The Government's own Devlin Commission exposed the tragic folly of Tory policy. Mr. Macmillan rejected its findings. After this, how can the peoples of Africa and Asia trust a Tory Government?


Today the future of Africa is poised as perilously as that of India in 1945. The only British Government which can regain the confidence of Africans is a Government whole heartedly committed to three principles of the Labour Party's Colonial policy: first, that the peoples still under Colonial rule have as much right as we have to be governed by consent; secondly, that 'one man, one vote' applies in all parts of the world; thirdly, that racial discrimination must be abolished.




Labour has always recognised that even if the East-West differences were ended the West is still presented with an immense challenge-the poverty of two-thirds of the world's people. This is a challenge the Tories have never really faced. We believe in extending the Socialist concept of the Welfare State to all the peoples of the world. This is why we have solemnly pledged ourselves to devote an average of 1 per cent of our national income each year to helping the underdeveloped areas.




Like our other social and economic policies, this pledge is based on the Socialist belief in the equal value of every human being. This is the belief which inspired the pioneers of Socialism, and still inspires the Labour Party, in the struggle for social justice and human rights.


In Britain, despite the bitter resistance of those who saw their profits and privileges threatened, great gains were won in the first half of the twentieth century. We still have to consolidate and extend these gains: none of us, however lucky or well-off we may happen to be, ought to feel comfortable in a society in which the old and sick are not decently cared for.


The same principle applies when we face this vast problem of the hungry two-thirds of the world. To solve this problem is the biggest task of the second half of the century. We know that it can be solved-if the fear of war is removed, and with it the crippling burden of arms expenditure.


At this historic moment a British Government with a clear policy based on the ethical principles of Socialism can exercise a decisive influence for peace. Hundreds of millions of people throughout the world still look to Britain for moral leadership and eagerly await the result of this General Election. We are confident that their hopes will be fulfilled, and that Britain will be represented at the Summit by a Labour Prime Minister.


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Last Modified: Sunday, 23-Feb-97 17:13:46 GMT









The world wants it and would welcome it. The British people want it, deserve it and urgently need it. And now, at last, the general election presents us with the exciting prospect of achieving it. The dying months of a frustrating 1964 can be transformed into the launching platform for the New Britain of the late 1960s and early 1970s.


A New Britain - mobilising the resources of technology under a national plan; harnessing our national wealth in brains, our genius for scientific invention and medical discovery; reversing the decline of the thirteen wasted years; affording a new opportunity to equal, and if possible surpass, the roaring progress of other western powers while Tory Britain has moved sideways, backwards but seldom forward.


The country needs fresh and virile leadership. Labour is ready. Poised to swing its plans into instant operation. Impatient to apply the "new thinking" that will end the chaos and sterility. Here is Labour's Manifesto for the 1964 election, restless with positive remedies for the problems the Tories have criminally neglected.


Here is the case for planning, and the details of how a Labour Cabinet will formulate the national economic plan with both sides of industry operating in partnership with the Government. And here, in this manifesto, is the answer to the Tory gibe that planning could involve a loss of individual liberty. Labour has resolved to humanise the whole administration of the state and to set up the new office of Parliamentary Commissioner with the right and duty to investigate and expose any misuse of government power as it affects the citizen.


Much of the manifesto deals with the vital social services that affect the personal lives and happiness of us all, the welfare of our families and the immediate future of our children. It announces, unequivocally, Labour's decisions on the nagging problems the Tories stupidly (in some cases callously) brushed aside:


The imperative need for a revolution in our education system which will ensure the education of all our citizens in the responsibilities of this scientific age;


The soaring prices in houses, flats and land;


Social security benefits which have fallen below the minimum levels of human need;


The burden of prescription charges in the Health Service.


Labour is concerned, too, with the problems of leisure in the age of automation and here again Labour firmly puts the freedom of the individual first.


"It is not the job of the Government to tell people how leisure should be used", the manifesto declares. But, in a society where facilities are not provided when they are not profitable and where the trend towards monopoly is growing, it is the job of the Government to ensure that leisure facilities are provided and that a reasonable range of choice is maintained.


The pages that follow set out the manifesto in full. Please study it.




This is an age of unparalleled advance in human knowledge and of unrivalled opportunity for good or ill. In ever-widening areas of the world the scientific revolution is now making it physically possible for the first time in human history to provide the whole people with the high living standards, the economic security, and the cultural values which in previous generations have been enjoyed by only a small wealthy minority.


Until 60 years ago when the Labour Party was founded, the ending of economic privilege, the abolition of poverty in the midst of plenty, and the creation of real equality of opportunity were inspiring but remote ideals. They have now become immediate targets of political action. Britain can achieve them provided that it resolutely wills three things: the mobilisation of its resources within a national plan; the maintenance of a wise balance between community and individual expenditure; and the education of all its citizens in the responsibilities of this scientific age, not merely a small section of them.


Since 1951, however, these opportunities of the scientific revolution have been disastrously wasted largely because of the Conservative determination since they took office to end the purposive planning of the post-war Labour Government and replace it with an economic free-for-all.


As a result, successive Conservative Chancellors have been unable to get the economy moving steadily forward. Every jerk of expansion has ground to a full stop as the Government jams on the brake in a desperate attempt to combat inflation and rising prices. This is why, while other countries have made giant strides forward, our progress in the past 12 years has been so fitful. So sharp has the contrast become that only 18 months ago a Tory Government, driven by economic failure, lost its nerve and prepared to accept humiliating terms for entry into the European Common Market in the vain hope that closer contact with a dynamic Europe would give a new boost to our wilting economy. Since the French veto our affairs have not improved.


Once again an election year boom is heading for a post-election "stop" -just as happened after the 1959 and 1955 general elections. Indeed, by hanging on to power to the last possible moment in the hope of gaining some temporary electoral advantage, the Government has made the task of its successor immeasurably' more difficult.


This chapter in our affairs must be brought to a close. Tinkering with policies that have clearly failed and half-hearted conversion to principles previously rejected will not suffice. Only a major change of attitude to the scientific revolution, including an acceptance of the need for purposive planning, will enable us to mobilise the new resources technology is creating and harness them to human needs. Only a major change in economic and fiscal policy can break the defeatist stop-go cycle and prevent another bout of stagnant production, rising unemployment and declining national strength.


Only with a new Government, with a sense of national purpose, can we start to create a dynamic, just and go-ahead Britain with the strength to stand on her own feet and to play a proper part in world affairs. We believe that such a New Britain is what the British people want and what the world wants. It is a goal that lies well within our power to achieve.


The Lessons of 13 Years


But first, what lessons must we learn from the past? Thirteen years ago, when the Tories came to power, they claimed to have the remedies for our national problems. The medicines they offered were first, the restoration of a "free" market economy in Britain; second, cuts in community expenditure in the interests of low taxation.


The direct and crippling consequences of their free market policies are now well known. First, it has slowed up Britain's rate of industrial expansion. Not even the Tories' stop-go policies have been able to prevent some increase in production and in living standards but our record is now among the worst in the western world. If we had only kept up with the rest of Western Europe since 1951, our national income in 1964 would be one-third more than it is - and we should have available an extra £8,000m. of goods and services to meet Britain's problems and to raise living standards.


The Tories still peddle their boast - "You've never had it so good." The truth is that Britain could and should have had it a whole lot better, and in the process have shown a greater concern for the needs of others.


Second, it has necessitated a stop-go economic policy, resulting in intermittent bouts of high unemployment. A continuing excess of imports over exports, with consequential balance of payments and currency crises has forced the Government again and again to halt expansion and to squeeze and freeze the economy.


Third, it has led to growing stagnation, unemployment and under employment in large parts of the North, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, combined with a drift of work and people to the overcrowded London and Midland regions.


Fourth, it has led to chaos in our transport system. with unused rail and overused road services and an appalling congestion problem in all our cities.


Fifth, it has led to continuing inflation as companies have pushed up prices and bid with each other for scarce labour.


Sixth, it has led to soaring land and house prices which have made it almost impossible for local authorities to replan our towns or for many ordinary families to buy or rent a home.


Seventh, it has led to a pervasive atmosphere of irresponsibility; to a selfish, get-rich-quick mood, in which the public interest is always subordinated to private advantage.


No nation in the history of human endeavour was ever inspired to become great (or greater) with the venal philosophy of "I'm all right, Jack".


The consequences of their attitude to public expenditure have been no less crippling. While public money has been lavished on wasteful military projects, and while the Government has imposed on itself an ever-increasing burden of interest payments on the national debt, vital community services have been starved of resources.


In social security, we still have austerity National Insurance benefits that impose poverty standards on the retired, the sick and the unemployed and deny them their proper share in rising living standards.


In community services of all kinds we face such critical and neglected needs as the rebuilding of our towns, the creation of a modern road system, the provision of new hospitals and schools, and a desperate need for new housing.


In education we are faced today with a chronic shortage of teachers, with oversize classes, with far too many scandalously out-dated school buildings and with a system of higher and further education far too small for our minimum national needs.


No one can say, after 13 years, that Tory policies have not been put to the test. Not only is their failure now generally recognised, it is even apparent to the Tories themselves. The same party that began its rule with the shibboleths of a free market economy and cuts in public expenditure, now proclaim its conversion to economic planning and to an increased public spending programme of no less than £2,000 m. in the next five years.


A death-bed repentance may ease the Tory conscience, but it is a cynical and utterly unacceptable substitute for the lifelong sincerity and solidarity of the Labour Party on this crucial issue. Tory devices - or Labour Planning?


A Philosophy of the Past


At the root of Tory failure lies an outdated philosophy - their nostalgic belief that it is possible in the second half of the 20th century to hark back to a 19th century free enterprise economy and a 19th century unplanned society. In an age when the economy is no longer self-regulating and when the role of government must inevitably increase, they have tried and failed to turn back the clock.


The same backward-looking approach has prevented them from responding to the major world changes of the last decade.


They have reacted churlishly to the rise of the new nations in Asia and Africa, including many new Commonwealth countries, that have emerged from the end of colonialism.


They have failed to respond to the immense new challenge of world poverty and racial antagonism.


They have failed to understand the revolution in national defence policies that nuclear weapons necessitate.


The effects of their policy at home and abroad are all too plain. They have denied us the rate of expansion we could and should have achieved; they have weakened our military power and they have reduced our political influence in the counsels of the world.




We offer no easy solution to our national problems. Time and effort will be required before they can be mastered. But Labour has a philosophy and a practical programme which is relevant to our contemporary needs. The starting point is our belief that the community must equip itself to take charge of its own destiny and no l3nger be ruled by market forces beyond its control.


Labour does not accept that democracy is a five-yearly visit to the polling booth that changes little but the men at the top. We are working for an active democracy, in which men and women as responsible citizens consciously assist in shaping the surroundings in which they live, and take part in deciding how the community's wealth is to be shared among all its members.


Two giant tasks now await the nation: first, we must energise and modernise our industries - including their methods of promotion and training - to achieve the sustained economic expansion we need; second, we must ensure that a sufficient part of the new wealth created goes to meet urgent and now neglected human needs.


A. A Modern Economy


The aims are simple enough: we want full employment; a faster rate of industrial expansion: a sensible distribution of industry throughout the country; an end to the present chaos in traffic and transport; a brake on rising prices and a solution to our balance of payments problems.


As the past 13 years have shown, none of these aims will be achieved by leaving the economy to look after itself. They will only be secured by a deliberate and massive effort to modernise the economy; to change its structure and to develop with all possible speed the advanced technology and the new science-based industries with which our future lies. In short, they will only be achieved by socialist planning.


1. A National Plan


Labour will set up a Ministry of Economic Affairs with the duty of formulating, with both sides of industry, a national economic plan. This Ministry will frame the broad strategy for increasing investment, expanding exports and replacing inessential imports.


In the short term Labour will give priority to closing the trade gap-


(a) By using the tax system to encourage industries and firms to export more.


(b) By providing better terms of credit where the business justifies it.


(c) By improving facilities and help for small exporters, particularly on a group basis.


(d) By encouraging British industry to supply those manufactures which swell our import bill in time of expansion. With proper stimulus we can produce many of those things we are now forced to import from abroad.


But in the long run a satisfactory trade balance will depend upon carrying out Labour's overall plan to revitalise and modernise the whole economy. It will depend upon maintaining a steady and vigorous programme of long-term expansion.


Tax policies will contribute directly to the aims of the national plan. They will be used to encourage the right type of modern industry. Above all the general effect of our tax changes will be to stimulate enterprise, not to penalise it.


2. Plan for Industry


Within the national plan each industry will know both what is expected of it and what help it can expect - in terms of exports, investment, production and employment. Farmers, too, will be given a new certainty with the establishment of commodity commissions to supervise and regulate the main imported foodstuffs and to balance imports with home production.


If production falls short of the plan in key sections of industry, as it has done recently in bricks and in construction generally, then it is up to the Government and the industry to take whatever measures are required.


Public Ownership


The public sector will make a vital contribution to the national plan. We will have a co-ordinated policy for the major fuel industries. Major expansion programmes will be needed in the existing nationalised industries, and they will be encouraged, with the removal of the present restrictions placed upon them, to diversify and move into new fields : for example, the railways' workshops will be free to seek export markets, and the National Coal Board to manufacture the machinery and equipment it needs. Private monopoly in steel will be replaced by public ownership and control. The water supply industry, most of which is already owned by the community, will be reorganised under full public ownership.


Science and Technology


If we are to get a dynamic and expanding economy, it is essential that new and effective ways are found for injecting modern technology into our industries.


The Government provides over half the money spent on industrial research and development in Britain. Some of this research is already carried forward, in Government establishments like the National Research and Development Corporation set up by the last Labour Government, to the point of commercial development. This has already led to scores of new products and processes of which the Hovercraft and the Atlas Computer are only the most famous.


But to get more rapid application of new scientific discoveries in industry, new measures are urgently required. A Labour Government will


(i) Go beyond research and development and establish new industries, either by public enterprise or in partnership with private industry.


(ii) Directly stimulate new advance by using, in the field of civil production, the research and development contracts which have hitherto been largely confined to military projects.


(iii) Set up a Ministry for Technology to guide and stimulate a major national effort to bring advanced technology and new processes into industry.


Mobility and Training


Skill, talent and brain power are our most important national resources. Yet in Britain under the Conservatives much of the natural ability of the nation is being wasted. In far too many firms, technicians and technologists, designers and production engineers are held back by the social prejudices and anti-scientific bias of the "old boy" network.


In industry, though there are some first-rate training schemes, they are few and far between. Most young people, and particularly girls, are still denied either adequate training at work or release for further education in technical colleges. Older people who wish to change their jobs meet such obstacles as loss of pension rights and the absence of retraining schemes.


Is it any wonder that the British economy has been slow to evolve? Is it any wonder that there is widespread fear of automation or that so many of our skilled young people have sought opportunities abroad?


Labour believes that the national plan will require a faster rate of change in industry. To meet the human needs that will arise it is essential to combine with our education reforms a revolution in training. We must also extend joint consultation in industry, develop new techniques for forecasting future manpower needs and adopt radical new measures to reconcile security with mobility.


To this end we shall implement a charter of rights for all employees. This will include:


(a) The right to compensation for loss of job or disturbance.


(b) The right to half-pay maintenance during any period of sickness and unemployment.


(c) The right to first-rate industrial training with day and block release for the young worker.


(d) The right to retraining for adult workers.


(e) The right to full transferability of pension entitlements.


(f) The right to trade union representation and proper safeguards against arbitrary dismissal.


(g) The right to equal pay for equal work.


We shall also strengthen the factory inspectorate in order to reduce accidents.


3. Plan for the Regions


Within the framework of the national plan, plans must also be worked out for the different regions of the United Kingdom.


In the case of Wales and Scotland, the Labour Party has already made clear what needs to be done by issuing the policy statements, Signposts to the New Wales and Signposts for Scotland. As for Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Labour Party has issued its own statement Signposts to the New Ulster, to which the Labour Party national executive has given general approval.


For these three nations, as for the regions of England itself, control over the location of new factories and offices, inducements to firms to move to areas where industry is declining, the establishment of new public enterprises where these prove necessary - all these measures will be required to check the present drift to the south and to build up the declining economies in other parts of our country.


But it will not be enough to plan employment alone on a regional basis. Regional planning is also necessary if we are to solve the problems of slum clearance and overcrowding in our major cities; to carry out a vigorous programme for new town and overspill development, including the proposed new town for Central Wales; to clear up the ugly, scarred face of industrial Britain; to save the countryside from needless despoliation; and to get the co-ordination of higher education, further education and industrial training required to maintain economic expansion.


To bring together the different tasks of regional planning, and the different Ministries concerned, Labour will create regional planning boards, equipped with their own expert staffs, under the general guidance of the Ministry of Economic Affairs. These planning boards will work closely with representatives of the local authorities, both sides of industry and other interests in the region.


In Scotland and Northern Ireland more unified structures of administration already exist. These can be readily adapted for effective regional planning. In Wales, the creation of a Secretary of State, to which we are pledged, will facilitate the new unified administration we need.


4. Plan for Transport


Nowhere is planning more urgently needed than in our transport system. The tragedy of lives lost and maimed; growing discomfort and delays in the journey to work; the summer weekend paralysis on our national highways; the chaos and loss of amenity in our towns and cities - these are only some of the unsolved problems of the new motor age.


Far from easing these problems, the Government's policy of breaking up road and rail freight co-ordination, of denationalising road haulage and finally of axing rail services under the Beeching Plan, have made things worse.


Labour will draw up a national plan for transport covering the national networks of road, rail and canal communications, properly co-ordinated with air, coastal shipping and port services. The new regional authorities will be asked to draw up transport plans for their own areas. While these are being prepared, major rail closures will be halted.


British Road Services, will be given all necessary powers to extend their fleet of road vehicles and to develop a first-rate national freight service. Reform of the road goods licensing system must now await the report of the Geddes Committee but, in the interests of road safety, we shall act vigorously to stop cut-throat haulage firms from flouting regulations covering vehicle maintenance, loads and driving hours.


Labour believes that public transport, road and rail, must play the dominant part in the journey to work. Every effort will be made to improve and modernise these services. Urgent attention will be given to the proposals in the Buchanan Report and to the development of new roads capable of diverting through traffic from town centres.


Labour will ensure that public transport is able to provide a reasonable service for those who live in rural areas. The studies already mentioned will decide whether these should be provided by public road or rail services.


5. Plan for Stable Prices


The success of the national plan will turn not only on the new partnership between government and industry but on the success of new and more relevant policies to check the persistent rise in prices. Since the Tories came to power the value of the £ has shrunk to 13s. 4d.: it is still shrinking.


The pensioner and the housewife suffer most when prices rise. But the nation, too, is harmed because rising prices both reduce our exports and provoke inflationary increases in incomes.


The Tories first ducked this problem, then tinkered with resale price maintenance. Labour will attack it at its roots: in manufactured goods, monopoly and semi-monopoly price fixing; in agriculture, market chaos with an ever-increasing gap between what the farmer receives and what the housewife pays.


Labour will: (i) Give teeth to the Monopolies Commission, control take-over bids and mergers and take powers to review unjustified price increases.


(ii) Promote more orderly marketing of our major food supplies and encourage, in the interests of price stability, long-term contracts with overseas producers. In addition, Labour will make sure that the consumer gets better value for money by attacking selling rackets of all kinds, by ensuring that goods are independently tested and accurately labelled. It will also publicise good quality standards.


A National Incomes Policy


This is not all. To curb inflation we must have a planned growth of incomes so that they are broadly related to the annual growth of production. To achieve this a Labour Government will enter into urgent consultations with the unions' and employers' organisations concerned.


Unlike Selwyn Lloyd's notorious and negative "pay pause", Labour's incomes policy will not be unfairly directed at lower paid workers and public employees; instead, it will apply in an expanding economy to all incomes: to profits, dividends and rents as well as to wages and salaries.


6. Plan for Tax Reform


As essential support to a fair national incomes policy will be a major overhaul of our tax system. Taxation must be fair and must be seen to be fair. The present situation where the largest gains are made, not through hard work but through the untaxed rewards of passive ownership of Stock Exchange speculation, must be ended.


In particular we shall tax capital gains; and block up the notorious avoidance and evasion devices that have made a mockery of so much of our tax system.


We shall also seek to lighten the burden of rates which today falls heavily on those with low incomes. While the reform of the rate system and investigation of alternative forms of local government finance may take some time to accomplish, we shall seek to give early relief to ratepayers by transferring a larger part of the burden of public expenditure from the local authorities to the Exchequer.


Value for taxpayers' money


Labour will take urgent measures to stop the waste of taxpayers' money. Millions spent on missile contracts, millions more on doles to private industry, have placed an additional burden on hard pressed taxpayers.


A Labour government will apply tests of the national interest before agreeing to subsidies for private manufacturing industries and will insist, as would any prudent private investor, on a voice in the control, and a share in the profits, where public funds are involved. Waste and profiteering by Government contractors, on defence and the health service, will be vigorously attacked.




Drastic reforms are now needed in our major social services. To make them fit for the 1960s and 1970s will be costly in money, manpower and resources. This will not be achieved all at once: but, as economic expansion increases our national wealth we shall see to it that the needs of the community are increasingly met. For the children, this will mean better education; for the family decent housing at prices that people can afford; for the sick, the care of a modernised health service; for the old people and widows, a guaranteed share in rising national prosperity: for all of us, leisure facilities better geared to the coming age of automation.




Our country's "investment in people" is still tragically inadequate. The nation needs and Labour will carry through a revolution in our educational system.


(i) Labour will cut down our overcrowded classes in both primary and secondary schools: the aim is to reduce all classes to 30 at the earliest possible moment.


(ii) Labour will get rid of the segregation of children into separate schools caused by 11-plus selection: secondary education will be reorganised on comprehensive lines. Within the new system, grammar school education will be extended: in future no child will he denied the opportunity of benefiting from it through arbitrary selection at the age of 11. This reform will make it possible to provide a worthwhile extra year of education by raising the school-leaving age to 16.


(iii) To minimise the effects of the postponement of school leaving on the large family, Labour will replace inadequate maintenance grants with reorganised family allowances, graduated according to the age of the child, with a particularly steep rise for those remaining at school after the statutory leaving age.


(iv) As the first step to part-time education for the first two years after leaving school, Labour will extend compulsory day and block release.


(v) Labour will carry out a programme of massive expansion in higher, further and university education. To stop the "brain drain" Labour will grant to the universities and colleges of advanced technology the funds necessary for maintaining research standards in a period of rapid student expansion.


(vi) Labour will set up an educational trust to advise on the best way of integrating the public schools into the state system of education.


The modernisation of our school system will require time and money and manpower. In order to get the priorities right Labour will work out a phased and costed plan for the whole of education. To assure the funds, Labour will restore the percentage grant and transfer the larger part of the cost of teachers' salaries from the rates to the Exchequer.


Finally - and most important - since everything depends on teachers, Labour will give to teacher supply a special priority in its first years in office, negotiating a new salary structure including a new superannuation scheme favourable to part-time and elderly teachers, encouraging more entrants to teaching and winning back the thousands of women lost by marriage.


The whole future of our education depends on the success of a crash programme for teacher recruitment which appeals not merely to boys and girls at school but to adults with experience of practical life that will give an edge to their teaching.


Land and Housing


Under the Tories, the relentless pressure of decontrolled rents, Rachmanism, high interest rates and soaring land prices have pushed housing and flats beyond the reach of many ordinary families and have condemned yet another generation to squalid and over-crowded housing.


The first requirement is to end the competitive scramble for building land. Labour will therefore set up a Land Commission to buy, for the community, land on which building or rebuilding is to take place. Instead of paying the inflated market prices that have now reached exorbitant levels, the Crown Land Commission will buy the land at a price based on its existing use value plus an amount sufficient to cover any contingent losses by the owner, and to encourage the willing sale of land. The Crown Land Commission will not, of course, acquire land which continues to be used for agriculture, nor will it purchase the freehold of existing houses and other buildings so long as they remain in their existing use.


As a result of public acquisition, building land can be made available at cheaper prices; although the land will remain in public ownership, new owner-occupied houses built upon it will remain, under the new "Crownhold" system, the absolute property of their owners as long as the house stands.


At the same time, we shall go ahead with a sustained programme to provide more homes at prices that ordinary people can afford.


Labour will:


(i) Introduce a policy of lower interest rates for housing. It is impossible to say now what changes will be required in the general interest rate structure of the market. But because of its great importance to the family housing should be treated as a separate case deserving specially favourable borrowing rates.


This policy of specially favourable rates will apply both to intending owner-occupiers and to local authorities building houses to let. We should like this policy to apply to all owner-occupiers, but unless interest rates generally fall, it would be too expensive. We will, however, review' the problem and see whether, and in what form, help could be extended to hard pressed existing owner-occupiers.


(ii) Further help the owner-occupiers by providing 100 per cent. mortgages through local councils; by advancing funds to the building societies so that they can reduce the deposits required on old houses; by reducing conveyancing and land registration charges; by insisting on measures to stamp out jerry-building on new houses and by encouraging local authorities to develop advisory and other social services to assist the owner-occupier.


(iii) Repeal the notorious Rent Act, end further decontrol and restore security of tenure to those in already decontrolled rented flats and houses. We shall provide machinery for settling rents on a fair basis.


(iv) Carry out a new programme of modernisation of old houses. If landlords fail to bring their houses up to the new standards required, then such houses will be purchased by the local authority with an option to buy to those sitting tenants who wish to become owner-occupiers.


(v) Accelerate slum clearance and concentrate aid and resources more heavily on those authorities with the biggest housing problems.


(vi) Change leasehold law to enable householders with an original lease of more than 21 years to buy their own houses on fair terms.


Labour will also increase the building of new houses, both for rent and for sale. While we regard 400,000 houses as a reasonable target, we do not intend to have an election auction on housing figures. It is no good having paper plans for houses if - as the present Minister of Housing is now discovering - you haven't the bricks to build them.


The crucial factor governing the number of new houses that we can build - and indeed the schools, hospitals, factories, offices and roads that can be completed - is the output of the construction and building supply industries.


Here we shall need new machinery to put through a series of long-delayed reforms designed, above all, to increase the number of men - and particularly of trained men - in the industry and to secure the more rapid use of the new techniques of industrialised building.


Social Security


Social security benefits - retirement and widows' pension, sickness and unemployment pay - have been allowed to fall below minimum levels of human need. Consequently one in four of National Insurance pensioners are today depending upon means-tested National Assistance benefits. Labour will reconstruct our social security system:


(i) Existing National Insurance benefits will be raised and thereafter linked to average earnings so that as earnings rise so too will benefits.


(ii) For those already retired and for widows, an incomes guarantee will be introduced. This will lay down a new national minimum benefit. Those whose incomes fall below the new minimum will receive as of right, and without recourse to National Assistance, an income supplement.


(iii) A new wage-related scheme covering retirement, sickness and unemployment will be grafted on to the existing flat rate National Insurance scheme. The objective is half-pay benefits for the worker on average pay. Those who are married will get more than half pay, as will the lower paid worker. Since benefits will be graded, so too will contributions, which will take the form of a percentage contribution on earnings.


Provision will be made for "contracting out" good private schemes along the lines already laid down in the Government's graded pension scheme. The relevant conditions will be strengthened in order to enforce provision for widows of contributors, and for deferred retirement. Steps will be taken to ensure transferabilitv of all private pension schemes.


(iv) Widows' benefits will be reshaped in a new and more generous way and for them the earnings rule abolished. The "ten shilling widow" will have her pension restored to its original purchasing value.


(v) A new national severance pay scheme will be introduced. In a period of rapid industrial change it is only elementary justice to compensate employees who, through no fault of their own, find that their job has disappeared. Directors and senior executives have long received a "golden handshake": the same principle of compensation for job loss will now be applied to the whole work force.


Labour recognises that the nation cannot have first-rate social security on the cheap. That is why we insist that the new wage-related benefits must be self-supporting and must be financed, in the main by graded contributions from employers and employees. For the same reason we stress again that, with the exception of the early introduction of the income guarantee, the key factor in determining the speed at which new and better levels of benefit can be introduced, will be the rate at which the British economy can advance.




The National Health Service was among the foremost achievements of the 1945-50 Labour Government. Since then it has been starved of resources and has failed to adapt sufficiently to modern needs. Serious shortages of hospital staff mean long delays in obtaining treatment, with waiting lists of nearly 500,000. Shortages of general practitioners mean long waits in overcrowded surgeries. Local services for the handicapped and the elderly are severely handicapped by lack of staff. Every part of the hospital service is impaired by outdated premises. As a result of this neglect the patient has suffered - in spite of the efforts of medical staffs. Labour will put the patient first.


(i) The most serious attack on the Health Service made by Conservative Ministers bas been the increasing burden of prescription charges imposed by them on those least able to pay. These charges will be abolished. Labour emphatically rejects recent proposals to introduce new charges for general practitioner services; our aim is to restore as rapidly as possible a completely free Health Service.


(ii) Labour will press ahead with a revised hospital plan. Nearly 20 years after the war the nation ought to have built far more than five general hospitals. The Tories' so-called "plan" is largely based on guesswork. It seriously underestimates the demand for beds in certain areas and for certain categories of need such as mental illness and old people's beds. And already this inadequate plan is being bogged down for lack of funds.


Labour will review the whole plan on the basis of a full assessment of local needs and provide the necessary finance to carry the plan through. In particular the plan must ensure that every women who wishes to, or needs to, have her baby in hospital shall be able to do so. We shall take steps to combat queue jumping for hospital beds.


(iii) Labour will greatly increase the number of qualified medical staff. We shall train more doctors and dentists both by increasing the number of students admitted to existing medical schools and by establishing new medical schools. We shall tackle the serious shortages of nurses, radiographers, dieticians and other ancillary staffs by recasting, in consultation with the unions concerned, the salary structure and the negotiating machinery.


(iv) We shall devote more resources to medical research.


(v) The community care services run by the local authorities the most neglected of all the health services in recent years will be given a new impetus.


Labour will: (a) Expand the home help and other domiciliary services which are so vital to the well-being of the old and sick; (b) Lay down proper standards for these services and recast the so-called ten-year health and welfare plan on this basis; (c) Provide high percentage grants where emergency action is required to bring a particular service up to standard, e.g. hostels for the mentally ill.


Leisure Services


Automation, new sources of energy and the growing use of the electronic calculating machine are beginning to transform almost all branches of our economic and social life. As these trends develop, the importance of leisure will steadily increase. It is not the job of the Government to tell people how leisure should be used. But, in a society where so many facilities are not provided because they are not profitable and where the trend towards monopoly, particularly in entertainment, is steadily growing, the Government has a duty to ensure that leisure facilities are provided and that a reasonable range of choice is maintained.


A Labour Government would therefore:


(i) End the present parsimony in the supply of public funds for out-door recreation:


develop the national parks: preserve access to the coast and protect it from pollution and unplanned development: set up a sports council to supply in consultation with local authorities and voluntary bodies the physical equipment, coaching facilities and playing fields that are so badly needed.


(ii) The Youth Service will be developed with grants for youth centres, swimming pools, coffee bars and other facilities without which the present service cannot function.


(iii) Give much more generous support to the Arts Council, the theatre, orchestras, concert halls, museums and art galleries.


(iv) Encourage and support independent film makers both for the cinema and television.




It is not only in the domestic field that the Conservatives have failed the nation. During these 13 years of Conservative power British statesmanship has been tested by three great challenges - the end of the colonial era, thawing of the cold war and the new military role for Britain which these developments require. In each case the Conservatives have shown their inability to keep pace with the dramatic changes in the world scene. They have lost any sense of vision of Britain's role in the second half of the 20th century.


Through their bankrupt and vacillating leadership the Tory Government have bequeathed to Labour a Britain dragging its feet, side-stepping the challenging issues of our time, forced to linger temporarily in the wings of history.




When World War II unleashed the demand throughout Asia and Africa for the end of colonialism, Britain's first response was an act of creative statesmanship. The Labour Government, headed by Clem Attlee, granted full and complete independence to India, Pakistan, and Ceylon, and thereby began the process of transforming a white colonial empire into a multi-racial commonwealth. No nobler transformation is recorded in the story of the human race.


So long as they were in Opposition, the Conservatives denounced this policy as socialist scuttle. Faced with responsibility, however, in 1951 they were compelled very largely to accept it. But the leadership they should have given was vitiated by the Suez fiasco and the equivocal attitude to African demands for independence, and the promises which they made-and have been forced to break - to the settlers.


How little they were able to transfer their faith and enthusiasm from the old Empire to the new Commonwealth was shown when Harold Macmillan and Alec Douglas-Home both declared there was no future for Britain outside the Common Market and expressed themselves ready to accept terms of entry to the Common Market that would have excluded our Commonwealth partners, broken our special trade links with them, and forced us to treat them as third-class nations.


Though we shall seek to achieve closer links with our European neighbours, the Labour Party is convinced that the first responsibility of a British Government is still to the Commonwealth.


Commonwealth Immigration


As the centre of a great Commonwealth of 700 million people, linked to us by ties of history and common interest, Britain faces the three great problems of poverty, rapidly rising population, and racial conflict.


By herself Britain cannot, of course, solve these problems; but more than any other advanced country of the west, we have the greatest opportunity and the greatest incentive to tackle them. We believe that the Commonwealth has a major part to play in grappling with the terrible inequalities that separate the developed and under developed nations and the white and coloured races.


That is why a Labour Government will legislate against racial discrimination and incitement in public places and give special help to local authorities in areas where immigrants have settled. Labour accepts that the number of immigrants entering the United Kingdom must be limited. Until a satisfactory agreement covering this can be negotiated with the Commonwealth a Labour Government will retain immigration control.


Commonwealth Trade


Under the Tories the Commonwealth share of our trade has been allowed to fall from 44 per cent. to 30 per cent. and the defeatist view that it will decline still further has gained ground.


Worse still, the Commonwealth itself came near to disintegration at the time of the Common Market negotiations. The recent Commonwealth conference showed its sturdy resilience, but what is lacking is any coherent policy at the centre. We shall:


(i) Promote more effective and frequent consultations between Commonwealth leaders, for example by the establishment of a Commonwealth Consultative Assembly.


(ii) Make a new drive for exports through a Commonwealth exports council.


(iii) Build a firmer base for expanding trade by entering into long-term contracts and commodity agreements providing guaranteed markets for Commonwealth primary produce at stable prices.


(iv) Ensure that development and capital investment programmes are geared to Commonwealth needs.


(v) Promote wider educational, cultural, scientific and technical contracts, a more imaginative system of links between British communities and towns and villages in the Commonwealth, and more opportunities for overseas voluntary service.


(vi) Encourage joint Commonwealth activity on developments required throughout the Commonwealth, such as a communications satellite and passenger aircraft designed for Commonwealth routes.


(vii) Work towards the creation of a pensionable career service for experts working in the Commonwealth.


The New War - On Want


But the problem presented by the colonial uprising is not limited to the Commonwealth. Poverty is an ever-present fear for more than half the world's population. It presents the western industrialised nations with a tremendous challenge which we ignore at our peril: for there is a growing danger that the increasing tensions caused by gross inequalities of circumstances between the rich and poor nations will be sharply accentuated by differences of race and colour.


We believe that the socialist axiom "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need" is not for home consumption only. Labour will:


(i) Discuss with other countries proposals for expanding the trade of developing nations.


(ii) Increase the share of our national income devoted to essential aid programmes, not only by loans and grants but by mobilising unused industrial capacity to meet overseas needs.


(iii) Revive the concept of a world food board for the disposal of agricultural surpluses.


To give a dynamic lead in this vital field, Labour will create a Ministry of Overseas Development to be responsible not only for our part in Commonwealth development but also for our work in and through the specialist agencies of the United Nations. This new Ministry will help and encourage voluntary action through those organisations that have played such an inspired part in the Freedom from Hunger campaign. We must match their enterprise with Government action to give new hope in the current United Nations Development Decade.




The second great opportunity for British statesmanship arose as a result of the changes in the communist world that followed Stalin's death - changes which are gradually transforming the relations between the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and China and rapidly changing the whole nature of East-West relationships. In 1945, it was the hope of the whole world that east-west co-operation would prove close enough to permit the United Nations to be transformed step by step into a world government.


When these hopes were blighted by Stalin's brutal intransigence, it was Labour's Foreign Secretary, Ernest Bevin, who took the lead in facing the harsh realities of the cold war, and in creating the Nato alliance as the basis of Europe's military security. But even during the grimmest periods of the Berlin airlift and the Korean War, Labour always regarded the cold war strategies as a second best, forced on us by Russia's obstinacy and remained faithful to its long-term belief in the establishment of east-west co-operation as the basis for a strengthened United Nations developing towards world government.


The attitude of the Conservatives after 1951 was very different. Viewing the world only in terms of old-fashioned power politics, resentful of the loss of empire, and the increasing influence of the new nations, they have been mainly concerned to build up a so-called independent British nuclear power in the vain belief that this would restore our influence in world affairs. Instead of throwing Britain's full weight into efforts to relax tensions and to halt the spread of nuclear weapons the Tories were content to play a minor and subordinate role leaving the initiative to others.


Moreover their isolationist nuclear policy has been a direct incitement to other nations to attain nuclear status. All the arguments the Tories have used for Britain have been repeated in France and find dangerous echoes in Germany. The spread of nuclear weapons cannot lead to disarmament or to the thawing of the cold war, only to a proliferation of nuclear arms and the heightening of tensions between East and West.


Relaxing Tensions


A Labour Government will do everything possible to halt this dangerous trend, and to resolve the differences at present dividing east and west.


First and foremost will come our initiative in the field of disarmament. We are convinced that the time is opportune for a new break-through in the disarmament negotiations, releasing scarce resources and manpower desperately needed to raise living standards throughout the world.


We shall appoint a Minister in the Foreign Office with special responsibility for disarmament to take a new initiative in the Disarmament Committee in association with our friends and allies. We have put forward constructive proposals:


(i) To stop the spread of nuclear weapons.


(ii) To establish nuclear free zones in Africa, Latin America and Central Europe.


(iii) To achieve controlled reductions in manpower and arms.


(iv) To stop the private sale of arms.


(v) To establish an international disarmament agency to supervise a disarmament treaty.


In a further effort to relax tension, a Labour Government will work actively to bring Communist China into its proper place in the United Nations: as well as making an all-out effort to develop east-west trade as the soundest economic basis for peaceful co-existence.


Peaceful co-existence, however, can only be achieved if a sincere readiness to negotiate is combined with a firm determination to resist both threats and pressures. In particular in dealing with the still intractable problems dividing Germany, we shall continue to insist on guarantees for the freedom of west Berlin.


A New Lead at the United Nations


But our most important effort will be concerned to revive the morale and increase the powers of the United Nations. Every year that has passed since the Conservatives came to power has seen Britain's influence in the United Nations decline. At home the Prime Minister and others have voiced their nagging criticisms while in the General Assembly, time and time again Britain is to be found among the ranks of the abstentionists on vital issues of freedom and racial equality.


This has reflected itself in the Government's equivocal attitude to racial problems in South Africa. Labour will stand by its pledge to end the supply of arms to South Africa. Britain, of all nations, cannot stand by as an inactive observer of this tragic situation.


Labour will reassert British influence in the United Nations. We will seek to strengthen the U.N. by developing its machinery for international conciliation, by making an effective contribution to the creation of an international police force, and by reforming the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council so that they are more representative of the new nations. We believe that the United Nations provides the natural venue for more frequent summit meetings.


For us world government is the final objective - and the United Nations the chosen instrument by which the world can move away from the anarchy of power politics towards the creation of a genuine world community and the rule of law.




The Labour Party will ensure that Britain is adequately defended. This is manifestly not the position today.


In 13 years, the Conservatives have spent £20,000 m. and our defences are weaker than at almost any time in our history. Flagrant waste on missile and other projects has diverted funds and resources from urgently needed defence projects. This is one reason for their failure to obtain on a voluntary, regular basis the required numbers in the Army, to modernise their obsolescent equipment and to give them the long-range mobility needed for our commitments, particularly to the Commonwealth.


Mr. Macmillan's decision in 1957 to stake his all on Blue Streak, followed by further costly expenditure on Skybolt and now Polaris, has meant that the Navy too has been run down to a dangerously low level, and is now pathetically inadequate in numbers of ships in commission, in manning and in the most modern types such as nuclear-powered tracker submarines.


Many thousands of millions have been spent on the aircraft industry, but because of lurches in strategic policy, wrong priorities, and grave errors in the choice of aircraft, we are now in a position where obsolete types have not been replaced, and for such urgently needed machines as helicopters (which could make a great contribution to the security and effectiveness of our troops in Malaysia) we are dependent on the United States.


Tory Nuclear Pretence


The Nassau agreement to buy Polaris know-how and Polaris missiles from the U.S.A. will add nothing to the deterrent strength of the western alliance, and it will mean utter dependence on the U.S. for their supply. Nor is it true that all this costly defence expenditure will produce an "independent British deterrent". It will not be independent and it will not be British and it will not deter. Its possession will impress neither friend nor potential foe.


Moreover, Britain's insistence on this nuclear pretence carries with it grave dangers of encouraging the spread of nuclear weapons to countries not possessing them, including Germany.


The Government bases its policy on the assumption that Britain must be prepared to go it alone without her allies in an all-out thermo-nuclear war with the Soviet Union, involving the obliteration of our people. By constantly reiterating this appalling assumption the Government is undermining the alliance on which our security now depends.


Labour's New Approach


A Labour Government's first concern will be to put our defences on a sound basis and to ensure that the nation gets value for money on its overseas expenditure. In this field, any government has a clear responsibility to ensure the security of its own people and the fulfilment of its obligations to other nations. As a first step, we shall submit the whole area of weapons supply to a searching re-examination in order to ensure that the limited sums available are spent on those weapons best designed to carry out our policies and fulfil our obligations.


We are not prepared any longer to waste the country's resources on endless duplication of strategic nuclear weapons. We shall propose the re-negotiation of the Nassau agreement. Our stress will be on the strengthening of our conventional regular forces so that we can contribute our share to Nato defence and also fulfil our peacekeeping commitments to the Commonwealth and the United Nations.


We are against the development of national nuclear deterrents and oppose the current American proposal for a new mixed-manned nuclear surface fleet (MLF). We believe in the inter-dependence of the western alliance and will put forward constructive proposals for integrating all Nato's nuclear weapons under effective political control so that all the partners in the alliance have a proper share in their deployment and control.


We do not delude ourselves that the tasks ahead will be easy to accomplish. Even now we do not know the full extent of the damage we shall have to repair after 13 wasted years of Conservative government. The essential conditions for success are, however, clear.


First, we shall need to make government itself more efficient. As the tasks of government grow more numerous and more complex, the machinery of government must be modernised. New techniques, new kinds of skill and experience are needed if government is to govern effectively. Certainly we shall not permit effective action to be frustrated by the hereditary and non-elective Conservative majority in the House of Lords.


At the same time new ways must be found to ensure that the growth of government activity does not infringe the liberties of the subject. This is why we attach so much importance to humanising the whole administration of the state and that is why we shall set up the new office of Parliamentary Commissioner with the right to investigate the grievances of the citizen and report to a select committee of the House.


Second, we shall seek to establish a true partnership between the people and their parliament. The government itself cannot create a new Britain. National regeneration must mean the release of energy in the whole people in the regions no less than in the capital, so that the drive towards renewal comes from the vitality and self-confidence of the community itself.


Third, we must foster, throughout the nation, a new and more critical spirit. In place of the cosy complacency of the past 13 years, we shall seek to evoke an active and searching frame of mind in which all of us, individuals, enterprises and trade unions are ready to re-examine our methods of work, to innovate and to modernise. Here too, the Government can give a lead by subjecting to continuing and probing review the practices of its own Departments of State, the administration of justice and the social services, the Statute Book with its encrusted laws - and the work of Parliament itself.


Fourth, we must put an end to the dreary commercialism and personal selfishness which have dominated the years of Conservative government. The morality of money and property is a dead and deadening morality. In its place we must again reassert the value of service above private profit and private gain.


The Labour Party is offering Britain a new way of life that will stir our hearts, re-kindle an authentic patriotic faith in our future, and enable our country to re-establish itself as a stable force in the world today for progress, peace, and justice.


It is within the personal power of every man and woman with a vote to guarantee that the British again become the go-ahead people with a sense of national purpose, thriving in an expanding community where social justice is seen to prevail.


<Picture: arrow>Back to main table.

Last Modified: Tuesday, 17-Jun-97 18:41:04 BST



Labour Party: 1966


<Picture>Time for Decision








1. Britain in Crisis

2. Forward from Crisis

3. Telling the People




1. Paying our Way

2. Increasing Productivity

3. Helping Industry

4. Agriculture

5. Standard of Living




1. Housing

2. Cities and Towns

3. Transport

4. The Countryside




1. Full Employment Policies

2. Reconstructing Social Security

3. Health and Welfare Services

4. Educational Opportunities for All

5. Fair Rents and Mortgages

6. Fair Taxation




1. Reorganising Whitehall

2. Modernising Parliament

3. Immigration

4. Law Enforcement




1. Realism in Defence

2. The United Nations

3. Nuclear Weapons

4. Better Relations in Europe

5. Peace-keeping outside Europe

6. The War on Want








The time has come when the Government must ask the British people to renew and strengthen its mandate. Since we came to power in October, 1964, the nation has had firm government. But without an effective working majority it is difficult - and would become increasingly so - for the Government to continue to exercise influence in the outside world, and to exert its full authority in Whitehall, Westminster and the councils of industry.


Since the collapse of the Macmillan Government three years ago, the authority of successive governments had been eroded by an atmosphere of fevered electoral uncertainty.


The remedy lies in the hands of the electors. The time for decision has come.


The course the Government recommends to the nation is clear. We are asking for a mandate to carry through the radical reconstruction of our national life which we began eighteen months ago. The road of renewal had been mapped in our election manifesto of 1964. Since we took office we have started on the long process of modernising obsolete procedures and institutions, ending the dominance of vested interests, liberating the forces of youth and building a New Britain.


The task we have started, however, cannot be completed by Government acting alone. Its fulfilment will only be possible if the British people understand what the Government is doing, and give us their active support in finishing the job. It is for this active support, represented by a clear Parliamentary majority, that we now ask.


Part 1: Facing the Facts


During the past 18 months, Britain has faced, fought and overcome its toughest crisis since the War. More, it has in the teeth of adversity fashioned the new instruments of policy with which, under the guidance of the National Plan, a new and better Britain can be built.


In this Statement we first make a progress report to the nation. Then we show what next must be done to turn the breathing space won in 1965 into a period of permanent strength and security.


Whatever the future may bring, there can be no turning back to the tired and discredited policies of the long Conservative era. The period of drift and indecision in Government, of backward looking complacency in industry and commerce, of reliance upon individual and group selfishness as the main motive for change - all this is over.


1. Britain in Crisis


No one can deny the magnitude of the crisis the Labour Government inherited in 1964.


With a record - and almost incredible - deficit of over £750 million already incurred; with a rising flood of foreign goods; with the pound sterling imperilled; with prices soaring; with wages and salaries following hard behind - the nation in October, 1964, was plunging towards economic disaster and financial collapse.


Not only did the Tories fail to take preventive measures; throughout the previous year they were busily feeding the pre-Election boom. By Initiating a spate of vote-catching schemes, they had encouraged a massive expansion of private and public expenditure without regard for the consequences that would follow after the Election.


But acute as they were, the dangers we faced in October, 1964, were only symptoms of a more fundamental crisis:


1. Successive Tory Governments had failed to rethink Britain's role in the modem world. They failed to identify the new problems of the Sixties and realistically appraise national resources. Instead they pursued, from motives of prestige and nostalgia, foreign, military and financial policies which were increasingly irrelevant and increasingly expensive - policies which sapped our economic strength, depleted our reserves and overstrained our resources.


2. At home there was an equally disastrous failure to tackle the fundamental problems of the British economy: instead of ensuring steady economic growth, a strong balance of payments, the rapid modernisation of our industries and a proper balance between public and private expenditure, the economy was left to the push and pull of the market - as though we were still living in an era of laissez faire.


Consequently, for more than a decade, we suffered the disastrous cycle of Stop-Go; inadequate investment in manufacturing industry; the scandalous neglect of such essential community services as houses, schools and hospitals.


3. Throughout our national life there was a stubborn refusal to root out obsolete ideas and modernise obsolescent institutions. Instead of setting an example to the timid and old-fashioned in industry and commerce, Tory Governments funked the radical reorganisation of the whole machinery of the state - local as well as national - which was so desperately required.


4. Finally - and perhaps most serious - easy-going drift, backward-looking incompetence and an acceptance of national decline were accompanied by the erosion of fairness and social justice, by a growing neglect of community responsibility for the old, the sick and the needy - and by an incitement to speculation and the pursuit of sectional advantage.


2. Forward from Crisis


The Labour Government had to take unpopular decisions - and took them regardless of temporary unpopularity. Imports were cut and taxes raised. The TSR2 and other prestige projects were cancelled; firm limits were placed on military and civil expenditure. But in the pursuit of solvency and the defence of the pound, which were our overriding aims, the new Government was determined not to repeat Conservative Stop-Go.


Whatever the pressures, it would not jettison the four central objectives of its policy:


1. To ensure that even in times of economic crisis those in need should be helped by the state. Even in the first crucial six months of office, retirement and widows' pensions, sickness and unemployment benefits, war and industrial disability pensions were all increased by the greatest amount ever. Prescription charges were abolished and an interim measure was rushed through to stop evictions, unleashed by the Tory Rent Act.


2. To establish a clear system of priorities in public expenditure. While inflated public expenditure generally was cut back, housing, schools and hospitals were specially exempted, as were the regions of high unemployment.


3. To maintain full employment and a high level of investment in productive industry, while damping down the overheated economy.


4. To get on with the longer term reconstruction of Britain, with a National Plan and a range of new economic, fiscal and social policies to carry it through.


Inevitably it took time to forge the new instruments of policy, such as control over building and the movement of capital abroad, without which national planning is an empty phrase.


Nevertheless, the achievement in 500 days has been immense. The deficit on our overseas payments has been cut from over £750 million to around £350 million. Overseas confidence in sterling has grown steadily as the world has become convinced that we are winning the battle for solvency.


The victory was a real one; but so was the price the nation paid. In particular the high interest rates required to strengthen sterling forced up mortgage payments and council house rents. But one price the nation did not have to pay - the deliberate creation of unemployment which our predecessors regarded as inevitable. In this crisis year we raised the level of employment; we built a record number of houses; we achieved record figures for investment in new schools and hospitals. Most important to the future, the deficit was halved; exports rose sharply and industrial investment reached an all-time high.


In the past, our predecessors had reacted to overseas deficits by imposing a total Stop. Faced with the far greater crisis they left us in 1964/65, we stopped the inessential, we postponed the less essential and we went right ahead with our priorities.


3. Telling the People


Britain has weathered the storm. But full solvency has yet to be achieved. The debts incurred as a direct consequence of Tory policy will have to be repaid. The reshaping of British industry and the economy have only just begun.


There is no easy road ahead - and only the dishonest would pretend that there is. But we do not believe that the British people want to be lulled with the message that "all is well" and that they have "never had it so good." Nor do we think that they expected or wanted their Government to present a give-away Budget on the eve of a General Election. We have not done so. And we shall take whatever further steps are necessary even if they are unpopular, in order to achieve the rate of progress that we need.


We are facing the facts - as they should have been faced in the 13 years of Tory rule.


Part 2: A Strong Economy


During the next five years we intend to carry through a massive programme for modernising and strengthening British industry. That is the prime purpose of the National Plan.


We have regulated demand through selective measures with no return to Stop-Go. Now that our new techniques - such as investment grants, licensing of inessential building and the Industrial Re-organisation Corporation - are coming into use, we shall increasingly be able to apply social priorities, giving preference to industrial investment and to a better regional balance.


While implementation of the policy depends on the initiative and ingenuity of industry and commerce, the Government too has its responsibilities abroad as well as at home:


1. Paying our Way


It is our aim to achieve balance in our international payments by the end of this year. To do this, a persistent national effort will be required.


1. Exports. Last year, exports rose by 5 per cent in volume, and by 7 per cent in value. Further progress will be made as the new incentives to exporters - the export rebate scheme, better credit facilities and the favourable interest rates - take effect.


2. Imports. The disastrous increase in imports was checked by the temporary surcharge we imposed in 1964. Intense efforts are now being made to replace those imported products which British industry can produce competitively.


3. Overseas Military Expenditure. This is being cut back by such measures as the Anglo-German agreement on B.A.O.R. support costs and the decision to withdraw from Aden and to reduce establishments in Cyprus and Malta. But we shall still be carrying a heavy burden in maintaining commitments abroad as our contribution to peace-keeping in different areas of the world. The 1966 Defence Review is only the first step in a phased programme which should bring substantial cuts both in commitments and in expenditure by 1969-70.


4. Drain of Capital. The uncontrolled flow of British capital abroad has been an excessive burden on an already weak balance of payments. By amending the taxation of overseas income and by selective control over the export of capital, we have staunched this loss of resources.


There can be no relaxing here at least until we again earn a current surplus.


2. Increasing Productivity


The National Plan, published last September, defined the objectives of the British economy between now and 1970 and then outlined the strategy required to achieve them. Our central aim must be to accelerate industrial expansion without undermining our social priorities.


I. Selective Investment


British industry's most compelling need is not just more investment but more selective investment. The National Plan in itself helps by giving industrialists a clear picture of national priorities. We are now introducing three new economic weapons to further this policy:


First, the effect of the Corporation Tax will be to reduce taxation of profits, provided they are ploughed back, not distributed as dividends.


Second, the new system of investment incentives will provide direct cash grants to expanding firms. These will differentiate sharply in favour of manufacturing industries, upon which the competitive strength of the economy depends.


Third, the Industrial Reorganisation Corporation will stimulate rationalisation, modernisation and expansion in those fields where British industry at present seems unable to compete with the giant firms of the U.S. and Europe.


ii. Productivity, Prices and Incomes


In order to safeguard the real value of wages, the Labour Government launched the first serious attack on the rising cost of living. The weapon specially fashioned for this attack is the policy for productivity, prices and incomes, which forms an essential part of the National Plan. Without such a policy it is impossible either to keep exports competitive or to check rising prices at home. The alternative, in fact, is a return to the dreary cycle of inflation followed by deflation and unemployment.


Substantial progress has been made in working out, with management and the unions, the objectives and criteria of such a policy. An essential part of the machinery, the Prices and Incomes Board, is now operating. But the policy needs further development.



First, we intend to give a new stress to productivity, and we will attack restrictive practices wherever they exist. A National Conference representative of industry will be called under the Chairmanship of the Prime Minister to discuss all matters relating to productivity, including the extension throughout industry of Pay and Productivity Councils, representing management and employees. This will form part of an effort to stimulate industrial democracy.


Second, we shall reconstitute the Prices and Incomes Board and seek such developments in the early warning system as are necessary for the Board to do its job properly. Our purpose is not to dictate prices, wages and salaries - but to give, in selected cases, the opportunity for objective consideration of claims before either prices are fixed or collective bargains struck.


Third, we shall make sure that the policy is not only fair but seen to be fair. In our pursuit of a planned growth of incomes the needs of the lower-paid worker will not be ignored.


iii. Regional Economic Planning


Effective Regional Planning is needed:


•(a) to assist the areas of chronic unemployment, and so bring into production the remaining untapped sources of labour; and •(b) to stop the drift of work and population to the West Midlands and the South East where congestion adds enormously to business and social costs.




Vigorous action has already been taken in this field. We have used our new office and building controls to relieve congestion in London and Birmingham. We have extended the development areas and guided industry there. We have helped firms ready to set up business in development regions through massive special investment grants. We have further discriminated in favour of these areas by totally exempting them from the cuts imposed last summer on national and local government expenditure.


Industrial Development Certificates are helping to bring new building to the under-employed regions - and reducing it in the congested South East. As a result, employment has grown markedly in these regions.


These, however, are only the first emergency steps towards the development of full-scale regional economic planning, for which the Regional Councils and the Regional Boards have been established.


Scotland and Wales


Labour respects the differences of culture and tradition of Scotland and Wales; nevertheless, we see the economic well-being of Great Britain as indivisible. The Government has therefore set out measures which help both Scotland and Wales, within the context of a true National Plan.


New life has been brought to the Highlands and Islands, and a major Plan prepared for economic and social expansion in Scotland. The task now is to achieve its targets, and keep up the record progress made in 1965.


For the first time there is a Secretary of State for Wales in the Cabinet. The Welsh office is already making an impact on employment, industrial development and opportunities for young people in Wales. The Welsh Economic Development Council is now working out genuinely Welsh solutions to the problems of the rural areas.


3. Helping Industry


Some of our industries present special problems, too serious to be over come from their own resources. In such cases the Government must be ready to help. To this end, we propose, apart from vigorous action by the Industrial Reorganisation Corporation:


•to continue and develop policies introduced by the new Ministry of Technology for providing purposive financial assistance to key industries such as computers and machine tools. •to use the various publicly financed research councils and the enlarged N.R.D.C. to sponsor and develop new science-based industries. •to transfer the private steel monopoly into public ownership and to rationalise its structure. •to rationalise the aircraft industry on the basis of public participation, taking into account the recent Plowden Report.




Private and Public Enterprise


Britain has a mixed economy - and both sectors must play their part in carrying out the National Plan. Both sectors, however, must be encouraged to become more enterprising.


In the private sector, we have already proposed major reforms of Company Law, the purpose of which will be to stimulate, through much greater disclosure of their affairs, improved managerial practices and a better use of their resources. Companies will also be required to publish details of their political subscriptions.


We shall encourage go-ahead firms by changes in the tax laws and, by securing a larger say in the affairs of companies for full-time working directors, encourage technical expertise, knowledge and Initiative.


In the public sector, we shall remove statutory restrictions from publicly owned industries and so encourage greater diversification of their activities. In a rapidly changing economy it is simply absurd to limit by statute these large enterprises to a single sphere of activity.


The great fuel and power industries occupy a major part of the public sector. Here, the Government has laid the basis for a national fuel policy, and gone a long way towards reconstruction of the coal industry's finances by writing off £415 million of the National Coal Board's capital debt. Further financial measures will help concentrate production on the most economic pits, and provide up to £30 million to encourage labour mobility.


The best available estimate of the market for coal in 1970 is 170-180 million tons. We stress that this is an estimate, and in no sense a limitation. Everything depends upon efficiency, costs and the resulting prices. If more can be profitably sold, then no barrier will stand in the way of expansion.


We shall further develop co-operation between nationalised industries to cut out waste; we shall set out more precise targets to guide their investment and price policy in the national interest.


4. Agriculture


The selective expansion of agricultural production is a key part of the National Plan. In particular, it will make a significant contribution to the balance of payments by import saving.


The record of our farmers and farm workers in increasing productivity is outstanding. We shall not shake their confidence by substituting for the well-tried deficiency payments the levies on imported foodstuffs advocated by the Conservatives. This would reduce the farmers' security and push up food prices to new high levels.


The cost to the Exchequer of agricultural support can much better be contained by measures designed to enable the industry to achieve still higher productivity and a higher return on its capital. To this end we have presented a scheme to promote agricultural and horticultural co-operation and develop the resources of the hills and uplands.


We shall continue to improve the conditions of the farm worker, and see that he gets his full share of rising prosperity.


We shall also expand agricultural research, making the results more widely available. Most important of all, we shall Initiate the radical reform required to achieve cheaper marketing of foodstuffs by reducing the gap between what the producer receives and what the consumer pays.


To maintain price stability and orderly marketing, imports of foodstuffs must be integrated with home supplies. Since these imports form so high a proportion of all our imports, and have a profound effect on our balance of payments, our price levels and the stability of our home industry, the Government must retain responsibility for integration.


We shall do our utmost to conclude international commodity arrangements with a view to promoting stability. As the circumstances of each commodity differ, each will have to be treated on its merits.


5. The Standard of Living


In the next five years living standards for the individual and for the whole community will rise by 25 per cent, as we increase our production of goods and services.


However, unless we can check the rising cost of living many groups, particularly those on fixed incomes, will find their living standards undermined - as they were persistently under the Tories. The prices and incomes policy is our main response to this problem. But other policies are also relevant. Labour's rent control, for example, has secured hundreds of thousands of tenants against rising rents.


In particular, we shall further reduce inflated costs and profit margins in production and distribution by waging a vigorous anti-monopoly policy in fields where market powers are abused. We have already referred a number of cases to the strengthened Monopolies Commission.


We shall also enforce quality standards and protect the consumer from sharp trading practices. Under Labour's Protection of Consumer Bill, false advertising, misleading labelling of goods, deceptive prices (the "4d.-off racket") and oral mis-statements by doorstep salesmen, are banned.


This "Shoppers' Charter" will be administered by Local Authorities, whose Weights and Measures Officers will be able quickly to deal with customers' complaints of unfair trading.


Part 3: Building a New Britain


The Britain we want has yet to be built. Many of our cities and towns are bursting at the seams with growing populations. Those spawned by the industrial revolution grew without vision or plan. They are utterly inadequate to the needs of today. But whether planned or unplanned, all our towns are choked with traffic, and their population overspill threatens the unspoiled countryside around.


Within them, essential services are in short supply and in urgent need of renewal. Not only houses and roads, but hospitals, schools, universities, offices, civic buildings, facilities for leisure and recreation - even water and sewerage - are strained to breaking point.


At the same time our network of communications - passenger and freight, road, rail and canal, ports and airfields - is increasingly inadequate and chaotic.


In their pre-election boom the Conservatives gave the impression that money, resources and skilled labour were available to meet any and all of these demands simultaneously. It is now plain that the grandiose plans they announced were uncosted and mutually inconsistent. The industries concerned - building and civil engineering - cannot expand without limit when other demands of the economy are taken into account. Although their efficiency is being improved and their output increased, demands will outstrip resources for years ahead and there will be a constant shortage of skilled labour.


Moreover, the resources available are strictly limited. That is why, in this crucial field of physical reconstruction, priorities must be clearly defined and strongly enforced.


1. Housing


Our first priority is houses. Last year, for the first time in a period of general economic restraint, the housing programme not only did not suffer but actually expanded.


•In 1963, the nation built 300,000 houses. •In 1964, as part of the Tory pre-election boom, the figure reached 374,000 - and greatly strained the building supply industry. •In 1965, we not only overcame the shortages but increased the total to 383,000 houses.




In the next five years we shall go further. We have announced - and we intend to achieve - a Government target of 500,000 houses by 1969/70. After that we shall go on to higher levels still. It can be done - as other nations have shown. It must be done - for bad and inadequate housing is the greatest social evil in Britain today.


i. Controls


To achieve our target, we need powers to stop less essential building. Office building is now controlled by law, and a strict control of all local authority building is exercised by the Ministers concerned. In this way resources and labour are being made available for the increased housing programme.


ii. Land


We inherited a land famine and rocketing prices, caused by the Tory decision to return to a free market in land. In the Crown Land Commission we are fashioning an instrument to secure a sufficiently orderly supply of land, and bring back to the community a substantial part of the development value created. This has met bitter opposition from Liberals as well as Conservatives.


iii. Houses to Let


The desperate shortage of houses to let at moderate rents in our great conurbations can only be met by a large and speedy increase in council building. To make this financially possible, we have provided councils with the equivalent of 4 per cent interest rates for house building. At present interest rates, the new Subsidy Bill increases the basic subsidy of £24, where the Tories left it, to well over £60 per house. Part of this very substantial increase will be used by councils to ensure that every new house is built to the improved standards laid down by the Government.


In order to combine labour saving and standardisation, which will cut costs, with the improved quality on which we must insist, we are requiring local authorities to rely increasingly on modern system building techniques.


iv. Houses to Buy


In order to secure an adequate flow of finance for private housing we have persuaded the building societies and the builders to work closely with the Ministry of Housing in planning a steady continuous expansion of output up to their share of the programme.


In addition to a mortgage plan (see page 17) we are determined to protect the owner-occupier against the jerry-builder. This can best be achieved if the building societies and the builders agree that mortgages will only be given on houses covered by the National House Building Registration Council certificate. The Government has made it clear, however, that if this voluntary scheme is not working effectively by the end of the year, legislation will be used.


2. Cities and Towns


Britain needs a massive programme of urban renewal. Large parts of our cities are in decay and many of our urban centres are ill-designed and choked with motor traffic.


Here, however, we need the most careful planning if resources are not to be wasted. In the past ten years, far too many ill-thought-out plans have been sanctioned, tearing out at great cost urban centres and renewing them for essentially commercial purposes. Department stores and office blocks have made far too heavy demands on the construction industries. A new strategy of development is required.


•First, and most Important, we must deal with the problem of the journey to work: for it is this, particularly in London and the other great cities, that poses the most intractable problem, presenting our diminishing public transport fleets with a tidal wave of users and jamming the roads with private car commuters.

We are convinced that the basic solution to this problem must lie with improved public transport, supported by sensible parking regulations and by road building designed to siphon off through-traffic.

We are already reviewing the absurd closure programme of suburban and urban rail services. We shall maintain public transport services in our towns and cities and aim at higher levels of comfort and frequency. We shall also tackle the problems of central redevelopment and new forms of transport by financing feasibility studies by local authorities; e.g., a monorail for Manchester. •Second: we shall make a new approach to the problem of central areas in our cities. Slum clearance must of course go on. But there must be quicker and fairer compensation for those displaced. However, we shall not be content simply to demolish. Wherever possible, we shall renew and modernise existing buildings. We shall also ensure that expensive facilities such as swimming pools, playing fields, assembly halls, are made more widely available to the community and not reserved only for the particular groups - schools and colleges - for which they were built.

The better provision of sporting, arts and other leisure facilities is essential to modern living. •Third: we shall go ahead with a further programme of New and Expanded Towns.

It was one of the scandals of the wasted years that from 1951 to 1961 not one New Town was authorised in Britain.

We are now at work on a second generation of much bigger towns to relieve the strain on London, Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester. They will reduce urban pressure by recruiting their citizens mainly from the housing lists and from council houses. Wherever possible we are also expanding the established New Towns.

We shall fulfil our promise to bring real democratic self-government to those which are fully grown, by the abolition of the New Towns Commission.




3. Transport


Transport planning, both national and regional, is an essential part of community planning. The Tory attempt to solve our transport problems by increasing competition between road and rail, by the adoption of rigid commercial criteria for the railways and other public transport services, and by deliberate fragmentation of transport undertakings, is the most conspicuous and most costly of all their failures.


Restoring sense and balance to our transport system is now an immensely difficult job. But it must be undertaken.


Within the framework of a National Transport Plan Labour will:


1. Carry out an expanding road programme speeding up road construction and cutting costs by new methods of financing highway development.


2. Co-ordinate road and rail in order to use existing resources to best effect. As a first step, we shall create a National Freight Authority to co-ordinate the movement of freight by road and rail, and provide a first-rate publicly owned service.


3. Legislate to annul the evil effects of the 1962 Tory Transport Act.


4. Encourage the formation of regional and area transport authorities, to provide more effective public transport in both the conurbations and rural areas, by integrating road, rail and other forms of transport.


5. In order to speed up the vital flow of exports, reorganise and modernise the nation's ports on the basis of a strong National Ports Authority and publicly owned Regional Port Authorities. Within the ports, we shall end inefficiencies and delays in cargo handling and help to cure the chaos of the casual system by making each Port Authority ultimately responsible for all Port operations within its area, including stevedoring, and by extending the present valuable experience of joint participation.


6. Remove the statutory restriction on the manufacturing powers of the publicly owned transport industries.


To safeguard road users, Labour will press ahead with legislation to restrict drink while driving, to introduce more frequent testing of heavy goods vehicles and to provide for special driving tests and licences for their drivers.


4. The Countryside


Commons, parks, lakes and coastal areas are of the utmost importance for recreation and leisure. They must not be spoilt by private development, and public access must be assured.


The Government has already taken vigorous steps to preserve our coast line, and safeguard common land.


A new and more powerful Commission to deal with the whole countryside and coastline is now proposed. Its first aim will be the creation of country parks, to provide suitable sites for picnics, for leisure pastimes, and for the motorist.


Long distance walks, access to the open country, the provision of recreation on canals and rivers - all will form part of this new, imaginative policy from which millions of our people will benefit, and by which the important balance between town and country will be maintained.


We shall strengthen the Forestry Commission; promote landscape planting of trees; thoroughiy explore the nation's mineral resources. We shall ensure adequate water supplies by all means, including - where necessary - extensions of public ownership.


Part 4: The Family in the New Welfare State


At its simplest, our aim is to extend to the whole community what the responsible citizen wishes for himself and his family:


•First and foremost, the opportunity to work and to be fairly rewarded for it. •Second, to make provision against the day when age, sickness, injury or redundancy impairs his capacity to earn. •Third, to know that during the misfortunes of ill health, the facilities of a modern and well equipped service will be available. •Fourth, for his children to receive the best possible standard of education and training, developing their abilities to the full. •Fifth, to have a home for his family, and to be able to buy or rent it at reasonable terms. •Sixth, to make a just and reasonable contribution to the costs of the essential community services which he demands.




1. Full Employment Policies


The level of economic activity in the community must be sufficient to provide jobs for all Labour has always insisted that this can and will be ensured through intelligent management of the economy.


The problem today and in the future is not the general unemployment of the inter-war years but the redundancy that is due both to decline in demand for the products of an industry and to the development of new labour-saving methods of production.


Coal, cotton, agriculture and the railways are among those industries in which, in the postwar years, employment has sharply contracted. Unlike our predecessors, we have positive policies to meet this problem. We shall:


1. Ensure that new industries, providing new jobs, are available as and when older industries decline. That is the essential aim of our location of industry policy.


2. Modernise training and extend retraining, so that new skills are rapidly acquired. The Government's decision to make day-release a necessary condition for the new training grants is a major breakthrough in this field.


3. Ease the transition from one job to another. This is the purpose of our Redundancy Payments Act, which brings lump sum compensation, related to service, to those affected by redundancy.


4. Deal with the problem of transferability of occupational pensions.


5. Recognise the right to trade union representation and ensure proper safeguards against arbitrary dismissal.


6. Supplement voluntary collective bargaining by substantially increasing the voluntary industrial arbitration and conciliation machinery, including such successful innovations as the 'on the spot" investigations instituted by the Labour Government in the motor industry.


Finally, we must move towards greater fairness in the rewards for work. That is why we stand for equal pay for equal work and, to this end, have started negotiations.


We cannot be content with a situation in which important groups - particularly women, but male workers, too, in some occupations - continue to be underpaid.


2. Reconstructing Social Security


The postwar Labour Government created the National Insurance scheme under which flat-rate pensions and other benefits are paid as of right in return for flat-rate contributions.


But, over the years, this system has become increasingly inadequate, as the widening gap between actual earnings and National Insurance benefits makes it impossible to keep up living standards during absence or retirement from work.


Our plans for a far-reaching reconstruction of social security were well-advanced when we took office. But first we had to undertake the rescue operation which we had promised. Within four weeks the Government introduced legislation to provide the largest single increase in retirement pensions and other social benefits since the National Insurance scheme began. The earnings rule for widows was abolished, and prescription charges removed. With this initial relief provided, we could plan the methods and the phases of radical reconstruction.


1. Legislation has already been enacted which before the end of this year will provide earnings-related supplements during the first six months of sickness, unemployment or widowhood.


2. We shall within the lifetime of the next Parliament prepare and bring forward a genuine earnings-related, contributory pension scheme to replace the present Tory swindle. The new graduated scheme will overcome the problems of transferability of pension rights when an employee changes his job. There will be partnership between state and occupational schemes.


3. We shall establish a Ministry of Social Security uniting the Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance and the National Assistance Board. It will deal with the whole range of social security questions, and ensure a rational single system of paying benefits. The Ministry will also head a drive to seek out, and alleviate, poverty whether among children or old people.


4. Finally, in the interests of greater equity, we shall seek ways of integrating more fully the two quite different systems of social payment - tax allowances and cash benefits paid under National Insurance.


3. Health and Welfare Services


•(i) Hospitals. The review we have undertaken of the much publicised Conservative Hospital Plan has confirmed our worst suspicions. The money they allocated was utterly inadequate to carry out the Plan, and to provide the new and modernised hospitals we so urgently need. Our aim will be to increase by 1970 the annual spending on hospital building to a figure double the highest sum spent in any year by the Conservatives.

Already we have provided substantially more money for the running of our hospitals, and the rate of development will continue to increase. •(ii) The Family Doctor Service. In the space of a year, the Labour Government has produced the blueprint of a completely revitalised family doctor service. We shall ensure that all practical steps are taken to enable the hard-pressed family doctor to give the best possible service to his patients with the greatest satisfaction to himself.

Many of the problems in general practice stem from the serious shortage of doctors, for which successive Tory Ministers bear a heavy responsibility. We have already made arrangements to increase the number of medical students by well over 10 per cent a year within the next couple of years. This is only a first step: a newly established Royal Commission on Medical Education will help chart future expansion. •(iii) Community Services. Local health and welfare services, especially for the elderly and the mentally handicapped, have been expanding fast. We shall develop these services rapidly, with special emphasis on those designed to help old people to continue living in their own homes. For those who can no longer do so, much more purpose-built accommodation will be provided to replace large obsolete institutions which can offer neither comfort nor a homely atmosphere. •(iv) Preventive Health. Far too little attention has been paid to preventive health measures in the past. Screening for cervical cancer, which it is estimated will save the lives of some 2,000 women a year, is being developed rapidly.

More preventive health campaigns are planned. We shall make a real forward drive in the neglected field of health education, setting up an entirely new body, the Health Education Council, for this purpose.




4. Educational Opportunities for All


Our educational aims are two-fold: to give the highest possible standard of education to all children, and to ensure that those with special abilities have the opportunity to develop them to the full.


These aims have to be achieved against an inheritance of acute teacher shortage, oversized classes, old and inadequate school buildings, and a chronically overstrained system of higher education.




Our first priority is to reduce the size of classes. We shall intensify our efforts to increase the recruitment of teachers, and improve their status in society.


We must also make the most effective use of teachers, by encouraging the use of audio-visual aids and programmed learning; and by providing the teacher with the ancillary help which he increasingly needs.


We shall carry out the largest school building programme in our history. The National Plan shows that the programme will be increased from £84 million in the last year of Tory rule to £138 million in 1969/70.


Equally important, we shall press ahead with our plans to abolish the 11-plus - that barrier to educational opportunity - and re-organise secondary education on comprehensive lines. We have appointed the Public Schools Commission, to recommend the best ways of integrating the Public Schools into the State sector.


New Deal for the School Leaver


Far too many of our young people still leave school at 15, enter jobs with no training prospects and break off all contact with education. We plan to transform this situation by the early 1970s.


The school leaving age will be raised to 16. The new Schools Council is studying ways of making this extra year at school the greatest success.


Industrial Training Boards will increase the range of training opportunities for school leavers. They are not just concerned with the traditional craft skills. They will deal with the office, the shop, and the farm as well as the factory; with girls as well as boys.


There will be a big increase of day-release and block release courses at local colleges of further education. It will become normal, rather than exceptional, for young workers to have part-time education up to the age of at least 18.


There will also be radical improvements in the Youth Employment Service, and in careers advice at school, in accordance with the Albemarle Report.


Finally, a new Minister is energetically creating, through regional sports councils, a new approach to the provision of facilities for sport.


Higher Education


We shall expand higher education provision in the universities, the colleges of education, and the leading technical colleges.


The universities are being assisted to make a growing contribution in science, technology and social studies.


The colleges of education will benefit from our new plans to liberalise their systems of government, giving more academic freedom. We shall encourage the growth of arrangements between the colleges and the universities, to enable more students to take a B.Ed. degree.


In the leading technical colleges we shall rationalise the provision of higher courses, so that there can be a very large expansion combined with very high quality.


The Open University


We shall establish the University of the Air. By using TV and radio communal facilities, high grade correspondence courses and new teaching techniques, this open University will enormously extend the best teaching facilities and give everyone the opportunity of study for a full degree.


It will mean genuine equality of opportunity for millions of people for the first time. Moreover, even for those who prefer not to take a full course, it will bring the widest and best contribution possible to their general level of knowledge and breadth of interests.


Arts and Amenities


Access for all to the best of Britain's cultural heritage is a wider part of our educational and social purpose, and is one hallmark of a civilised country. That is why we appointed the first Minister for Arts and Leisure.


The 1965 White Paper, "Policy for the Arts", has inspired a coherent, generous and imaginative approach to the arts and amenities. Already the situation is being transformed, by substantially increased financial support for the Arts Council, purchasing grants for museums, and five times the support for younger artists. A quite new local authority building fund has been initiated. Next year expenditure on the arts will rise by £2½ million.


5. Fair Rents and Mortgages


A secure home for everyone is the most important contribution a community can make to family life. Building houses is only half the job. People need houses at a cost they can afford; and, once in their homes, they need protection against exploitation or eviction.


(i) The New Rent Act


The 1957 Tory Rent Act inflicted injury on hundreds of thousands of families by decontrolling their homes in a period of intense housing shortage. Labour was pledged to annul this social crime. This we have done. In addition to restoring security of tenure to every decontrolled house, we are appointing rent officers and rent assessment committees for fixing fair rents. The new Act also gives basic protection to almost everyone in his home, including the lodger and the worker in his tied cottage. Today it is a crime not merely to evict without a court order but to harass or to persecute anyone in order to force him out or force his rent up.


(ii) Leasehold Enfranchisement


For years socialists have crusaded to redress the grievance of the leaseholder who loses his home without compensation when a long lease comes to an end.


More thin one million house-owners will benefit from the Leasehold Enfranchisement Bill which we shall enact.


(iii) A Fair Deal for the Council House Tenant


The new houses we are pledged to build will not help existing tenants of council houses. Indeed most of them will have to contribute towards paying for them by increased rents. Within limits this is fair. But in cities crippled with slums, the burden was becoming too great. Hence the Government's decision to give special financial relief to selected authorities so that rent increases can be kept within bounds.


(iv) The new Home Ownership Plan


Those who wish to buy their own homes also need help from the State. Until now this mainly took the form of tax remissions on mortgage instalments. The higher the mortgagee's income bracket and the more expensive his house, the bigger his tax concession. This system is obviously unfair, particularly since the lower paid get nothing at all.


We have therefore announced a new Home Ownership Plan under which each mortgagee will have this choice: to retain his present right to tax concessions - or qualify for a new Government grant which brings down the interest rate on his mortgage by 2j per cent (subject to a minimum of 4 per cent).


With the help of this grant many more wage-earners, especially those with family responsibilities, will be able to buy their own homes. Everyone who joins the Home Ownership Plan will also benefit from a new Government Guarantee which will substantially reduce any deposit he is required to make.


6. Fair Taxation


In an age when taxation is bound to be substantial, it is essential that the tax system should be fair and intelligible. This has not been true of Britain for many years. Among the worst injustices has been the heavy weight of taxation on the average citizen and the very light burden which) as a result of tax avoidance and other devices, is borne by those best able to shoulder it.


To remedy this we have already introduced:


1. A Capital Gains Tax which at last brings into the tax system those large and previously tax-free gains, realised on the sale of shares and securities.


2. A Measure to deal with Business Expense Accounts, by refusing to accept such expenses - except where related to export earnings - as deductions from company or income tax.


3. A Corporation Tax which has the effect both of increasing the taxation of company profits if dividends are raised) and of decreasing them where profits are retained.


We now intend to reinforce these remedies with two new measures: a general tax on betting and gaming, and a Land Levy. The case for the first need not be argued. The second will deal with the grossest example of speculative gains - the difference between the value of land at its existing use and the price received when it is sold for redevelopment.


Reforming the Rates


The most urgent area for tax reform is the rating system. When our reconstruction of local government has been completed, we shall introduce major reforms in local finance.


Meanwhile the worst features of the rating system are being put right:


1. The new system of rate rebates to help the two million hardest hit families should be in operation this year.


2. A new measure of domestic de-rating will relieve all domestic ratepayers of about half the annual increase.


3. Empty properties, now free from rates, will make a contribution.


Part 5: Wider Democracy in the New Britain


To create the new Britain we require an immense effort by the whole community. That effort can only be effective if the machinery of Government, in all its aspects) is refashioned to meet the needs of a modern society.


In the next five years, it is not the power of Government that we shall seek to extend, but its efficiency and intelligence. The truth is that for many of the tasks that they must perform, our institutions are badly organised and ill-equipped.


In the short time that the Government has been in office) a start has been made in reorganising the structure of Government Departments; in setting up new Commissions to overhaul both the Civil Service and Local Government; in convening a Speaker's Conference to review the electoral system and in the proposal for a Parliamentary Commissioner (or "Ombudsman") to investigate complaints by the citizens against the Administration.


Law Commissioners have started to revise, consolidate and modernise our ancient laws, to bring them into line with the needs of a modern society. This is a considerable achievement. But it does not go far enough.


1. Reorganising Whitehall


In the interests of efficiency we shall greatly improve the collection, processing and organisation of Government information and statistical services.


We shall streamline the organisation of many departments - for example, in addition to the new unified Ministry of Social Security, by integrating the Colonial Office in the Commonwealth Relations Office, and bringing into the Ministry of Housing, the Ministry of Land and relevant parts of the Ministry of Public Building and Works.


2. Modernising Parliament


1. Improvement and modernisation of the work of Parliament is essential to reinforce the democratic element in modern Government. Changes must improve procedure and the work of committees, and reform facilities for research and information.


2. Consideration is being given to the broadcasting of Commons proceedings, in order to bring Parliament closer to the people it represents, and to increase the sense of public participation in policy making.


3. The Labour Party has proposed to the Speaker's Conference the introduction of Votes at Eighteen, to add a necessary political dimension to the increasingly important economic and social position of young people.


4. Finally, legislation will be introduced to safeguard measures approved by the House of Commons from frustration by delay or defeat in the House of Lords.


3. Immigration


In the field of immigration, we shall continue realistic controls, flexibly administered, combined with an imaginative and determined programme to ensure racial equality. Incitement to racial hatred has been outlawed, and financial support given to the positive work of promoting racial harmony. A special committee is now studying the law relating to the position of aliens and Commonwealth immigrants who are refused entry or threatened with deportation.


4. Law Enforcement


For years Britain has been confronted by a rising crime rate, overcrowded prisons and many seriously undermanned police forces.


Strengthening the Police


The slide in numbers has already been checked. Energetic action will now


be taken to build up police strength in those areas confronted with a severe shortage. We shall ensure not only that police resources are used more efficiently, but that they receive the most modern scientific and technological equipment.


There is also an urgent need for fewer - and larger - police forces. This cannot await the reports of the Royal Commission on Local Government. We shall, therefore, press ahead with a vigorous programme of amalgamations, to provide the police with the form of organisation best suited to the battle against crime.


Proposals for dealing with adult and juvenile offenders have been set out in two White Papers. Detailed legislative proposals will be presented early in the next Parliament.


The problem of our out-of-date, overcrowded prisons and borstals remains. The parole system for adult offenders will ease the pressure on accommodation to some extent. But our prisons can only provide a useful reformative influence when we close the doors on some of the worst survivals of mid-19th-century England and transfer the inmates to more modern surroundings where they can do work of some social value.


Part 6: The New Britain and the World


While great tasks await us at home, we must never forget that Britain is part of a world community; that it is involved in the affairs of mankind; that in many areas it has special responsibility which it alone must bear; that it has, more widely, a key role to play.


But what should our objectives be?


•Britain must be committed to realism in Defence; •Britain must work to strengthen the United Nations which is the main instrument for peace in a divided world; •Britain must promote nuclear disarmament and work to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons; •Britain must work to achieve better relations in Europe; •Britain must not fail to contribute to peace-keeping outside Europe; •Britain must take the lead in the war on want and deprivation.




1. Realism in Defence


Britain has a key role to play in promoting peaceful change; but Britain's position has also changed. Although we are a world power with world responsibilities, this is not the 19th century when Britain ruled one-quarter of mankind. We have to see ourselves realistically in the right proportion, not spreading ourselves beyond our means nor failing in our duty.


Britain's security and influence in the world depend no less on the strength of her economy than on her military power. Excessive and mis-directed defence expenditure by Conservative Governments has weakened our economy without providing forces sufficient to carry out the tasks imposed on them without dangerous overstrain. Labour has carried out a comprehensive review of Britain's foreign and defence policies to rectify this situation.


The Defence Review has achieved its three objectives:


•(i) It has brought the runaway growth in our defence expenditure under control, and made sure that we get value for the money we spend. •(ii) It has decided what military tasks and political commitments it will make sense for Britain to undertake within the limits of her resources. •(iii) It has made certain that our forces will be able to carry out these tasks, without overstrain, with the full range of weapons needed for the job.




By bringing defence spending down to a stable level of about 6 per cent of our national wealth, Labour will be able to direct new capital and skills to vital industrial modernisation. The country will benefit from this new realism in defence.


2. The United Nations


The United Nations is mankind's chief instrument for preserving the rule of law, promoting peaceful change and fighting poverty. When Labour came to power, the United Nations was rent by dispute. The Labour Government, by contrast to the habitual Conservative disparagement of the United Nations, appointed a Foreign Office Minister to lead Britain's delegation, helped to resolve the dispute, helped the United Nations to pay its debts and strengthened it by a pledge to make forces available for peace keeping activities. It was at the Security Council of the United Nations that Britain explained her policy for ending the Rhodesian rebellion and won world support to make sanctions effective. Labour will continue to give full support to the authority and efficiency of the United Nations.


3. Nuclear Weapons


Within N.A.T.O. we have given over-riding priority to stopping the further spread of atomic weapons. For this purpose we believe that Labour's proposal for an Atlantic Nuclear Force remains the best basis for allied discussions, since it allows for legitimate consultation among the members of N.A.T.O. while providing firm guarantees against new fingers on the nuclear trigger. Labour stands by its pledge to internationalise our strategic nuclear forces.


With the appointment in the Foreign Office of a Minister for Disarmament, Britain has exercised increasing influence in the Geneva Disarmament Conference. The Government had a difficult task; the Conservatives had landed Britain with the political dangers of an "independent nuclear deterrent" without in fact producing a deterrent that was truly independent. Labour's immediate objectives are agreements to stop all nuclear tests and prevent the spread of nuclear weapons; further, Labour will seek agreements to create nuclear-free zones and make possible agreed and verified inter national disarmament.


4. Better Relations in Europe


In seeking to relax tensions in Europe we need to keep the confidence of our allies and to reach understanding with the East. We must be both ready to reach agreement and determined to resist threats. Labour, there fore, firmly supports N.A.T.O. and has greatly increased Britain's contact and understanding with the Soviet Union and other countries of Eastern Europe. By the end of this year Labour Ministers will have visited nearly all of those countries. By such contact we shall encourage trade and travel and promote that growth of trust which is essential to progress towards disarmament and assured peace. This progress towards normalisation of our relations with Eastern Europe is an essential part of our whole European policy.


Britain is a member of the European Free Trade Association, which is a thriving organisation beneficial to us and to our partners. The Labour Government has taken the lead in promoting an approach by E.F.T.A. to the countries of the European Economic Community so that Western Europe shall not be sharply divided into two conflicting groups. Labour believes that Britain, in consultation with her E.F.T.A. partners, should be ready to enter the European Economic Community, provided essential British and Commonwealth interests are safeguarded.


The Conservative record on relations between Britain and the "Six" is one of notorious and abject failure. Yet Conservatives now talk as if they could take Britain into the Common Market without any conditions or safeguards.


Labour believes that close contact with Europe - joint industrial ventures, scientific co-operation, political and cultural links - can produce among the "Six" that understanding of Britain's position which is necessary to a wider European unity.


5. Peace-keeping Outside Europe


But it is the world outside Europe that now presents the greatest challenge and the greatest danger to mankind. The greatest problem in Asia is the future of China; this nation could render immeasurable service to mankind, but at present she is embittered and distrustful of the West and menacing to her neighbours. The Labour Government has worked and will continue to work for the granting to the Chinese Government of her rightful place in the Security Council of the United Nations, believing that there her differences with the rest of the world can best be resolved.


Meanwhile the cruel war in Vietnam continues; Labour has consistently urged negotiations to stop the fighting and a settlement which would enable the peoples of North and South Vietnam to determine their own future and which would ensure that the whole country became neutral, without foreign troops or bases. Labour welcomes the readiness of the United States to negotiate on these lines; we still await an equal readiness from North Vietnam. The Labour Government has, through many channels, urged on North Vietnam the wisdom of making peace and these efforts will be continued.


It is through her membership of the Commonwealth that Britain has the best opportunity for contributing to the advancement and well-being of so many peoples in the developing world on the basis of mutual trust and co-operation. Labour created the modern Commonwealth. We have always attached great importance to it as a unique association of peoples, spanning different races and continents of the world.


The Commonwealth needs further new development, if it is to remain a coherent force in world affairs. During the past year, Labour has taken, with the Commonwealth, a number of important initiatives which will greatly affect its future.


Firstly: We have established a Secretariat which will be concerned with planning the future political, organisational and economic relationships of Commonwealth countries.


Secondly: The Commonwealth, as such, took an unprecedented Initiative for peace in establishing the Peace Mission to try to end the tragic conflict in Vietnam. While this initiative was not successful, it nevertheless points to a further and most important development of the Commonwealth.


Thirdly: Britain has made clear, particularly in the confrontation between Malaysia and Indonesia, her willingness to assist the new Commonwealth nations when faced with external aggression.


Labour will continue to foster the development of the Commonwealth by participating fully in schemes for financial, economic and technical co-operation.


In just over a year independence arrangements have been made for a quarter of Britain's remaining Colonial subjects, and a new status, carrying with it the right to opt for independence, has been offered to six Eastern Caribbean islands. This new status is an exciting adventure in Common wealth relations and may well prove a model for other small communities who wish to free themselves from any Colonial stigma and yet remain in close association with Britain.


Constitutional changes have been made in other Colonies, and Labour's policy remains:


To give independence to all territories which want it and can sustain it. To help all other small dependencies which are unlikely to be able to stand on their own feet to achieve a new post-Colonial status of dignity in association with Britain.


6. The War on Want


In spite of the tremendous economic difficulties we faced, Labour has increased the flow of external aid to developing nations both inside and outside the Commonwealth. The effectiveness of this aid has been greatly increased by the co-ordination and careful scrutiny of programmes undertaken by the new Ministry of Overseas Development While there is an obvious limit to the volume of capital that Britain can afford to export, very much more can be done and will be done to promote the flow of technical advice and assistance. In particular we shall multiply our efforts to assist overseas development through the export of knowledge. The flow of experts will be stimulated by redoubling the recruitment efforts of the Ministry of Overseas Development and by continued support of recruitment by voluntary bodies, private agencies, foundations and the British Council.


We shall make our aid more effective by helping recipient countries to plan their development and to select worthwhile projects on which to spend our aid. We shall continue to lighten the burden of debt by softening the terms of aid. For we recognise that "aid" can be negated by "trade" unless a concerted world effort is made to enable overseas countries to earn the foreign exchange essential to their development programmes. Labour will play a positive part at next year's United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. We intend to put our full weight behind constructive inter national proposals for increasing and stabilising the export earnings of primary producing countries through international commodity agreements and arrangements for finance; for reduction of trade barriers; and for increasing liquidity for financing world trade, with particular emphasis on schemes for linking the creation of new credits to the needs of underdeveloped countries.


By such means a Labour Government will mobilise increasing resources - in money, expert advice and voluntary effort - to make war on want.






This postscript is also a preface - an introduction to (we believe) four or five years of Labour Government with the Parliamentary majority needed to carry through our plan for a better Britain.


We have already shown that, even with a tiny majority, Labour Government works. But it would be foolish to pretend that we can do all that we mean to do with such a majority; for, make no mistake about it, some of our projects will be bitterly resisted by those whose privileges and interests are threatened.


Already the pattern and the mood are clear. Even Tories admit, in private, that the conduct of Harold Wilson and his colleagues has been far more firm and decisive than they thought it could be. This is a Government that governs: it does not flop along from crisis to crisis as the Tories did, for so much of their 13 years.


Moreover, the motive and inspiration of Labour remain, and always will remain, to secure the prosperity and welfare of all the people - the workers by hand and by brain who must be the backbone of our economic recovery, the old, the sick and the children.


This is not a selfish motive - but you will be doing yourself and your family a good turn by voting Labour on 31st March. After all, you know Labour Government works.


<Picture: arrow>Back to main table.

Last Modified: Sunday, 23-Feb-97 17:13:48 GMT



Labour Party: 1970










1. A Strong Economy


2. Prosperity in the Regions


3. Better Communications


4. Education and Social Equality


5. A Great Place to Live


6. Caring for People


7. A More Active Democracy


8. Britain in the World Community







The British people took a historic decision in 1964 and 1966. It was not two decisions but one decision.


On Thursday, 18 June, many more of the same people - together with millions who have never had a chance of voting before - can take this decision a big stage further. For it takes more than six years to modernise and humanise an advanced industrial country and move it on towards a new kind of greatness.




Part 1: The Britain We Want


OUR PURPOSE is to create, on the firm base of a steadily growing economy, a better society for all the people of Britain: a strong, just and compassionate society, one where the handling of complex problems may be a source of pride to ourselves and an example to the world.


Our appeal is to those who have faith in the capacity and humanity of their fellow-men, and to those who are not solely moved by the search for profit or the hope of personal gain.


First, we believe that Britain's potential for improvement is enormous. Science, technology and the general growth of knowledge present great opportunities for social and economic advance. With foresight, intelligence and effort - with planning - we can harness the new technologies and the powerful economic forces of our time to human ends.


But, without planning, with a return to the Tory free-for-all, people become the victims of economic forces they cannot control.


Second, we believe that the contribution that ordinary people can make to our present welfare and national future is still largely untapped and undeveloped. People want more responsibility. It is this that makes us wish to extend opportunities for everyone to have a bigger say in making decisions, whether in their local community or in their place of work. It is this, too, that makes us place the highest priority on education and educational reform.


These are not the aims of the Tory Party. They have always defended the power and privileges of the few.


Third, we believe that society can now afford and must be ready to meet the basic needs of all its members. There should be decent housing for everyone; slums and overcrowding must be dealt with; immigrant ghettoes must not be allowed to develop. There should be work for those who seek it, in the nation as a whole and in every region.


We must make a rising standard of provision for those who, on account of age, sickness or other circumstances, are unable to provide for themselves. A compassionate society is one that does not grudge help for those in need.


We reject the Tory view that misfortune is a private, not a social, concern, that medical care should depend on what people can pay rather than on what people require and that social expenditure should be ruthlessly pruned.


Fourth, we believe that all people are entitled to be treated as equals: that women should have the same opportunities and rewards as men. We insist, too, that society should not discriminate against minorities on grounds of religion or race or colour: that all should have equal protection under the law and equal opportunity for advancement in and service to the community.


Many of our opponents believe this, too, but today as often in the past the extension of human rights has had to wait for a Labour Government. Fifth, we believe that we have a duty to the future; to ensure that the Britain we leave to the generation that follows is not spoilt by our misuse


or neglect of the environment. We are still dealing with the slums, slag-heaps, derelict land and foul rivers of the first industrial revolution. Today we have to manage our own lives in a new industrial society so that we do not spoil our land, our water, our beaches - even the air we breathe - with noise, fumes, filth and waste.


This will only be done by a Party which is not the creature of private profit.


Sixth, we are proud of the contribution that Britain and its people have made and are making to the welfare of mankind. With our resources, our experience and our unique connections, we have a large and continuing part to play in solving world problems.


The Tories still see their role primarily in terms of overseas bases and a costly and out-of-date type of military presence in the Far East. We see our role primarily in helping the poorer countries to develop and in the stand we take on basic issues of colour and race, while maintaining as loyal members of the U.N. a general defence capability based on Europe but ready and trained for international peace-keeping operations elsewhere.


We believe our defence effort should now be concentrated inside Europe, contributing to collective security through NATO and to the constant search for East-West détente and real European security. We shall play our full part in creating a more secure, prosperous and united Europe.


The Britain we want is one we shall have to build together. It will not be easy to achieve; but our deeply rooted democracy, our tradition of tolerance and fairness, our confidence in ourselves, are enormous assets on which we can draw.


But it is a far more attractive society, with a far greater potential for human happiness, than the selfish, cold, ruthlessly competitive model that our opponents want.




Part 2: Eight Main Tasks


Our jobs, our living standards, and the role of Britain in the World all depend on our ability to earn our living as a nation. That is why Britain has to pay her way in trade and transactions with the outside world.


In the last financial year, 1969/70, our national surplus was £550 million - the largest we have ever had.


Only five years ago, the outgoing Tory Government left the largest deficit ever recorded in our history - running at minus £800m. and this was only the culminating year of a long period of economic decline. So in just five years, Labour has registered an improvement of more than £1,300m.


We have got out of the red in our national accounts. We are now strong and solvent and we intend to remain so.


It is particularly important to have this strength in the dangerous world which confronts us today. No one can look beyond our shores and say with certainty there are no storms ahead; but we can now face them from a much better base than in the years of balance of payments weakness.


1. A Strong Economy


Provided that we continue with measures to strengthen the economy and provided that we do not return to the do-nothing complacency of the Tory years, we have good prospects for maintaining our new competitiveness and of keeping our economy in surplus.


It remains, of course, an essential task of economic management to ensure that a substantial part of our output is available for exports - and is not absorbed by excessive home consumption. It is equally the task of economic management to see to it that the correct balance is struck between private and public spending and the need for investment in industry.


The irresponsible tax bribes that the Tories now promise - and threaten - would wreck the economy. These crude electoral manoeuvres would cause raging inflation; be a recipe for economic disaster - or a signal for savage cuts in essential social services.


Steady Expansion


Our central aim is a steady and sustained increase of output with secure and rising employment - and the avoidance of the violent stop-go cycles that have done so much damage to our economy in past years.


Since the number of people of working age in Britain will not increase for a number of years the rate of economic expansion and the increase in our standard of living will depend on productivity: and getting more output from the same number of people.


The factors which will affect productivity most are the quality of management; the skills and performance of people at work; the quality of the plant and equipment that they use; and the organisation and structure of British industry.


(a) Investment in Industry


Expenditure on new plant and equipment in industry has been higher in every year since 1964 than in the peak year of Tory rule. While we have done well by our own past standards, investment in much of British industry is still insufficient in relation to our main competitors. We shall therefore continue to encourage industrial investment in the years ahead.


In the public sector large but essential investment programmes are being carried out in the railways, the national air-lines, the telecommunications industries, in the rapid exploitation of North Sea gas and in the supply of electricity.


(b) People and Jobs


If Britain is to develop her full potential, we must recognise that men and women are even more important than the machines they use. As our industrial structure changes we must see that workers are not left stranded by technological change. We must help them to acquire the skills they need to man the new industries; offer them a wider choice of job opportunity.


This is why the Labour Government has been reorganising and re-equipping our employment services, moving in swiftly to deal with redundancies, placing workers more quickly in employment with the help of modern techniques.


This is why we have carried out the biggest expansion of industrial training in Britain's history. Over 1,400,000 people are now being trained, including 500,000 apprentices.


The main responsibility lies with the Industrial Training Boards, of which 28 have now been established, covering 15m.workpeople. But the G.T.C.s have a vital role to play helping to meet urgent shortages of skilled labour and to retrain redundant workers for new jobs, particularly in the development areas.


Labour has increased the number of centres from 26 to 45 with more to come. As part of their economy drive in 1962-3, the Tories actually closed two centres down.


The Government has now set on foot plans to create a National Manpower Service as a modern instrument of manpower intelligence, the forward planning of our manpower needs and the creation of greater job opportunities. The Central Training Council is also being given a more important role in co-ordinating industrial training over the whole field.


(c) Industrial Reorganisation and Planning


Industrial reorganisation, with its emphasis on better management, is crucial to the success - even to the survival - of much of British industry.


We must continue to tackle on an industry basis, and where necessary firm by firm, the more detailed problems of structure which exist in both public and private industry. We shall strengthen the direct relations between the trade unions and Government in industrial policy matters.


Industry - whether private or public - must be accountable for its major decisions. Government investment must carry with it an assurance that a real share of any profit accrues to the nation.


Publicly owned industries are playing a key role in our industrial transformation. The reorganisation of transport is well under way and the coal industry has been given the help it has urgently needed in its task of adjusting to rapid change.


We shall continue to assist the coal industry and we shall carry through further reorganisation measures in both the gas and electricity industries.


The old restrictions on the activities of the nationalised industries are being removed. The new Post Office Corporation with its Giro service and data processing facilities, and the Gas Council with its British Hydrocarbon Company are opening up a new and more competitive concept of public enterprise. With new techniques and resources, there is a growing potential for joint action by these industries.


We also stress the contribution that can be made by co-operative enterprise. This is already a large sector in the economy, and operates on democratic criteria which we would like to see extended. The Labour Party is therefore considering the establishment of a Co-operative Development Agency to give added strength to the rationalisation and development of co-operatives.


In the private sector, particular industries are now undergoing far-reaching structural change, following detailed studies and deliberate Government commitment to reform - e.g. nuclear energy, shipbuilding, machine tools and computers.


The Industrial Reorganisation Corporation has been associated with more than 30 mergers, all geared to better structure and more efficient management - and many of them, such as heavy electrical machinery, motor cars and electronics, are in industries which are crucial to our exports. The Corporation has the power, which it has exercised, to take equity shares in the companies it assists.


In the next Parliament, we shall provide additional finance for the I.R.C. We shall further redeploy and reorganise the Government's Research and Development resources in the support of civil industry.


It is our purpose to develop a new relationship with both sides of industry, in which the forward plans of both Government and industry can be increasingly harmonised in the interests of economic growth. In the public and private sectors, industrial enterprises are paying increasing attention to medium and long term planning. In a rapidly changing economy, our plans have to be flexible, but it is of the utmost importance that these processes should develop. It is not private industry but Tory Party doctrine that rejects planning. The Industrial Reorganisation Corporation and the powers of the Industrial Expansion Act are valuable and flexible instruments of public enterprise for furthering industrial policies.


We do not regard public initiative in industry as confined either to total private or total public ownership. Partnership ventures are sometimes a better solution - e.g. the Bus plant sited in the North of England, aluminium smelters, and the Scottish Transport Group.


We shall pursue these principles, based on our determination to see progress in all sectors of the economy. The establishment of a Holding and Development Company to exploit these possibilities, with special regard to regional development needs, may well be necessary.


We shall push ahead with the search for and exploitation of gas and oil under the North Sea, and our new measures to facilitate the development of mineral deposits in Britain.


With continued progress in training, investment, industrial reorganisation, import saving, and planning, we should be able to achieve a faster rate of economic expansion than we have had before. But progress will depend to a very marked extent on the policies pursued and the managerial efficiency of the very large firms - who must be accountable to the community.


It is the Government's intention, therefore, to set up a Commission on Industry and Manpower - merging the N.B.P.I. and the Monopolies Commission - with a special duty to report on costs, prices and efficiency in various industries and to stimulate competition in large and monopolistic firms.


(d) Fighting Inflation


The biggest challenge facing any industrial nation today, is how to expand the economy without pushing up its costs. The answer lies in increasing our productivity.


Only in this way can we keep our lead over our competitors and ensure an improvement in the real standard of life for our people.


Over the last five years, with little help from the Tories, the Labour Government has been hammering this lesson home. The Prices and Incomes Board has done invaluable work in spelling out how wage increases can be paid for by increased productivity and in scrutinising (and, where necessary, rejecting) the case for price increases. Its work will be continued by the Commission on Industry and Manpower.


Devaluation inevitably pushed up prices - as we warned it would do. Even so, as a result of Government vigilance, prices rose much less than they otherwise would have done. If wage increases were now to be linked to increases in production, we should be able to look forward to greater price stability.


The Government has taken a number of steps to encourage this. It has controlled rent increases by law, thus reducing the increases which would otherwise have taken place. It has kept rates down by rate relief for every domestic ratepayer now running at is. 8d. in the pound. The budget was carefully designed to encourage price stability.


The whole Tory economic strategy, by contrast, is based on policies which would push prices up. The Tories would abolish rent control and reduce housing subsidies so rents would rise to astronomical levels; they would abolish Exchequer subsidies to farmers so food prices would rise by an amount which it is impossible to estimate; they would increase taxes on goods and services in order to reduce direct taxes on the better off. Having abolished S.E.T. they would put other, more inflationary taxes in its place. Their whole budget policy would depend upon the deliberate introduction of a value-added tax which would mean a levy of 4s. in the pound on a wide range of essential goods and services so far exempt from tax; children's clothing, fares, coal, gas, electricity, laundries, theatres, sport and so on.


Food prices have been rising. Rising all over the world. But it is generally acknowledged that our food prices are a long way below those of other western countries. Over the last twelve months, the cost of living has risen at a faster rate than in Britain, in Canada, France, Portugal, Ireland, Turkey, Sweden, the United States, Japan and Norway. Under Tory policies, the British people would face the sort of price increases we have seen in these countries.


Under a Labour Government, people and industry will co-operate in a new effort to keep prices down.


(e) Food and Farming


The importance to the economy of British agriculture is beyond question. Our policies will continue to be devised to the benefit of the farmer as well as the consumer.


We intend, first, to promote an expanding farm industry. This policy is based on the proved system of guaranteed prices and production grants. However, we are continuing to develop arrangements for greater market stability; we have recognised the need for clear long-term objectives; and for the first time have introduced successive long-term programmes for agricultural expansion.


We shall continue all that we are doing to improve life in the rural community.


2. Prosperity in the Regions


We are determined to see that employment, prosperity and opportunity are spread more evenly through the different regions of our country.


The aim of a Labour Government is to keep the country's resources fully used. Britain no longer suffers from mass, long-term unemployment. In some areas there is an acute shortage of labour. Unemployment today is largely a problem of the development and intermediate areas.


That is why a Labour Government has pursued and will pursue a vigorous policy of regional development.


In the long period of Tory rule up to 1964, prosperity ebbed away from large areas of Britain; economic expansion was heavily concentrated in the Midlands and the South.


The areas where the older basic industries were declining - Scotland, Wales, the North, the North West, and the far South West - suffered continued high unemployment coupled with the loss of many of their young people as they moved to the South in search of work. The areas of expansion in the Midlands and the South East suffered from ever-increasing congestion, with acute shortages of housing and land.


The pace of industrial change has quickened; one industry alone, the coal industry, has lost 300,000 jobs in the past five years. Without a massive development of regional planning, large parts of our country would be economic disaster areas today.


It is here, in the least prosperous regions, that the human impact of technological change is most keenly felt. And it is here that we have tried hardest 40 protect the families and communities from this impact. It is here that we have insisted on the longest possible advance warning of impending change; it is here that we have intervened in shipbuilding to save jobs, as in the coal mines to defer closures. It is here that redundancy payments and earnings-related pensions are of the greatest value. And it is here, too, that we are obliged to bring new work and new opportunity.


But regional planning has been massively developed and for the first time, over the whole of Britain. Through its regional planning machinery, the Government has constructed an increasingly clear and detailed picture of the economic situation in the different areas of Britain. The Government is therefore able to plan ahead to meet the need for new jobs in different parts of the country.


We have defined with increasing accuracy, first the Development Areas, then the Special Development Areas, and, most recently, the New Intermediate Areas. These are all areas that need, in different degrees of urgency, assistance in the supply of new jobs.


Firms wishing to build new factories and offices in areas where work is already plentiful have been stringently controlled through the industrial and office location machinery. At the same time Industrial Development Certificates have been freely issued to firms wishing to expand in areas of high unemployment. But controls, though essential, are not enough. Where serious economic disadvantages arose for firms operating in the development areas, many kinds of special assistance were granted: investment grants at double the national rate; regional employment premium at 30s. a week per man employed; modern factories built for rent by them and in advance of their needs.


The special development areas - those where the coal industry is declining - receive additional aid to help meet running costs and factory rentals.


Public enterprise also plays an important part in regional development and this we mean to extend.


In the intermediate areas, which have important problems of their own, assistance is now being given through freely granted Industrial Development Certificates and also through advanced factories and training grants. These measures are recent and we shall keep a close watch on their effectiveness, with a constant review of their impact and of the areas they cover.


Now the Tories have singled out regional policy for major cuts in public expenditure. They have pledged themselves to end the regional employment premium and they have also committed themselves to scrap investment grants. But without these important financial aids, the supply of industry to the areas of need would be greatly reduced.


We intend to continue with our regional policies so long as they are needed. We shall seek new ways to make them more effective. In particular, we shall try to ensure that office location plays a bigger part in regional development, and stop speculative office building and end the situation where offices in congested areas are left empty, while developers negotiate extortionate rents. We shall be ready to extend assistance to other areas of the country that may be hard hit by industrial change.


3. Better Communications


A modern transport system in which people and goods can move quickly, cheaply and safely throughout the country is an essential national requirement. Under the Tories, road and rail were totally uncoordinated; road building was allowed to fall far behind the growth of road vehicles; our docks and ports were neglected; the development of air services had little purpose beyond the barely concealed desire to weaken the national airlines BEA and BOAC.


The Labour Government is now engaged in a major and planned programme for expanding and modernising our whole transport system.


(i) The Road Programme


Six years ago less than 300 miles of motorway were open and only 130 miles were being built. In March, 1970, 650 miles of motorway were open to traffic and nearly 400 miles under construction. Expenditure on roads generally has been doubled.


The target of 1,000 miles of motorway in England and Wales will be completed by the end of 1972. The road programme will be further extended as we embark upon the recently announced inter-urban road programme which will double the capacity of the trunk road system by the end of the 1980s. Altogether by the end of that period there will be some 6,000 miles of motorway and new and improved roads open to traffic.


(ii) Road Safety


We must cut down on the number of road casualties. In the last five years while the number of vehicles on the road has risen by a quarter, the number of people killed and seriously injured has been substantially reduced. This welcome development follows on a series of measures we have introduced, including much more stringent control over the mechanical safety of road vehicles. But it reflects most of all the controversial - and courageous - Road Safety Act of 1967 which greatly checked the menace of drunken driving by introducing the breathalyser test.


Our efforts to reduce road casualties will continue.


(iii) Rail and Road


To cut out the old and wasteful competition between road and rail we have established the new National Freight Corporation. Through the liner train and container services our aim is to develop a first rate integrated public service for freight and relieve the increasing pressure upon the roads by switching goods on to our under-used rail system.


At the same time, we intend to improve further the speed and comfort of rail passenger services by investing in modernisation of track and in new rolling stock.


(iv) The Ports


In the next Parliament, we shall complete the programme for change in our ports and docks on which we are now advanced. We shall bring the nation's major ports under a National Port Authority to which new local port authorities will be responsible. We shall give each port authority the power to take over and reorganize the principal dock activities within its port area. We shall give workers' representatives more say in the way in which ports are run.


Already we have ended the system of casual labour in the docks and we have greatly improved amenities and pay. Further, a large programme for modernising our docks is under way aimed at providing new deep water berths and modern methods of cargo handling. Investment in the ports has risen from £18m. in 1964 to £50m. in 1969.


But we are convinced, given its history, its problems and its special circumstances, that only a major reorganisation under new and responsible public authorities, will make it possible to overcome the deep-seated problems of this industry.


(v) Air Services


It is our aim to develop our national airways so that they can handle the increasing growth of air traffic and compete successfully with other national airlines.


We propose to set up an Airways Board to ensure that the fleets of BOAC and BEA are planned together to get the best overall advantage. We shall also seek to establish a strong regional airline, able to provide regular services between the different parts of the United Kingdom.


4. Education and Social Equality


Britain is now spending more on education than ever before. This has brought improvements in the quality of education - more teachers and better schools - and the rapid enlargement of opportunity in our secondary schools, our colleges of education and in higher education as a whole.


This increased expenditure reflects our belief - that all children can benefit from a broader and deeper education; that the rich variety of talent that exists must be given the widest possible chance to develop; and that it will make a major contribution to the welfare, quality and happiness of our society.


Our first priority has been to end the system under which 80 per cent of our nation's children were, at the age of eleven, largely denied the opportunity of a broad secondary education with the chance of higher education beyond.


Comprehensive reorganisation has been vigorously pursued. In the past six years 129 of the 163 English and Welsh local education authorities have agreed plans for reorganising their secondary schools.


This progress must not be checked; it must go forward. We shall legislate to require the minority of Tory education authorities who have so far resisted change to abandon eleven plus selection in England and Wales. We have legislated to end fee-paying in Scotland, and we intend to legislate further to ensure that no local authority in Scotland can maintain an area of privilege which destroys the full benefit of comprehensive reorganisation for its children.


School building has proceeded at a record level; 13 new schools a week have been completed in the first five years of the Labour Government, compared with less than 9 in the last five years of Tory rule.


In the next five years, we shall put more resources, both teachers and building, into the primary schools and expand nursery schools provision both in, and outside, the educational priority areas.


We intend to make further progress, now that the supply of teachers has been increased, towards our aim of reducing to 30 the size of all classes in our schools.


We shall introduce for England and Wales a new Education Bill to replace the 1944 and subsequent Acts. One of our aims will be to bring parents and teachers into a closer partnership in the running of our schools.


In 1972 we shall raise the school leaving age to 16. Preparations for this - increasing the supply of teachers, extending the school building programme, and planning a new course for the extra year - are now well advanced.


We shall still further expand higher education. Already since 1964 the number of young people in full time higher education, including the universities, has almost doubled. We are in transition to a new era where higher education, traditionally the preserve of a small educational elite, could become available to a wider section of the community. This expansion will require very careful planning. We shall undertake an early review of the whole field, including universities, polytechnics, higher further education and the colleges of education.


We have never believed that education and educational opportunity should stop at the school leaving age; nor that further education should be confined to full-time students in colleges and universities.


The capacity of people to learn and their desire to learn continues at all ages. It is, therefore, essential that provisions should be made for people, for adults of all ages, to re-enter the education system. To provide such an opportunity for those who have missed higher education, we have created the Open University, which will commence next year, with 25,000 students - almost half the annual intake of all our other universities together.


Social Equality


The widening and extension of education is the best preparation that we can make for our people and our country for the world of tomorrow. Investment in people is also the best way of developing a society based on tolerance, co-operation and greater social equality.


The education system itself must not perpetuate educational and social inequalities; that is one reason why full integration of secondary education is essential.


But progress in the field of education must be accompanied by measures to deal with social and economic inequalities elsewhere.


Until Labour came to power, those living off capital gains or land profits were allowed to substantially escape the net of taxation. We have dealt with this, and similar problems, through the Capital Gains Tax, Land Levy, Expense Accounts, Gaming Levy and by removing some loopholes in covenants and in Estate Duty. We shall continue to close loopholes.


There is much more to do to achieve a fairer distribution of wealth in our community. A Labour Government will continue its work to create a fairer tax system: we shall ensure that tax burdens are progressively eased from those least able to bear them and that there is a greater contribution to the National Revenue from the rich.


5. A Great Place to Live


For far too long Britain has been, side by side, two nations - one, in the better suburbs of our major cities and elsewhere, where good housing, access to the countryside, expensive amenities, clean air and leisure facilities were taken for granted; the other, in our city centres and industrial areas, where slum housing, 19th century schools and hospitals, congested services and general lack of amenities are still widespread.


The ways which we have chosen to deal with these problems of improving life - through community spending and the planned allocation of resources - are anathema to the whole philosophy of Toryism. Even today, when Britain is so obviously becoming a better place to live in, they are committed to slashing housing subsidies, cutting public expenditure, and relaxing laws which govern land use.




Housing has been and will continue to be a main priority of Labour's social policy. Rachmanism was dealt with in 1964 by legislation which brought protection from eviction and harassment. The disastrous free-market in rents was abolished by the 1965 Rent Act. A new and more generous system of housing subsidies has made possible a major increase in council building and many families have been helped with house purchasing, especially by favourable mortgage rates under our Option Scheme.


Substantial progress has been made. In our first five years we have built 2,000,000 new homes. In their last five years of office the Tories built 1,600,000. Not only have we increased the number, but we have insisted upon marked improvements in housing standards, in both public and private sectors.


Private landlord rents in unfurnished homes are determined under the 'fair rents' machinery and all tenants have been protected. Rent increases in the public sector are limited. Labour introduced legislation; the Tories opposed it.


New and more generous grants have been provided under the 1969 Act both to prevent the decay of older houses through neglect and to give their occupants modern amenities. This will be of particular value in the so-called twilight areas of our large cities.


The scandal of a leaseholder losing his home without compensation has been ended by our Enfranchisement Act. One million leaseholders have been granted this right.


The Next Stage


But although much has been done Britain still has - particularly in the great conurbations - a major housing problem. A high level of building must continue, and while shortages exist, rent control policies must remain. There is no place for saving money on the nation's housing.


As a direct result of decisions by Tory councils, there has been a fall in the number of houses completed. It is essential that this short-term trend in house-building be reversed, and we shall take whatever steps are necessary, including the provision of credit, to ensure this.


Home ownershlp will be further encouraged. For the first time in our history, 50 per cent of the nation's homes are now owner-occupied. We believe that this proportion will rise and should continue to rise.


Exceptionally high rates of interest throughout the world are keeping borrowing rates in Britain high - and although local authority lending has been greatly increased - to £155m. this year - and although with the help of Save As You Earn the flow of money to our building societies is now adequate, high lending rates are a serious obstacle to would-be owner-occupiers.


We shall, therefore, in discussion with the building societies, work out new ways of extending home ownership; in particular we shall seek to reduce the amount that has to be paid in the initial deposit; through local authorities and in consultation with Building Societies we shall extend the system of 100 per cent mortgages, and seek to lighten the burden of repayment in the first few years of occupation. As interest rates generally turn down, we shall expect the building societies to follow suit.


Finally, we shall see to it that the 'fair rents' machinery which now operates in unfurnished private dwellings is extended to furnished rented homes.


Urban Priority Areas


The worst of our housing problem exists in the inner areas of our large cities. But, serious as slums and overcrowding are, the problems in these areas are not just confined to housing. It is here, for example, that many of our remaining 7,000 pre-1870 schools are located; it is here that many immigrants settle; by and large it is the oldest urban areas where greatest shortages exist in social resources of all kinds.


The Labour Government has introduced new policies to meet this problem:


1. Housing Priority Areas: All these areas of special need are within housing priority areas which will continue to receive special help in house building.


2. Educational Priority Areas: Over £30m. extra expenditure on school building is being concentrated in areas with the worst slum schools.


3. Urban Programme: £25m. is being spent on an Urban Programme covering about 100 separate local authorities, including the provision of nursery schools and facilities for the under-fives.


Financial aid has also been given to voluntary agencies such as housing associations, which have a valuable role to play, particularly in renewing old houses.


The £25m. allocated to the Urban Programme will be spent by 1972. The Government will then extend the programme and increase the amount. In the years 1972/6 a new programme costing up to a further £40m. will be carried out.


Even with Labour's new high levels of expenditure on housing and welfare, hospitals, and social services generally, the areas of greatest social need will lag behind for many years to come.


That is why we intend now to develop the programmes mentioned above and to extend the principle of Priority Areas into spending on other services, so that we focus additional resources on areas with the greatest problems. We shall discuss with Local Authorities whether additional machinery - an Urban Renewal Agency, with powers and functions similar to those of a new town corporation - is required. This will be one of the important parts of our campaign against poverty.


New Towns


The development of existing English new towns is continuing in Lancashire, the Midlands, the North East and the Home Counties, and we are forging ahead with new towns in Peterborough, Northampton, Warrington, Milton Keynes and central Lancashire. In Wales progress is being made with expansion at Cwmbran and Newtown, and surveys at Llantrisant. Glasgow overspill problems are being tackled by special projects at Erskine and in Lanarkshire and another New Town at Irvine.


Studies will shortly be completed of the potential of Humberside, Severnside, Deeside and Tayside as major new centres should future population growth require them.


Opportunities for Leisure


Leisure, and the opportunities to pursue a wide range of recreational and cultural activities, must not be limited by lack of facilities.


Labour's commitment to developing opportunities for leisure has therefore been immense:


1. The Arts: Our aim is to make sure that enjoyment of the arts is not something remote from everyday life or removed from the realities of home and work. Government spending on the arts has been more than doubled. Local arts centres, regional film theatres, municipally owned and aided theatres, national and local museums have been established or modernised. A National Theatre and National Film School, after decades of Tory delay, are now being established.


2. Sport: Labour's National Sports Council and the nine Regional Sports Councils are developing facilities and identifying recreational needs in sport. The next step is to assist in the establishment of regional sports centres. We shall encourage the design of new schools so that they can also serve as multi-purpose sports centres for the adult community. 200 schools are already being designed for this purpose. We shall seek to cater for the growth sports, golfing, squash, sailing and so on. Angling is one of our most popular sports and we shall give special attention to its two great problems of greater access to fishing waters and to the prevention of pollution.


3. Countryside: The Countryside Commissions have wide powers to encourage and aid the provision of Country Parks and general amenities and facilities. One important development from this legislation has been the opening of eleven long-distance footpath routes - the most famous being the Pennine Way.


4. Tourism: Every year more and more tourists from overseas are finding Britain a vital and interesting place to visit. Our historic cities are a major attraction, and the Labour Government has initiated studies in the conservation of the ancient centres of these cities.


New Local Authorities


We shall carry through in the next Parliament a major reorganisation of local government. Strong units of local government will make possible much more effective town and country planning.


Reform of local gov6rnment finance will also be necessary. Urgent action has already been taken to deal with the worst features of the rating system. Rate rebates are now helping nearly one million families. We propose to invite, through the publication of a Green Paper, widespread debate of future changes in local taxation.


A Cleaner Britain


These, then, are Labour's priorities in making Britain a better place to live; Housing, New Towns, Urban Renewal and opportunities for varied


and stimulating leisure pursuits. We must take far better care of our physical environment. This means considerable attention to clean air, waste disposal, industrial effluents, the coastline, dereliction, noise, pesticides and all other problems of pollution - no matter how they arise.


Already we have made progress in clearing derelict land.' The acreage cleared has risen from 151 in 1964 to 1,324 last year. It is our aim now to raise - the £2m. expenditure programme of last year to £6m. by 1974.


Second, we are tackling the increasing problem of oil pollution. We shall legislate to ratify the new international agreement on discharges at sea and increase penalties against ships that break it.


Third, we shall take further steps to reduce aircraft noise. We have already approved an aircraft noise certification scheme that will cut the permitted noise levels of all new sub-sonic airliners.


Fourth, we shall legislate for effective control over the use of pesticides. Fifth, we shall protect our rivers and our coasts with new measures of control over industrial and human effluence.


There is an immense amount of work that needs to be done if we are to deal effectively with this problem.


The central premise in Labour's approach to these problems is to accept that community responsibility is essential if the quality of life is to be enhanced. We believe that Tory philosophy - with its emphasis on private interests and its opposition to collective organisation - is quite incapable of dealing with the problems which will increasingly arise.


6. Caring for People


The greatest single achievement of the post-war Labour Government was its creation of the best universal social security system and the first comprehensive health service in the world. The greatest single condemnation of Tory rule was the appalling neglect of this social programme.


They left a desperate need for new investment and a considerable shortage of staff. Hospital building was virtually neglected for the first ten years of Tory Government. They cut the number of doctors in training and they imposed a freeze on nurses' pay. The flat-rate national insurance contribution imposed a regressive poll-tax on the lower-paid. Worst of all, no fundamental proposals were made to abolish poverty in old age.


Labour's programme of action has therefore been as follows:


1.A substantial rise in all benefits. 2.More money for buildings and trained staff. 3.Structural reform of the old system.


Since the last full Tory year spending on health and social security is up over 70 per cent; wage-related short-term benefits and redundancy payments have been introduced; a tremendous programme of hospital building is under way, and a far-reaching Plan for National Superannuation has been incorporated in a Bill.




Three increases - the last in November 1969 - have substantially raised the real level of retirement pensions. The earnings rule has been relaxed - and for widows abolished. Sickness, unemployment, and other benefits have been increased in line with pensions, and redundancy pay and earnings-related short-term benefits begun.


The old National Assistance Board has been abolished. A more open and humane Supplementary Benefits Commission provides entitlement as a right. Three times the number of old people are now living independent lives in flats of their own, with a warden on call; over 500 more old people's homes have been built; and meals on wheels doubled.


Benefits for children have had a high priority. For the last eight Tory years, no increases in family allowances were made. Labour has twice raised these allowances - the value is now more than double - and has concentrated the benefit on the poorer family by balancing tax allowances and cash benefits.


Health Services


Expenditure on hospital building has been more than doubled. Five times as many health centres are now open. Local health and welfare expenditure as a whole is now running at three times the level of just ten years ago.


The National Health Service will be developed by continued expansion of training of doctors, nurses and other staff, by our great building programme, and by changes in the administrative structure to bring unified Local Health Authorities.


The Next Steps


1. The New Pensions Plan


The present national insurance scheme, in spite of the improvements which Labour has made, cannot provide an adequate income for retirement. Flat-rate contribution and benefits must inevitably be geared to the ability of the lowest paid to enter into the insurance contract. As a result, those on average and above average pay would always find a steep drop in their means upon retirement.


Labour's new Pension Plan will, therefore, incorporate radical concepts in social security; earnings-related contributions will mean a reduction for millions of lower paid workers. Benefits will be calculated in such a way as to assist the industrial worker and the below-average earner; there will be partnership with private occupational schemes, through which many will want to add to their state pension; full equality for women; a widow will receive the whole of her husband's pension; widows' pensions will be paid at 40; women will receive earnings-related sickness and unemployment benefit.


Labour's scheme is designed to abolish poverty in old age by enabling every worker to qualify for a pension at a level where supplementary benefit is no longer required. The wealth of the nation is increasing and those least able to care for themselves - the aged, the sick, unemployed and the widow - have a right to share in rising prosperity, and satisfy rising expectation. The Tories were the first to misrepresent the scheme. Now they are pledged to destroy it.


2. Disabled


As part of the new Act, we shall develop a new deal for the long-term sick and disabled. There will be an earnings-related invalidity benefit, and a constant attendance allowance for the very severely disabled, which for the first time covers the non-earner, the wife and children.


3. Family Poverty


There is a continuing problem of poverty in low income families - a many-sided problem of low wage industries, of disability and of special difficulties. On all of these the Labour Government has acted to help, and we will take steps to provide further social support. In the last two budgets we have taken three million on low incomes out of taxation.


We shall review the present system of family allowances and income tax child allowances.


On the special problem of the single-parent family, the Government has set up a comprehensive study under the Finer Committee.


4. Health Service


We need to concentrate more resources m the health service on the needs of the mentally handicapped, the mentally ill and elderly sick. Long stay hospitals, particularly those for the mentally handicapped, have for far too long been subjected to gross under-staffing and overcrowding, many of them in obsolete buildings.


We have already dealt with some of the worst features of this social scandal and have worked out our plans for providing to those long stay patients for whom there is small chance of cure, the care they deserve.


The new unitary structure of the health service and its close co-operation with the new local authorities will help to ensure more effective joint planning of hostels and homes and a better deployment of nurses and other staffs.


7. A More Active Democracy


Strong economic policy and care and compassion in the social field must be accompanied by a new drive both to infuse a democratic element into the increasingly complex institutions which dominate our lives and to give added protection and safeguards to the rights of individuals.


The priorities are clear. We have to make existing democratic institutions more effective and we have to extend the democratic principle, in various forms, into those institutions where democracy itself is still a stranger.


The machinery of government itself must be adapted to meet new demands and democratic procedures must be extended into industry and the social services.


Central Government and Parliament


Labour has begun the process of reform at the very heart of public decision making - central government itself. Archaic House of Commons procedures have been swept away, specialist Select Committees set up, and greatly improved research and information facilities to help M.P.s work more effectively.


The Government has introduced the instrument of the Green Paper to allow wide public debate and consultation on public issues before the crucial decisions are taken.


Under a Labour Government young people have been given full civil rights - including the right to vote at 18.


Following the publication of the Fulton Report, reform of the Civil Service is now going ahead. Our purpose is to achieve a broader base for recruitment, more specialist skills, the abolition of the class structure, and greater mobility between various branches of the service and with outside occupations.


An Ombudsman was appointed in 1968 to investigate the citizens' complaints against Government Departments. This office has already proved its value, and we now intend to extend the principle to local government and to the health service.


We cannot accept the situation in which the House of Lords can nullify important decisions of the House of Commons and, with its delaying powers, veto measures in the last year before an election. Proposals to secure reform will therefore be brought forward.




In 1965 the Labour Government set up for the first time Economic Planning Councils and Planning Boards for Wales, Scotland and the eight new planning regions of England. These have proved to be effective instruments to strengthen the Government's regional policies, and have given new impetus to proposals for devolution. The Government therefore set up a Commission on the Constitution which is now examining and receiving evidence on these issues.




In Wales the Labour Government in 1964 set up the Welsh Office with the Secretary of State a member of the Cabinet. The responsibilities of the Welsh Office have recently been substantially increased.


The Government has published proposals for a new local authority structure to provide improved local services. The evidence given by the Labour Party to the Commission on the Constitution includes plans for an elected council for Wales with extended powers. The Labour Party in Wales believes strongly in the integration of the United Kingdom and rejects a policy of separatism or a separate Parliament for Wales as being detrimental to the true interests of the Principality.


The Welsh Language Act 1967 has given a new impetus to the use of Welsh in public affairs. The Government will continue to encourage the growth of Welsh or bilingual schools throughout Wales. Through its financial support for the publication of books in Welsh for adults and through the expanding services of the Welsh Arts Council, the Labour Government will continue its efforts to support Welsh culture.


In its economic life, Wales has benefited significantly from the Government's policy which has attracted more than 150 new firms to


Wales since 1964, which has secured for Wales the largest ever trunk road programme and the highest number of houses ever built, which has halted depopulation in Mid-Wales, has fostered the tourist industry and has for the first time really tackled the problem of derelict land.




The Labour Party in Scotland his welcomed any changes leading to more effective Government which do not destroy the integration of the U.K. or weaken Scotland's influence at Westminster. They too reject separatism and also any separate legislative assembly.


Since 1964 Labour's separate legislation for Scotland has been accepted by the U.K. Parliament


•The Highlands and Islands Development Board •The Countryside Commission •The General Teaching Council •The Social Work Act •The First Stage of Feudal Tenure reform •Security for Tenant Farmers, etc.


Much of that legislation has led the way for the rest of the country.


We shall now further these aims in our proposals for local government reform based upon Wheatley. We shall complete our work of abolishing and replacing the feudal system of land tenure. And we shall apply Scottish solutions to Scottish problems.


Northern Ireland


Northern Ireland presents major problems. Fifty years of one-party Tory rule have led to social tensions and lack of opportunities which erupted into major disorders last summer. The Government has helped stabilise the situation and has insisted on reforms being carried out in Northern Ireland based on the practice and principle of nondiscrimination. In particular, it has been agreed that the reform of local government in Ulster shall proceed and that a Central Housing Authority shall be set up. British troops will remain in Northern Ireland so long as they are needed.


The Downing St. Declaration of 19th August, 1969 signed by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, reaffirmed that in all legislation and executive decisions of Government every citizen of Northern Ireland is entitled to the same equality of treatment and freedom from discrimination as obtains in the rest of the United Kingdom, irrespective of political views or religion.


Local Government


We believe that the recent reports on local government present a great opportunity for the transfer of administrative power from Westminster to the localities. Larger and stronger local authorities will mean better planning, more efficiency, stronger councils and improved quality in local democracy and local services.


Legislation will be brought forward in the next Parliament to set up new authorities, to abolish the post of alderman and to give added power to elected representatives. We shall also encourage the setting up of Local Councils to give people a greater say in local problems.


Health Service


Hand in hand with the reform of local government we propose a new administrative structure for the Health Service. We shall bring together the now separate hospital service, the general practitioner service and the local authority health services. The old tripartite structure will go, and be replaced by area Health Authorities which will allow for greater involvement in its administration of local representatives and those who operate the service.




The Government's major White Paper on Education will include proposals to involve parents, teachers and the wider community more directly in the management of the education system.


Industrial Democracy


But political democracy is of limited value unless it is underpinned by industrial democracy. If we are to have greater industrial harmony, we must involve the worker through his union more closely in the decisions which affect his working life and eliminate the grievances that are the causes of many strikes.


That is why Labour has produced a charter of good industrial relations on which it intends to legislate.


This will:


•Overhaul negotiating and disputes procedures •Give safeguards against unfair dismissal •Make recognition a legal right for trade unions •Ensure greater disclosure of information to workers' representatives •Encourage the rationalisation of trade union structures •Enable unions and employers to negotiate legally binding agreements where they expressly indicate their desire to do so.


Britain's publicly owned industries are already experimenting in new worker/manager relationships and new ways of securing workers' representation on their boards of management. A Labour Government will encourage similar experiments in private industry.


We shall also consider further the structure of the limited liability company with a view to making it more accountable to its employees and the community.


Law and Justice


It is a first duty of government to protect the citizen against violence, intimidation and crime. The Government will vigorously pursue the fight against vandals and law breakers. But the campaign for law and order must be linked to liberty and justice in a civilised society. Nothing could be more cynical than the current attempts by our opponents to exploit for Party political ends the issue of crime and law enforcement.




The streets of our cities are as safe today as those in any throughout the world. They must remain so. Labour has reorganised the police forces in this country and a record sum is being spent on equipment. The number of police is higher than ever before. The Gaming Act of 1968 purged gambling of its criminal elements, cut excessive profits, and checked the proliferation of gaming machines.


Equally important are our achievements in obtaining penal reform, in transforming our approach to the young offender, in democratising the magistrates' bench, and in our approach to rehabilitating the prisoner. This is an exceedingly difficult task while so many of our prisons are a century old and are gravely overcrowded; but it must be persisted in patiently, not only for the sake of the prisoner himself, but because his return to a decent way of life and to productive work obviously benefits society as a whole.


Law Reform


Britain's system of justice is renowned throughout the world, but many of our laws need up-dating and the administration of justice is severely over-stretched. Labour's Law Commissions will continue with their work for systematic codification of criminal law, repeal of old Acts, simplification of the statute book and reform of the courts. It is also our aim to enable the courts to handle the increasing volume of work.


Access to the Law


We have recently extended the legal aid scheme and it is our intention to ensure that people with modest means can obtain legal advice and be properly represented in the courts of law.


Race Relations


With the rate of immigration under firm control and much lower than in past years, we shall be able still more to concentrate our resources in the major task of securing good race relations. The Urban Programme includes help to areas of high immigrant population, where special social needs exist. The Race Relations Act has outlawed incitement to racial hatred and discrimination in housing, employment and credit facilities. The Community Relations Commission, with the local authorities and other voluntary bodies, is dealing with the longer-term problem of community living.


We now propose to review the law relating to citizenship and to give the Race Relations Board powers of discretion in taking up complaints.




Broadcasting has a major role to play in an informed democracy.


The greatest danger in communications is the danger of growing concentration of private ownership, and the parallel danger of domination by commercial values. In broadcasting the Government has firmly resisted the commercial lobby's pleas for private radio. A network of local radio stations has instead been created - responsible to the community and co-ordinated by the B.B.C.


The Government has decided to establish a high-powered Committee of Enquiry to report on the Future of Broadcasting, in time for the basic decisions which have to be taken in 1975.


A Healthy Democracy


When individuals have a satisfying and rewarding job, and when they have then satisfied basic needs for food and shelter and a pleasant environment, we believe that many will wish to devote more time and interest to the collective problems of the community. It is this, in recent years, which has led to calls for greater devolution, participation in decision-making and reform of democratic structures.


The proposals we have set out above will ensure a thorough-going reform of government machinery, together with an increase in democratic decision-taking in the community; the school, the hospital and workplace. We believe that this is the reform people wish - an opportunity to influence decisions on those things which interest and affect them most. It calls for a continuing change in the relationship between government and governed, and we gladly accept the challenge of making sure that the reforms go through.


We also want people to assume greater responsibility themselves. The future of this country depends as much on how people use the power they have as on the action government may take.


8. Britain in the World Community


Labour's fundamental and historic changes in Britain's defence and foreign policy have given Britain a more credible and realistic position in world affairs than we ever enjoyed under the last Tory administration. In the last five years Labour has:


•Saved £3,000 million on Tory defence plans •Planned a further saving of £2,000 million by 1972 •Ended our commitments East of Suez •Increased our support for the U.N. •Strengthened the Commonwealth •Improved Forces pay and conditions •Given independence to nine former colonies •Observed the U.N. arms ban on South Africa •Brought increased support to collective security in Europe and to the search for European détente •Underlined our desire to play a full part in the future political and economic development of our continent.


Peace and Security


The steady work of Labour's Ministers of Disarmament has achieved real progress. They played a large part in securing agreement on the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty which now, signed and ratified by the required number of nations, has come into force. One consequence of this Treaty has been that America and Russia are now engaged in serious discussion on Strategic Arms Limitation; and all men of good will will wish these talks success.


Labour's Ministers were also active in establishing a Nuclear Free Zone in Latin America. The next tasks - on which Ministers are already at work - are these:


(a) A comprehensive ban on the testing of nuclear weapons


(b) A new international agreement to outlaw biological weapons


(c) An agreement to prevent the depths of the sea from being used for warlike purposes.


In the world as it is today, Britain must maintain her defences and her firm commitment to NATO. It is true - and it is a truly Socialist shift in priorities - that we now spend more on education than on defence, and that in the near future the health and welfare service expenditure will also exceed defence spending. Yet, because of our shrewd and sensible reduction in commitments, with Labour, the armed forces are better paid, better equipped and more effective in NATO than ever before. More than that, in contrast to the hundreds of millions of pounds wasted on costly prestige projects under the Tories, Labour's defence planning gives the taxpayer value for money.


Labour is determined that NATO shall not be merely a defensive alliance: it must work positively for a relaxation of tension and reduction of forces. Some progress is already being made. Herr Willy Brandt, Socialist Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, is engaged in talks with Russia, Poland and East Germany. The British Labour Government fully supports his efforts. Our Government, together with America, France and Russia, is seeking to reduce the occasions for conflict and tension in Berlin.


The Government believes that the members of NATO should work towards a well-prepared conference on European Security, in which balanced reduction of forces and the key problems now creating tension in Europe could be discussed. The Government has just taken a new initiative for multilateral explanatory talks with the Warsaw Pact countries with a view to finding a basis for wide-ranging negotiations on European security and a relaxation of tension.


In two areas - Indo-China and the Middle East - there is bitter conflict, full of danger for the peace of the world. Labour believes that no purely military solution is possible in either of these areas. A lasting settlement in Indo-China must be based on the Geneva agreements and the withdrawal of all foreign troops; a lasting settlement in the Middle East on the British sponsored Security Council resolution of November 1967. It is on these foundations that a Labour Government will work.


The United Nations


Support for the U.N. continues to be the cornerstone of Labour's foreign policy. Britain is the only one of more than 100 member countries which is represented at the U.N. by a senior Minister, with direct access to the Prime Minister. Further examination will be given to the establishing of a permanent U.N. peace-keeping force and further efforts must be made to guarantee the U.N. a firm financial basis.


The Fight Against World Poverty


The Ministry of Overseas Development, which Labour set up, has meant that aid is better co-ordinated and directed and thus more effective, than ever before. The improved economic climate will enable us to make progress.


In the next five years Labour is to increase our aid programme by about one-third, from £219 millions in 69/70 to £300 millions in 73/74.


Labour will seek to devote 1 per cent of our Gross National Product to aid the developing world by 1975 and to achieve an official flow of aid of 0.7 per cent of GNP during the Second Development Decade - this accepts the target set by the Pearson Commission.


Multilateral agencies will receive a larger proportion of total aid flow and more resources will be devoted to rural and co-operative development and population planning.


Racial Conflict


The division of the world along racial lines presents a major threat to peace during the coming decade. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Southern Africa, where the odious doctrine of Apartheid continues to flourish.


Official Tory Party policy already commits a future Conservative Government to:


(a) Sell arms to South Africa


(b) Negotiate with the Smith regime on Rhodesia


Labour made every effort possible to bring about an honourable settlement in Rhodesia consistent with the six principles. The illegal Rhodesian regime slammed the door by introducing an Apartheid-type republican constitution. Labour will maintain sanctions against the illegal regime and negotiate no settlement that does not guarantee unimpeded progress to majority rule. A Labour Government will continue to comply with the United Nations ban on arms to South Africa.


The Commonwealth


In the building of racial harmony and the fight against poverty the Commonwealth can play a unique and expanding role in building bridges between all races, between rich and poor, and help maintain the co-operation and understanding between nations which makes it a force for peace. The Government will encourage and support an expansion of the technical assistance and co-ordinating functions of the Commonwealth Secretariat.


Throughout the sixties Tory journalists and politicians decried the usefulness of the Commonwealth link. With Labour the Commonwealth has been revitalised, with its own secretariat and Secretary General providing a wide range of services and co-ordinating functions for member states.


The World Economy


Today either the scale of initial investment or the size of market required to ensure viability demands international co-operation for new developments such as space communications or aircraft production.


Through the Ministry of Technology, established by Labour in 1964, such co-operation is fostered not only with the U.S.A. and Western Europe but also with the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.


In the coming decade we shall develop closer technological relations with India and other countries. Trading and technological links may also play a part in helping to bring China into the community of nations. Labour still believes that China should be a member. of the United Nations.


The pressures put on individual national currencies, the problems presented by major international companies crossing frontiers as if they did not exist and transferring know-how and resources with great ease, the need for international action to tackle problems of our environment such as oil pollution, the need to encourage a greater volume of world trade, are all problems which can only be solved by international co-operation.


Some of these problems will require world-wide action by agencies of the United Nations. Others will best be dealt with by 'regional cooperation. In Europe, Britain already is part of the European Free Trade Association.


We have applied for membership of the European Economic Community and negotiations are due to start in a few weeks' time. These will be pressed with determination with the purpose of joining an enlarged community provided that British and essential Commonwealth interests can be safeguarded.


This year, unlike 1961-1963, Britain will be negotiating from a position of economic strength. Britain's strength means that we shall be able to meet the challenges and realise the opportunities of joining an enlarged Community. But it means, too, that if satisfactory terms cannot be secured in the negotiations Britain will be able to stand on her own 'feet outside the Community.


Unlike the Conservatives, a Labour Government will not be prepared to pay part of the price of entry in advance of entry and irrespective of entry by accepting the policies, on which the Conservative Party are insisting, for levies on food prices, the scrapping of our food subsidies and the introduction of the Value-Added Tax.


A Role in the World


The Tory leaders have, in the last six years, revealed their chronic inability to come to terms with the modern world. They have constantly attacked defence saving (everything from the TSR2 to the Territorials). Their constant disparagement of both the U.N. and the Commonwealth and their wish for closer links with white Southern Africa can leave little doubt that Tory policy would exacerbate the tensions between the rich white and poor black nations in the world.


By contrast Labour offers a more responsible and credible role for Britain in world affairs. A role which ensures that we make our full contribution to the development of Europe and the relaxation of East/West tensions and which at the same time strengthens the U.N. and the Commonwealth and ensures that we play an increasingly important role in the fight against polarisation along racial lines and in the battle to end world poverty.


We never thought, or promised, that the job of ending poverty, at home as well as abroad, would be an easy one. But to do this job is part of our dedication as Socialists.


We have begun to do it, in partnership between people and government. On Thursday, 18 June, the people will be able to give Labour the mandate we need to go forward.


<Picture: arrow>Back to main table.

Last Modified: Wednesday, 23-Apr-97 16:13:08 BST



The Labour Party:



Let us work together - Labour's way out of the crisis









By Harold Wilson

Leader of the Labour Party


I welcome this Election - I welcome, more than anything else, this opportunity for the British people to give their verdict upon the last three years and eight months of Conservative Government. Let the people vote; let us work together again.


This Manifesto was published by the Labour Party National Executive Committee and Parliamentary Committee on 11 January last. Since then the situation has deteriorated gravely, and the nation knows it is in crisis. This is Labour's policy for that crisis-and to this we pledge ourselves when elected.


The Government called this election in panic. They are unable to govern, and dare not tell the people the truth.


Our people face a series of interlocking crises. Prices are rocketing. The Tories have brought the country to the edge of bankruptcy and breakdown. More and more people are losing their jobs. Firms are going out of business. Housing costs are out of reach for so many families. The Common Market now threatens us with still higher food prices and with a further loss of Britain's control of its own affairs. We shall restore to the British people the right to decide the final issue of British membership of the Common Market.


The British people were never consulted about the Market. Even more, the country was deceived in 1970 about the Government's intentions on jobs and prices. They will not be deceived again. Today the people of Britain know that reasonable leadership by Government can achieve an honourable settlement of the mining dispute and get the country back to work. Only stubborn refusal by an arrogant Conservative administration stands in our way.


The new Labour Government will see that the present dispute is settled by negotiation. We shall control prices and attack speculation and set a climate fair enough to work together with the unions.


This Election is not about the miners. They are in the firing line today. The housewife has been in the firing line ever since Mr. Heath was elected. Let us now choose a Government willing to face up to Britain's problems; let us elect a Government of all the people; let us work together.






Britain needs a new Government, and the Labour Party is ready with the policies essential to rescue the nation from the most serious political and economic crisis since 1945. We do not say that the dangers confronting us can be quickly dispelled; rising prices and housing costs and the new threat to our livelihood from the world-wide oil crisis cannot be held in check at a stroke. We do say that the problems cut so deep that the solutions must cut deep also. The sooner Labour gets the chance to heal the savage wounds inflicted upon our society in recent years, and to turn the hopes and exertions of our people in a new direction, the better for the nation as a whole.


In this sense, we face not merely economic perils of a new dimension; we face a crowning test of our democracy - whether we can show the resilience, the ingenuity, the courage, the imagination, the sense of community necessary to meet the economic perils.


The Labour Party is proud of the contribution we made to the nation's salvation at critical times in our history, and it is in the same mood that we approach the interlocking crises of the 1970s.


Immediately, for the vast majority of families, the economic crisis takes the form of fear for their jobs, ever-rising prices, particularly food prices, and ever-rising housing costs, particularly council rents and high mortgage rates, coupled with the most drastic cuts in their income which our people have experienced since the 1930s - caused by the three-day working week introduced in panic by Government decree on January 1. For the nation the economic crisis involves an appalling balance of payments deficit, mounting debt and an ever sinking pound.


Apparently, the aim of the Prime Minister is to continue the scourge of the three-day week until he has secured a political victory over the miners. He scolds them as national enemies at the very moment when their services are more than ever indispensable to the nation. The folly of this style of politics passes description. But one day soon the Government will have to make a settlement with the miners; let us hope the clash has not by then become so bitter that the long-term prospect of sustaining an effective coal industry is fatally impaired.


The Tory Legacy


The longer the Conservative Government survives the more desperate the situation a Labour Government will inherit. The British people will understand if we are then compelled to give so absolute a priority to rebuilding the economic fabric of the nation that some of our expenditure will have to be delayed. The graver our economic situation the more important it will be to protect the poorer members of the community - such as the pensioners - by a drastic re distribution of wealth and income. However, the nature of the crisis will require that the structural changes we propose should be made even more urgently.


Whatever the circumstances in which we take office, we shall still have to meet the menaces of the mounting price of oil, of a &pound;2,000 million deficit on the balance of payments, and of even more rapidly rising prices. How Labour will tackle that long-standing challenge of inflation naturally forms a central part of this document. But let us consider first the energy crisis.


The Energy Crisis


A huge addition is now being made to the price Britain must pay for oil from the Middle East and elsewhere, including heavy additional burdens on the balance of payments. Every available step must be taken to enforce the most efficient use of fuel and this must clearly be decided on a national scale. Government intervention in the allocation of precious energy resources would be willingly accepted by the community as a whole.


First, and with the utmost urgency, the coal industry must be given a new status, perspective, and security. In particular, the case which the National Union of Mineworkers has long presented is now more than ever seen to be in the national interest. A Labour Government will give the mining industry the backing it needs to revise its plans on a more ambitious scale. Immediately, the present Government should set up a Commission, composed of representatives of the NCB, the NUM, and the Government itself, to re-examine the industry's future, including distribution, in the light of the new necessities, and to report within three months.


Second, the new situation has greatly strengthened Labour's determination to ensure not only that the North Sea and Celtic Sea oil and gas resources are in full public ownership, but that the operation of getting and distributing them is under full Government control with majority public participation. We cannot accept that the allocation of available world output should continue to be made by multi-national oil companies and not by Governments. We will not permit Britain's own resources to be parceled out in this way. It is public owner ship and control that will enable the British people, through its Government, to fix the pace of exploitation of our oil, and the use to which it is put, so as to secure maximum public advantage from our own resources.


Third, a British Government should take the initiative to set up an Inter national Energy Commission. Such a body, designed to establish a rational international allocation of available oil resources, together with research into new forms of fuel, should represent not only the industrialised nations but also the developing countries, which are bound to suffer most cruelly.


Fourth, the energy crisis has further profound implications for the way we conduct our whole transport system. If we are to conserve precious fuel we must do two things: one, move as much traffic as possible from road to rail; and two, develop public transport to make us less dependent on the private car. This will involve large scale investment in railways, tubes and buses and a fares policy which puts the needs of the travelling public first.


Fifth, the oil crisis is only one example of the problems which confront all nations in connection with the exploitation of the finite natural resources of raw materials of the earth. A Labour Government must co-operate internationally to use carefully the world's resources in the long-term public interest of both the developing and developed nations and to reject the present concepts of profiteering exploitation.




Three years ago when Labour was in power, Britain had a big and growing surplus on the balance of payments. Mortgage rates stood at 8.5 per cent; Labour had built two million houses in six years; and the rise in the cost of living had been held down to less than S per cent a year. Today interest rates are at record high levels, and house building is at its lowest for more than ten years. The cost of living has gone up by 10 per cent a year and food prices have risen by no less than 18 per cent in one year.


The present Government came to office with promises of lower taxation, stable prices, reduced unemployment and increased financial strength. Three years later we have experienced a 20 per cent devaluation of the pound (or a 'float' downwards of that extent); unemployment has been over a million and is now rising again; prices have risen faster than at any time in living memory; and tax cuts for the rich have been paid for by price rises for the rest of us. We now have the lowest house building programme since 1963 combined with rampant inflation in rents and house prices. Wages are controlled whilst unearned incomes and capital values soar. The banks have doubled their profits through the record interest rates their customers have to pay. 1974 will certainly produce the biggest balance of payments deficit in our history.


The Common Market


Britain is a European nation, and a Labour Britain would always seek a wider co-operation between the European peoples. But a profound political mistake


made by the Heath Government was to accept the terms of entry to the Common Market, and to take us in without the consent of the British people. This has involved the imposition of food taxes on top of rising world prices, crippling fresh burdens on our balance of payments, and a draconian curtailment of the power of the British Parliament to settle questions affecting vital British interests. This is why a Labour Government will immediately seek a fundamental re negotiation of the terms of entry.


We have spelled out in Labour's Programme for Britain our objectives in the new negotiations which must take place:


'The Labour Party opposes British membership of the European Communities on the terms negotiated by the Conservative Government.


'We have said that we are ready to re-negotiate.


'In preparing to re-negotiate the entry terms, our main objectives are these:


'Major changes in the COMMON AGRICULTURAL POLICY, so that it ceases to be a threat to world trade in food products, and so that low-cost producers outside Europe can continue to have access to the British food market.


'New and fairer methods of financing the COMMUNITY BUDGET. Neither the taxes that form the so-called "own resources" of the Communities, nor the purposes, mainly agricultural support, on which the funds are mainly to be spent, are acceptable to us. We would be ready to contribute to Community finances only such sums as were fair in relation to what is paid and what is received by other member countries.


'As stated earlier, we would reject any kind of international agreement which compelled us to accept increased unemployment for the sake of maintaining a fixed parity, as is required by current proposals for a European ECONOMIC AND MONETARY UNION. We believe that the monetary problems of the European countries can be resolved only in a world-wide framework.


'The retention by PARLIAMENT of those powers over the British economy needed to pursue effective regional, industrial and fiscal policies. Equally we need an agreement on capital movements which protects our balance of payments and full employment policies. The economic interests of the COMMONWEALTH and the DEVELOPING COUNTRIES must be better safeguarded This involves securing continued access to the British market and, more generally, the adoption by an enlarged Community of trade and aid policies designed to benefit not just "associated overseas territories" in Africa, but developing countries throughout the world.


'No harmonisation of VALUE ADDED TAX which would require us to tax necessities.


'If re-negotiations are successful, it is the policy of the Labour Party that, in view of the unique importance of the decision, the people should have the right to decide the issue through a General Election or a Consultative Referendum. If these two tests are passed, a successful renegotiation and the expressed approval of the majority of the British people, then we shall be ready to play our full part in developing a new and wider Europe.


'If re-negotiations do not succeed, we shall not regard the Treaty obligations as binding upon us. We shall then put to the British people the reasons why we find the new terms unacceptable, and consult them on the advisability of negotiating our withdrawal from the Communities.'


An incoming Labour Government will immediately set in train the procedures designed to achieve an early result and whilst the negotiations proceed and until the British people have voted, we shall stop further processes of integration, particularly as they affect food taxes. The Government will be free to take decisions, subject to the authority of Parliament, in cases where decisions of the Common Market prejudge the negotiations. Thus, the right to decide the final issue of British entry into the Market will be restored to the British people.


Social Justice


Clearly, a fresh approach to the British crisis is required, and Labour insists that it must begin with an entirely new recognition of the claims of social justice.


To that end, urgent action is needed to tackle rising prices; to strike at the roots of the worst poverty; to make the country demonstrably a much


fairer place to live in. For these purposes, a new Labour Government, in its first period of office, will:


1 Bring immediate help to existing PENSIONERS, widows, the sick and the unemployed by increasing pensions and other benefits to &pound;10 for the single person and &pound;16 for the married couple, within the first Parliamentary session of our Government. Thereafter these figures will be increased annually in proportion to increases in average national earnings. We shall also follow this by replacing the Conservative Government's inadequate and unjust long- term pensions scheme by a comprehensive scheme designed to take future pensioners off the means test and give full equality of treatment to women.


2 Introduce a new scheme of help for the DISABLED.


3 Help the low paid and other families in poverty by introducing a new system of CHILD CASH ALLOWANCES for every child, including the first, payable to the mother.


4 Introduce strict PRICE CONTROL on key services and commodities. Bulk purchase and new marketing arrangements will help stabilise food prices, and selective use of subsidies will be applied to the items bearing most heavily on the family budget. We shall re-negotiate those elements of Common Market policy which deliberately impose food taxes on the people.


5 Repeal the HOUSING FINANCE ACT, and give back to local authorities the right to fix rents which do not make a profit out of their tenants. We shall extend protection from eviction to tenants of furnished accommodation; limit rent increases in unfurnished and furnished lettings; encourage the municipalisation of privately rented property (except where an owner-occupier shares a house with a tenant); and take steps to secure a steady supply of mortgage funds at reasonable rates of interest to those wishing to buy their own homes; and abolish the agricultural tied cottage. We shall raise the total subsidy for local authority house building to that granted to owner- occupiers on their mortgage payments. This will be vital to reversing the serious fall in the housing programme under the present Government.


Land required for development will be taken into public ownership, so that land is freely and cheaply available for new houses, schools, hospitals and other purposes. Public ownership of land will stop land profiteering. It will emphatically not apply to owner-occupiers.


6 REDISTRIBUTE INCOME AND WEALTH. We shall introduce an annual Wealth Tax on the rich; bring in a new tax on major transfers of personal wealth; heavily tax speculation in property - including a new tax on property companies; and seek to eliminate tax dodging across the whole field.


Industrial Relations


These measures affecting prices and taxation policy will prove by deeds the determination of the new Labour Government to set Britain on the road towards a new social and economic equality. After so many failures in the field of incomes policy - under the Labour Government but even more seriously under the Tory Government's compulsory wage controls - only deeds can persuade. Only practical action by the Government to create a much fairer distribution of the national wealth can convince the worker and his family and his trade union that 'an incomes policy' is not some kind of trick to force him, particularly if he works in a public service or nationalised industry, to bear the brunt of the national burden. But as it is proved that the Government is ready to act - against high prices, rents and other impositions falling most heavily on the low paid and on pensioners - so we believe that the trade unions voluntarily (which is the only way it can be done for any period in a free society), will co-operate to make the whole policy successful. We believe that the action we propose on prices, together with an understanding with the TUC on the lines which we have already agreed, will create the right economic climate for money incomes to grow in line with production. That is the essence of the new social contract which the Labour Party has discussed at length and agreed with the TUC and which must take its place as a central feature of the new economic policy of a Labour Government.


A Labour Government will, therefore:


(i) Abolish the PAY BOARD apparatus set up by the Tories


(ii) Repeal the INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT as a matter of extreme urgency and then bring in an Employment Protection Act and an Industrial Democracy Act, as agreed in our discussions with the TUC, to increase the control of industry by the people


(iii) Establish a standing ROYAL COMMISSION to advise on income distribution, both earned and unearned, with particular reference to differentials and job evaluation


(iv) Establish a non-governmental CONCILIATION AND ARBITRATION SERVICE, with the task of tackling industrial disputes at both national and local level.


Employment and Expansion


However, more will be needed if we are to create a new spirit in industry. The British people, both as workers and consumers, must have more control over the powerful private forces that at present dominate our economic life. To this end we shall:


7 Sustain and expand industrial development and exports and bring about the re-equipment necessary for this purpose through the powers we shall take in a new INDUSTRY ACT and through the Planning Agreement system which will allow Government to plan with industry more effectively.


Wherever we give direct aid to a company out of public funds we shall in return reserve the right to take a share of the ownership of the company.


8 In addition to our plans set out in point S above for taking into common ownership land required for development, we shall substantially extend PUBLIC ENTERPRISE by taking mineral rights. We shall also take shipbuilding, shiprepairing and marine engineering, ports, the manufacture of airframes and aeroengines into public ownership and control. But we shall not confine the extension of the public sector to the loss-making and subsidised industries. We shall also take over profitable sections or individual firms in those industries where a public holding is essential to enable the Government to control prices, stimulate investment, encourage exports, create employment, protect workers and consumers from the activities of irresponsible multi-national companies, and to plan the national economy in the national interest. We shall therefore include in this operation, sections of pharmaceuticals, road haulage, construction, machine tools, in addition to our proposals for North Sea and Celtic Sea oil and gas. Our decision in the field of banking, insurance and building societies is still under consideration. We shall return to public ownership assets and licences hived-off by the present government, and we shall create a powerful National Enterprise Board with the structure and functions set out in Labour's Programme 1973.


9 We intend to socialise existing nationalised industries. In consultation with the unions, we shall take steps to make the management of existing nationalised industries more responsible to the workers in the industry and more responsive to their consumers' needs.


10 Regional development will be further encouraged by new public enterprise, assistance to private industry on a selective basis, and new REGIONAL PLANNING MACHINERY, along the lines set out in Labour's Programme 1973. We will retain and improve the Regional Employment Premium. Revenues from North Sea oil will be used wherever possible to improve employment conditions in Scotland and the regions elsewhere in need of development.


11 We shall develop an active manpower policy with a powerful NATIONAL LABOUR BOARD. In the longer term, redundant workers must have an automatic right to retraining; redundancy should then lead not to unemployment, but to retraining and job changing.


Social Progress


These are our measures for transforming British industry into a responsible economic system. It is outrageous that, at a time when enormous private wealth is being accumulated, so little effort has been made to maintain and improve our public services. A Labour Government will:


12 Revise and expand the NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE; abolish prescription charges; introduce free family planning; phase out private practice from the hospital service; and transform the area health authorities into democratic bodies.


We also intend to establish a disability benefit.


13 Expand the EDUCATION SERVICE by the introduction of a national scheme of Nursery Schools, including day care facilities, and by a big expansion of educational facilities for 16-18 year olds, by finally ending the 11+ and by providing additional resources for children in special need of help. We shall speed the development of a universal system of fully comprehensive secondary schools. All forms of tax-relief and charitable status for public schools will be withdrawn.


14 Pay special attention to the MANPOWER NEEDS of all public services now approaching breakdown, particularly in our inner urban areas. Our cities desperately need and must get better services, which are properly manned, and the resources to make this possible.


Not all of our proposals should be judged on economic tests. It is the duty of Socialists to protect the individual from discrimination on whatever grounds. Here several of our proposals have the advantage of bringing benefits at little economic cost.


15 WOMEN AND GIRLS must have an equal status in education, training, employment, social security, national insurance, taxation, property ownership, matrimonial and family law. Women at work, whether wives and mothers or those otherwise caring for dependent relatives, must receive more consideration from the community. We shall create the powerful legal machinery necessary to enforce our anti-discrimination laws.


16 Review the law of NATIONALITY so that our immigration policies are based on citizenship, and in particular to eliminate discrimination on grounds of colour.


17 Set up a NATIONAL CONSUMERS AUTHORITY with adequate finance to redress the balance between the consumer and the manufacturer and seller.


Peace and Justice in a Safer World


As in domestic policy the lesson of the last few years in Foreign Policy is that a narrow, selfish, inward looking approach to international problems is doomed to failure. We are, more than ever, one world and Labour's foreign policy will be dedicated to the strengthening of international institutions and global co operation in response to the threats to the peace and prosperity of us all. To this end the foreign policy of a new Labour Government will be guided by four main principles.


One We shall seek to strengthen international organisations dedicated to the promotion of human rights. the rule of law, and the peaceful settlement of disputes. In particular, we shall re-dedicate Britain to the ideals of the United Nations and the Commonwealth, two organisations treated with scant regard by the present Government.


Two We shall commit Britain to a policy of equality at home and abroad which would involve radical changes in aid, trade and development policies. In particular, the next Labour Government will seek to implement the United Nations Development Target of 0.7 per cent of GNP official aid and will increase the aid programme to meet it, and will actively seek to re-establish a more generous and more liberal world trading pattern for the developing countries.


Three We shall oppose all forms of racial discrimination and colonialism. This will mean support for the liberation movements of Southern Africa and a disengagement from Britain's unhealthy involvement with Apartheid. We shall intensify the policy of sanctions against Rhodesia and agree to no settlement which does not have the whole-hearted consent of the African majority.


Four Whilst maintaining our support for NATO as an instrument of détente no less than of defence, we shall, in consultation with our Allies, progressively reduce the burden of Britain's defence spending to bring our costs into line with those carried by our main European allies. Such a realignment would, at pre sent levels of defence spending, mean savings on defence expenditure by Britain of several hundred million pounds per annum over a period. At the same time we shall work for the success of détente. We shall participate in the multilateral disarmament negotiations and as a first step will seek the removal of American Polaris bases from Great Britain. The ultimate objective of the movement to wards a more satisfactory relationship in Europe must be the mutual and concurrent phasing out of NATO and the Warsaw Pact.


Let the Nation Decide


The aims set out in this manifesto are Socialist aims, and we are proud of the word. It is only by setting our aims high, even amid the hazards of our present economic situation, that the idealism and high intelligence, especially of our young people, can be enlisted. It is indeed our intention to:


(a) Bring about a fundamental and irreversible shift in the balance of power and wealth in favour of working people and their families


(b) Eliminate poverty wherever it exists in Britain, and commit ourselves to a substantial increase in our contribution to fight poverty abroad


(c) Make power in industry genuinely accountable to the workers and the community at large


(d) Achieve far greater economic equality - in income, wealth and living standards


(e) Increase social equality by giving far greater importance to full employment, housing, education and social benefits


(f) Improve the environment in which our people live and work and spend their leisure.


Of course, as we insisted at the beginning, these aims, like the particular items In the programme, cannot all be fulfilled at once. We cannot do everything at once, and these are the priorities we have chosen. This preliminary manifesto, drawing upon the new policy statements which the Labour Party has discussed by its democratic process, over the past three years, sets out the specific numbered pledges which the next Labour Government will seek with all its strength to carry out in a single Parliament.


The task will not be easy. But we repudiate the despairing gospel preached In some quarters that the British people cannot govern themselves and that they have lost the art to act cohesively, through their various democratic institutions, as a civilised community.


That charge comes most insultingly from a Conservative Government which has adopted so many devices to corrode or destroy the power of those democratic institutions - local authorities, the trade unions, the House of Commons itself. These are the very instruments which Labour will use to restore and enhance the power of British democracy.


<Picture: arrow>Back to main table.

Last Modified: Sunday, 23-Feb-97 17:13:50 GMT



The Labour Party Manifesto: October, 1974










The Rt. Hon. Harold Wilson, OBE, FRS, MP



In February we put before the British people our Manifesto, 'Labour's Way out of the Crisis'.


It was a programme for getting Britain back to work, for overcoming what was universally acknowledged to be the gravest economic crisis Britain had faced since the war. A programme to be carried out by a Government of all the people working together.


Labour formed the Government, got Britain back to work and showed our determination to fulfil the programme which we had put before the people. No post war British Government has achieved more in six months.


But at every turn we have found ourselves faced in Parliament by a majority which could, and did, coalesce to frustrate the policies we had put before the nation. What is still more serious has been the widespread expectation of an inevitable and early General Election, which created uncertainty in industry and the other institutions of our British society.


Soon the people must decide on the Government to whom they want to entrust the future of themselves and their families for the next five years.


They will judge each Party on its record in office, when it had the responsibility: on its record in honouring the pledges it had made to the country. On its willingness to undertake measures which would enlist the support and enthusiasm of our people in fighting the economic crisis.


They will judge on the policies which each Party puts forward, asking themselves which Party can best be trusted to make a reality of those policies.


They will judge not only on policies and records, but on the calibre and experience of the men and women who will be responsible for carrying out those policies. On their compassion and the understanding of the problems of ordinary families: on their determination to govern for, and with the sanction of, all of the people.


In February the country rejected, as we had urged, policies of confrontation and conflict and 'fight to a finish' philosophies. We put before the country the policy of the Social Contract.


We have shown that as a Government we are prepared to take the decisions that are needed to achieve economic and social justice without which this country can never unite.


The policies we have followed over the past six months, the policies which the next Labour Government will follow, are policies to strengthen the Social Contract.


It is not simply, or narrowly, an understanding about wages. It is about justice, equality, about concern for and protection of the lower paid, the needy, the pensioner and the handicapped in our society.


It is about fairness between one man and another, and between men and women. It is about economic justice between individuals and between regions. It is about co-operation and conciliation, not conflict and confrontation.


But more than that. What we as democratic socialists maintain is that when the going is toughest it is more than ever necessary to base our policies on social justice, to protect the weak, the poor, the disabled, to help those least able to help themselves, and to maintain and improve their living standards.


Other Parties which do not believe in fair shares deny themselves the right to call for equal sacrifices.


Injustice is the enemy of national unity.


The crisis we are facing demands a still greater emphasis on social justice, as well as economic justice, than at any time in this generation.


That is the inspiration underlying the policies set out in this Manifesto.


It carries forward the programme we set out in February. It builds on our achievements in fulfilling, in six months, so much of that programme. It sets out in much more detail the policies we then announced, proposals which have now been firmly rooted in our experience in government, and responsibly costed against the resources which as a nation we can afford.


This Manifesto, which is inspired by the idealism which has created our Movement, is now put before the country on the basis of the realism deriving from experience. It sets out what in our view is the only way to enable Britain to win through the crisis we now all face, and to share together, as one people, the fruits of the success we are determined to achieve.


Harold Wilson




Britain faces its most dangerous crisis since the war. The Labour Party makes no attempt to disguise this. On the contrary, at the time of the February election, we took the British people into our confidence and shared the realities of our daunting problems. We inherited a three-day week, unlit streets, unheated homes and work-places. And worst of all, a wounded national economy, made all the more serious by the socially divisive policies of the previous Conservative Government, with its deliberate confrontation with the organised working people of our country. The Conservatives created a society in which people who made money were more honoured than men and women who earned their wages.


This crisis for our country was all the more desperate because it was set in the context of a continuing world upheaval. Most of the world is still staggering from the enormous increases in the price of oil - the most important basic commodity in modern industrial and agricultural society.


We come with confidence before the public to ask for a strong mandate for the policies drawn from 'Labour's Programme for Britain' set out in our February manifesto, some of which have been spelled out in greater detail in White Papers published by the Government. No Government can get Britain moving by itself. A democratic Government must reflect the views of the people. And the people who vote for the Government must give their share of endeavour and concern - as well as their votes. But a Government can only ask these efforts from the men and women of this country if they can confidently see a vision of a fair and just society. Why should a coal miner dig extra coal for a few pounds more while he has seen property speculators grow wealthy looking at empty office blocks? A strong new Labour Government, with the agreement and co-operation of the British people, can make constructive, but not painless progress towards building a fair society.


This election is inevitable since no clear majority emerged in February. Despite its minority position the Labour Government have made a good start. Now we ask for the return of a Labour Government, with a working majority, so that we can continue to tackle the great problems facing Britain. We have to come to the men and women of our country and ask for their mandate for industrial and social reconstruction. We need national support for a steady will for a new society. In fact we are asking your help to carry through policies which will work for international peace and co-operation and at the same time create at home effective measures of economic and social reconstruction.


It is only with a sense of unity that we shall win through. But we cannot expect this from a Conservative Government - nor from any Conservative-Liberal coalition. The Tory Party is, by its own statements, deeply divided about what policies to put before the electorate. Neither the Tories nor a Conservative-Liberal coalition can bring a united and decisive programme of solution to contemporary problems.


Why can't we accept the idea of a coalition to meet the nation's crisis? Because what our country needs in this crisis is a government with a clear-cut understanding of the nation's problems and the ability to decide quickly and effectively how to deal with them. A coalition government, by its very nature, tends to trim its policies and fudge its decisions, and in present circumstances that just won't do. If we believe, as we must, in our own independent political philosophies, there is no meeting point between us and those with quite different philosophies, and it would be a cruel farce to suggest that the future of the country would be helped by shuffling, compromising administration.


We want to be frank with you. The regeneration of our economy isn't going to be easy, even with a Labour Government. The next two or three years are going to be difficult for us all. There will be no easy times and no easy pickings for anyone.


We put forward in this manifesto a list of improvements we want to make in society. We put them forward in good faith; but many of them cost money, and we understand perfectly well - and we believe you will, too - that the timing of them will depend on how quickly and how completely we get on top of the economic problems.


But Labour doesn't go along with the prophets of doom and gloom. We have great confidence in the British people. If you give us your full backing over the difficult two or three years ahead we shall weather the storm and get back on the right course.


Promises and Priorities


The Labour Government has kept the promises made at the election in February. From the day we took office we acted. We increased pensions to &pound;10 and &pound;16. We froze rents. We gave security to people who live in furnished tenancies. We repealed the divisive Industrial Relations Act and we replaced confrontation by conciliation. We restrained the rise in the cost of living by our subsidies on essential foods and price controls. We gave loans to the building societies to help house-buyers - who would otherwise have faced mortgage rates of 13%. We allocated more money to local councils to build or buy homes.


The Government have published plans for the public owner ship of development land which will get rid of the major inflationary element in the cost of building; for public control and participation in North Sea oil; for greater accountability and the extension of public ownership in industry; for beginning the redistribution of wealth by new taxation on the better-off - while at the other end of the scale a million and a half people have been taken out of liability to any income tax. We have published radical and detailed proposals for pensions and for bringing help as of right to the disabled. New rights for women and our determination to implement equal pay have been announced. And we have begun in earnest the promised renegotiation of the Conservatives' disadvantageous terms of entry to the Common Market.


As at the last election, we are not making any promises which we cannot keep. We do not believe in electoral bribes - these are an insult to the intelligence and realism of the public. The priorities we set out here are part of a programme for a five year term of office. Much of what we want to do will take longer because of all the heavy spade-work which has to be done to create the economic strength on which all else depends.


The Social Contract


At the heart of this manifesto and our programme to save the nation lies the Social Contract between the Labour Government and the trade unions, an idea derided by our enemies, but certain to become widely accepted by those who genuinely believe in government by consent - that is, in the democratic process itself as opposed to the authoritarian and bureaucratic system of wage control imposed by the Heath Government and removed by Labour.


The Social Contract is no mere paper agreement approved by politicians and trade unions. It is not concerned solely or even primarily with wages. It covers the whole range of national policies. It is the agreed basis upon which the Labour Party and the trade unions define their common purpose.


Labour describes - as we did in our February manifesto at the time of the last election and as we do again at this one - the firm and detailed commitments which will be fulfilled in the field of social policy, in the fairer sharing of the nation's wealth, in the determination to restore and sustain full employment. The unions in response confirm how they will seek to exercise the newly restored right of free collective bargaining. Naturally the trade unions see their clearest loyalty to their own members. But the Social Contract is their free acknowledgment that they have other loyalties - to the members of other unions too, to pensioners, to the lower-paid, to invalids, to the community as a whole.


It is these wide-ranging hopes and obligations which the General Council of the TUC described in its declaration of June 26 and which were overwhelmingly approved by the Congress on September 4. This is the Social Contract which can re-establish faith in the working of Britain' 5 democracy in the years ahead.




The first priority must be a determined attack on inflation and the appalling overseas deficit which We inherited. Inflation is a World-Wide problem and there are no easy answers, but for us the crisis was made worse than it need have been because of the financial disasters Labour inherited from the Tory Government.


Inflation is one of the greatest economic perils we face. It afflicts all the countries of the world. From Japan to France, from the United States to Britain, prices are rising at between 15% and 25% a year. Oil, the lifeblood of industry and transport, costs four times what it did a year ago; wheat, feedgrains, sugar and other imported foodstuffs, nearly double. These powerful inflationary forces cannot be wholly mastered by any single government acting alone. It will require international co-operation both to curb inflation and to avoid a slump.


But there are things the Government can - and must - do. We were elected last February to govern a Britain that had been greatly weakened by the policies of the Conservatives. The Heath Government allowed a huge deficit to accumulate on our balance of payments, even before the oil price rises hit us. It borrowed and printed hundreds of millions of pounds at home, fuelling the fires of inflation; it let our scarce resources go into office blocks, luxury flats and property speculation, at a time that Britain badly needed investment in industry and in housing for rent. Britain, in February 1974, was in bad shape to withstand the economic hurricane.


We reject entirely the policy put forward by some Tories of fighting inflation by throwing millions of people out of work.


We are doing everything within our power to curb inflation. And where rising prices are outside our control, as with imports of oil and raw materials, we have sought to protect the least well-off, the pensioner and the low-paid, for whom inflation is not just a worry but a nightmare.


We have:



•Stopped printing money to finance unnecessary expenditure;

•Cut VAT from 10% to 8%;

•Reduced gross profit margins by 10% and agreed with the food trade to concentrate profit cuts on essential foods; •Frozen rents and stabilised mortgage rates; •Subsidised basic foods - bread, flour, butter, cheese, milk and tea- in a way that gives most benefit to the least well-off; •Taken powers to set maximum prices for subsidised foods; laid down a minimum of three months between price rises, and stopped' the 'sticky label' trick; •Set up a National Consumer Agency, backed by a net work of local consumer advice centres.


We shall:



•Provide detailed information to shoppers on where to get value for money; •renegotiate the Common Agricultural Policy of the Common Market to make sure shoppers get secure supplies of food at fair prices; •Introduce unit pricing for meat, fish, fruit and vegetables; •Put teeth into nationalised industry consumer councils and finance them independently.



We shall continue to give high priority to our overseas trade. We have to. At the centre of our national and international crisis is the enormous increase in oil prices which is costing this country an extra £2,500 million this year.


We must get rid of the non-oil deficit we inherited from the previous Tory Government, while tackling in co-operation with other countries also affected, the balance of payments and currency problems created by the fourfold increase in the price of oil.





Labour will encourage the maximum economic production of food by the farming and fishing industries. We inherited from the Tories an extremely grave crisis in the agricultural industry - with extremely high feed costs, and the cereals sector succeeding at the expense of the livestock sector.


A Tory Government negotiated entry into the EEC and removed the long-term guarantees to the livestock industry. The Intervention System of the Common Agricultural Policy has not worked. Labour insists that there must be a new approach, with a clear emphasis on national aids, and that we must be able to provide suitable guarantees to our farmers.


We have already taken urgent action:-



•A special subsidy on pigs, representing an injection of £30 million to the UK pig industry; •The near doubling of the calf subsidy, providing an extra £35 million a year. •A new beef premium, an arrangement which gives another £40 million to the producers; •The restoration of the lime subsidy which was abolished by the Tories - worth £5 million a year. •A temporary subsidy on the oil used for heating glass- houses - which injects a further £7 million into the horticultural industry.


We will, in addition, introduce in the very near future, considerable help to the dairy industry.


Our long-term objective is to secure the expansion of the industry. We intend to continue our discussions with the


Farmers' Unions - and the agricultural workers - with the dual objective of drawing up a meaningful longer term expansion and of determining the means whereby this can be achieved.





In the long run, a nation, like a family, can only live on what it earns. If we want to maintain our standard of living and protect people's jobs and give a boost to our deprived regions, we must get industry to produce more and export more.


This is going to demand some radical changes. The Tories and their Aims of Industry friends say we ought to leave things as they are. But things as they are consist of lower productivity, less competitiveness and much lower investment than other countries. If we leave things as they are we shall go on, as we have done for years, slipping behind other nations. The industrial sector of our economy is suffering from grave and chronic debilitation and that sort of illness cannot be cured with a couple of aspirin tablets. We need a new deal.


The present Labour Government has made a start on this task. It has stemmed the runaway rise in interest rates. It has doubled the Regional Employment Premium and listed new development and special development areas for extra help. Our exports are doing well, and outside the inflated oil bill, we are paying for more of our imports with exports.


But there is still a long way to go. In our February manifesto we put forward proposals for an extension of the public sector where it is most needed, and for a new relationship between the Government and the large privately-owned companies which will do much to regenerate British industry.


We stand firmly by those proposals. The Government has published a White Paper describing how they will work:-


1 A new and urgent Industry Act will provide for a system of Planning Agreements between the Government and key companies to ensure that the plans of those companies are in harmony with national needs and objectives and that Government financial assistance is deployed where it will be most effectively used. Wherever we give direct aid to a company out of public funds we shall reserve the right to take a proportionate share of the ownership of the company; and wherever possible this public support will be channelled through the Planning Agreements System.


2 In addition to our plans for taking into common ownership the land required for development, we shall substantially extend public enterprise by taking over mineral rights. We shall also take ports, ship-building, ship-repairing and marine engineering, and the aircraft industries into public ownership and control. We shall not confine the extension of the public sector to loss-making and subsidised industries. We shall set up a National Enterprise Board to administer publicly-owned share-holdings: to extend public ownership into profitable manufacturing industry by acquisitions, partly or wholly, of individual firms; to stimulate investment; to create employment in areas of high unemployment; to encourage industrial democracy; to promote industrial efficiency; to increase exports and reduce our dependence on imports; to combat private monopoly; and to prevent British industries from passing into unacceptable foreign control.


We do not accept the negative policies adopted by the previous Tory Government towards the nationalised industries. We shall restore to our public enterprises the assets and licences which the Tory Government took away from them, and will encourage and help them diversify into new industries. We shall bring forward early proposals to ensure that banking and insurance make a better contribution to the national economy.


Regional development will be further encouraged by new public enterprise, by assistance to private industry on a selective basis, and new Regional Planning Machinery, along the lines set out in 'Labour's Programme 1973'. We will set up Scottish and Welsh Development Agencies. Moreover, the revenues from the North Sea and Celtic Sea oil will help us to improve employment in Scotland, Wales and the English regions in need of development.


We shall transform the existing Manpower Services Commission into a powerful body, responsible for the development and execution of a comprehensive manpower policy. Redundant workers must have an automatic right to retraining, with redundancy leading not to unemployment, but to retraining and job changing.





The discovery of oil off our shores dramatically changes not only the country's energy prospects, but our whole economic future. Because its importance cannot be over-estimated it is essential that its development should be under public control in the interests of the whole community, and with regard to the future. The Labour Government will:-


Take majority participation in all future oil licences and negotiate to achieve majority state participation in existing licences.


Set up a British National Oil Corporation to. enable the Government to exercise participation rights; to play an active role in the future development, exploration and exploitation of offshore oil; and to engage in the refining and the distribution of oil. Its headquarters will be in Scotland.


Impose a substantial extra tax on the oil companies' profits from the North Sea - and plug the loopholes in existing taxation.


Take new powers to control the pace of depletion, pipelines, exploration and development - and to protect the environment; and nationalise the land needed for the oil platform construction sites.


Set up new Development Agencies in Scotland and in Wales - financed by the United Kingdom exchequer - with extra funds to reflect the revenue from offshore oil.


After years of Tory indecision Labour has - within a few months - laid the foundation for a coherent energy policy involving coal, gas, nuclear power and electricity as well as oil. We have agreed an additional investment of £600 million for the coal mines. We have backed British technology with a programme of British reactors for the next generation of our power stations.




We promised to repeal the Tory Industrial Relations Act and this promise has been fulfilled. The last minute amendments inserted into our Trade Union and Labour Relations Act, by the coalition of Tories, Liberals and the Lords, will be removed in the first session of the new Parliament.


But the repeal of the Tory Act was only the first step. Our aim is to make industry democratic - to develop joint control and action by management and workers across the whole range of industry, commerce and the public services.


This objective involves strong trade union organisation and widening the scope of collective bargaining. In addition, however, it will mean the provision of new rights for workers through changes in company law.


First, We will introduce an Employment Protection Bill - to provide extensive new rights for workers covering such issues as union membership, apprentices' training and conditions, the guaranteed week, maternity leave, safeguards on redundancy and employers' bankruptcy, to give new rights to unions in collective bargaining, including new safeguards for peaceful picketing, to reform the Wages Councils and establish a key role for the new Conciliation and Arbitration Service in helping to get rid of low pay.


Second, we will introduce new legislation to help forward our plans for a radical extension of industrial democracy in both the private and public sectors. This will involve major changes in company law and in the statutes which govern the nationalised industries and the public services.


Measures will also be taken to tackle the evils created by private employment agencies and to deal with abuses of labour-only contracting.





We believe that men and women will respond to difficult challenges if there is a sense of underlying fairness in society.


Labour believes, for instance, that taxation must be used to achieve a major redistribution of both wealth and income. The March Budget took 1½ million men and women out of income tax altogether and concentrated tax increases on the better off. It also blocked dozens of tax loopholes and announced that a new Capital Transfers Tax would operate from the date of the Budget.


The next Labour Government will introduce an annual tax on wealth above £100,000. We will also legislate for the introduction of the Capital Transfers Tax - which will, for the first time this century, make the Estate Duty an effective tax on inherited wealth. Labour will also offer retired people and young couples saving for a home a form of National Savings the value of which will be guaranteed against inflation.


Social Security

The Labour Government's first step was to increase pensions to £10 for a single person and £16 for a married couple: a record increase in record time. Corresponding increases for widows, invalids and others on supplementary benefit have been enacted. This is a real increase which more than compensates for the rise in prices.


The Labour Government has already committed itself by law to maintain and improve the real gain for existing pensioners by reviewing pensions and other benefits regularly and by linking future increases to the rise in wages and not just prices.


The Labour Government will:


Pay another £10 Christmas bonus this year to those who have retired and this time will include invalidity pensioners and those receiving attendance allowances, unemployability supplements or widows' benefits.


Replace the unjust Tory pension scheme with our recently announced long-term plan for adequate earnings-related pensions for everyone, fully protected against inflation. This will free future pensioners from the need for means-tested assistance; give equality of treatment to women; include invalidity pensioners; and give special help to the older workers and the low-paid.

Attack family poverty, by increasing family allowances and extending them to the first child through a new scheme of child credits payable to the mother. We are also examining other ways of helping one-parent families.


Help disabled people who are outside the National Insurance scheme through a new non-contributory benefit for those of working age and for disabled housewives. We shall introduce an Invalid Care Allowance for those who give up their jobs to look after a severely disabled relative and a new mobility allowance for severely disabled people Whether or not they can drive a car.



The National Health Service


Labour created the National Health Service and is deter mined to defend it. Immense damage has been done to it by Tory cuts in public expenditure, by the Tory Government's policy or rigid pay control and by the upheaval of Tory reorganisation on undemocratic lines. Labour has already injected more money into the Service; published proposals for greater democratic participation in its running and above all, taken steps to end the exploitation of nurses and other workers in the Service and to see that at last they receive the rewards they so richly deserve.


Labour has already relieved women over 60 and children under 16 from prescription charges and strengthened provision for dental care under the National Health Service by freezing the level of dental charges for patients while increasing dentists' fees. Labour has reversed the Tory proposal to impose charges on Family Planning.


It has started its attack on queue-jumping by increasing the charge for private pay beds in National Health Service hospitals and is now working out a scheme for phasing private beds out of these hospitals.


The Labour Government will reduce regional inequality of standards; put the emphasis on prevention and primary care and give a clear priority to spending on services for the mentally ill and mentally handicapped. It will continue the progressive elimination of prescription charges and phase out private pay beds from National Health Service hospitals.


The Right to Education


The Labour Party believes that full opportunities for the education of our children, our young people and students of all ages are an essential part of a fair society and indispensable to the social contract. We have already asked local authorities to submit plans for comprehensive education by the end of the year, increased provision for nursery education and raised students' grants by 25%. The Labour Government realises the problems of many of our teachers and an independent inquiry has been set up into their pay. We have made an additional £1 1.8 million available to supplement teachers' pay in difficult areas and increased the school building programme we inherited. We have provided funds for new classes for adults who cannot read.


As in all our plans, economic restraints are bound to influence timing. But the next Labour Government will:


•End the II plus and other forms of selection for secondary education. Continue to give priority to nursery school and day care provision, full-time and part-time. •Stop the present system of Direct Grant Schools and withdraw tax relief and charitable status from Public Schools, as a first step towards our long-term aim of phasing out fee paying in schools. •Continue to move towards a fairer system of student grants. •Provide increased opportunities for further education and training, including compulsory paid day release, especially for young people who leave school early. •Legislate for an annual review and an annual report to Parliament on youth services.


Labour appointed the first ever Minister of Sport and Recreation and the first ever Minister for the Arts. We removed the museum charges introduced by the Tory Government, and we allocated greater resources to the Arts Council than ever before. We shall bring forward proposals to make the Arts Council more democratic and representative of people in the arts and in entertainment. We will continue to develop and improve the facilities for sport and leisure for all our citizens.


We will support the further development of the Open University, which was founded by a Labour Government and which has enriched the lives of thousands of people of all ages.





Everybody is entitled to a decent home at a price they can afford. This cannot be achieved in a free-for-all market, which has resulted in homelessness, over-crowding and squalor for thousands of our people. We have in a few months:


•given an extra £350m for councils to build more new houses and buy existing housing; •given a £500m loan to Building Societies to keep mortgage rates down, and to make more mortgages available; •introduced a rent freeze for both council and private tenants; •passed a Rent Act to give security of tenure to furnished tenants of absentee landlords; •legislated for the creation of Housing Action Areas and against the abuse of improvement grants; •introduced a Bill to demolish the Tory Housing Finance Act.


The Labour Government will take into public ownership land required for development, redevelopment and improvement. These proposals do not apply to owner-occupiers, whose homes and gardens will be safeguarded. But the public ownership by local authorities of necessary land is essential to sensible and comprehensive planning both in our towns and in the countryside. The land will be paid for at existing use value and the expensive disgrace of land speculation will be ended.


The next Labour Government will:


•help home-buyers through a new National Housing Finance Agency to assist first-time buyers and to stabilise mortgage lending. Local councils' lending will be expanded so that they can play a major part in helping house purchasers and keep down costs by supplying unified services for estate agency, surveying, conveyancing and mortgages; •restore to local authorities the right to fix rents which do not make profits out of their tenants; •protect council tenants by giving them security of tenure; •ensure that rent increases in the private sector will be limited by Government action and that houses without basic amenities will not be taken out of control; •encourage the public ownership of rented property, except where an owner-occupier shares his home with a tenant; •help conserve homes and areas that can be improved with the aid of grants rather than demolish them; •reverse the disastrous fall in house-building, which will include measures to tackle the 'lump' and other proposals which must be worked out by both sides of the construction industry to attack the system of casual labour in the industry and create a stable, permanent work force; •abolish the agricultural tied cottage system; •transfer housing management and allocation to elected authorities in the New Towns nearing completion.




Everybody realises that the increasing responsibilities of local authorities must lead to reconsideration of the whole question of local government finance. The last Tory Government consistently rejected any alternatives to the rating system. And it bequeathed to Labour this year's massive rate rise. This record proves that their new proposals are vote-buying moonshine.


By contrast, the present Labour Government - like the last Labour Government - has taken swift action to help rate-payers. This year we are giving £150m of special help to those hardest hit by this year's rate increases, and rates have been kept down in hard-pressed inner city areas. And we have set up a high powered independent inquiry to try to find a workable alternative to the rating system as a matter of urgency.


We appreciate the anxieties of rate-payers and this is why we have set up this inquiry into local finance. But everybody has to face the fact that demands for better local services have to be paid for. And these have to be reconciled with demands for more local autonomy and less central direction. Public services have to be paid for by the public - the only argument is about how to share the costs, not how to avoid them.




Our home may be our most immediate environment. But our wider surroundings, whether at work or at leisure, demand much greater concern with the environment. We have published a Green Paper 'The Politics of Environment' which discusses many ideas about our changing world.


It was a Labour Government which in 1970 set up the permanent Royal Commission on the Environment and first appointed a Minister with overall responsibility for the environment. Within a few months the present Government put on the statute book the Control of Pollution Act. We scrapped the Maplin Airport project.


There is an increasing awareness of the need to treat the natural environment with more respect. The oil crisis was but one sharp reminder that finite natural resources cannot be taken for granted. We live in a wasteful society at a time of economic stringency. The Labour Government wants to reverse this trend and has already set up a Waste Management Advisory Council, appointed a responsible Minister, and published a Discussion Paper on the recycling of waste.


All our policies touch at some point or other on the living, working or recreational environment of our people. We will continue to work with the United Nations Council on Environment Problems, because these concern the whole world.





The energy crisis has underlined our objectives to move as much traffic as possible from road to rail and to water; and to develop public transport to make us less dependent upon the private car.


Labour's Railway Act 1974 provides for a general subsidy to passenger services and grants for the provision of new private sidings and .other freight facilities. Many proposed rail closures have been stopped.


Expenditure on new roads has been reviewed and priority given to the creation of a comprehensive heavy lorry network to divert the lorries now thundering through towns and villages. We shall continue to discourage the building of urban motorways.


Proposals have been issued to bring all commercial ports and cargo-handling into public ownership and control with a radical extension of worker participation in the industry.


Further measures will be introduced to:


•co-ordinate and integrate our transport services; •improve public transport, especially in rural areas; •extend public ownership of road haulage; •expand the system of free and concessionary fares for old people, the blind and disabled; •improve road safety.




The next Labour Government will create elected assemblies in Scotland and Wales. It will also consult with the local authorities and other interested parties about the democratisation of those regional bodies which are at present non-accountable. A separate statement setting out more detailed proposals has already been published by the Labour Party and the Government's proposals are set out in the White Paper. Separate manifestos are being published for Scotland and Wales.




The Labour Party is working for a political solution in Northern Ireland, but no political initiative can succeed without the end of bombing and shooting in an area which has suffered over 1,000 dead and more than ten times as many injured.


Any political solution must enable Catholics and Protestants to work together. As a first step in our policy we have provided for the election of a Constitutional Convention to consider future government in Northern Ireland. It will be a Convention of Northern Irish people elected by Northern Irish people.


The Labour Government has spelt out certain realities which the Convention must take into account before it makes its report to Parliament at Westminster:


'There must be some form of power-sharing and partnership because no political system will survive, or be sup ported, unless there is widespread acceptance of it within the community. There must be genuine participation by both communities in the direction of affairs.


'Secondly, any pattern of government must be acceptable to the people of the United Kingdom as a whole and to Parliament at Westminster.


'Thirdly, Northern Ireland, unlike the rest of the United Kingdom, shares a common land frontier and a special relationship with another country, the Republic of Ireland. Any political arrangements must recognise and provide for this special relationship. There is an Irish dimension.'


When a Labour Government first sent troops into Northern Ireland it was on a temporary basis and their task was to stop sectarian violence. The Army cannot replace the police and it will be the aim of the Labour Government to encourage the whole community to support the police service which would enable the Army to make a planned, orderly and progressive reduction in its present commitment.


Britain has a responsibility in Northern Ireland and the Labour Party rejects the view that the troops should be pulled out in advance of a political solution. A sudden withdrawal in advance of any political settlement would leave a vacuum which would certainly be filled by para-military groups, with a grave possibility of civil war.


The Labour Government reaffirms its intention to phase out detention for all sections of the community in Northern Ireland when, but only when, the security situation permits. As an earnest of this intention, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has begun a programme of releases, in addition to those ordered by the Commissioners as part of the normal review procedure. More and more cases are being tried in the courts. Meanwhile, the Labour Government has established the Gardiner Committee to make a comprehensive review of the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1974.


Our appeal is to all the people of Northern Ireland. It is our desire to harness the new awareness among many Catholics and Protestants of their social and economic interests and to enable them to fulfil their aspirations through political means. Labour's policy offers a new opportunity to achieve this.




It is part of the very purpose of the Labour Party's existence to protect and extend the processes of democracy at all levels. It was a Labour Government which introduced the law which allows a citizen to sue Government itself; established the Parliamentary Commissioner; and legislated against racial discrimination and to enforce equal pay. Now we want to give a much bigger say to citizens in all their various capacities - as tenants, shoppers, patients, voters. Or as residents or workers in areas where development proposals make them feel more planned against than planned for.



Labour believes that respect for the law must be firmly based on the rights of the citizen and on his or her obligations to the whole community. We share the view of those who are alarmed at the growth of violence in our society, particularly among young people. Labour believes that law-abiding citizens are entitled to full protection. We will strengthen and uphold the police in the exercise of their proper functions. We reject entirely the view that law enforcement should ever be a matter for self appointed and politically motivated private armies.


Labour respects the rule of law; it does not respect those who want to be unofficial enforcement officers or their own special version of it. We shall also vigorously pursue policies for the elimination of areas of deprivation which are the most dangerous breeding grounds of juvenile and other crime. A Labour Government set up the Law Commission machinery to overhaul the whole body of our laws, some of which are out of date and irrelevant. In the interests of a wider, more just and effective democracy we shall seek to:


•give real equality to women; •strengthen legislation protecting minorities; •reform the law of nationality and citizenship; •introduce an independent element into complaints against the police; •make legal advice more accessible to those most in need of help; •extend legal aid to certain tribunal hearings; •encourage local authorities in a diversity of neighbourhood or community consultation; •work with the co-operative movement to develop its role through the creation of a Co-operative Development Agency and in other ways.


Labour believes that the process of government should be more open to the public. We shall:


•replace the Official Secrets Act by a measure to put the burden on the public authorities to justify withholding information; •establish compulsory registers of interest for all MPs, councillors, peers, senior civil servants, senior council officials, and others in the upper reaches of the public service; •protect the citizen from unwarranted and mischievous intrusion into the citizen's private affairs.




Changes in our society over recent years have emphasised the importance of providing practical equal opportunities for women rather than making polite noises about equality. We have already made a start towards equal citizenship by giving British women, married to foreign husbands, the same rights as British men with foreign wives.


The Labour Government's decisions provide a new deal for women. We will:


•ensure that by the end of 1975 Labour's Equal Pay Act will be fully effective throughout the land; •introduce a comprehensive free family planning service; •legislate for equality of treatment in social security; •make provision for maternity leave; •introduce a new child cash allowance to be paid (including the first child) usually to mothers; •extend nursery education and day care facilities; •bring a fairer system of family law with new family courts; •reform housing law, to strengthen the rights of mothers on the break-up of marriage: and introduce other reforms proposed by the Finer Committee on One Parent Families; •increase educational opportunities for girls, including further education, training and compulsory day release.


We also intend to legislate directly on new rights for women, through a Sex Discrimination Bill as set out in our White Paper. The proposals cover: employment, training, education, housing and the provision of goods, facilities and services (including mortgages and H.P., etc.) There will also be new machinery to ensure the enforcement of these measures.


But of course all our proposals - about prices and consumer protection and homes and education and full employment - will help to improve life for all the women of our country.


And we are determined to see more of them from all walks of life - in Parliament, on local councils and other public bodies - including political parties and trade union committees.





Our genuine concern for democratic rights is in sharp contrast to the Tory attitude. In the greatest single peacetime decision of this century - Britain's membership of the Common Market - the British people were not given a chance to say whether or not they agreed to the terms accepted by the Tory Government. Both the Conservatives and the Liberals have refused to endorse the rights of our people to make their own decision. Only the Labour Party is committed to the right of the men and women of this country to make this unique decision.


The Labour Government pledges that within twelve months of this election we will give the British people the final say, which will be binding on the Government - through the ballot box - on whether we accept the terms and stay in or reject the terms and come out.


Labour is an internationalist party and Britain is a European nation. But if the Common Market were to mean the creation of a new protectionist bloc, or if British membership threatened to impoverish our working people or to destroy the authority of Parliament, then Labour could not agree.


Within one month of coming into office the Labour Government started the negotiations promised in our February manifesto on the basis set out in that manifesto. It is as yet too early to judge the likely results of the tough negotiations which are taking place. But whatever the outcome in Brussels, the decision will be taken here by the British people.




The nations of the world are becoming ever more economically and politically interdependent. The energy crisis of last winter could not be solved by any individual country acting on its own - international co-operation was required. The same is true if the world is to succeed in solving the problems of inflation, of poverty, of economic growth and full employment. We are more than ever one world. Labour's foreign policy is, therefore, dedicated to strengthening international institutions and to world co-operation in all fields, including trade and currency.


A Labour Government which excluded from its foreign policy the ideals of morality, equality and justice, which are at the heart of our domestic policy, would soon lose such ideals at home. The Labour Government will, therefore, continue its policy of strengthening international organisations and particularly the United Nations, dedicated to the peaceful settlement of disputes, to the promotion of human rights, to the rule of law and to the improvement of living standards throughout the world.


We shall continue to work for a peaceful and just settlement of the disputes in the Middle East and in Cyprus in the light of the declarations of the United Nations and our own responsibilities.


The Labour Government has placed great emphasis on the need for closer relations with Commonwealth countries and we shall use every means of strengthening our ties with them. The Government has accepted the United Nations target of 0.7% of the Gross National Product for financial aid to developing countries in need throughout the world and will seek to move towards it as fast as possible. We have provided special help for the developing countries hardest hit by the crisis in oil prices and for areas of famine and disaster, and we have set up a Disaster Unit to speed our response to emergencies. We shall direct our aid towards the poorest countries and to the poorest people and give emphasis to rural development. In recent negotiations between the European Economic Community and the African, Pacific and Caribbean countries we have sought, with some success, to establish a more generous and liberal trading pattern to meet their needs.


We oppose all forms of racial discrimination and colonialism. We will continue to support the liberation movements of Southern Africa. By a decision of the Government arms are no longer being supplied to South Africa. The Labour Government will seek to end the unlawful South African occupation of Namibia. The policy of sanctions against Rhodesia has been intensified and we will agree to no settlement which does not have the agreement of the African people of that country.


The policy of détente between East and West has brought a relaxation of tension in Europe as in other parts of the world. It is the objective of the Labour Government to bring the current negotiations in the Geneva Conference on European Security and Co-operation to a successful conclusion.


The Labour Government is conducting the widest ranging defence review to be carried out in peacetime; and we shall, in consultation with our Allies, press forward with our plans to reduce the proportion of the nation's resources devoted to defence so that the burden we bear will be brought into line with that carried by our main European allies. Such a realignment would, at present levels of defence spending, mean achieving annual savings over a period on defence expenditure by Britain of several hundred million pounds. If in time this entails closure of or cutting back on defence establishments, alternative sources of employment will be sought, where possible by taking on major contract work and research for outside industry.


Starting from the basis of the multilateral disarmament negotiations, we will seek the removal of American Polaris bases from Britain. We have renounced any intention of moving towards a new generation of strategic nuclear weapons.


The Labour Government will maintain its support for NATO as an instrument of détente, no less than of defence. The ultimate objective of the movement towards a satisfactory relationship in Europe must be the mutual and concurrent phasing out of both NATO and the Warsaw Pact. The Government will continue to work for the success of détente by playing an active role in the multilateral disarmament negotiations now taking place in Vienna and will back this diplomacy by improving bilateral relations with the USSR and the countries of Eastern Europe up to the limit that the situation in each case allows.


We shall continue to improve relations between Britain and China.





We have not tried in this manifesto to pretend that there is some simple, easy way out of the crisis which confronts us. But we have tried to set out the kind of programme needed to unite the nation against the dangers ahead; a programme designed to create a fairer, more democratic and more socially just society.


We have made no easy promises. Our programme has been fully costed. And we have weighed those costs carefully. But we have set our aims high. We are a democratic socialist party and our objective is to bring about a fundamental and irreversible shift in the balance of wealth and power in favour of working people and their families.


Now it is for the voters of our nation to make their decision. The Government is pledged to the service of the nation. But only the nation, working with the right leadership, can solve its problems. We believe it will. Britain will win with Labour.


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Last Modified: Sunday, 23-Feb-97 17:13:50 GMT





'The Labour Way is the Better Way'






Now, more than ever, we need Labour's traditional values of cooperation, social justice, and fairness. This manifesto restates these Labour principles in an action programme with a strong sense of the future. They appeal to all our people - young and old.


The world is changing rapidly. New industrial nations are rising to challenge our key industries on which British jobs and living standards depend.


The Labour Government is taking firm action to equip Britain to adapt to these changes and to seize new opportunities. And we will take great care to protect working people and their families from the hardships of change.


But although the 1980s will present a tough challenge, this country will have many things in our favour. North Sea oil offers a golden prospect as do our reserves of natural gas and coal. We must use these resources wisely to plan our future to create new wealth, new jobs, and to look after the family, the elderly, and those in need.


Too much is at stake to let the Conservatives frustrate the hopes of the coming decade by turning back the clock to the policies that they tried in the early seventies and that failed so badly before.


The Government's industrial strategy is about how to create more wealth and more jobs through a constructive national partnership with unions and management. The Conservatives will not admit that nowadays governments must step in to help create employment, to limit prices rises, to assist industry to modernize itself. They are ready to gamble the people's future on a return to the nineteenth century free market' - despite its pitiless social consequences. They are as dangerously out of their time as a penny farthing on the motorway.


Together the people and the Labour Government, even without a parliamentary majority, have achieved much these past five years, as the manifesto shows. In an uncertain world suffering the worst economic trouble for 40 years we have pointed the way forward.


But nobody who cares about Britain can rest satisfied until far, far more has been accomplished. As long as there are men and women struggling with low pay, mothers stretching the household budget to make ends meet, youngsters in search of a job, children learning in out of date classrooms, patients queuing for a hospital bed or families without a decent home - then there is work for a Labour Government.


Our purpose is to overcome the evils of inequality, poverty, racial bigotry, and make Britain truly one nation.


For these we need a Labour majority in Parliament. This manifesto sets out our aims for the next five years. Here are five of our priorities.


1. We must keep a curb on inflation and prices. Inflation is our enemy because rising prices hit most hardly at the pensioner, the low paid and the housewife, and inflation causes loss of jobs. Labour has brought inflation down from the alarming level caused by the Conservatives' failure to control the supply of money.


Now we set ourselves the task of bringing inflation down to 5 per cent in three years. It is an ambitious target. We need the assistance of everyone. And everyone will be better off if we succeed.


2. We will carry forward the task of putting into practice the new framework to improve industrial relations that we have hammered out with the TUC. The first step has been the creation of a new standing pay commission which will prevent the disruption of services to the public in future.


Next, each year there will be three-way talks between ministers, management and unions to consider the best way forward for our country's economy. Germany's Social Democratic Government under Willy Brandt and Helmut Schmidt has proved that this is a good way to reach agreement on how to expand output, incomes and living standards.


I am realistic enough to know that there are bound to be set backs. But experience reinforces what all of us know in our hearts - there is no sound alternative to working together.


A Conservative free-for-all in pay and prices would mean endless pitched battles that would be fatal to the interests of all of us. The Labour way is the better way.


3. We give a high priority to working for a return to full employment. A good job is a basic human right. During the last five years we have responded to the worldwide unemployment crisis by helping more than one million people to take up new jobs or new training.


Now we will concentrate special attention on more jobs and training for the regions, the young and the long-term unemployed, and give them hope for the future.


4. We are deeply concerned to enlarge people's freedom. Our policy will be to tilt the balance of power back to the individual and the neighbourhood, and away from the bureaucrats of town hall, company board room, the health service and Whitehall.


Industrial democracy - giving working men and women a voice in the decisions which affect their jobs - is an idea whose time has come. Council tenants will have more freedom from bureaucratic control in their own homes. Parents and teachers will have a greater freedom to influence the running of their children's schools. Whitehall will devolve power, in an acceptable form to Scotland. Local services will be handed back to local authorities closer to the people. These are practical ways to set the people free.


5. We will use Britain's influence to strengthen world peace and defeat world poverty. Europe has been at peace for over 30 years but ours is still a dangerous world with more armaments than ever before. Labour will keep Britain strong but we will also work hard for disarmament. It cannot be right that 15 million children in poorer countries die before they are five - yet the world spends so much on the means of destruction. There is a compelling moral need to raise the standard of life of all the world's citizens - no matter where they live.


We are ready and willing to work with our European partners in closer unity. But we must record that in some aspects of its work the Common Market lacks common sense.


Above all the agricultural policy is wasteful and expensive. In standing squarely against the discredited aspects of the dear-food policy, we are in fact defending the interests of European families just as much as British families. A nonsense is a nonsense in any language.


The Labour Government will give a strong lead in the decade ahead. But no government can do it all. Our purpose is to deepen the sense of unity and kinship and community feeling that has always marked out our fellow countrymen and women. No nation can succeed by accepting benefits without responsibilities. I ask everybody who shares our ideals and our faith in Britain to join with us in securing the return of a government that dares to turn the dream of a caring society into practical action. And then work with us to complete the building of a Britain offering hope, social justice, and fairness to all.


James Callaghan


This election is about the Britain of tomorrow - the kind of country we want to live in, the kind of community we wish for our children. In choosing their government, the people will be deciding what values and ideals will guide the nation in the critical years ahead. In this manifesto, Labour puts forward its policies for the future. The Labour Party is a democratic socialist party and proud of it. Labour seeks to build a stronger and more prosperous Britain - and we are determined to see that all our people share fully in that prosperity. We want a Britain which is open and democratic and which puts fair earnings for working people and the needs of the under-privileged before the demands of private profit.


Over the past five years, the Labour Government have laid the foundations of a stronger economy.


When Labour came to govern, in March, 1974, Britain was facing the most dangerous crisis since the war. The Tory programme of confrontation and social injustice had brought the country almost to its knees. Unlit streets, unheated homes, shut-down factories - these were the fruits of the Tory three-day week. We were £1,000m in deficit in our national balance of payments, even before the rising oil prices. Prices were soaring month by month. Industry was enfeebled by years of under-investment. To top it all, Britain then had to contend with the four-fold rises in oil prices and the worldwide inflation and unemployment.


Our inheritance was a Britain in crisis. The new Labour Government sought cooperation in place of confrontation. Instead of division, we offered social justice. In place of compulsion, we worked to win consent for the tough economic measures we knew were needed. We forged a new partnership between the Labour Government and working people.


Our country has come a long way since then. The rate of inflation has been brought under control. It has become possible to improve living standards, to cut taxation and increase child benefit, pensions and benefits to the disabled to rates which more than overtake costs and inflation.


And over the past year, unemployment has at last begun to fall. Now we offer a programme to carry Britain through the 1980s.


The Fight against Rising Prices


Nothing so undermines a nation as inflation. Not only does it make the family's task of budgeting more difficult, it is a threat to jobs and a standing invitation to our overseas competitors to invade our markets.


Now, with the renewed cooperation of the trade union movement, Labour will continue the battle against rising prices. With the wholehearted backing of the TUC, we have set ourselves a new target, to get inflation down to 5 per cent by 1982.


Our approach will be threefold:


Firstly, Labour will strengthen the Price Commission, giving it greater powers to initiate investigations and reduce prices, in contrast to the Tories who threaten its abolition. We will expand its powers to combine its functions with those of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission to ensure that consumers are not exploited by monopoly producers or unfair practices. We will further strengthen and extend consumer protection, in both the public and private sectors.


Secondly, Labour will seek radical reform of the Common Market's common agricultural policy, and will oppose any further increases in common prices until food surpluses have disappeared.


Thirdly, in contrast to the Tories' savage free-for-all which leads to soaring inflation and industrial chaos, the Labour Government will work with the TUC to achieve our agreed inflation target of 5 per cent in 1982. The Labour Government and the TUC have jointly agreed to set up a standing commission on comparability which will ensure that public sector workers, including those who are low-paid, receive fair wages that are in line with those paid in the private sector.


For the private sector, we declare our aim to be a high wage, high productivity, low unit cost economy. To this end, we pledge ourselves to make a reality of fair deal collective bargaining, in keeping with the criteria set down in the joint statement.


This agreement is a far better way of achieving industrial peace, prosperity and more stable prices than confrontation with the trade union movement.


Here is an agreement which can deliver industrial peace, fair wages, and greater price stability.


Jobs and Prosperity


In the major industrial nations of Europe and America, 17 million people are out of work. In Britain alone we have to find jobs for 170,000 new workers every year.


The Labour Government will pursue policies which give a high priority to the return to full employment. This must go hand-in-hand with keeping down inflation. We therefore aim at a rate of growth of 3 per cent or more.


Our North Sea oil gives us an advantage in securing full employment and a rise in living standards. The new technologies also hold out the prospect of faster growth and a better quality of life for all. This is particularly true of microtechnologies (the silicon chip) which will have a major impact on the lives of everybody. Only a Labour Government can ensure that our people as a whole derive the benefit.


In order to take full advantage of these opportunities, we must improve our industrial competitiveness at home and abroad - and that means making sure our industries adapt to new markets and technological changes. It also means easing the costs of rapid industrial change for working people. The use of crude market forces advocated by the Tories will not and cannot achieve these changes in a way that is acceptable to the British people. What we need is a firm industrial and employment strategy from a Labour Government aimed at increasing productivity, adding to investment, and creating new jobs.


We shall expand and improve programmes of training and retraining in skills.


We shall expand the work and finance of the National Enterprise Board, using public ownership to sustain and create new jobs, and ensure that we get an adequate return on our investment.


We shall continue our strong policy of regional incentives.


We shall expand the work of the Welsh and the Scottish Development Agencies. The Labour Government will create similar development agencies in the English regions suffering similar problems.


To ensure that private industry plays its full part in the drive for prosperity and full employment, we shall conclude planning agreements with the major industrial companies, with the necessary back-up statutory powers to do so. We shall establish within Government the necessary arrangements to make this effective.


We reaffirm the policy that we have pursued that wherever we give direct aid to a company Out of public funds, we shall reserve the right to take a proportionate share of the ownership of the company; and wherever possible, this public support will be channelled through the planning agreement system.


Labour will continue with major aids to investment, including the selective investment scheme which has already supported projects in excess of £1,000m.


Labour will develop the work and funding of the Cooperative Development Agency in expanding cooperative enterprise.


This is a positive strategy for industry, based on cooperation between Government, trade unions, and management. The new agreement between the Government and the TUC, which includes provision for an agreed annual assessment of the nation's economic prospects, lays the foundation for working together in the 1980s.


Labour will work for an international agreement under which all countries are helped and encouraged to expand their economies to the limit of their productive capacity and so stimulate world trade. This will help British exports to increase still faster. But to do this, Britain needs a healthy and expanding economy.


We also need a programme to protect employment while the necessary changes and modernization of our industry takes place. We will not allow our industries to be wiped out by excessive imports before they have had a chance to recover their strength. The Labour Government will ensure that imports enter our market only within acceptable limits.


Under the Labour Government, we shall continue with programmes like the short-time working compensation scheme, the job release scheme, the small firms employment subsidy, and job creation programmes which have already created and saved over one million jobs.


We do not accept that individuals whose jobs have disappeared should remain unemployed for periods of time which demoralise them and impoverish their families. We pledge ourselves to the progressive introduction of a scheme which will ensure within the lifetime of the next Parliament that no one shall be unemployed for more than 12 months without receiving either the offer of a job or of retraining.


Labour will also promote an expansion in housing, the health service, education and other social services which have such a crucial part to play in providing jobs as well as in meeting vital social needs.


If full employment is to be achieved, longer holidays, time off for study, earlier voluntary retirement, and a progressive move to a 35-hour working week, must play an increasing role during the 1980s. But these changes in the pattern of employment are not only necessary to keep jobs, but also to improve the quality of living for working people, to give them more leisure and the means to enjoy it to which their work and modern technology entitles them.


Labour must ensure that the financial institutions of this country play their part in our programme for the revival of industry. We acknowledge the many successes of the financial sector, but we are also concerned that the lure of short-term profit can outweigh the social gains to be had from industrial investment.


The banking sector would benefit from increased competition. We therefore intend to bring about a major development in the Girobank so that it will compete on equal terms with the big four clearing banks and improve standards of service to small savers. The National Savings Bank has a valuable role to play in providing a unique service and in making a significant contribution to financing the Government's operations, thus reducing our reliance on the City. By developing the Girobank and the National Savings Bank to their full potential, a Labour Government will ensure for the country a vigorous public banking sector.


Agriculture and Fishing


Agriculture has always flourished best under Labour Governments. We have already taken many steps to encourage production, while giving consumers and workers in the industry the best possible deal. Agricultural workers in tied cottages have been given security of tenure in England and Wales; we intend to do the same for Scotland.


Elsewhere we give our proposals to reform the EEC's common agricultural policy. There must also be a vigorous expansion of agriculture at home. Labour will:


Develop measures of special assistance to farmers on hill and marginal land.


Consider in the light of the official enquiry we have set up into agricultural land, protection for farmers against the intrusion of financial institutions into this field. Continue to demand a common fisheries policy that gives preference in our own waters to a strong British fishing industry - betrayed by the last Tory Government - with a secure future. We will continue to take, and enforce, national measures to conserve stocks. We shall complete the process of decasualisation in the industry.




The world energy situation is deteriorating. Energy policy is vitally important to our survival. We shall strengthen the democratic planning of the long-term developments of Britain's own energy sources, backed by the necessary powers, under full parliamentary control.


Britain is almost alone among major industrial nations in achieving energy self-sufficiency; our resources have been developed, thanks to the skills of our scientists and of the workers. The Tories handed over our oil wealth to the multinationals. We changed that and will ensure that this energy wealth is developed wisely for industrial regeneration and public provision, and its fruits distributed fairly.


We will continue to support Plan for Coal' for the mining industry, which has a key role to play in our energy future.


In any programme for nuclear power, safety must continue to be the dominant factor. Any such development would have to take place within the public sector. We shall maintain strict safeguards over the disposal of nuclear waste. We have not decided whether to build a commercial fast breeder reactor. A major study and public inquiry would be held before any decision were to be taken.


We shall progressively increase the national stake in the North Sea, to safeguard the British people and regenerate British industry.


We have initiated and will continue a major programme of alternative energy, energy saving, through insulation grants, advice to industry, the 'Save-It' campaign, and an energy-saving approach to transport.


We shall continue to help people to afford adequate light, heat, and power in their homes.


A Fairer Britain


Economic success is not an end in itself. For the Labour Party, prosperity and fairness march hand in hand on the road to a better Britain. During the next Parliament, we intend to continue our fight against all forms of social injustice.


The tax system must be fair and seen to be so. We will mount an all-out attack on tax evasion. Everybody must make their fair contribution to the country's finances. In the next Parliament, we shall introduce an annual wealth tax on the small minority of rich people whose total net personal wealth exceeds £150,000.


Labour will continue to reduce the burden of income tax, and raise the tax threshold below which people pay no income tax.


Despite the difficulties of the economic situation, Labour has kept its pledge to look after the poor and vulnerable in our society - pensioners, the sick or disabled people, and the unemployed. Pensions are up by 20 per cent in real terms on the Tory level. Labour's new child benefit gives £4 a week per child for every mother. Disabled people have new benefits: a non-contributory invalidity pension, an invalid car allowance, and a mobility allowance for people who cannot walk.


The Labour Government will build on our record of achievement. Labour will:


As a next step towards a married couple pension of half gross average earnings and a single person's pension of one-third gross average earnings, increase pensions in November to around £35 for a married couple and £22 for a single person. Widows', invalidity and other long-term benefits will be increased in line.


As a step towards meeting our objective that families get as much help for their children when working as they do on short-term benefits, increase child benefit to £4.50 in November as a next step towards further help.


Give further cash and other help to one-parent families. Raise the burial grant to a more realistic level.


For disabled people, Labour will:


Work for the further implementation of Labour's Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act.


Increase the mobility allowance again next November and continue to pay the mobility allowance beyond pension age without an upper age limit.


Introduce a new disablement allowance to include the blind, varying according to the severity of disablement.


A Healthier Nation


The nation's health must have priority. We reject Tory plans to create two health services: one for the rich, financed by private insurance with a second-class service for the rest of us. Labour reaffirms its belief in a comprehensive national health service for all our people. We oppose Tory proposals for higher prescription charges and charges for seeing a doctor or being in hospital. Our aim is to abolish all charges in the NHS.


For all the talk of cuts, the truth is that the Labour Government are spending over £600m a year more on health in real terms than the Tories. Labour will devote a higher proportion of the nation's wealth to the health service and the personal social services.


Labour's health priorities include a renewed shift from hospital treatment to care in the community through family doctors and health centres with supporting social services; a comprehensive family planning service within the NHS; more emphasis on the prevention of illness and handicap; a fairer share of health funds across the country; more help for the frail elderly, the mentally ill, and handicapped; better training and opportunities for nurses and all workers in the health services; a new career structure for hospital doctors; and a greater recognition and reward to those consultants whose only professional commitment is to the NHS.


We will streamline the bureaucratic and costly structure the Tories created and give a bigger say in running the NHS to the public and staff.


We are phasing-out the remaining private beds in NHS hospitals. We shall stop queue-jumping.




The Labour Party believes in equality of opportunity. Universal comprehensive education, which is central to our policy, must be completed in the 1980s. Already class sizes are the lowest ever recorded. The ratio of pupils to teachers is now only 23.6 in primary schools and 16.9 in secondary schools. Labour will continue to give high priority to reducing class sizes further.


Independent schools still represent a major obstacle to equality of opportunity. Labour's aim is to end, as soon as possible, fee-paying in such schools, while safeguarding schools for the handicapped. Labour will end as soon as possible the remaining public subsidies and public support to independent schools.


The Under-fives


Under this Labour Government, the proportion of 3- and 4-year-olds in nursery classes and schools has doubled. Local authorities will be encouraged to do much more. Our aim is to provide nursery education for 90 per cent of our 4-year-olds and half of our 3-year-olds by the early 1980s.


The Needs of Youth


We will provide a universal scheme of education and training for all 16-19 year olds, if necessary backed by statute. We will remove the financial barriers which prevent many young people from low income families from continuing their education after 16.



We will reintroduce legislation for income-related mandatory awards to all 16-18 year olds on all full-time courses.


Further and Higher Education


Further education places have increased by 25,000 under Labour. Labour will substantially increase the opportunities for people from working-class backgrounds -particularly adults - to enter further and higher education. We want to see more workers given time off work for study. To this end, the places at the Open University have increased from 42,000 in 1974 to 80,000 in 1978. We propose to extend the present mandatory grant system. Labour supported the adult literacy scheme, and will ensure its continuation.




Britain has the best youth programme in Europe. We have the youth opportunities programme, which guarantees every school-leaver either a job or a training place or employment experience. We are supporting a great range of opportunities for young people. Labour will see the youth service expanded to meet the social and recreational needs of young people.




In a society where leisure is increasing year by year, Labour wants to make facilities for sport and leisure available to all. We will continue to put more money into these activities.


Homes for All


Over 1.5 million homes have been completed since Labour took office. A further one million sub-standard or near slum houses have been substantially improved with Government finance, under the 1974 Housing Act. The homeless have had a new deal. And yet too many of our people still live in unacceptable housing conditions. We will continue a substantial programme of housebuilding and home improvement.


Under our new system of housing investment programmes, local councils will continue to play a central part in meeting housing needs.


We reject the philosophy that tenants are second-class citizens. Labour has already published its new Housing Bill which will give a new deal to council tenants to give them security of tenure; the right to a written tenancy agreement; the right to improve the home; the right to take in lodgers; the right to be consulted on housing management decisions; easier residential qualifications; and a new national scheme to help tenants to move from one part of the country to another.


We will improve the quality of our less popular council estates, which will mean relaxing the rules under which improvements to estates less than 30 years old cannot attract Government subsidy.


Labour does not oppose the sale of council houses to sitting tenants of two years' standing who want to buy, so long as such sales are at a fair price and do not damage a local authority's ability to meet the demands for decent homes to rent. But Labour will continue to oppose the sales of council housing in areas of serious housing need.


Labour also seeks to widen choice, and we shall therefore continue to help those who wish to buy their own homes.


Labour will:


Carry through its new home loan plan to give saving bonuses and interest-free loans of up to £600 to first-time buyers.


Examine ways of expanding the scheme under which building societies lend to home-buyers nominated by local councils, particularly for older, cheaper properties.


Introduce new ways of lowering the cost and speeding the process of house purchase. Labour has set up the Royal Commission on Legal Services, which will be reporting on conveyancing. Labour policy is to end the monopoly on house conveyancing now enjoyed by solicitors, and improve leasehold enfranchisement. With the growth of home ownership and council housing, private renting has


entered an irreversible decline. We stand by the principles of security of tenure and rent regulations, and will legislate to close loopholes in the Rent Acts. We shall continue to encourage socially-accountable landlords - local authorities, housing associations and housing cooperatives - to take over privately rented property except where an owner-occupier lets part of his own home.


Labour will give private tenants access to improvement grants on the same basis as owners. We shall make it easier for a tenant to force a landlord to do necessary repairs. We will legislate to give further protection to those who live in mobile homes and to the owners of holiday caravans. We will set up a new housing tribunal to replace the present confusing jumble of courts, tribunals and committees dealing with rents, security of tenure, and other housing problems.


Labour will give new rights to everyone whose home is tied to their job.


Building and Our Future


A well-organized and efficient construction industry is essential to the achievement of many of our economic and social objectives. Labour will:


Plan and coordinate public sector demand on the industry, in order to help stabilize the industry's workload.


Press forward with plans for decasualization and job security in the industry, building on the work of the Construction Industry Manpower Board, and giving their proposed registration scheme statutory backing if necessary.


Encourage the development of building workers' cooperatives.


Expand local authority direct labour organizations, ensuring that they are efficiently run as separate municipal enterprises, publicly accountable for their performance.


Develop and strengthen existing building capacity in the public sector so as to establish pace-making public enterprise for large and medium sized construction projects.


Labour and The Land


At the heart of all planning policy is the problem of the land. Labour's Community Land Act provides the means to tackle land speculation through public ownership. We shall seek to clarify and amend the regulations surrounding land valuation, not least to ensure that land is valued very much more closely to its present use value. We shall use it to ensure that social criteria rather than maximum profit decides how land is to be used. We intend to set up a publicly accessible register of all land.


We will authorize local authorities to charge rates on land which is left unused. We have simplified planning procedures. We intend that in future planning permissions not acted upon after five years will not be automatically renewed.


The Inner City


Labour is committed to save our inner cities. With the inner city partnerships, the new


Urban Area Act, and the increased urban programme, Labour has begun to breathe


new life into our inner cities.


First, we must bring back more jobs to these areas. Our national industrial policy will be used to bring investment to the inner cities. We will mount a concerted effort to stimulate the development of small firms and worker cooperatives in these areas.


Secondly, we will bring about during the lifetime of the next Parliament a further increase in the expenditure earmarked for refurbishing our inner cities, for education, for housing, and for the social services.


Rural Areas


The Labour Government will take measures to arrest the decline in the quality of life in rural areas. We will increase the funds available to the Development Commission, and widen its scope. We will reestablish the Rural Development Boards in England and ensure that the Co-operative Development Agency, the NEB, the tourist boards and the Manpower Services Commission play an active role in rural job creation. We shall encourage new forms of agriculture - such as fish farming.


Recognizing the importance of an adequate integrated rural transport service, we will provide greater support for rural buses, encourage improvements in the frequency and timetabling of conventional services, and open freight rail lines to passenger services.


We will improve and increase public sector housing in rural areas and improve their educational facilities and personal social services.


Our Environment


Labour is proud of its record on environmental matters. Our Standing Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution has set the pace for advance. For the future, however, we will have to give still higher priority to this important issue.


Labour will:


Develop policies for resource conservation.


Use our campaign for a better environment to provide the basis of secured employment, eg in pollution control and in waste recycling.


Further reduce the lead content in petrol.


Provide an annual State of the Environment' report to Parliament. Ensure that, before the inquiry stage of major development proposals - perhaps two or three a year - the environmental effects are subject to detailed analysis and the report published.


Introduce an extended clean-up campaign - 'Making Britain Clean and Green', and start a real drive by local authorities and voluntary groups to clear up derelict land, and use it to the benefit of the community.




The majority of our people still depend on public transport. Labour believes in maintaining and improving within an integrated transport system. We will encourage closer coordination at local level between road and rail.




Under Labour, there will never be another Beeching. We will maintain the present rail network and increase investment in the future. As much freight as possible must be carried by rail; and the scheme whereby companies receive grants for installing railway facilities will be extended.


Buses, especially in country areas, will continue to require a permanent and substantial amount of public support to meet social needs. In areas where free travel does not yet exist, Labour will bring in a nationwide, off-peak, half-fares scheme for OAPs, the blind and the disabled.


We will sort out the present confusion surrounding arrangements for children's fares, so that there are free fares up to the age of five, and reduced fares up to 16. Those benefiting from the present free travel to school schemes will not be affected.


For the motorist, we want to reduce bureaucracy and ensure fair treatment. The phased abolition of vehicle excise duty will remove one source of annoyance and irritation. Labour will press for major improvements for customers in motorway service areas and garage repairs generally.


Heavy lorries will be made to carry, through taxation, their full share of road costs, including environmental costs. We will take further measures to reduce noise and pollution. The National Freight Corporation must be enabled to provide the basis for expanding the public sector in the road haulage industry. The Labour Government will continue to oppose any proposals to increase the permitted maximum weight limit for heavy lorries, which are inconsistent with road safety and the needs of the environment.



The road building programme will remain at its present level - but we will adopt a more selective approach than in the past. More by-passes will be built. Highway inquiries will also be more open, wider in scope, and with inspectors clearly seen to be independent.


In the ports industry, we reaffirm our policy to bring commercial ports and cargo handling into public ownership.


A Wider, More Open Democracy


A central theme of our programme for the eighties is the protection and enhancement of


our democracy.


Democracy at Work


The time has come to recognize the increasing desire of employees to have a larger say in the decisions which vitally affect their working lives and jobs. We also wish to harness their energies and experience in a positive partnership to improve our industrial relationships in a way which reduced conflict and increased cooperation. We therefore commit the Labour Government to a major extension of industrial democracy. Democratic practice and good industrial relations means single status in industry and a dignified respect for all workers, whatever their plant grading.


We recognize - as have other countries - that employees should be entitled to fall back on certain basic rights if agreement is not achieved. To this end, we will encourage recognized trade unions to establish joint representation committees in all companies employing more than 500 people, and place a legal obligation on employers to discuss company plans with these committees. We will establish an industrial democracy commission to stimulate and monitor schemes of industrial democracy in the private sector and nationalised industries.




In our 1974 manifesto, we promised to create elected assembles in Scotland and Wales as part of our programme of decentralization and devolution of power. Following the result of the referendum in Wales, it is clear that the majority there does not want an assembly, and we accept their decision. In Scotland, however, a majority voted for devolution.


We reaffirm our commitment to devolution for Scotland. We are therefore ready to discuss constructively with all concerned any changes which would make the scheme in the present Act more widely acceptable, so that we can establish a Scottish Assembly.


Law, Rights and the Community


The protection and enhancement of human rights and civil liberties is an indispensable part of a wider democracy. We will fight against crime and violence which affect all Western societies. We will continue to back the police with proper resources and manpower. The police are substantially better-paid and equipped today than they were under the Tories. At the same time, we shall attack the social deprivation which allows crime to flourish.


Our policies on fighting deprivation and social injustice, on arresting the decay of our inner cities, on youth employment and helping the family, will all contribute to a happier and more law-abiding society.


During the next Parliament, we will increase law centres providing legal help for the ordinary citizen; provide more resources for the prison and probation services; extend legal aid to certain tribunal hearings; bring together and coordinate the various offices of Ombudsmen; consider responsibility for the conduct of prosecutions in the light of the report of the Royal Commission on Criminal Procedures; and provide further help for the victims of crime.


Democracy at Westminster


In central government, we will:


Make major improvements in the legislative process, including new methods of considering Bills in committee, and of scrutinizing the work of government through select committees.


Establish a more powerful and professional system of audit.


Introduce a Freedom of Information Bill to provide a system of open government, and enact the proposals made by the Government in its White Paper to reform Section Two of the Official Secrets Act.


Bring forward proposals to reform the machinery of government and the structure of public administration to bring them into line with modern conditions.


Reexamine the procedures for appointment to governmental and quasi-governmental bodies, and to the boards of public enterprises, and for recommendations for honours.


No one can defend on any democratic grounds the House of Lords and the power and influence it exercises in our constitution. We propose, therefore, in the next Parliament, to abolish the delaying power and legislative veto of the House of Lords.


Local Democracy


Already, the central government pays 61 per cent of the cost of most local services. We shall continue through the rate support grant to provide national Exchequer assistance to ratepayers, particularly in areas of greatest need. We shall seek ways of making finance for local government fairer to ratepayers.


Labour will extend public involvement in local government, so damaged by the bureaucratic and costly local government system imposed by the Tories.


To this end, the Labour Government will:


Give back to large district councils in England responsibility for education, planning, social services, local libraries and other local services.


Equality for Women


Labour's Sex Discrimination Act, Equal Pay Act, the Employment Protection Act, and


Social Security Pensions Act have already created a new deal for women.


Disabled housewives, single mothers, women looking after a dependent relative -all have received help from this Labour Government.


We have made a start towards equal citizenship by giving to British women, married to foreign husbands, the same rights as British men with foreign wives. We have changed the regulations to make it possible for children born abroad to British mothers to acquire British nationality.


We shall progressively eliminate the inequalities that still exist in the social security and tax systems. We shall introduce further reforms proposed by the Finer Committee on One-Parent Families. We have already protected the anonymity of women victims of rape. We shall bring in a fairer system of family law with new family courts. Labour will abolish the contributory conditions for maternity grant and raise the level of the grant.


One community


Labour has already strengthened the legislation protecting minorities. The next Labour


Government will continue to protect the community against discrimination and


racialism. We will:


Give a strong lead, by promoting equality of opportunities at work throughout the public sector.


Help those whose first language is not English.


Monitor all Government and local authority services to ensure that minorities are receiving fair treatment.


Consider what measures may be necessary to clarify the role of the Public Order Act and to strengthen and widen the scope of the Race Relations Act.


Review the 1824 Vagrancy Act, with a view to the repeal of Section 4.


Large-scale migration to this country is ending, but we still have some major commitments to fulfil. Labour will honour these. A quota would merely cause even longer delays for dependants.


Our whole immigration and citizenship law needs revision. Progress has already been made on this with the publication of a Government Green Paper.


Northern Ireland


For over four years, Labour has governed Northern Ireland direct from Westminster. During this period, considerable progress has been made on the security front and on the efforts to bring peace and stability to the Province. Detention has been ended, a special independent Police Complaints Board has been set up, and the police themselves are now more widely accepted in the community.


Unfortunately, in spite of all the attempts by the Labour Government, it has not been possible to find common agreement between the political parties on the best form of government for Northern Ireland.


For the present, direct rule remains the only viable alternative. Any change can be made only with the consent of the people of Northern Ireland. We will work to make it more accountable and democratic.


In the field of security, there is an essential role for the army in protecting the people of Northern Ireland, but we will continue our policy of extending the role of the police so as to involve all sections of the community.


We accept the recommendations of the Bennett Committee, and we will see that they are carried out as quickly as possible to make ill-treatment impossible.


Labour has saved thousands of jobs in Northern Ireland and attracted much investment and industry to the most under-developed areas. But at about twice the United Kingdom average, unemployment continues at an intolerably high level. The industrial policies set out earlier will be applied with full force and vigour to Northern Ireland.


The Arts and the Media


Both the arts and the media play an important role in enhancing the quality of our democracy.


Arts. Aid to the Arts Council is going up 25 per cent this year. We will ensure more money for the Arts in future. The Arts Council should include elected representatives.


A Labour Government will set up a British Film Authority, with a distribution arm to stimulate investment in British film productions.


The media. Our aim is to safeguard freedom of expression; to encourage diversity; and to guard both against the dangers of government and of commercial control.


On broadcasting, the Labour Government will implement the proposals in its White Paper, including instituting an Open Broadcasting Authority. We will phase out the television licence fee for old age pensioners during the lifetime of the next Parliament.


Animal Welfare


Under Labour's new council of animal welfare, we will have stronger control on the export of live animals for slaughter, and conditions of factory farming, and experiments on living animals.


Legislation to end cruelty to animals will include the banning of hare coursing, stag and deer hunting. Angling and shooting will in no way be affected by our proposals.


European Community


At this election, Labour will, once again, be the only major political party to offer the British people the prospect of bringing about fundamental and much-needed reform to the EEC.


We are concerned to ensure that Greece, Portugal, and Spain receive an early welcome into the Community. This enlargement of the Community will provide an opportunity to create a wider and looser grouping of European states, thus reducing the dangers of an over-centralised and over-bureaucratic EEC.


We aim to develop a Europe which is democratic and socialist, and where the interests of the people are placed above the interests of national and multinational capitalist groups, but within which each country must be able to realize its own economic and social objectives, under the sovereignty of its own Parliament and people.


A Labour Government will oppose any move towards turning the Community into a federation.


Trade and Industry


Working with our socialist colleagues, we will defend the ability of each member state to determine its own industrial policies. Our policy is to encourage such measures as import ceilings and orderly marketing arrangements where they are necessary to protect vital national economic interests.


Member states must be able to control and plan their own energy policies while at the same time maximizing cooperation and seeking agreement on areas of mutual interest, such as research and development.


Food and Agriculture


Membership of the Community has compelled us to pay more for our food than otherwise would be the case. The CAP raises serious problems for British agriculture -distorting the balance of production; decreasing consumption through inflated prices in the shops; and stopping the industry from growing. That is why Labour seeks a fundamental reform of the CAP.


The Tories back a policy which would raise food prices by the equivalent of £90 a year on the average family budget.


Labour will seek to:


End the scandal of food surpluses - which cost £900m per year in storage alone.


Improve access for cheap food from countries outside the EEC.


Reduce EEC support prices; and press for more scope under the CAP for national


support arrangements, such as our beef premiums.


A change in emphasis from price support to structural reform.


The reforms we are calling for are in the interests of consumers throughout every country in the Community. We will do our utmost to gain the cooperation of our EEC partners. However, if these reforms are not speedily implemented, we shall protect our interests - if necessary vetoing any further increase in food prices until surpluses have been eliminated.


Economy and Finance


We will retain the freedom to determine our own budgetary policy and to control our own currency. A Labour Government will retain the power to impose controls on capital movements and will continue to resist any upward harmonisation of VAT or any reduction in the existing range of zero-rated VAT items in Britain. A Labour Government would not join an economic and monetary union.


The Community Budget


Major reforms are needed to the Community Budget. Britain is now providing a net subsidy to some of the other EEC countries amounting to £900m a year. No country whose national income falls below the average for the Community as a whole should be required to make a net contribution to the Budget.


We should reduce the proportion (75 per cent) of the Community Budget spent on agriculture, and the funds so released could be directed into social and regional development.


The Labour Government will ensure that the Community Budget should promote a fairer distribution of resources within the EEC, and the convergence of economic performance of member states, to achieve faster growth, higher employment and lower rates of inflation.


Parliamentary Sovereignty


The Labour Government will legislate to ensure that British ministers are accountable to the House of Commons before making any commitment in the Council of Ministers. Enlargement of the Community will provide the opportunity for seeking changes in the Treaty of Rome, which would enable the House of Commons to strengthen its powers to amend or repeal EEC legislation. This would involve consequential amendments to the 1972 European Communities Act.


The Third World


The Labour Government will press for improvements in the Lome Convention, for widening the scope of the EEC's aid to include the most needy areas of the world, and for the EEC to place emphasis on trade and the stabilization of the export prices of third world commodities.


Foreign Policy


The Labour Party's priority is to build a democratic socialist society in Britain and to create the conditions necessary to free the world from poverty, inequality and war. We condemn violations of human rights wherever they occur and whatever the political complexion of the Government concerned, and will further human rights in all international organizations.


Crucial to our policy is the pursuit of peace, development and disarmament by strengthening the process of détente. We shall seek to improve relations with the USSR and the countries of Eastern Europe, as well as with China.


We shall continue to work for the peaceful and just settlement of disputes and the strengthening of international cooperation. The Labour Government will, therefore, continue its policy of strengthening international organizations, particularly the United Nations, and the Commonwealth.


We shall continue to work to bring about a just settlement of the problems of Cyprus.


We shall work for a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Arab conflict which would ensure the right of all parties to achieve national self-determination and to live in a homeland within secure and recognized borders.


Labour is totally opposed to the system of apartheid, and will continue to support opponents of apartheid, giving humanitarian and other aid to liberation movements of southern Africa. Labour believes that it is not only wrong, but contrary to British long-term interests, to be closely tied economically to South Africa. We will take active steps to reduce our economic dependence on South Africa and discourage new investment in South Africa by British companies. Those already operating there will be expected to comply with a strengthened code of conduct governing conditions of employment.


We have refused to approve the Rhodesian internal settlement and we will continue to work for a settlement of the Rhodesia problem acceptable to the people of Rhodesia as a whole. Until such time as an agreement is arrived at, we will maintain and intensify sanctions against the illegal regime.


We will continue actively to support the United Nations settlement proposals for Namibia, including upholding the territorial integrity of the country.


In respect of those countries of Latin America with dictatorial regimes, particularly Chile and Argentina, the Labour Government will demand that these regimes pay promptly their due debts. The restoration of human and trade union rights will be a prior condition for the rescheduling of future debt payments.


We will continue to pursue our policy of aid to the poorest countries and the poorest people, with the emphasis on rural development. Under Labour, aid is increasing at 6 per cent a year.


We will seek to implement the United Nations target of 0.7 per cent of the gross national product for official aid as soon as economic circumstances permit.


Labour will take account of human rights considerations when giving aid.


Help will continue to be given to the victims of repressive regimes, including the provision of refugee programmes.


The Labour Government approach the North-South dialogue in a spirit of cooperation. It will actively participate in the UNCTAD 5 and other negotiations seeking to establish a more just world trading system which recognizes the needs of poorer countries.


Détente and Defence


While actively pursuing a policy of détente, the Labour Government will continue to press for the implementation of the human rights provisions of the Helsinki Final Act. The Labour Government will continue to work for the success of the Mutual Balanced Force Reduction Talks in Vienna, and will give full support to the work of the United Nations Committee on Disarmament. The Labour Government will work for the speedy conclusion of a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. We shall also give every encouragement to our American allies to achieve a successful conclusion to the vital Strategic Arms Limitation Talks. The Labour Government will maintain its support for Nato as an instrument of détente no less than of defence. The ultimate objective of a satisfactory relationship in Europe is the mutual and concurrent phasing-out of both Nato and the Warsaw Pact.


We shall continue with our plans to reduce the proportion of the nation's resources devoted to defence, so that the burden we bear will be brought into line with that carried by our main allies. A Labour Government would plan to ensure that savings in military expenditure did not lead to unemployment for those working in the defence industries. We shall give material support and encouragement to plans for industrial conversion so that the valuable resources of the defence industries can be used for the production of socially-needed goods.


In 1974, we renounced any intention of moving towards the production of a new generation of nuclear weapons or a successor to the Polaris nuclear force; we reiterate our belief that this is the best course for Britain. But many great issues affecting our allies and the world are involved, and a new round of strategic arms limitation negotiations will soon begin. We think it is essential that there must be a full and informed debate about these issues in the country before the necessary decision is taken.


Labour will give every encouragement to those working for the cause of international peace. We will consider establishing a peace research institute. We shall negotiate with our friends and allies, to prevent the supply of arms to countries where any such supply would increase the chances of international conflict or internal repression.


Into the Eighties


This election comes at a time of change. unparalleled since 1945. A generation has now grown up in a welfare state which remains the envy of the world in health care and education. We have demonstrated a capacity for skill and inventiveness which keeps us at the forefront of world technology. Those are no mean achievements.


A Tory Government would put all this at risk. At work, they would substitute confrontation for cooperation. The free market forces they support would mean soaring inflation, rising prices and growing unemployment. Their uncaring meanness would mean misery for millions of the most vulnerable in our community, for their policy of cutting public expenditure can only mean a drastic reduction in all our social services.


Against this reactionary prospect, Labour sets its vision for the future. We seek to bring about a fundamental change in the balance of power and wealth in favour of working people and their families. We reject the concept that there is a choice to be made between a prosperous and efficient Britain and a caring and compassionate society. As democratic socialists, we believe they complement each other.


That is the spirit of this manifesto. A strong, fair, and more just society is the prize within our grasp. It is the message of hope for the future, based on a record of promises kept, that Labour puts to the British people at this election.


<Picture: arrow>Back to main table.

Last Modified: Tuesday, 17-Jun-97 18:46:34 BST



The Labour Party: 1983


The New Hope for Britain










The years of Tory failure


Emergency programme of action.


A five-year programme

Ending mass unemployment

How will we pay for it?

Working together

An offensive against low pay

Industrial democracy

Safeguards for expansion

A policy for imports

Prices - controlling inflation

Value for money

Rebuilding our industry

Public and co-operative enterprise


Science and technology

Finance for industry

Employment and training

Equal rights at work


Food, fishing and agriculture

A better deal for women

Fair shares

Helping families

A new deal for pensioners

Help for the unemployed

Help for people with disabilities

A fairer benefit system

The right to health care

Personal social services

Education for the future

Schools in the community

Post 16 education

Adult education

A new deal for young people

Homes for everyone

Council housing

Home ownership

Privately rented housing

Help for all tenants


Planning for people

The inner cities

The environment

Rural areas


Law, order and justice

Access to legal services

The penal system

Equal rights

Nationality and immigration

A wider democracy

The security services

Local democracy

Local government finance

Devolution to Scotland

Northern Ireland

Leisure for living

The arts

Sport and recreation

The media

Animal protection

Britain and the Common Market

The process of withdrawal


The international dimension


Disarmament - the international context..

Defence policy

The Commonwealth and the developing world

The Law of the Sea

Near and Middle East


Latin America

Falkland Islands


Human rights






Here you can read Labour's plan to do the things crying out to be done in our country today.


To get Britain back to work. To rebuild our shattered industries. To get rid of the ever-growing dole queues. To protect and enlarge our National Health Service and our other great social services. To help stop the nuclear arms race. Here you can see what Labour is determined to do, and how we shall set about it.


But at once the objection is raised: Can we afford it? Where will the money come from? Are we not just making promises which cannot be fulfilled?


You will find the detailed answers here. But let us emphasise a few of them at once.


The first short, sharp answer is that what Britain cannot afford is the present policy of accepting mass unemployment.


Mass unemployment on the scale Mrs. Thatcher and her government have been prepared to tolerate - worse than we have ever known before and worse than any other industrial country has experienced - imposes a crushing burden on the whole community.


Of course it hits hardest the young denied work altogether, and their mothers and fathers thrown out of their jobs with little chance of getting another.


But it also hits the whole country.


Mass unemployment costs the country &pound;15 billion, &pound;16 billion, &pound;17 billion a year, astronomic figures never conceived possible before, and they move higher still every month.


Mass unemployment is the main reason why most families in Britain, all but the very rich, are paying more in taxes today than they did four years ago when the Conservatives promised to cut them for everybody.


Mass unemployment is the main reason why we are wasting our precious North Sea oil riches. Since 1979 Mrs. Thatcher's government has had the benefit of &pound;20 billion in tax revenues from the North Sea. It has all been swallowed by the huge, mounting cost of mass unemployment. And the oil won't last for ever, although, according to Mrs. Thatcher's economics, the unemployment will.


Our country, no civilised country, can afford the human waste, the industrial and economic waste, involved in these policies. We in the Labour Party reject them absolutely, and we describe in this Manifesto the real constructive alternative, and how we shall pay for it.


See, first, our Emergency Programme of Action to be started immediately we are given the power. Most of these measures are designed to start the drive for expansion, and the cost of them has been added up. How fast can the country escape for the present stagnant rut?


That is the real question.


Just a week before Sir Geoffrey Howe, the Tory Chancellor, produced his last Budget to keep us in the rut, Peter Shore, Labour's Shadow Chancellor, produced his budget for expansion.


The costs he set out - an &pound;11 billion expansion - would cover, as they were designed to cover, the items we have listed in the Emergency Programme, the promises we have tabulated.


So little is it true that Labour has not counted the cost. No party in opposition has ever stated its intentions so clearly and comprehensively.


Then what happens? What happens after the first expansion is launched? Here in these pages we describe the conditions for success, the pace we can move forward, how that will depend on the response we can secure from all sections of the community, on the partnership we have established with the trade unions. Without that continuing partnership to rebuild our country, all else will fail. True enough; but Labour is the only party which has worked for this partnership and pledges it for the future.


And where will the money come from? Some of it will come from those oil revenues now pouring down the drain. Some of it will come from the billions we waste on the dole queues. Some of it will come from the billions now being allowed to be exported in investment abroad.


Yes, and some of it will be borrowed, Mrs. Thatcher's dirty word.


But borrowing in that sense is what every intelligent government since the war in Britain has done - including even Conservative governments. Borrowing in that sense is what has been done by other governments in this world slump who have kept their unemployment much lower than ours - and their inflation rates low too.


Of course the slump can be beaten, if we have the will and the right policies. The European governments which have survived it best have been mostly socialist governments rejecting Thatcherite nostrums. And the whole wider experience of the Western world since 1945 proves what can be done when governments set before them full employment as a target. Is it truly realistic and practical to cast all that knowledge aside?


It is just not true that mass unemployment must be accepted.


Rather, if nothing can be done about unemployment, nothing truly enduring can be done about anything else. Allow it to persist and it will corrode the rest of our society. It will make more deeply endemic than ever the injustices, the bitter hardships, which afflict so many of our people.


So let's put a stop to defeatism, and put a stop too to all those sermons about Victorian values. The labour movement - the Labour Party and the trade unions acting together - came into being, as one of our poets, Idris Davies, said, to end "the long Victorian night". It was a fight to introduce civilised standards into the world of ruthless, devil-take-the-hindmost individualism.


Particularly after our 1945 victory, when Labour had a majority, we set to work creating a real community in which the strong would come to the aid of the weak, in which the profit test would have to make way for the human test.


It was the Labour Party which created - to take just one example - the National Health Service, in the teeth of bitter Tory opposition. Labour will come to the rescue of that service and make it worthy of those who founded it, those who serve it, and the patients who need it most of all. It is a commonsense example of democratic socialism in action.


Of course, we know that the full work of rebuilding will not be easy. Of course we know that, thanks to world conditions and the Conservative years of destruction and decay, our task is made much harder.


But the programme of socialist reconstruction outlined in these pages, can be carried through if a Labour government commands the support of the other great democratic institutions in the land - in particular the local authorities and the trade unions.


Labour is the only party which desires and can secure the working partnership between the government and the trade unions essential to national recovery.


Above all, the new Labour government will play a much more ambitious part in helping to guide the nation towards peace, and, as an essential part of the process, in establishing a sensible defence policy for our country.


One bunch of smears and scares with which Tory propagandists have already disfigured this election campaign suggests that the Labour Party proposes to throw away our defences, to abandon our alliances.


It is just not true. And it should not be forgotten that one of the last acts of Mrs. Thatcher's government was to stop the debate in the House of Commons when these slanders could have been nailed.


What we do propose to do is to get rid of the nuclear boomerangs which offer no genuine protection to our people but, first and foremost, to help stop the nuclear arms race which is the most dangerous threat to us all.


One of the most wretched features of the present government's record has been the low interest they have devoted to the work of securing international disarmament. No British initiative of any significance in this field has been taken.


Instead, the programme for establishing American-controlled Cruise missiles on our soil has been accepted without question, and the Trident programme for the expansion of the British-controlled nuclear forces has been accepted without reference to the possibilities of disarmament.


Indeed, the logic of the case for the nuclear deterrent, presented by British Conservative Ministers, is that all peace-loving countries should equip themselves with the same protection. It is a logic which would intensify the race and destroy the universe.


The first task of a new Labour government will be to restore a sense of sanity in dealing with these supreme questions. We offer a combined programme of action by this country and of action in association with other countries.


We are the only party that offers such a programme to meet the scale of the challenge. We are the only party that offers a non-nuclear defence policy.


But we are not alone in our plans and our aspirations. Multitudes of people in many other lands, on both sides of the Atlantic, in Asia and Africa and Europe too, are ready to join us in the campaign for a nuclear freeze, for fresh exertions to stop the proliferation of these weapons, to stop the whole monstrous nuclear race to destruction.


Michael Foot




In this campaign document we set out Labour's alternative to mass unemployment. We explain how a Labour government will help to stop the nuclear arms race. We provide a radical programme of action, for a full, five-year parliament, to save British industry and rebuild the welfare state.






The years of Tory failure


When the Tories took office in May 1979, unemployment was falling and the economy growing. Living standards had gone up by a sixth in two years, and North Sea oil held out the prospect of economic growth, high levels of employment and better social services.


All this was thrown away by the Tories. Nearly three and a quarter million men and women are now out of work, even on the official count. Plant after plant forced to close. Manufacturing production down by a fifth. Investment cut by a third. Our domestic markets captured by imports of manufactured goods.


After four years of Mrs. Thatcher, Britain is a poorer country. We have fared far worse than any other major industrial country. The unprecedented advantage of North Sea oil and gas - worth, in tax revenues alone, 8p in the pound on income tax - has been squandered, with nothing whatsoever to show for it.


What have all these sacrifices achieved? Our economy today is weaker, not stronger, than in 1979. There is no prospect of real economic growth. Indeed, the Tories no longer dare to predict when unemployment will begin to fall. True enough, inflation, after being forced to record levels by the Tories, has been brought down. But look at the cost in jobs, in poorer housing, in living standards, and in lost opportunities for our youth. And now inflation is set to increase again, with interest rates and mortgage rates likely to rise too.


The legacy of four Tory years goes beyond unemployment and industrial decline; beyond the damage done to our social services; beyond even the dangerous commitment to new nuclear weapons. It is expressed in the deep sense of bitterness, distrust and despair now felt among so many sections of the community. Our task will be to heal these wounds and rekindle among the British people a new sense of unity and common purpose.




Emergency programme of action


Within days of taking office, Labour will begin to implement an emergency programme of action, to bring about a complete change of direction for Britain. Our priority will be to create jobs and give a new urgency to the struggle for peace. In many cases we will be able to act immediately. In others, which involve legislation, they will take longer to bring into effect. But in all cases we shall act swiftly and with determination.


This is what we plan to do. We will:


•Launch a massive programme for expansion. We will:

•Provide a major increase in public investment, including transport, housing and energy conservation. •Begin a huge programme of construction, so that we can start to build our way out of the slump. •Halt the destruction of our social services and begin to rebuild them, by providing a substantial increase in resources. •Increase investment in industry, especially in new technology - with public enterprise taking the lead. And we will steer new industry and jobs to the regions and the inner cities. •Ensure that the pound is competitive; and hold back prices through action on VAT, rents, rates and fares. •Introduce a crash programme of employment and training, with new job subsidies and allowances.

•Begin to rebuild British industry, working within a new framework for planning and industrial democracy. We will:

•Agree a new national economic assessment, setting out the prospects for growth in the economy. •Prepare a five-year national plan, in consultation with unions and employers. Back up these steps with a new National Investment Bank, new industrial powers, and a new Department for Economic and Industrial Planning. •Repeal Tory legislation on industrial relations and make provision for introducing industrial democracy. •Begin the return to public ownership of those public industries sold off by the Tories.

•Start to create a fairer Britain, with decent social services for all. We will:

•Raise child benefits by &pound;2 a week, and give special help to one-parent families and families with disabled dependants. •Uprate the pension in November 1983 by the full amount needed to protect against inflation; and increase pensions by &pound;1.45 a week for a single person and &pound;2.25 for a married couple. •Provide more resources for the health service with an increase of at least 3 per cent a year in real terms. •Improve the personal social services, such as meals on wheels and home helps, with an increase of at least 4 per cent a year in real terms. •Spend more on education, including on essential books and equipment; end the assisted places scheme; and stop selection in secondary schools. •Begin to develop comprehensive care for the under-fives. •Begin to develop a strategy to eliminate low pay.

•Introduce positive action programmes to promote women's rights and opportunities, and appoint a cabinet minister to promote equality between the sexes. We will:

•Strengthen the Equal Pay Act and the Sex Discrimination Act. •Improve child care and other social services. •Take steps to end discrimination in education and training. •Reverse Tory cuts in maternity rights. •Increase the maternity grant.

•Encourage and assist local authorities to begin a massive programme of house-building and improvement, through an immediate 50 per cent increase in their housing investment programmes. Priority will go to the urgent repair and replacement of run-down estates. We will freeze all rents for the first full year. •Begin a major programme to stop the waste of energy. We will stop Sizewell and abandon the Tory PWR programme; and open urgent discussions, with the unions and management in the coal industry, on a new Plan for Coal. •Give more help to public transport, with funds to improve services, keep down fares, and increase investment - especially in rail electrification and better freight facilities. Councils will be given new powers to support local services. •Act to improve the environment and deal with pollution - including a ban on lead in petrol. An urgent start will be made on improving our inner cities, including action on derelict land and buildings. •Introduce a positive action programme for the ethnic minorities. We will also introduce citizenship and immigration laws which do not discriminate against either women or black and Asian Britons. •Give a new priority to open government at local and national levels, and give local communities greater freedom to manage their own affairs. We will also introduce an early Bill to abolish the legislative powers of the House of Lords. •In international policy, we shall take new initiatives to promote peace and development. We will:

•Cancel the Trident programme, refuse to deploy Cruise missiles and begin discussions for the removal of nuclear bases from Britain, which is to be completed within the lifetime of the Labour government. •Ban arms sales to repressive regimes. •Increase aid to developing countries towards the UN target of 0.7 per cent. •Re-establish a separate Ministry of Overseas Development. •Take action to protect the status of refugees in Britain.

•We will also open immediate negotiations with our EEC partners, and introduce the necessary legislation, to prepare for Britain's withdrawal from the EEC, to be completed well within the lifetime of the Labour government.




A five-year programme


Labour's emergency programme of action will get Britain on the road to recovery. But on its own it will not be enough to establish a fairer, more prosperous, more caring Britain.


The programme we set out in the pages which follow is, therefore, for a full, five-year term of office. Clearly, we cannot do everything at once. The economy has been dangerously weakened by the Tories, and Britain is considerably poorer than when we were last in government. The world recession could hamper our plans for economic revival.


Moreover, our proposals add up to a considerable increase in public spending. Our programme is thus heavily dependent upon the achievement of our basic objectives: namely, a large and sustained increase in the nation's output and income and a matching decline in the numbers out of work. It is this that will make the resources available for higher public spending programmes and cut the enormous cost of unemployment. Even so, some of our commitments will be phased in over a number of years. At each stage, clearly, we shall have to choose carefully our priorities.


Ending mass unemployment


The present hideous level of unemployment is not an accident It is the direct result of the policies of this government. The Tories have cut public investment and services, and increased taxes, taking spending power out of the economy and destroying jobs in both public and private sectors alike. They have forced up interest rates and kept the pound too high - a combination that has crippled British industry, and helped lose us markets at home and abroad.


Our approach is different. We will expand the economy, by providing a strong and measured increase in spending. Spending money creates jobs. Money spent on railway electrification means jobs, not only in construction, but also in the industries that supply the equipment - as well as faster and better trains. If we increase pensions and child benefits, it means more spending power for the elderly and for parents, more bought in shops, more orders for goods, and more jobs in the factories. More spending means that the economy will begin to expand: and growth will provide the new wealth for higher wages and better living standards, the right climate for industry to invest, and more resources for the public services.


Our central aim will be to reduce unemployment to below a million within five years of taking office. We recognise the enormous scale of this task. When we set this as our target, unemployment was 2.8 million, according to the official figures. On this basis it is now at least 3.2 million. Our target will thus be all the more difficult to achieve. It remains, however, the central objective of our economic policy.


To achieve it we will need five years of economic growth, with a Labour government carrying through all of the industrial, financial and economic policies outlined here. But we will also work with other governments - especially socialist governments - to bring about a co-ordinated expansion of our economies.


Economic expansion will make it possible to end the waste of mass unemployment. But it will also reduce the human costs of unemployment - the poverty, the broken homes, the increase in illness and suicides. And it will provide the resources we need to increase social spending, as we must, at least in line with the growth of the economy.


How will we pay for it?


Given our commitment to increase public spending, it is right that people should ask: how will we pay for it?


It would be wrong to finance the initial boost to spending by increasing taxation. Only if ours was a fully employed economy would this be the right way of doing it. But our economy today is chronically under-employed. We have people out of work, idle plant, and unused savings. To finance expansion by increasing taxation in these circumstances would be wrong. For the increased spending in one part of the economy would be cancelled out by decreased expenditure elsewhere. Of course, once the economy gets much nearer to full employment, some taxes will have to be increased, both to shift the tax balance towards those who can best afford to pay, and to help finance our social programme.


Like any other expanding industrial enterprise, we shall borrow to finance our programme of investment. This is better than borrowing, as the Tories are doing, in order to pay for the dole queue or to provide finance for the Argentine government to buy arms.


There is no shortage of savings in the country available for borrowing today. Indeed, vast amounts of British money - more than the government's total borrowing requirement last year - are flowing into overseas investment. For with our present slump, there is not the demand for investment here.


But the scale of borrowing will not be nearly as great as the increase in spending. Spending generates new income and new savings. As the economy recovers we shall be able to spend less on keeping people unemployed. And when people get jobs they will also pay income tax and spend more on goods which are taxed. Last year benefit payments, and tax revenues foregone - because of unemployment - cost the nation some &pound;17,000 million. There are also important savings to be made by cancelling the present government 5 massive expenditure programmes on Trident and on PWR nuclear reactors.


Working together


At the heart of our programme is Labour's new partnership with the trade unions. Our policies have been worked out with them. The Tories take pride in rejecting any chance of constructive co-operation with the trade unions. But it is the nation that has paid the price - the economy in ruins, and industrial relations a battlefield. We believe that there is a better way: to harness the goodwill and co-operation of working people and to work together to create a better life for all.


Our starting point in government will be to discuss and agree with the trade unions a national economic assessment, as described in our joint statement with the TUC, Partners in Rebuilding Britain. This will set out the likely growth in the national output and how it could be shared. It will cover the allocation of resources, and the distribution of income between profits, earnings from employment, rents, social benefits and other incomes. It will also take into account our policies on the redistribution of income and wealth, not least through the reform of taxation. It will take a view on what changes in costs and prices would be compatible with our economic and social objectives, and help to ensure that our plan for expansion is not undermined by inflation. We will not, however, return to the old policies of government-imposed wage restraint. The assessment will thus play a crucial part in our national plan.


The assessment will also play an important role in Labour's plans for the redistribution of wealth and power in our society. For, as we emphasise in Labour's Programme, our aim is nothing less than to bring about 'a fundamental and irreversible shift in the balance of power and wealth in favour of working people and their families'.


An offensive against low pay


The next Labour government will launch an offensive against low pay as part of our strategy for equality. The problem of low pay remains acute both in relative and absolute terms. If low pay at present is defined as less than two-thirds of average male manual earnings, there were 3 million full-time low-paid workers in 1982, of whom over 2 million were women workers. Adding to these figures young workers, part-time workers and homeworkers produces a total in the region of almost 6 million - a great majority of whom are women.


We will work together with the unions to tackle low pay and extend the concept of fair wages and arbitration. We will strengthen the Equal Pay Act. We strongly emphasise the principles of fairness and proper comparability, and will ensure machinery is available for the trade unions to establish these principles. We will also discuss with the TUC the possibility of introducing a minimum wage.


Industrial democracy


Industrial democracy is vital to the success of the national plan. We believe that working people must have clear and definite rights to a say in running their firms - and to an influence in economic planning. We will give new statutory rights to workers - through their trade unions - on information, consultation and representation within their companies. These are described in our joint statement with the TUC, Economic Planning and Industrial Democracy. But we will work out with the unions concerned what this means for the individual industries and firms.


We will repeal the divisive Tory 'employment' laws and provide new statutory support for collective bargaining. We will also give proper employment protection to women and to homeworkers, part-time workers and temporary workers.


The Tories' cut-backs in the work of the Health and Safety Commission will be reversed. Labour will actively support the commission and the role of joint safety committees in the work place.


Safeguards for expansion


Increased spending will not be enough to ensure sustained economic growth. Spending will not create jobs if it is soaked up by imports. We must not allow firms to use a return to growth as an excuse to put up prices. It will, in addition, be essential to co-ordinate expansion so proper investment is made for the future.


First, we will see that our financial and monetary policies support expansion. We will make sure that public borrowing is financed, through the financial institutions and national savings, without disruptive or damaging changes in interest rates.


Second, exchange controls - maintained by successive British governments since 1939; and so foolishly scrapped by the Tories in 1979 - will be re-introduced. This will help to counter currency speculation and to make available - to industry and government in Britain - the large capital resources that are now flowing overseas.


Third, we must ensure that our trade and balance of payments contribute to our expansion. This means maintaining the pound at a realistic and competitive rate. Tory monetary policies have kept interest rates far too high, pushing the pound beyond its competitive value. An overpriced pound taxes exports and subsidises imports. Our balance of trade, other than North Sea oil, has been seriously damaged as a result. A competitive exchange rate will assist British exports abroad and make British goods more competitive at home.


A policy for imports


But we must also plan ahead so that, as the economy expands, we keep our exports and imports in balance. We must therefore be ready to act on imports directly: first, in order to safeguard key industries that have been seriously put at risk by Tory policy; and second, so as to check the growth of imports should they threaten to outstrip our exports and thus our plan for expansion. We will:


•Use agreed development plans, which we shall negotiate with the large companies that dominate our economy, so as to influence their purchasing and development policies. Our aim will be to prevent excessive import penetration and promote our own exports. •Use public purchasing policy to help support our strategy. •Introduce back-up import controls, using tariffs and quotas, if these prove necessary, to achieve our objective of trade balance - upon which sustained expansion depends.




Our purpose in trade policy is not to reduce trade but to make possible an orderly expansion of imports, paid for by our growing export trade. We will thus be able to replace the present policies of deflation, which restrict world trade, by policies of expansion, which increase world trade. We will also encourage international action for expansion and increased world trade.


Within the framework of an orderly expansion of trade, we will also seek to give real preferences to imports from developing countries, particularly from the poorest countries, except where this will create acute problems for particular industries in this country.


Prices - controlling inflation


The Tories have used mass unemployment to control inflation. We completely reject this approach. We believe it is madness to keep people out of work deliberately. Our priority will be to expand the economy and create jobs. But we are also determined to prevent soaring prices. Expansion will in itself help cut the costs of production and therefore hold back prices. But we will use other measures to help restrain inflation. We will:


•Use direct measures of price restraint, such as cutting VAT, and subsidies on basic products, to cut into inflation as and when necessary. •Stop using public sector charges, such as gas prices - up by 116 per cent since 1979 - as a back-door way of raising taxes, as the Tories have done. •Buy our food where it is cheaper, on world markets, following Britain's withdrawal from the EEC. •Give powers to a new Price Commission to investigate companies, monitor price increases and order price freezes and reductions. These controls will be closely linked to our industrial planning, through agreed development plans with the leading, price-setting firms. •Take full account of these measures in the national economic assessment, to be agreed each year with the trade unions. The assessment will also take account of the impact of cost increases on the future rate of inflation.




Value for money


The Tories say that 'competition' ensures that shoppers get a fair deal. The customers know better. Stronger legal safeguards are essential to protect customers - not least from shoddy goods. And shoppers must know their rights and be able to enforce them. We will undertake an urgent and comprehensive review of consumer law and reform it. We will also bring in new safeguards on advertising. We will:


•Establish a major public service facility - a Product Research Unit - to test products and manufacturers' claims about them, and to publicise the results widely. •Set up consumer advice centres in all main shopping centres, with mobile units for rural areas. •Provide simple court procedures for small claims, stronger trade codes of practice placed on to a statutory basis, and adequate penalties for trading offences. •See that all public enterprises give a high priority to dealing with consumer complaints and needs - and back them with stronger consumer councils. •Introduce a code of advertising practice, on a statutory basis, to be administered by the office of Fair Trading; and provide powers to order advertisements to be substantiated, withdrawn, or corrected with equal prominence.


Rebuilding our industry


The Tories have been a disaster for British industry. Plants and companies have closed, skilled workers have been laid off, markets at home and abroad have been lost to our competitors. Industry has not invested enough, and it has failed to develop and exploit the new technologies as successfully as other industrial countries.


We must rebuild our industrial strength - and we can do so under a Labour Government working together with unions and managers, to plan Britain's industrial development. Our aim is not just to save companies and factories from closing down. We intend to create new companies and new science-based industries - using new public enterprise to lead the way, and supported by the development of industrial democracy.


In our joint statement with the TUC, Economic Planning and Industrial Democracy, and in Labour's Programme 1982, we show how it can be done. We will:


•Develop a new five-year national plan to coordinate expansion and public spending with plans for individual industries and regions. We will create a powerful new Department of Economic and Industrial Planning. •Involve the trade unions and management in planning at every level with a new, tripartite National Planning Council. •Link planning at all levels firmly to a radical extension of industrial democracy. New statutory rights will enable workers to draw up plans for their own enterprises and sectors of industry, which we will seek to incorporate into our strategy. •Make our planning flexible, so that it is able to respond quickly to changing circumstances and take full account of changing needs and preferences. We are opposed to any kind of rigid planning from the centre. But we will seek to develop a firm sense of strategic direction. •Negotiate agreed development plans with all leading companies - national and multinational, public and private - so that such companies play a constructive role in supporting the national plan and our plans for individual regions and sectors. •Support these agreed development plans with new industrial powers, including discretionary price controls, financial support and access to credit; and take powers to invest in individual companies, to purchase them outright or to assume temporary control. •Monitor closely the activities of multinational companies, through a Foreign Investment Unit. All UK-based multinationals will have to operate within clearly laid-down guidelines. •Develop regional development plans, with plans also being drawn up at local level by local authorities. Regional development agencies will be established, extending our present commitment to a Northern Development Agency to other English regions in need of them. These agencies will have similar powers and resources to those in Scotland and Wales. We will also consider using new regional job subsidies. •Strengthen the NEB, the Scottish and Welsh Development Agencies, and the Industrial Development Board in Northern Ireland. We will give them, and the new development agencies, adequate resources for investment and acquisition.


Public and co-operative enterprise


We will use public and co-operative enterprise to support our planning and as a major source of technical innovation. We will:


•Encourage and help existing public enterprises to expand and diversify. They will be given far more freedom to raise funds on capital markets. •Return to public ownership the public assets and rights hived off by the Tories, with compensation of no more than that received when the assets were denationalised. We will establish a significant public stake in electronics, pharmaceuticals, health equipment and building materials; and also in other important sectors, as required in the national interest. •Give generous encouragement and help to worker co-operatives and local enterprise boards. We will establish a Co-operative Investment Bank. The development agencies and local authorities will be empowered to support and to help establish co operatives and local enterprise boards. We will give new rights to workers to convert their firms into co-operatives.




Labour will also support key industries in the public sector. We will:


•Prevent the further decline of both public and private sectors of the steel industry so that the industry can, through planned investment, meet the rising demand from economic expansion. We will retain the five major BSC plants and see that a larger share of the home market is met from UK production. A major public presence will also be established in the steel stock-holding industry. •Develop our aerospace industries. We will ensure that proper levels of research, development and investment take place, and that the industries have the capacity and skills needed to compete as equals in the world market. The British Aerospace Corporation will be re-established as a major public enterprise. •Support the shipbuilding industry, which is vital for a maritime nation such as Britain, with interests in merchant shipping, the Navy, offshore oil and gas resources and fishing. Labour will establish a maritime strategy embracing both shipbuilding and shipping interests. We will re establish the British Shipbuilding Corporation as a public sector company with a new financial basis and adequate resources for investment.






A national cable system will make possible a wide range of new telecommunications services, greater variety in the provision of television, and a major stimulus to British technology and industry. But it must be under firm public control. A publicly-owned British Telecommunications will thus be given the sole responsibility to create a national, broadband network (including Mercury, the new privately-owned telecommunications system for business), which integrates telecommunications and broadcasting.


Science and technology


Science and technology are essential to Britain's economic and social regeneration. The Tories have undermined research and development in the science-based research industries of the future. Cuts in higher education threaten our fundamental research. Industry devotes less to research and development than any other of our major industrial competitors. Defence accounts for over 80 per cent of government research funds in industry.


The fall in output, together with the lack of planning and retraining, has meant that new technology has brought major job losses in some sectors. Only Labour can plan new technology to meet our commitment to full employment. We will:


•Guarantee adequate funding for higher education, the research councils and government research establishments. •Use the National Investment Bank to channel funds from the financial institutions into long-term investment in new technology. •Work together with trade unions to plan an expansion of new technology, in particular using it to aid a product-based recovery of the economy. New technology agreements, for proper safeguards and retraining for the work-force, will be extended. •Strengthen the links between research by higher education and industry to help greater industrial innovation. •Increase technological literacy in schools and give boys and girls equal opportunities to study science and technology. •Promote the supply of engineers and technicians, including women, to meet the needs of industry and the community. •Ensure that research and development are directed towards society's needs, with a reduction in the present high proportion of defence research. •Promote the development and use of new information and communication services to support a wider democracy.


Finance for industry


It is essential that industry has the finance it needs to support our plans for increased investment. Our proposals are set out in full in our Conference statement, The Financial Institutions. We will:


•Establish a National Investment Bank to put new resources from private institutions and from the government - including North Sea oil revenues - on a large scale into our industrial priorities. The bank will attract and channel savings, by agreement, in a way that guarantees these savings and improves the quality of investment in the UK. •Exercise, through the Bank of England, much closer direct control over bank lending. Agreed development plans will be concluded with the banks and other financial institutions. •Create a public bank operating through post offices, by merging the National Girobank, National Savings Bank and the Paymaster General's Office. •Set up a Securities Commission to regulate the institutions and markets of the City, including Lloyds, within a clear statutory framework. •Introduce a new Pension Schemes Act to strengthen members' rights in occupational pension schemes, clarify the role of trustees, and give members a right to equal representation, through their trade unions, on controlling bodies of the schemes. •Set up a tripartite investment monitoring agency to advise trustees and encourage improvements in investment practices and strategies.


We expect the major clearing banks to co operate with us fully on these reforms, in the national interest. However, should they fail to do so, we shall stand ready to take one or more of them into public ownership. This will not in any way affect the integrity of customers' deposits.


Employment and training


The long-term unemployed - the men and women who have suffered most from the Tory onslaught - will benefit directly from economic expansion and our policies on regional development. But special measures are also needed. By the end of our first five years, our aim is that no-one will be out of work for more than a year without receiving an offer of a job or training place.


We will act quickly to save jobs and stop the further destruction of industry. We will expand the schemes for compensating firms that avoid redundancy and provide temporary jobs for the long-term unemployed. We will widen the Job Release Scheme and offer employment subsidies to firms, linked to agreements with them to preserve and create jobs. We will also provide major increases in youth and adult training, with special provision for women, ethnic minorities and the disabled; and integrate a reformed Youth Training Scheme into our scheme for a two-year student-traineeship.


Industry has been badly hit by the collapse of training under the Tories. Expansion must not be held back by shortages of skilled labour; and people without work must have the skills needed to take up the available jobs. We will:


•Introduce a new statutory framework, linking adult training with initial training. This will also place a statutory duty on employers to carry out training and establish joint workplace training committees. Adequate funds will be provided jointly by industry and government. •Give the Manpower Services Commission the authority and resources it needs to do the job. The commission will develop its regional and local structures, advise companies on their plans for manpower, and get advance notice of redundancies. •Ensure that the MSC develops a national job centre network and reverses the cutbacks in occupational guidance and help for disadvantaged job seekers. We will take urgent steps to abolish private employment agencies.




Working time in Britain, over the life time of individual workers, is among the highest in industrial countries. We will work through collective bargaining to reduce working time; and this will include more flexible working arrangements, more time off for study, longer holidays, earlier voluntary retirement with adequate pensions - with progress towards our aim of a common pension age of 60 - and a 35 hour week.


Equal rights at work


Labour's aim is to create equal rights at work for women and to overcome the effects of past discrimination. We will:


•Expand Positive Action Programmes to eliminate discrimination, change employment practices and introduce special training schemes to equip women to enter non-traditional areas of work. •Carry out these programmes throughout the public sector, ensure that public-sector contracts include a commitment to positive action, and press employers and unions to negotiate these programmes through joint equal opportunities committees at the workplace. These proposals will be backed, if necessary, by a statutory duty on employers. •Strengthen the Sex Discrimination and Equal Pay Acts to make them more effective. We will shift the burden of proof from the complainant to the alleged discriminator, incorporate the concept of indirect discrimination and introduce the principle of equal pay for work of equal value. •End the distinction between part-time and full-time workers in terms of rights, hourly pay-rates and conditions, and extend greater employment protection to homeworkers and women on maternity leave.


We also aim to create equality of opportunity and treatment for black workers, and similar positive action programmes will be carried through on their behalf.




Energy is vital to our future as an industrial nation. We will plan its supply and demand more carefully and save more of the energy we use. As outlined in Labour's Programme 1982, we will:


•Ensure that everyone can afford adequate heat and light at home. •Give priority to the coal industry and the use of coal as a fuel. We will seek to re-establish the tripartite machinery set up under Labour and prepare a new Plan for Coal. We will also replace old plant with coal-fired stations. •Assist major towns and cities to set up combined heat and power schemes. •Begin a massive conservation programme, led by insulation for council housing, and giving incentives to industry on agreed plans to save energy. The programme will be managed by a new Energy Conservation Agency. •Greatly increase spending on the development of renewable sources. •Stop Sizewell and scrap the Tory PWR programme. The need for a continuing nuclear programme based on the British AGR will be reassessed when we come to office. •Re-establish the Energy Commission to advise on the preparation and annual review of a comprehensive energy plan. •Transfer the whole of the National Nuclear Corporation to the public sector.


Energy costs now represent a major part of family budgets. We will aim to reduce these costs, both by conservation and by introducing new fuel allowances.


We will bring Britoil back into public ownership and combine it with BNOC to create a powerful national oil corporation with full powers to engage in all aspects of oil-related activities. We will restore to the new corporation a minimum 50 per cent stake in all fields discovered since 1975; and, in line with our objective to bring North Sea oil into public ownership and control, the public sector will have the dominant role in all future oil and gas exploration and development in the North Sea. We reaffirm our commitment to achieving full public control and ownership of British Petroleum, in order to make it an effective agent of a nationally directed oil policy.


Food, fishing and agriculture


Britain needs a food and agriculture policy much more in line with our needs - and this is one of the prime reasons for leaving the EEC. Instead of the inflated prices of the EEC's Common Agricultural Policy, we will support our agriculture through deficiency payments - coupled, where necessary, with limited intervention buying and direct income support.


As we describe in Labour's Programme 1982, we will conduct an 'annual assessment' of the industry, after consultation with all those concerned. This will set the level of support given to the industry. Labour will also negotiate long-term supply agreements with agricultural producing nations; establish commodity agencies and support marketing co-operatives; and, where helpful, extend marketing boards to other sectors.


Together with the trade unions we will work to close the gap between agricultural and industrial earnings, and replace the Agricultural Wages Board with a statutory joint industrial council. We will also act to improve farm safety, provide statutory support for workers' safety representatives, and end pay discrimination against women workers.


We will give a new deal to the fishing industry. We will draw up a National Fisheries Plan so as to take full advantage of our withdrawal from the EEC. We will also provide public investment for the industry and improved conditions of employment - including safety conditions - and introduce a licensing system for registered fishing vessels and fishermen.


We will end the de-rating of agricultural land. We will also defend the agricultural environment by giving a new priority to the effect on the environment of our agricultural policies. We will make all agricultural aid subject to environmental criteria and extend development controls to agriculture.


We shall take tougher measures to control the use of pesticides and herbicides. We shall establish a body with statutory powers to supervise their use, and in particular we shall ban the use of 245-T. We shall strengthen controls on the use of additives in feedstuffs, and in food, and ensure better labelling. Our aim is to make it easier for new entrants, such as young farmers, to come into the industry and obtain a tenancy. We will do this with the help of a new Rural Land Authority, which will administer rural land already publicly-owned and begin to extend public ownership to tenanted land.


For the forestry industry, we intend to reconstitute the Forestry Commission, as described in Labour's Programme 1982, so that it operates as an expanding public enterprise. The commission would cease to act as a spokesman for the private sector; and it will be expected to extend its activities to include the processing side of the industry. We will also seek to increase tree plantings.


A better deal for women


Labour's objective is to achieve equality between women and men. Over half the population are women; yet in our society, paid employment is seen as important while domestic skills - involving caring for children - do not enjoy their proper status. Women should have a genuine choice between staying at home to look after the family or going to work. Men and women should be able to share the rights and responsibilities of paid employment and domestic activities, so that job segregation within and outside the home is broken down.


Tory attacks on women's rights and opportunities have more than doubled the numbers of unemployed women and destroyed services which women in particular depend upon. Labour will do more than reverse these policies. We will:


•Expand current positive action programmes as well as introduce wide-ranging new schemes in order to encourage women to train and apply for new job opportunities, particularly in the area of new technology. •Provide equal pay for work of equal value by amending the Equal Pay Act; and take action, together with the trade unions, against low pay. •Strengthen the Sex Discrimination Act to include direct and indirect discrimination on the grounds of family status, and shift the burden of proof from the complainant to the alleged discriminator. •Strengthen and expand the role of the Equal Opportunities Commission. •Restore and extend women's employment rights to include part-time and home workers. •Reverse the Tory attack on employment, social services and maternity rights. •Improve the level of financial support to families with children and disabled dependants. The household duties test will be abolished. Extra help will be given to one-parent families. •Establish an integrated system of child care with priority for children in the most deprived areas. Our aim will be to introduce, as soon as possible, a statutory duty on local authorities to provide nursery education for all pre school children whose parents wish it. •Take steps to end discrimination in education and training, as set out in Labour's Programme 1982. •Provide the resources to make a major improvement in the personal social services for the care of elderly, sick and disabled people. •Within the NHS, improve community services, extend preventive measures including screening, and develop child health services. •Increase the maternity grant to at least &pound;100. •Provide fair treatment for widows. •Increase the death grant to at least &pound;200. •Work to establish equal treatment in tax and social security. •End VAT on sanitary protection. •Appoint a cabinet minister to promote equality between the sexes. •Review the whole question of divorce and maintenance. •Establish a fairer system of family law, and introduce Family Courts. •Give more support for victims of rape; and provide an urgent review of police and court procedures in cases of rape and violence against women. •Improve ante-natal and maternity services, and respect the wishes of women in childbirth. •Support the provision of family crisis centres and more refuges for battered women.


While continuing to defend and respect the absolute right of individual conscience, we will improve NHS facilities for family planning and abortion, including counselling and day-care; and we will remove barriers to the implementation of the existing right of choice for women in the termination of a pregnancy.


Fair shares


Our plan for expansion must be supported by measures to create a fairer Britain. We shall reform taxation so that the rich pay their full share and the tax burden on the lower paid is reduced. By progressively increasing the real value of the personal allowance, we will help the lower paid and those on average earnings. We intend also to bring down the starting point of the highest rates of tax, and to remove the present ceiling on earnings-related National Insurance contributions.


In Labour's Programme 1982, we explain how we will reduce tax avoidance. This will include action on family trusts and investment income. We also intend to limit the open-ended availability to higher-rate tax payers of various tax reliefs. A determined attack will be mounted on illegal tax evasion.


We shall also reform indirect taxation. We will extend zero-rating under VAT, with different rates for essentials and non-essentials.


Capital taxes will be used to reduce the huge inequalities in inherited wealth. We shall reverse most of the Tories' concessions on capital transfer tax and introduce a new annual tax on net personal wealth, along the lines set out in Labour's Programme 1982. This will ensure that the richest 100,000 of the population make a fair and proper contribution to tax revenue.


Helping families


Labour will give families a better deal. Our first priority will be to help families with children in order to support them in the task of parenthood. The Tories refuse to accept the wide variety in the type and size of families. Their policies restrict choice for members of families - in particular they reduce the freedom of men and women to choose whether to work or to stay at home and look after their families. At the same time, Tory policy has trapped more and more families in poverty through a combination of means-tested benefits and a tax system which bites hardest on the lowest paid.


We aim to recast the tax and benefit system, so as to redistribute resources to families with children. Our priority is child benefit. We will increase it by &pound;2.00 a week, make it index-linked, and subsequently improve it in real terms, as resources allow. In the longer term, we shall aim to raise child benefit to the level of child support given to those on long-term benefits. We shall also restore the rights to weekly payment of child benefit; increase the maternity grant to &pound;100; and give extra help to one-parent families.


We shall continue to help family budgets throughout the parliament:


•By increasing personal tax allowances - thus taking the poorest families out of the tax net; •By making further increases in child benefit; •By extending and improving the Invalid Care Allowance for those who care for disabled people.


To help pay for these improvements we shall, over the lifetime of the parliament, phase out the married man's additional tax allowance for those under the age of retirement. Married couples with dependants will clearly benefit considerably from these changes - whilst the overall change for those without dependants, given the increases in personal allowance, will be small in any one year. However, we recognise that the loss of the allowance could cause financial difficulty for those couples where one of the spouses is not in work. We shall therefore consider how best to give support to these married couples where there are no dependants. Our aim is to end sex discrimination in taxation. We favour the principle of separate taxation and are examining how best to implement this.


A new deal for pensioners


We believe that elderly people, both today's pensioners as well as those who will benefit in future from Labour's pension scheme, should share as of right in our future prosperity. We shall:


•Uprate the pension in November 1983 by the full amount necessary to protect its real value against the rise in inflation to that date. •Increase pensions, as soon as practicable, by &pound;1.45 for a single person and &pound;2.25 for a married couple. This is the amount pensioners have lost through the Tories breaking the link between pensions and earnings. •Link pensions and average earnings, when these are rising faster than prices, and extend this to all benefits. •Make progress towards our aim of a common pension age of 60. •Double the Christmas bonus to &pound;20. •Phase out the TV licence for pensioners, during the lifetime of the Labour government. •Give women the additional tax allowance for the elderly - the age allowance - at 60 instead of 65. •Increase the Death Grant to &pound;200 and extend it to cover all deaths. •Introduce a Pension Schemes Act that will more adequately protect occupational pensions from the effects of inflation than they are at present; protect the position of early leavers; and extend to members of schemes, rights to participation and to greater information. •Introduce, in areas where more favourable concessionary travel on local transport does not exist, a nationwide, off-peak, half-fares scheme for pensioners. •Reform the harsh supplementary benefit rules introduced by the Tories. •Reduce energy costs, for pensioners, both through support for conservation and by introducing new fuel allowances.




Help for the unemployed


Working people are entitled to a decent income when they lose their job through circumstances beyond their control. An improved earnings-related supplement will once again be paid during the first months of unemployment. We shall end the discrimination whereby the unemployed are not entitled to the long-term rate of supplementary benefit after a year. We shall also consider how best to improve unemployment benefit for the longer-term unemployed so that large-scale supplementation is not required.


Help for people with disabilities


The last Labour government established, for the first time, the basis for eliminating poverty among disabled people. We intend to build on this. We will:


•Introduce a &pound;10 a week blindness allowance, as a first step towards the introduction of a new cash benefit for disabled people, which will vary according to the degree of disability. •Bring up the non-contributory invalidity pension to the level of the flat-rate contributory invalidity benefit, and restore the 5 per cent cut in invalidity benefit. •Help the many disabled people who are capable of working part-time or for limited periods, but discouraged by present benefit regulations. We shall amend these to take account of their needs. •Abolish the household duties test for housewives' non-contributory invalidity pension and extend invalid care allowance to all those women presently excluded. •Continue to pay mobility allowance to existing recipients as they reach the age of 75. •Ensure the full implementation of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act. •For those who require long-term care - elderly, mentally handicapped, mentally ill and disabled people - develop services within both the health service and the local authority services, based on support for them and their families within the community. •Make proper provision for the 20 per cent of children requiring various forms of special education. We will promote and provide the resources for the integration within mainstream schooling of those children whose needs are best met by ordinary schools.


Labour will also aim to overcome discrimination against the disabled at work. We will reverse the Tory cuts, which have caused unnecessary suffering for people with disabilities. We shall increase the number of disablement resettlement officers; extend capital grants to adapt employer's premises; strengthen existing schemes - especially rehabilitation - to help disabled people back to work; and introduce new legislation, including quotas, to secure employment opportunities and job protection for disabled people.


A fairer benefit system


The new supplementary benefit scheme introduced by the Tories is harsh and unfair. We shall reform it. The families of those involved in industrial disputes will be entitled to full benefits - less any strike pay actually paid. We shall return to a sliding scale for assessing capital and the surrender value of insurance policies will be excluded. The anomaly which prevents some widows from claiming long-term supplementary benefit will be removed. We shall give extra help to families with children.


We shall improve staffing levels and physical conditions in social security offices so as to provide a more humane and responsive service for claimants. Many people fail to claim benefit to which they are entitled. We shall aim to increase take-up by improvements in publicity and the provision of advice.


All the social security changes made by the Tories, including the new sick pay and housing benefit schemes, will be reviewed. If they do not treat working people and their families fairly, we will replace them.


Forty years have elapsed since the Beveridge Report which led to the setting up of the National Insurance scheme by the post war Labour government. We shall conduct a thorough review of the scheme in the light of today's circumstances.


The right to health care


The creation of the National Health Service is one of the greatest achievements of the Labour Party. It now faces a double threat from the Tories: a lack of resources for decent health care; and the active encouragement of private practice. Labour will act to defend the basic principles of the service. We will ensure that it is free at the point of use and funded out of taxation, and that priority depends on medical need not ability to pay.


To meet rising costs due to improved medical technology and the age composition of the population, and to allow for a general expansion of our under-funded health services, we shall increase health service expenditure by 3 per cent per annum in real terms. We will also seek a fairer distribution of these resources at both regional and district level. Since the election, prescription charges have increased from 20p to &pound;1.40 per item. Labour will phase out health charges. We shall also ensure that NHS staff receive a fair reward for their work and dedication; and we will discuss with the TUC new arrangements for pay determination and the resolution of disputes.


Our overriding aim will be to reduce inequalities in standards of health care for all who need it. We will:


•Give greater emphasis to prevention, both within the health and personal social services. We will come forward with proposals to help prevent accidents and disease, including action on advertising. •Give priority to improving our primary health care services, especially in the inner cities. •Continue to improve the ante-natal and maternity services and develop our child health services; and we will respect the wishes of women in child birth. •Introduce an independent complaints system in both hospital and family practitioner services. •Recognise the importance of community health councils and ensure that they have the power and facilities to represent fully the consumer point of view. •Abolish the special charges for overseas visitors, and end passport checks. •Take a major public stake in the pharmaceutical industry - and ensure that the drugs available are safe, effective and economic.




The present expansion in private medicine is a serious threat to our priorities in health care. We will not allow the development of a two-tier health service, where the rich can jump the queue. We shall remove private practice from the NHS and take into the NHS those parts of the profit-making private sector which can be put to good use. We shall also stop public subsidies to the private sector and prevent it expanding further. We will give proper recognition to those consultants who make a full-time commitment to the NHS; and we will provide incentives to those choosing to work in under-doctored areas and specialities.


While continuing to defend and respect the absolute right of individual conscience, we will improve NHS facilities for family planning and abortion, including counselling and day-care; and we will remove barriers to the implementation of the existing right of choice for women in the termination of a pregnancy.


Personal social services


Personal social services - such as childcare, home helps, meals on wheels and residential and day care for the elderly and handicapped, are a vital part of our welfare state. And it is those who are most vulnerable in our society who depend most upon them.


The Tory cuts in the social services have hit women hardest. They have meant lost jobs for many women and a loss of support for the elderly and disabled, thus forcing women to stay at home as unpaid carers. A major improvement in personal social services will be necessary, not only to raise the standard of living of those who depend upon them, but also to give women an equal right to work. Labour will reverse the Tory cuts, improve and expand services so that they can complement the much better community health services we shall provide. This will involve increasing spending by at least 4 per cent a year in real terms. We will:


•Increase joint finance and extend it to cover other agencies. •Require social services departments to plan and develop services for children jointly with education and health authorities. •Strengthen the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act so that it provides a Charter of Rights for disabled people everywhere. •Require local authorities to develop preventive services for children at risk. •Give greater attention to the needs of ethnic minorities. •Encourage the growth of local, independent advice and advocacy services.




Education for the future


If individuals are to achieve their full creative potential, and our society is to advance, we must substantially improve educational provision and opportunity. The Tories' cuts have shown that they have no commitment to a free and fair education system. The fact is, however, that economic and social progress will depend on our success in making use of the abilities of the whole of our population.


For the under-fives, our goal is to achieve comprehensive provision, with priorities for children in the most deprived areas. We will unify education and care services for the under-fives, both nationally and locally. Our aim will be to introduce a statutory duty on local authorities to provide nursery education, as soon as possible, for all pre-school children whose parents wish it.


Schools in the community


Primary education is fundamental to all educational and social development, as any parent knows. We will restore funds to local education authorities to reduce class sizes; and improve learning materials and facilities in primary schools so that our children receive the best possible start in their schooling.


Secondary education is a period during which all young people must prepare themselves as the workers and citizens of the future. We shall encourage a higher standard of achievement among all pupils in the variety of academic and other activities which are essential parts of fully comprehensive education. We will:


•Repeal the Education Act 1979 and prohibit all forms of academic selection, such as the eleven plus, as a condition of admission to secondary schools. •Require local education authorities to maintain a broad, balanced and comprehensive curriculum, providing genuinely equal opportunities for boys and girls, and for the ethnic minorities to meet the needs of our multi-cultural society. •Establish a common system of assessment for all 16 year olds which will encourage effort and accurately record achievement at school.




Throughout the whole of schooling, we will:


•Determine a supply of appropriately qualified teachers to reduce class sizes. No class size should be over 30. The quality and frequency of teacher in-service training must be improved so that teachers receive no less than one school term of training in every five years of service. •Discuss with the local authorities ways of developing a reformed system for funding education. Whilst safeguarding local democracy in education, this must secure and maintain improved national standards of provision in essential areas. •Abolish corporal punishment; and help local authorities and schools to develop other methods, already successfully practised in many schools, for dealing with bad behaviour. •Positively encourage parental understanding and participation in the education of their children by increasing parental representation on school governing bodies and increasing the links between home and school. •Re-establish the school meals and milk services, cut back by the Tories. This will help to offset the inequalities, for example in nutrition, highlighted by the Black Report.


Private schools are a major obstacle to a free and fair education system, able to serve the needs of the whole community. We will abolish the Assisted Places Scheme and local authority place buying; and we will phase out, as quickly as possible, boarding allowances paid to government personnel for their children to attend private schools, whilst ensuring secure accommodation for children needing residential education.


We shall also withdraw charitable status from private schools and all their other public subsidies and tax privileges. We will also charge VAT on the fees paid to such schools; phase out fee charging; and integrate private schools within the local authority sector where necessary. Special schools for handicapped pupils will retain all current support and tax advantages.


Post 16 education


For 16 and 17 year olds, we will introduce a two years' student-traineeship within a third or 'tertiary', stage of education, as described in the section on young people. A 'tertiary awards council' will be established to develop and validate a proper system of educational assessment for the whole of the age group. Our aim is to replace the rigid 'A' level system with a broader programme of study within the student-traineeship, thus preventing over specialisation and promoting flexibility and breadth in learning.


Our policy for education after eighteen is expansion with change. We will reverse the Tory cuts and restore the right for all qualified young people seeking higher education to secure places. We will also substantially expand opportunities for adults in both further and higher education.


We reject the Tory proposals for student loans; and we will ensure students are given adequate financial support. We will also provide proper financial support for those on non-advanced, part-time advanced, and Open University courses.


Adult education


We are determined to give priority to adults who have been denied educational opportunity on leaving school. We will:


•Give statutory backing to paid educational leave for workers. •Phase in a new, adult educational entitlement that will provide one year of education, backed by financial support for adults who have never received education after eighteen. •Require educational institutions to be more flexible in their admissions procedures and methods of study. •Establish a proper legal basis for adult education; and create a development council to promote adult and continuing education. •Establish machinery to plan and co ordinate all post 18-education together and ensure that the bodies funding universities, and planning local authority further, higher and continuing education, are more accountable and representative.




A new deal for young people


Labour will end the scourge of youth unemployment and prepare young people to take up the jobs that we will create. We will also encourage all young people in employment to join a trade union. Our radical new scheme for young people will establish a new, two year student-traineeship for all 16 and 17 year olds. It will bring together, for the first time, the first years of apprenticeships, other training schemes for young workers and the young unemployed and courses in full-time education in schools and colleges. We will:


•Give to young people who are at work the right to be released to college or school, on full pay. Employers will be given a statutory duty to provide opportunities for their young employees to receive systematic education and training and to release student-trainees at their request. Premiums will be paid to them to recruit young people and provide them with such opportunities. •Abolish the so-called Young Workers' Scheme, set up by the Tories to reduce youth wages. Labour rejects completely the Tory argument that young people have priced themselves out of jobs. •Offer all young people without work a place on new youth training schemes, with proper education and training opportunities - which can best be guaranteed by active monitoring by the trade unions; and give them an allowance of at least &pound;30 per week - the level of which will be agreed annually with the TUC - with trade unions being free to negotiate better terms. •Provide student-trainees, in full-time education, with an educational maintenance allowance of &pound;25 a week, at 1983 prices, covering 52 weeks in a year.




Labour will establish new rights and provide more resources for youth. We will:


•Expand and improve the youth service so that it meets the social, cultural and recreational needs of young people - especially the unemployed, young women, the ethnic minorities and the young disabled. •Established a 'youth initiatives fund' to give greater recognition and support to organisations which represent young people's interest. •Encourage local authorities to support representative local youth councils as one of the means of enabling young people to influence public affairs as young adults. •Expand funding and staffing for the provision of social studies and education for citizenship in youth clubs and schools with the aim of informing young people of their civil, political and trade union rights and responsibilities as citizens. Accredited trade union representatives should be involved with secondary school students in the context of such education, with full facilities for such representatives at all career days.




Homes for everyone


Britain faces a major housing crisis. The Tories have slashed public spending on housing by half and house building is at its lowest since the 1920's. Houses are falling into disrepair faster than they can be repaired, while homelessness and waiting lists continue to grow. Labour will reverse this decline. Our aim is a decent home for all with real freedom of choice between renting and owning, on terms people can afford.


Labour governments have done more than any others to assist owner occupiers; and we will extend this by giving special assistance to first-time buyers and council tenants.


Labour will immediately increase by half the total housing investment programmes for local authorities. This will be a first step in increasing resources for council housing repairs and improvements and for new public sector house building. We will also give a new priority to getting empty council owned housing back into use. We will overhaul and extend the renovation grant and area improvement programme to tackle properly the decay of our older houses. New and better housing and environmental standards will be developed and greater provision will be made for hitherto neglected groups, such as single people.


Council housing


The Tories have forced council rents to more than double. The number of council homes for rent is falling because of the rundown of new building and enforced sales. Thousands have to cope with leaking roofs and damp, inadequate heating, broken down lifts, noise, lack of security, increasing disrepair and neglect.


Labour will give council tenants a new deal. In addition to a freeze on rents for a full year, and the restoration of subsidies, Labour will:


•fund a national action programme to repair and improve or replace run-down estates, especially the system-built developments in which so many defects have been revealed. •Strengthen tenants' rights on security, repairs and improvements, access to files, exchanges, transfers, moves between local authority areas, and rehousing rights on breakdown of relationship; •Encourage more responsive and decentralised housing management and maintenance, and promote tenant participation and democracy, including housing co-operatives; •End all residential and other qualifications, which unfairly exclude people from council housing in the area where they live, extend the 'priority' groups under the Housing (Homeless Persons) Act and strengthen the rights of homeless people; •End enforced council house sales, empower public landlords to repurchase homes sold under the Tories on first resale and provide that future voluntary agreed sales will be at market value.


Home ownership


Labour believes in real home ownership at prices people can afford. Under the Tories the mortgage rate reached its highest ever level at 15 per cent and is still at 10 per cent. They have done little to help low income groups become owners.


We support financial assistance for owner-occupation and will maintain mortgage tax relief for existing house purchasers at the current rate. The unfairness of mortgage tax relief above the basic rate, which gives most benefit to the highest incomes, will be phased out. We will also examine the possibility of a new and substantial form of financial help for first time buyers, with special consideration for council and new town tenants, aimed at easing the heavy initial burdens of house purchase.


Labour will act to help home-owners. We will:


•Simplify and reduce the cost of house purchase, ending the solicitors' conveyancing monopoly, and require full disclosure of mortgage lending terms and practices; •Make it easier for lower income groups to borrow funds on secure terms by greatly expanding council mortgage lending and providing the funds needed. This will be financed primarily by on-lending from the building societies, at least 10 per cent of whose funds should be made available in this way; •Allow and encourage councils to provide a unified house-purchase service, including estate agency, surveying, conveyancing and mortgage lending; •End the leasehold system for houses, strengthen the rights of leaseholders of flats and increase protection to mobile home residents.




Privately rented housing


The worst housing conditions are in privately rented housing. The Tories have loosened the controls on rents and security of tenure and pushed up rents. If they get the chance, they would abolish all controls.


Labour will ensure that tenants are fully protected. We will:


•Actively encourage the transfer of all property owned by absentee private landlords to the public or owner-occupied sectors, with local authorities setting the pace. This will not apply to owner-occupiers letting all or part of their home. •Repeal the Tories' shorthold scheme and close other loopholes in security of tenure; and strengthen tenants' rights on deposits and harassment. •Strengthen councils' powers to enforce repairs and improvements and the standards of management, particularly in multi-occupied properties; and launch a programme of action against property held empty without justification. •Bring forward measures to strengthen tied tenants' rights and improve their access to secure housing when they leave their job. •Bring service charges for private tenants and leaseholders within the fair rents scheme.


Help for all tenants


Tenants in both the public and private sectors are plagued with difficulties caused by all-too frequent failure of landlords to carry out repairs satisfactorily and speedily. Tenants recognise that major structural repairs, for example to blocks of flats or maisonettes, can only be dealt with by large-scale improvement projects. But they rightly see no reason why routine repairs should be neglected. Labour will launch a new initiative aimed at tackling this troublesome problem.


We will introduce a right to repair for all tenants - council, new town, housing associations and private landlord. This will give tenants the right to force landlords, including councils, to get routine repairs done, with landlords footing the cost. Where there are council direct labour organisations, these will be responsible for doing this work. Major structural work will not be included, but the Labour government will assist councils to carry out such work through much larger capital investment allocations and reinstatement of an adequate housing subsidy system.


We also intend to reform the system of housing benefits for low income groups. A new Housing Tribunal will be established to replace the present confusing jumble of courts, tribunals and committees, as an accessible means of resolving landlord-tenant disputes.




The Tory recession has seriously damaged the construction industry. Company after company has gone bankrupt. Nearly 400,000 construction workers are on the dole. Labour's plan for expansion will help the industry back to its feet. But we will also introduce changes to the industry, as described in Labour's Programme, 1982 - not least to help stabilise the industry's workload. We will also provide greater job security for employees; and we will work out, with the agreement of the trade unions, a system of decasualisation.


We also believe that a major new role should be played in the industry by public and co-operative enterprise - to provide a new source of enterprise, initiative and innovation. We will establish a new, publicly-owned company, as a major pace-making public enterprise, for large and medium-sized construction projects. In addition, to help protect the public interest, we will extend public ownership into the building materials industry, in which a small number of large companies now enjoy near monopoly conditions.


We will also give generous and active support to the development of workers' co operatives, especially at the jobbing' end of the industry. We will reverse Tory policies towards local authority direct labour organisations. We will give them more scope by allowing them to compete for other work in their locality, while ensuring that they are efficiently run as municipal enterprises. We will oppose the contracting out of government services to privately-owned companies.


Planning for people


The way we plan the use of our land affects every one of us. It determines where we build our housing, the kind of shopping centres which are available, and where new jobs and factories are sited. We are determined to strengthen local planning and ensure greater participation by ordinary people over the decisions which affect their lives.


The Tories have always put the interests of property developers before the needs of local people. Labour will change this. We will ensure that local authorities are able to decide on the positive use of land in their areas instead of having to respond to the initiatives of developers. And we shall take explicit powers to link land-use planning firmly with the economic and social planning of local authorities.


A key issue in planning at local level is the ownership and use of land. We are determined to stop land speculation and make sensible and comprehensive planning possible. We will establish new land authorities, similar to the successful Land Authority of Wales, with the powers and funds needed to acquire development land - at its current use value - so that local plans can be fulfilled. Our proposals do not apply to owner-occupiers, whose homes and gardens will be safeguarded.


We intend also to widen democratic participation in the planning system by:


•Codifying and extending public rights of consultation, and of appeal against planning decisions; •Improving access to public planning inquiries and broadening their terms of reference; •Ensuring that, before the inquiry stage of certain major development proposals, the environmental effects are subject to detailed analysis and the report is published; •Creating a new fund to help objectors at major public inquiries, with an independent board to decide who should be helped and by how much.




The inner cities


The decay, squalor and level of unemployment in our inner cities are a national disgrace. Labour is determined to reverse their decline. We will provide more resources, more investment and more jobs. We will act to ensure, through the policies set out in this campaign document, that people living in the inner cities have access to decent homes, health and education - and that there is proper accountability for the police.


In addition to providing a major increase of funds for the Urban Programme, we will:


•Use agreed development plans, negotiated at national level with major firms - public and private - to locate investment and jobs in the inner cities. •Use regional development agencies to prepare sites, encourage municipal and co-operative enterprise, and help improve transport and other facilities. •Get local authorities to prepare local economic and social plans. We will also support the development of well-financed local enterprise boards in areas which need them - and enable local authorities to conclude agreed development plans with small and medium-sized local firms.


The environment


Labour believes that the countryside should be preserved and enhanced as a source of recreation for town and country dwellers alike and as a habitat for wild creatures and plants. Everyone has a right to a decent living and working environment.


We intend to monitor closely - and publicly - the nation's progress in improving the environment. We shall therefore present to parliament each year a major report on the 'State of the Environment'. We will also safeguard our heritage by:


•Supporting rights of access to common land. We will stop landed interests from preventing access for anglers; •Strengthening the planning laws to ensure that the countryside is protected from damaging development; •Strengthening the legislation which protects endangered species; •Providing increased resources so that the Nature Conservancy Council and Countryside Commission can function effectively; •Enacting a new Wildlife and Countryside Act and providing proper protection for sites of special scientific interests.


We will also act to curb pollution. We will: •Proceed with the implementation of the 1974 Control of Pollution Act. •Undertake a comprehensive review of the effectiveness of the present machinery and powers on pollution control. •Eliminate lead in petrol by setting a date after which all new cars will be required to use only lead-free petrol. The interests of motorists will be safeguarded. •Restore those environmental agencies abolished by the Tories with a responsibility for monitoring air and noise pollution. •Develop a programme for eliminating toxic substances from our living and working environments.






We will reform the water industry by repealing the Tories' Water Act and restoring democratic accountability in the industry. We will re-establish a national authority charged with responsibility for the strategic planning and use of all water resources. The canal system will be brought under a new national authority, so that it can be developed and maintained as an essential water resource. We will also consider how best to provide help, for those on low incomes, with paying their water rates.


Rural areas


Tory policies have seriously harmed the rural areas. Bus services have disappeared. Rail links are under threat. Jobs have been axed. Houses are not being built. Village halls and sub-post offices have been closed. Labour will act to improve the quality of life in the rural areas; and we have outlined our plans in Labour's Programme 1982 and in our statement Out of Town, Out of Mind. We will give greater priority to rural problems. And ministers will be expected to bring about greater co-ordination in promoting our policies. We will:


•Ensure that the Development Commission, and its counterparts in Scotland and Wales, become actively involved in implementing our policies for rural regeneration. •Take measures to increase employment by encouraging the expansion of light industry and tourism in the rural areas, while safeguarding the rural nature of the countryside. •Improve the rural public transport network by a major injection of public funds and a better use of existing resources. •Wherever possible retain village schools and generally improve educational provision for all age groups; and introduce mobile health clinics and mobile 'all purpose' community services offices. •Take extensive measures to expand the provision of all types of housing in the rural areas, which will also help to deal with the 'Second Home' problem.






Four years of Tory government has meant serious damage to Britain's transport system. Profitable elements have been sold off. Important but unprofitable sections left in public hands are being starved of investment. The quality of public transport services has fallen disastrously.


Another Tory government would mean even poorer services, higher fares and lower safety standards. Labour repudiates this whole approach. We believe that the improvement of public transport must be a major social priority, which can only be achieved by a sensibly integrated transport system. We describe our proposals in Labour's Programme 1982.


We will maintain and improve the rail network, invest in the electrification of the main lines and replace worn-out railway stock. We will encourage the use of the railways for freight traffic by extending grants for rail freight facilities and encouraging the development of trans-shipment depots.


Heavy lorries will be made to bear their full share of road costs, including environment costs. We will cut to a minimum noise and pollution from goods vehicles and introduce national routeings and restrictions to take lorries away from people. Vehicle Excise Duty for private cars will be abolished and the revenue secured by a higher tax on petrol.


Labour believes that, together with a properly enforced licensing system, a publicly-owned share of the road haulage industry is essential. It would clearly be sensible for the National Freight Company to form part of this sector; and we are examining how best to bring this about.


We will ensure that local authorities are able to give proper support to public transport. In areas where more favourable concessionary travel on local transport does not exist, we shall bring in a nationwide, off-peak half-fares scheme for pensioners. A proper licensing system, to safeguard the network of bus services, will be reintroduced. We shall also ensure that a basic minimum level of service is provided throughout the country.


In addition, we will:


•Encourage the development of effective traffic management schemes to alleviate the problems of traffic congestion. •Improve facilities and safety standards for cyclists and increase financial incentives to local authorities to assist these improvements. •Give a high priority to building by passes. •Establish a national shipping organisation able to acquire and operate shipping services; and protect our shipping and jobs from unfair foreign competition. •Invest in inland waterways, and encourage the greater use of them - and of coastal shipping - in the interests of taking freight off our roads. •Establish a new National Ports Authority to take ports into public ownership and to develop a new overall strategy for these. •Create a National Transport Authority to develop transport policy and good practice, secure integration and facilitate comprehensive planning.




Law, order and justice


Labour's aim is to ensure that all sections of the community are safe on the street and at home, free from the fear that crime generates. We believe that the police should have the support of the community, have their rights safeguarded, and be fairly paid. But we also believe that it is as much in the interests of the police, as of their local communities, that they are properly accountable and fully subject to the law. We will ensure that, throughout the country, the police are encouraged to return to the beat and therefore closer to the communities they serve. That is the best way of preventing and detecting crime.


We intend to protect the rights of individual suspects, while providing the police with sufficient powers to do their job effectively whilst not infringing the civil rights of individual suspects. We aim to create elected police authorities in all parts of the country, including London, with statutory responsibility for the determination of police policy within their areas. We will also:


•Launch a major initiative to help victims, including extending and simplifying the present Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. •Give priority to crime prevention as part of our action programme for run down estates. •Bring about better co-ordination in the technical, support and information services of the police. •Replace the present police complaints procedure with an independent system accountable to local communities, with minority police representation. •Create community police councils to provide an opportunity for open discussion between police and the community as to the quality and manner of police provision. •Introduce strict limits on searches of people in the street, searches of premises, the use of the power of arrest, and on the time a prisoner can be held in custody before being charged. •Protect the rights of those in police custody, by giving revised Judges Rules, which safeguard those under arrest or interrogation, the force of law and, in England and Wales, take the role of prosecutor away from the police by implementing a public prosecutor system, on the Procurator Fiscal model. •Repeal the Police and Criminal Evidence Bill, because it infringes the rights and freedoms of individuals. •Disband the London Special Patrol Groups and local SPGs, which have increasingly been deployed in aggressive public order roles.




Access to legal services


We will not allow people's legal rights to go by default. Accessible level services are essential to protect human rights. As described in Labour's Programme 1982, we will increase central government spending to set up new law centres and help existing ones, and to improve the legal aid scheme by widening its provisions. We will also introduce a system of appeals against the refusal of legal aid in criminal cases.


We will speed the extension of duty solicitor schemes to all magistrate courts and police stations in England and Wales. We will also introduce measures to help citizens to secure their legal rights in the areas of tribunal and welfare rights law.


We will co-ordinate the responsibility for advice and legal services so that ministerial responsibility is clearer and more direct. We will also establish a new Legal Services Commission to be responsible for the provision and financing of public legal services. Our aim is to ensure that the expertise and training of the legal profession should be geared far more than at present to those legal problems affecting ordinary people.


The penal system


No one concerned for human dignity and civil rights can find our prison system acceptable. We are determined to improve conditions. We do not accept that wives and children should be punished together with the prisoners. We will:


•Reduce the prison population by cutting many maximum sentence lengths for non-violent offenders. We will stop putting petty offenders into prison. We will expand non-custodial alternatives, and examine new penalties involving reparation and restitution to the victim. We will also introduce a maximum period of custody for those on remand, along the lines of the provisions in Scotland. •Treat prisoners as human beings by providing reasonable conditions in our prisons. We will incorporate, in new, legally enforceable prison rules, minimum standards on such matters as cell space. And we will reduce unnecessary restrictions - for example on prisoners' correspondence. •Refurbish urban prisons. •Hand over all specialist services in prisons, such as medical care, to the normal community agencies. •Establish a genuinely independent complaints and disciplinary procedure to replace the current board of visitors system; and provide better aftercare for those leaving prison, to help them resettle in the community. •Improve the training, working conditions and job opportunities of prison officers. •Examine the additional problems faced by women prisoners, especially those with young children.




Equal rights


The next Labour government will lead a political offensive against racial disadvantage, discrimination and harassment; and we have set out our proposals in Labour's Programme 1982. To encourage equality and reduce discrimination, we will greatly expand funding to ethnic minority projects. We will also encourage local authorities, in selecting projects under the Urban Programme, to provide for greater ethnic minority participation. We will also:


•Stimulate a wide range of positive action programmes to ensure that ethnic minorities receive a fair deal - in employment, education, housing and social services: and encourage the keeping of ethnic records, in order to assess the needs of ethnic minorities and take steps to meet them. •Launch a major public education initiative aimed at eliminating prejudice. •Strengthen the existing Race Relations Act - in particular, to enable us to deal more effectively with racialist literature, speeches and marches; and to remove the exception for seamen recruited abroad. •Appoint a senior minister to lead the offensive against racial inequality.


We are concerned that homosexuals are unfairly treated. We will take steps to ensure that they are not unfairly discriminated against - especially in employment and in the definition of privacy contained in the 1967 Act - along the lines set out in Labour's Programme, 1982.


Nationality and immigration


Through their immigration and nationality laws, the Tories have divided families and caused immense suffering in the immigrant communities. We accept the need for immigration controls. But we will repeal the 1971 Immigration Act and the 1981 British Nationality Act and replace them with a citizenship law that does not discriminate against either women or black and Asian Britons.


Under our Nationality Act, we will restore rights removed by the Tories, such as the right to automatic citizenship if born in Britain. The Act will enable other Commonwealth and foreign nationals to acquire citizenship if they qualify by objective tests, and provide a right of appeal against the refusal of an application for citizenship. We will also ensure that the cost of acquiring citizenship will no longer be an obstacle to those who wish to apply.


Under our new Immigration Act we will liberalise the age limit criteria for children and the criteria for elderly parents and other relatives. We will simplify the procedures and commit the resources necessary for all applications to be processed promptly; and allow medical examinations, including x-rays, only for medical, not administrative purposes. The race and sex discrimination in the husbands and fiances' rules will be ended: we will restore the entitlement to admission to join a woman settled here irrespective of her citizenship, birthplace or ancestry. We will also ensure that immigration officials fully respect the human rights of those seeking entry. We will also:


•Consult Commonwealth governments so as to resolve the question of the other British nationals from independent countries who possess no other citizenship. •Provide a right of appeal for those who the Home Secretary proposes to deport or exclude on security grounds. •Establish a more independent and balanced panel of adjudicators for immigration appeals.




A wider democracy


Labour will take action to enhance democratic rights and ensure greater openness and accountability in the institutions of government. We have set out our policies in Labour's Programme, 1982. We shall:


•Introduce a Freedom of Information Bill, providing for a genuine system of open government and placing the onus on the authorities to justify withholding information. •Bring in data protection legislation to prevent the abuse of confidential information held on personal files; and, subject to certain exceptions, allow individuals access to their personal records. •Reform the administration of government and the civil service machine so that it meets modern needs and is properly accountable to elected representatives. We recognise the damage done to the morale and efficiency of the civil service by this government. We will work to repair this damage, together with the unions, and to give proper recognition to the importance of the work of the service. •Take action to abolish the undemocratic House of Lords as quickly as possible and, as an interim measure, introduce a Bill in the first session of parliament to remove its legislative powers - with the exception of those which relate to the life of a parliament. •Make improvements in the legislative process and procedures in the House of Commons. •Reform the procedures for appointments to public bodies to ensure they are more open and genuinely representative of the community. •Overhaul the outdated honours system. •Give a new priority to making our public services more responsive to the needs and wishes of those who use them. Wherever possible we will decentralise services to make them as close as possible to those who use them. We will also provide more effective procedures for complaints - with clear rights for users - and ensure better training and status for those in contact with the public.


Labour believes that state aid for political parties is now essential for the working of our parliamentary democracy. We will introduce such aid, along the lines set out in the Houghton Report, with the funds available adjusted to today's prices and index linked.


The security services


There is now widespread concern about our security services. We intend that they should become properly accountable institutions - and that the civil rights of individuals are fully protected. We outline in Labour's Programme, 1982 our proposals for a new Security Act, to define the powers and responsibilities of the services, including those concerned with the interception of communications. We will also extend parliamentary accountability - including over the accounts of the services - which will be assisted by a new select committee; prohibit, under the Security Act, unauthorised surveillance; and abolish 'D' notices.


Local democracy


Labour is determined to strengthen local democracy. We will shift radically the balance between central and local government and give local communities much more say about how their services are run.


First, we will give local authorities freedom to implement comprehensive local plans, covering economic, social and environmental policies. We explain elsewhere in this document, and more fully in Labour's Programme, 1982, our proposals to assist local authorities to create jobs, to establish local enterprise boards and engage in local economic planning. We will reverse Tory policies on the privatisation of local authority services.


Second, we will expand the scope for local democracy. Instead of local councillors never being completely sure what is permitted and what is ultra vires, we shall give a power of general competence to all local authorities to carry out whatever activities are not expressly forbidden by statute. We shall also seek to define the relationship between central and local government - as part of our consideration of the universal application of realistic minimum standards - so that basic provision of key services is available in all parts of the country. We will also:


Take action to encourage councils to make their services more responsive to the needs and wishes of their clients and of the local community.


Extend workers' rights and industrial democracy in local government, by enabling non-voting employee representatives to be co-opted on to committees, and encouraging the introduction of formal procedures for participation in decisions on the implementation of policy. We will also allow all but the most senior officers the right to become elected or co-opted members of the authority which employs them.


Pay proper allowances, and provide adequate administrative support, to local councillors.


We are examining how best to reform local government. We believe that services such as health, water and sewerage should become answerable to a much greater extent to elected members; and we aim to end, if we can, the present confusing division of services between two tiers of authority. Unitary district authorities, in England and Wales, could be responsible for all of the functions in this area that they could sensibly undertake. We will also ensure that the City of London is absorbed into a reformed democratic system of local government. For Scotland, any reform of local government will be a matter for our proposed Scottish Assembly.


Local government finance


Labour will reverse the Tory government's attacks on local authority services. We shall provide finance, through the rate support grant, to allow local authority expenditure to grow in line with our plans for economic expansion; and the hard-pressed urban areas will benefit especially from an increased share of the resources available.


Labour believes in active local democracy. We will therefore repeal the Tory legislation which allows the government to impose ceilings on local authority spending, and to impose penalties on local authorities whose spending exceeds those ceilings. We shall repeal the ban on supplementary rates. We will restore the right of local authorities to spend additional amounts from revenue on capital expenditure in excess of loan sanction limits. The rate support grant system will be recast to give fairer treatment to areas in greatest need and the maximum freedom of action for local authorities to control their own budgets.


Labour will also enact legislation to abolish the penalty of personal surcharge on individual councillors. Instead councillors, like others in the community, will be liable at law for any unlawful or illegal acts. Public audit will be confined to that purpose and auditors will not be permitted to involve themselves in judgements on politics or policies.


Devolution to Scotland


Labour is determined to decentralise power in decision-making. In Scotland, the people have shown their support for devolution in a referendum and at successive general elections; and we have set out our proposals for devolution in a major statement, Scotland and Devolution. Labour will:


•Establish a directly elected Scottish Assembly, with an executive drawn from members of the assembly. •Provide the Assembly with legislative and executive powers over a wide range of domestic policy, including matters such as health, education and social welfare. •Ensure a major role for the Assembly in assisting in the regeneration of Scottish industry - including the preparation and implementation of a Plan for Scotland - within the context of our overall national plan. •As well as receiving grants from central government, the Scottish Assembly will have tax-raising powers, thus ensuring that the level of services provided can be determined in Scotland.




Northern Ireland


Labour believes that Ireland should, by peaceful means and on the basis of consent, be united, and recognises that this will be achieved with the introduction of socialist policies. We respect and support, however, the right of the Northern Ireland people to remain within the UK, although this does not mean that Unionist leaders can have a veto on political development; and we accept that, to achieve agreement and consent between the two parts of Ireland, we must create greater unity within the Northern Ireland community.


In our 1981 conference statement and in Labour's Programme 1982, we set out in full Labour's policy on Northern Ireland. We will aim to establish an agreed, devolved administration. In the meantime, we will continue with direct rule. We will also initiate early discussions between the British government, the Irish government, the Irish Labour Party, and the trade unions on both sides of the border, and political representatives of the people of Northern Ireland, on how best to proceed with our policy of unification by consent.


Tory policies have been a disaster for the Northern Ireland economy. Unemployment has soared. The economy is in ruins. Housing and the social services are in desperate straits. Labour will give new hope to Northern Ireland. We will create jobs and provide investment. We will use all of the economic planning powers and institutions set out in this document - together with a massive injection of public resources - to rebuild the economy.


We will also act on security and civil rights, along the lines set out in our 1981 statement. We will repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act and the Payment of Debt Act and reform the system of Diplock courts. We will provide equal rights for women, including rights to abortion, and make progress towards an integrated comprehensive system of education.


Leisure for living


Labour believes that a comprehensive approach is needed, at national and local levels, to provide services and facilities for leisure.


The arts


A crucial part will be played in this by the arts. Labour's aim is to make the arts, in their broadest sense, an accepted part of everyday life for the whole population. We will place special emphasis on their availability to the young, the handicapped and the retired. Substantial extra funds will be provided, with priority being given to the regions and to access for those on low incomes. Local authorities will have a statutory duty to provide adequate arts and entertainments facilities; and the arts will be zero-rated in respect of VAT.


We will retain a Minister of the Arts, whose first task will be to undertake a major survey on the disparities in provision between regions and to produce proposals for action. The public bodies which support the arts will also be made more open and accountable, and include more representation from workers in the arts, local authorities and consumers. The Craft Council will be strengthened, and regional museums and galleries supported through a Museums and Galleries Council.


For the film industry, we will establish a British Film Authority, responsible for the National Film Finance Corporation. This will ensure that revenue from a levy on ticket sales goes to British film-makers who produce British films. We will also ensure that the profits from British film-making and distribution are channelled back into British films - and that the present two-company monopoly of film distribution in Britain is ended. The new British Film Authority will be responsible for extending public ownership into film distribution.


Sport and recreation


Labour will accept responsibility for the provision of a broadly-based leisure service. We will:


•Encourage greater participation in sport and recreation. •Give incentives to voluntary bodies to involve themselves more widely in the provision of sporting and community facilities. •Encourage local authorities and other owners of facilities to make them much more available to public use. •Set up an immediate enquiry into the financial basis of sport and recreation.

•Review the provision of national sporting facilities, so as to secure a fairer geographical distribution. •Ensure that the sporting talent of the nation receives sufficient support to enable them to bring sporting success to Britain.





We will also provide for the wider use of the countryside for recreational purposes, such as angling and other water-based sports. Angling will be given additional support, by ensuring wider access to rivers and lakes, financial assistance to provide a wider ownership of fishing waters, improvements in respect of conservation, and action to prevent pollution.


The media


Our aims in the media are to safeguard freedom of expression, encourage diversity and establish greater accountability. For all the media, we will introduce a statutory right of reply to ensure that individuals can set the record straight. We will introduce stronger measures to prevent any further concentration in the media.


For the press, we will encourage diversity by:


•Setting up a launch fund to assist new publications. •Ensuring that all major wholesalers accept any lawful publication, and arrange for its proper supply and display, subject to a handling charge. •Preventing acquisition of further newspapers by large press chains. •Protecting freedom of expression by prohibiting joint control of the press, commercial radio and television. •Breaking up major concentrations of press ownership, by setting an upper limit for the number of major publications in the hands of a single proprietor or press group. •Replacing the Press Council with a stronger, more representative body.


In broadcasting, we Will aim to make both broadcasting itself, and the organisations responsible, more accountable and representative - and to provide greater public access. Our aim is to promote a more wide-ranging and genuine pluralism in the media, and we set out our prop6sals in Labour's Programme 1982. We will also seek to introduce a genuinely independent adjudication of grievances and complaints. The licence fee will be phased out for pensioners, during the lifetime of the Labour government.


The high standards of British public service broadcasting are threatened by Tory plans to introduce cable TV on free-market principles. We will regulate satellite and cable provision and foster the same principles of diversity and pluralism as conventional broadcasting authorities. To avoid wasteful duplication, we will entrust the provision of the national cable system to British Telecom.


Animal protection


The Labour Party was the first major political party to publish a policy statement, in 1978, on animal protection - Living Without Cruelty; and these policies are reaffirmed in Labour's Programme 1982. We believe that all animals - whether in the wild, domesticated or farmed - should be properly treated.


To achieve our aims we will transform the Farm Animal Welfare Council into a Standing Royal Commission on Animal Protection. We will also urgently review the 1876 Cruelty to Animals Act. A high priority will be given to research into alternatives to using live animals in experiments, and to restrictions on the use of live animals in experiments - with proper control and supervision in order to avoid pain.


Hare coursing, fox hunting and all forms of hunting with dogs will be made illegal. This will not, however, affect shooting and fishing. The use of snares will also be made illegal.


We will lay down clear conditions on freedom of movement for livestock; and we will ensure that our legislation meets, at least, the requirements of the European Convention for the Protection of Animals kept for Farming Purposes. We will also ban, over a phased period, all extreme livestock systems and introduce legislation to ensure that animals are slaughtered as near as possible to the point of production. We will ban the export of live food animals.


Animals kept in zoos, circuses and safari parks will be included in our animals protection legislation. Health and safety at work legislation will be reviewed in order to better protect people employed on such premises.


Britain and the Common Market


Geography and history determine that Britain is part of Europe, and Labour wants to see Europe safe and prosperous. But the European Economic Community, which does not even include the whole of Western Europe, was never devised to suit us, and our experience as a member of it has made it more difficult for us to deal with our economic and industrial problems. It has sometimes weakened our ability to achieve the objectives of Labour's international policy.


The next Labour government, committed to radical, socialist policies for reviving the British economy, is bound to find continued membership a most serious obstacle to the fulfilment of those policies. In particular the rules of the Treaty of Rome are bound to conflict with our strategy for economic growth and full employment, our proposals on industrial policy and for increasing trade, and our need to restore exchange controls and to regulate direct overseas investment. Moreover, by preventing us from buying food from the best sources of world supply, they would run counter to our plans to control prices and inflation.


For all these reasons, British withdrawal from the Community is the right policy for Britain - to be completed well within the lifetime of the parliament. That is our commitment. But we are also committed to bring about withdrawal in an amicable and orderly way, so that we do not prejudice employment or the prospect of increased political and economic co-operation with the whole of Europe.


We emphasise that our decision to bring about withdrawal in no sense represents any weakening of our commitment to internationalism and international co operation. We are not 'withdrawing from Europe'. We are seeking to extricate ourselves from the Treaty of Rome and other Community treaties which place political burdens on Britain. Indeed, we believe our withdrawal will allow us to pursue a more dynamic and positive international policy - one which recognises the true political and geographical spread of international problems and interests. We will also seek agreement with other European governments - both in the EEC and outside - on a common strategy for economic expansion.


The process of withdrawal


On taking office we will open preliminary negotiations with the other EEC member states to establish a timetable for withdrawal; and we will publish the results of these negotiations in a White Paper. In addition, as soon as possible after the House assembles, we will introduce a Repeal Bill: first, in order to amend the 1972 European Communities Act, ending the powers of the Community in the UK; and second, to provide the necessary powers to repeal the 1972 Act, when the negotiations on withdrawal are completed.


Following the publication of the White Paper, we will begin the main negotiations on withdrawal. Later, when appropriate and in the same parliament, we will use our powers to repeal the 1972 Act and abrogate the Treaty of Accession - thus breaking all of our formal links with the Community. Britain will at this point withdraw from the Council of Ministers and from the European Parliament.


There will need to be a period of transition, to ensure a minimum of disruption - and to phase in any new agreements we might make with the Community. This will enable us to make all the necessary changes in our domestic legislation. Until these changes in UK law have taken place, the status quo as regards particular items of EEC legislation will remain. And this period will, of course, extend beyond the date when we cease, formally, to be members.


The international dimension


The Labour Party is working to create a democratic socialist society in Britain, but we realise to achieve this we must enjoy the fullest international co-operation. There is a real interdependence between nations, and, if Britain under Labour is not to stand on the sidelines, we must co-operate to survive. Our foreign policy is a logical extension of our work at home.


A deep crisis now afflicts the world economy. In the developed world, recession has meant lengthening dole queues and a falling standard of life; for the peoples of the Third World, recession has added to an already intolerable burden of poverty. Unlike the Tories, Labour believes that there is a way out of the crisis, and that we need not accept an international status quo so manifestly riddled with injustice, inefficiency and waste. Labour will pursue and win international support for policies designed to stimulate trade, investment, and growth; and we shall work inside the appropriate institutions to end the financial chaos which now threatens the stability of so many countries. There can be no sure prospect of peace in a world wracked by an enduring economic crisis. Labour's policies will help bring that crisis to an end.


Labour recognises the urgent need to restore détente and dialogue between the states and the peoples of the world. We will actively pursue dialogue with the Soviet Union and China, and will urge the American government to do so. We will work consistently for peace and disarmament, and devote all our efforts to pulling the world back from the nuclear abyss. Labour will dedicate some of the resources currently wasted on armaments to projects designed to promote both security and human development.


An essential difference between the Labour and the Tory approach is that we have a foreign policy that will help liberate the peoples of the world from oppression, want and fear. We seek to find ways in which social and political progress can be achieved and to identify the role that Britain can play in this process.


Our objectives cannot be pursued in isolation; we will work with the international agencies, friendly governments, and with socialist parties and genuine liberation movements in order to convert these objectives into concrete achievements.


Disarmament - the international context


The pursuit of peace, development and disarmament is central to our policy. We wish to strengthen the process of détente, which means the easing of political as well as military tension between East and West. A third world war would destroy civilisation, yet the danger of a nuclear holocaust grows alarmingly.


Labour is determined that Britain should play its full part in the struggle for peace. Now in 1983, in what is a critical year for peace, we can begin to influence events by the way we present the imperative case for disarmament. In government we can carry that influence much further, by example and by common action with others. We must use unilateral steps taken by Britain to secure multilateral solutions on the international level. Unilateralism and multilateralism must go hand ill hand if either is to succeed. It is for this reason that we are against moves that would disrupt our existing alliances, but are resolved on measures to enable Britain to pursue a non-nuclear defence policy.


To achieve our paramount aim - stopping the nuclear arms race itself, and the other arms races pursued beneath its shadow - we need stronger international institutions. First and foremost is a United Nations organisation with real and growing authority. Labour is determined to sustain and fortify the United Nations. All our recent experience re-emphasises how necessary it is to have an international Charter against aggression. It is a tragedy that the 1982 UN Special Session on Disarmament was allowed to disband in failure and disappointment. We shall work to recall a new session on a more ambitious and hopeful basis. We will support the commitments of the UN Special Sessions on Disarmament and the UN Committee on Disarmament.


We shall seek to restore the Final Document on Disarmament, approved by the 1978 United Nations Special Session, as the long-term objective. But, of course, as the international tension sharpens, we must pursue other more immediate aims. Labour has always opposed Soviet deployment of SS20s. We want to see the Geneva talks on intermediate weapons succeed. Labour was arguing that they should begin long before President Reagan and Mrs. Thatcher came round to the idea. It is imperative that the SALT II agreement is ratified. We shall work for this. We strongly support the reduction of strategic weapons in the START talks. We will propose urgent action to make the Non-Proliferation Treaty effective and to keep it effective. The uncontrolled proliferation of nuclear weapons would enormously increase the danger to us all.


Following the steps taken by the last Labour government in such fields as non proliferation and the Mutual and Balanced Force Reduction talks, Britain must again take a lead in disarmament negotiations.


Defence policy


The overriding task for Britain, as for the rest of the world, is to draw back from the nuclear abyss. Britain must act on her own account as well as seeking agreement with other countries on nuclear disarmament.


One immediate step our government must take is to insist on implementing the recent United Nations call for a freeze on the production, deployment and testing of nuclear weapons, and for a comprehensive test ban. That the Tory government should have voted against these propositions in the United Nations is deplorable, and betrays our country's capacity to play a leading role as an advocate of world disarmament. Labour's proposals will help to restore that opportunity.


Labour believes in effective defence through collective security but rejects the present emphasis on nuclear weapons. Britain and her allies should have sufficient military strength to discourage external aggression and to defend themselves should they be attacked. Labour's commitment is to establish a non-nuclear defence policy for this country. This means the rejection of any fresh nuclear bases or weapons on British soil or in British waters, and the removal of all existing nuclear bases and weapons, thus enabling us to make a direct contribution to an eventually much wider nuclear-free zone in Europe. However, all this cannot be done at once, and the way we do it must be designed to assist in the task to which we are also committed - securing nuclear disarmament agreements with other countries and maintaining co operation with our allies.


The most pressing objective must be to prevent the deployment here or elsewhere in Western Europe of Cruise or Pershing missiles. This deployment would mark a new and dangerous escalation in the nuclear arms race. It would make the achievement of effective disarmament agreements covering these and other weapons much more difficult in the future. We will therefore not permit the siting of Cruise missiles in this country and will remove any that are already in place.


The next Labour government will cancel the Trident programme. Apart from the huge, persisting and distorting burden it would impose on our defence budget and our economy as a whole, it would not offer security but would rather help to intensify the arms race. We will propose that Britain's Polaris force be included in the nuclear disarmament negotiations in which Britain must take part. We will, after consultation, carry through in the lifetime of the next parliament our non-nuclear defence policy.


Labour believes in collective security. The next Labour government will maintain its support for NATO, as an instrument of détente no less than of defence. We wish to see NATO itself develop a non-nuclear strategy. We will work towards the establishment of a new security system in Europe based on mutual trust and confidence, and knowledge of the objectives and capabilities of all sides. The ultimate objective of a satisfactory relationship in Europe is the mutual and concurrent phasing out of both NATO and the Warsaw Pact.


We oppose any attempt to expand the role of the alliance into other continents. We condemn the doctrine that nuclear war can be limited, and the notion that somehow the West must catch up with a supposed nuclear superiority in the East. We are opposed to the introduction into Europe of any new nuclear systems such as the neutron bomb. We oppose, too, the storage, research and production of chemical and biological weapons, and call for the withdrawal of all forward stocks of chemical weapons.


Labour will reduce the proportion of the nation's resources devoted to defence so that the burden we bear will be brought into line with that of the other major European NATO countries, without increasing the reliance on nuclear weapons. A Labour government will plan to ensure that savings in military expenditure do not lead to unemployment for those working in defence industries. We shall give material support and encouragement to plans for industrial conversion so that the valuable resources of the defence industries can be used for the production of useful goods.


The emphasis of our defence priorities in the 1980s and 1990s must be to create military forces that are clearly equipped and deployed for defensive purposes, and tailored more to Britain's geography and economic resources. This will mean maintaining adequate conventional forces, at present threatened by the extravagant expenditure on Trident.


We are alarmed by the growth of the arms trade. Labour will limit Britain's arms sales abroad and ban the supply of arms to repressive regimes such as South Africa, El Salvador, Chile, Argentina and Turkey. We will not supply arms to countries where the chances of international aggression or internal repression would be increased. Labour will ensure that all arms sales are under strict ministerial control, subject to parliamentary accountability.


The Commonwealth and the developing world


We shall continue to work for the peaceful and just settlement of disputes and the strengthening of international organisations, particularly the Commonwealth, as well as the United Nations. Labour has always attached a special significance to the Commonwealth - a unique forum of nations, cutting across ethnic, cultural and ideological barriers. We will strengthen Britain's political and material commitment to the Commonwealth.


The future prosperity of Britain, as well as that of other industrialised countries, is inextricably linked to the future of the developing world. At the moment some 30 per cent of Britain's manufacturing exports are destined for Third World countries with which we enjoy a very healthy balance of trade. If their economies could be stimulated, the gain would be ours as well as theirs. Countless British jobs have already come about as a consequence of our trading relationship with the poorer countries. That relationship must be strengthened and expanded in the interests of working people both in Britain and overseas.


The war that Labour will wage on poverty in Britain will be extended to the developing world. A primary objective of the next Labour government's foreign policy will be to help revive the North-South dialogue. That some 800,000,000 people should be condemned to a life of absolute poverty in the Third World is an affront to any version of civilised values, as well as a constant threat to international peace and stability.


Labour sets a high priority on attacking the causes of mass poverty. A Labour government will reach the UN sponsored aid target of 0.7 per cent of Gross National Product and work towards a further target of 1.0 per cent. We will also re-establish the principle that aid must be used in the interests of the poorest people in the poorest countries and, in our efforts to bring this about, we will fund as appropriate, both governments and independent organisations. Labour will set up once again a separate Ministry of Overseas Development with a cabinet minister.


Labour will plan an expansion of trade with the developing world and will work to bring about changes in the international trading system that will be of benefit to poor countries, allowing them to receive stable prices for their commodity exports and to diversify their production. In trade agreements, Labour will insist upon workers' rights and will bring in legislation to control the activities of British-based multinational companies operating overseas.


Labour believes that, in order to enhance the prospects of the Third World economies, it will be vital to ensure that organisations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund receive adequate funding from the world community, and provide loans in a way that, taking into account the economic difficulties faced by each developing country, will improve the condition of their peoples.


There is much Britain can do to lift people out of absolute poverty, and a Labour Britain will once again speak out in solidarity with the poor and the oppressed everywhere.


We will ensure that provision for overseas students is based on a major expansion of the ODA programme for student sponsorship giving preference to entrants on grounds of origin, income level and availability of courses in Britain and elsewhere.


The Law of the Sea


Labour welcomes the recently concluded United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea and fully supports the UNCLOS proposal for a new international regime covering every aspect of ocean use. Unlike either the Tory government or the Reagan administration, Labour will endorse the Law of the Sea, which we see as a crucial element in the North-South dialogue, and will ensure that Britain participates actively in the future progress of UNCLOS.


Near and Middle East


The Labour Party is committed to the promotion of peace, democracy and socialism in the Middle East, and to the principle of national self-determination. The Arab-Israeli conflict remains a major element in the continuing conflict and tension in the region, through not the only one. The core of the conflict is the struggle between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples for the realisation of national self-determination.


We shall therefore:


•Support the right of all Israelis to live in peace and security in the state of Israel, within secure internationally recognised borders. •Support the right of Palestinians to self determination, including the establishment of a Palestinian state.




The suffering of the Lebanese people and their continued occupation by foreign forces demands our attention, and we shall work for the restoration of the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Lebanon, and play a full part in its reconstruction.


The Turkish dictatorship is of special concern to Britain, given Turkish membership of NATO and its status in Europe. We deplore the constitution imposed upon the Turkish people and will work for the restoration of freedom and democracy. Until this is achieved we shall oppose assistance to the Turkish junta.


Labour is deeply concerned by the continuing violation of human rights throughout the Middle East. Labour will do what it can to help those struggling for freedom, democracy, civil and trade union rights.


We support genuine guarantees for the independent, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Cyprus, and the pursuit of intercommunal discussions sponsored by the UN for as long as both communities are committed to those talks.




We are totally opposed to apartheid and will unequivocally support its opponents, giving financial and material assistance to the liberation movements in South Africa and SWAPO of Namibia. Labour will also work with our trade union colleagues to assist the non-racial trade unions in. South Africa.


We will carry through a systematic programme of economic disengagement from South Africa by supporting comprehensive mandatory sanctions at the UN and curtailing our economic relations with the regime. The details of our policy towards Southern Africa are set out in Labour's Programme 1982.


Latin America


Latin America is a continent in crisis. The world recession and severe financial difficulties have added to the burden of already frail economies. Democracy is established in very few countries; torture and death are instruments of control in many areas.



Central America is of particular concern. Treated for decades by the United States as its backyard, the countries of this region have almost without exception failed to establish a tradition of representative democracy. Millions of people have endured a lifetime of oppression and deprivation. In recent years, the pressure for social change to respond to basic needs has grown intense, but has met with the firm resistance of the wealthy and the powerful, invariably backed by Washington. This is true of El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala. Labour rejects US policy in Central America. Regrettably, the Tory government has connected Britain with that policy by its slavish support for everything the Reagan administration says and does. This applies even in the case of Guatemala, which the US is re-arming, when it lays claim to Belize, to whose defence we are committed.


Labour will do everything in its power to weaken Latin America's repressive governments by, for example, withdrawing diplomatic representation, opposing multilateral loans, banning arms sales and drawing international attention to human rights violations. Our detailed policy is set out in Labour's Programme 1982.


Falkland Islands


Mrs. Thatcher's policy of Fortress Falklands is imposing an intolerable burden both on the British people and on the inhabitants of the Falklands themselves. The war, which wiser policies could have avoided, has already cost us &pound;1,000 million. On top of that the Conservative government plans to spend &pound;600 million a year for the indefinite future on garrisoning the islands - £1 1/2 million per year for every Falklands family.


With four British servicemen on the islands to every adult male Falklander, the traditional way of life of this rural community is being destroyed. Yet at the same time Mrs. Thatcher is allowing British firms to equip warships for the Argentine dictatorship and is lending money to General Bignone to spend on arms. A Labour government would not sell arms to any Argentine government which was hostile to Britain or denied civil rights and democratic freedoms to its own people. Labour believes that Britain must restore normal links between the Falklands and the Latin American mainland, and that the United Nations must be involved in finding a permanent settlement of the problem.




Emotional as well as political ties exist between Britain and many of the countries of Asia. It was the 1945 Labour government which gave independence to India and Pakistan.


Labour is concerned about the suppression of human and civil rights in many of the countries of Asia, and we will support every extension of democracy in the region. A Labour government will end military involvement with those countries that have repressive regimes.


The Labour Party is concerned that the Tory policy on overseas students' fees has already affected the ability of students from Asia, as well as elsewhere, to undertake courses in Britain. Steps will be taken to improve the position, as laid out in a previous section.


Labour believes in a closer understanding with China, and hopes that China can become more directly involved in international discussions on peace, disarmament and the world economy. We will hold talks with China with the aim of securing a peaceful and prosperous future for the people of Hong Kong.


Japan is a major power in the world economy. We hope to persuade Japan to play a more active part in a concerted expansion of the economies of the industrial nations, and to remove the obstacles that her trade policies now create. We also hope that Japan will help to bridge the division between North and South by increasing her aid to the Third World.


Human rights


Labour gives the highest priority to the protection of human dignity, civil rights, democracy and freedom, which will be reflected in all that a Labour government does.


We uphold the rights of all nations to self-determination. Accordingly, we condemn the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and US support for repressive regimes in Central America. We warn against all military interventions contrary to the UN Charter. We condemn violations of human rights wherever they occur, whether in Poland, Turkey or Nigeria, and whatever the complexion of the government concerned. Labour will further the cause of human rights in all international organisations. We will press for suspension from NATO of any dictatorship.


We will protect the opponents of regimes from harassment by their government's representatives in Britain. Our policy on refugees will be more compassionate than that of the Tory government. We will not deport individuals who would face arrest or death in their own countries.


We will also take into account human rights considerations when giving aid. Official aid will not be given to governments that persistently violate civil and trade union rights. Help will instead be given to the victims of repression.


<Picture: arrow>Back to main table.

Last Modified: Sunday, 23-Feb-97 17:13:52 GMT



Labour Party: 1987


Britain will win with Labour










Every election is a time of decision. But this General Election on June 11 faces the British people with choices more sharp than at any time in the past fifty years.


The choices are between Labour's programme of work for people and Tory policies of waste of people: between investment in industrial strength, and acceptance of industrial decline; between a Britain with competitive, modern industries, and a Britain with a low tech, low paid, low security economy increasingly dependent upon imports.


The election will decide whether we and our children are to live in a country that builds high standards of care for all who need treatment for illness, pensions in retirement, good grounding in education, fair chances to get on; or in a country where the Conservatives go on running down the vital health, education and social services of every community, imposing higher charges and lower standards.


This election will decide whether our country is to be a United Kingdom or a divided kingdom; one that is brought together by proper provision, prudent investment and concern for the interests of the whole nation, or one that is pulled apart by poverty, cuts, increased privilege for the richest and neglect for the rest.


This election will decide whether we put our resources into the real defence provided by a modern, well-equipped army, navy and airforce safeguarding our country an d supporting NATO; or spend those sums on maintaining an ageing system of nuclear weapons, while buying a new generation of missiles which cannot give our country effective defence. It will decide whether Britain is part of the international process of nuclear build down or ruled by a government uniquely intent upon nuclear build-up.


We already know what a third term for Mrs Thatcher would mean for the people of Britain.


Under the Tories there have been:


Eight years of record unemployment, relentless industrial closures and redundancies, of flooding imports and shrunken investment.


Eight years of the highest ever tax burden on the family and the nation as VAT, National Insurance, rates and fees have all been put up in a shift to taxes on spending and employment.


Eight years of cuts and closures and charges, of intensified means tests and reduced services.


Eight years of increased state control, of centralising government of abolition of rights of representation and negotiation.


Eight years of rising crime, of greater insecurity on the streets and housing estates and in the home.


Eight years of meanness towards the needy in our country and towards the wretched of the world.


Eight years of growing division - in health in opportunity. in housing conditions in work and in income - between regions communities classes. families, white and black, rich and poor.


The Tories say they are 'proud of their record'. So proud indeed that they would want to do more of the same if they were re-elected.


Their plans for a poll tax would penalise millions of families, pensioners and young people. Their refusal to provide the resources needed for the Health Service and their plans for imposing further payment and privatisation will hit everyone in the service and everyone needing to use it.


They would, if they won power again, privatise water, electricity, steel and other services, and industries built up by public investment over past years. They want to impose penal increases in rents for private and public tenants. They are committed to introducing compulsory labour for young unemployed people.


All this and worse would come with a third term of Tory government.


Britain cannot afford more of that run-down, sell-off and split-up, nor all the costs and waste that they bring.


Britain does not have to.


Britain can stop the rot - but only by voting Labour.


There is no other way to prevent thirteen years of Thatcherism.


No party other than Labour can possibly win enough seats to form a government.


The Liberals and SDP know that. Their hope is to profit from confusion. To divide the non-Conservative vote in such a way as to make them the 'hook' in a 'hung' Parliament and have power far beyond their responsibility.


And, while one of their leaders clearly favours an arrangement to sustain a Conservative government, the other hasn't the strength to stop him.


That offers no way ahead for a nation that needs to get on with investing for change, for quality, for confidence in the future.


Proper support for education, strengthened research and development and long-term, low interest finance for industrial growth are all essential if Britain is to gain the vitality necessary to outpace competitors who have been building these assets for years.


They are essential too if we are to generate the wealth needed for the security, care and opportunity fundamental to the individual freedom of women and men of all ages and origins. When our country faces the common pressures on the environment, the common dangers of crime, the common costs of unemployment, under-investment and under-performance together, our country has every commonsense reason to meet those challenges together.


That is democratic socialism in action. And just as a family uses its combined spirit and resources to overcome crisis, so Britain can once again make common cause to achieve common good.


Only a Labour government can give that lead. Only we are committed to such concerted action. Only we believe that the whole nation should win and can win.


That is why Britain will win, with Labour.


Neil Kinnock






Britain is crying out for change. Only a Labour government can bring it about.


Mending divisions, building new strengths will need determination and realistic priorities.


Commonsense and the common interest require that the Tory philosophy of selfishness and short-term gain is replaced by the democratic socialist philosophy of community and caring, of investment in people and in production.


We must as a priority tackle the immediate tragedy and waste of unemployment. We must commit resources to modernising and strengthening the industries and services that earn Britain a living. We must ensure the continuity of expansion that is necessary for a lasting economic recovery.


That is our strategy.


It begins from the understanding that people are Britain's most precious resource. It is rooted in the confidence that, with the right skills, the right equipment and the backing of a government that is committed to encouraging enterprise and innovation, Britain's people can make our country more efficient, more competitive and more socially just.


It is a message of hope and confidence - the alternative to the divisive and dictatorial approach of the Conservatives.


We do not believe that everything could or should be done by government. But we know, from our own history and from the example set by our competitors, that national economic success cannot be achieved without government.


Britain will win with a Labour government that invests to enable people to use their abilities and to stimulate modern training, research, development, production and marketing. These are the ingredients of economic vitality, and the foundations of fairness.






For our first two years in government we Will concentrate resources on the essential tasks of combating unemployment and poverty In the course of that action, we will strengthen the health, housing, education, social services and crime-fighting services that are vital to social and economic well-being, and begin to rebuild our manufacturing industry.


Clearly, all other programmes that require substantial public finance must take lower priority in terms of timescale and public resources.




Immediately after the election the Labour Government will call together a National Economic Summit to assess fully the condition of the economy and set the recovery programme in motion - producing the jobs that need to be done by people who need to do them in a country that wants them done.


The Summit will establish the first stage of the National Economic Assessment. This will identify the concerted action that will need to be taken by government, employers in the private and public sectors and trade unions to increase investment, contain inflation and achieve sustained recovery.


We will reduce unemployment by one million in two years as the first instalment in beating mass unemployment.


Half a million jobs will be generated in private industry and in the public sector by the repairing and building of the houses, the hospitals and schools, the transport improvements and sewers that the nation needs. This will be achieved by public investment and by reducing employers' National Insurance contribution in targeted areas.


Another 360,000 new jobs and training places will be created. These will provide new skills for young people and adults - with proper opportunities for women.


A further 300,000 new jobs will improve the health and education services and the neglected community and caring services. The depleted customs services will be strengthened in the fight against drugs. The revenue and benefit departments will be staffed to increase efficiency.


We will extend the voluntary Job Release Scheme to men over 60 so that those who want to retire early vacate jobs for those who are currently unemployed. This could take as many as 160,000 people out of unemployment and into work.




The spread of poverty in the past eight years has stained the whole nation, and widened misery and disadvantage amongst old and young. Much of it is the result of deliberate government policies. Millions of poor people endure it in despair. Millions who are not poor regard it as a disgrace. The Labour government will combat poverty directly.


We will immediately increase the single pension by £5 a week and the pension for a married couple by £8, as the first step in re-establishing a link between pensions and average earnings or living costs, whichever is the most favourable to pensioners. We will begin the abolition of the TV licence fee for pensioners.


We will provide pensioners on supplementary benefit and others on low incomes with a £5 winter premium to help with fuel bills. We will begin discussions with the fuel industries with a view to phasing out standing charges.


We will fully restore the State Earnings Related Pension Scheme as part of the process of achieving our objective of a pensions level of one-third average earnings for single people and half average earnings for married couples.


We will restore and increase the death grant.


We will increase child benefit by £3 a week for all children, raise the allowance to the first child by £7.36, and increase one- parent family benefit by £2.20.


We will restore and increase the maternity grant.


We will start to phase in a new disability income scheme and provide resources to give special support to young people with disabilities. Our special Minister for the Disabled will be put in charge of our programme for the disabled.


We will extend the long-term supplementary benefit rate to the long-term unemployed.


We will implement a comprehensive strategy for ending low pay, notably by the introduction of a statutory national minimum wage. This will be of particular benefit to women workers, and will help lift families out of poverty.




We will introduce crime prevention grants for home-owners and tenants.


We will work with the police to get more police on the beat. Uniformed police officers will be relieved of non-law-and-order tasks which take them away from crime prevention, pursuit and detection.


We will reverse the Tory cuts in the number of those who can claim criminal injuries compensation. We will give the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board more staff to cut the all-time record 64,000 queue awaiting compensation.




These immediate programmes will cost £6 billion a year net for the first two years. We will pay for them by:


•Putting directly into generating 300,000 jobs the money that would be used up by the Thatcher government on its 2p income tax bribe. •Adopting the same practice as most successful industrial countries and companies, by prudently borrowing £3 billion for useful wealth generating national investment.


We will reverse the extra tax cuts which the richest 5 per cent have received from the Tory government and allocate that money instead to the most needy. We will also bring forward other reforms to capital taxation - including the introduction of a wealth tax, which, whilst applying to only the wealthiest one per cent of the population, will, over the years, bring a significant contribution from those in our society best able to pay.




Apart from legislating where necessary for the Recovery Programme, the new Parliament will swiftly enact many other worthwhile measures. These will cost little to implement but produce significant improvement in the quality of administration, provision and response to the needs of ordinary citizens.


They will include:


•A Minister for Women, with a place in the Cabinet. •A Freedom of Information Act, to be accompanied by the repeal of Section Two of the Official Secrets Act. •Parliamentary scrutiny of the Security Services. •Appointment of an Education Ombudsman. •Appointment of an Ombudsman for Police Complaints. •An Energy Efficiency Agency to co-ordinate conservation programmes for domestic and industrial energy users. •A new Ministry of Environmental Protection.




Labour's Programme for Recovery will be the start of a strategy for a full Parliament. We have to halt the decline in manufacturing industry, not only to generate jobs and increase our world trade share but to create the wealth to finance the rescue and expansion of education, health, housing and the social services.




For eight years British industry has been left to drift and decline Our oil revenues have been wasted and the City has concentrated upon short-term movements of capital at the expense of British manufacturing industry. The huge capital outflow of £110 billion since 1979 is ruinous evidence of the Tories' lack of concern for the strength of the British economy.


Labour is committed to rebuilding our industrial base. Our country must make the best use of computers and information technology to develop the modern means of making a living as the oil runs down and the pressures of technical change and international competition intensify.


We will:


•Establish a capital repatriation scheme using the tax system to attract and retain British savings and investment in Britain. •Set up the British Industrial Investment Bank, with strong bases in Scotland, Wales and English regions, to ensure finance for industry where it is needed, when it is needed and on terms which encourage long term development. •Implement a dynamic and properly funded regional policy. This will include the establishment of Regional Development Agencies (starting with the North, North-West, Yorkshire and Humberside); the promotion of local and regional enterprise boards; greater scope for local authorities to participate constructively in economic development; and creating high technology innovation centres throughout Britain. •Create a new Ministry of Science and Technology to promote a major increase in research and development.It will co-ordinate the activities and budgets of government departments involved in these areas and will encourage, in conjunction with industry and the scientific community, the full application of science to industrial processes and products. •We shall extend social ownership by a variety of means, as set out in Labour's detailed proposals. In particular, we will set up British Enterprise, to take a socially owned stake in high-tech industries and other concerns where public funds are used to strengthen investment. Social ownership of basic utilities like gas and water is vital to ensure that every individual has access to their use and that the companies contribute to Britain's industrial recovery, for instance, by buying British. We shall start by using the exist mg 49 per cent holding in British Telecom to ensure proper influence in their decisions. Private shares in BT and British Gas will be converted into special new securities. These will be bought and sold in the market in the usual way and will carry either a guaranteed return, or dividends linked to the company's growth. •Encourage the establishment and success of co-operatives of all forms. •Strengthen the Department of Trade and Industry as the spearhead of this new national industrial strategy. •Bring in a stronger regulatory framework to ensure honest practice in the City of London and introduce new safeguards on mergers, takeovers and monopolies to protect our national industrial, technological and research and development interests.




For modern, wealth-creating industry we need a well-trained workforce. British industry now carries out less than half of the training of our main competitors. Labour will therefore establish a national training programme to bring about a major advance in the spread and standard of skills.


For young people we will establish an integrated, high quality Foundation Programme that will guarantee for all 16 year olds at least two years of education, training and work experience according to their needs.


The Adult Skillplan will develop lifelong training and education for everyone needing to supplement and update skills in work, with particular emphasis given to training for women.


The Jobs, Enterprise and Training Programme will expand existing programmes for unemployed people with a guarantee of a job or new skill for the long-term unemployed.




Efficiency in industry and security in the community both depend on reliable and safe supplies of energy available at acceptable cost. Britain's oil reserves have a limited life. We have huge reserves of coal which will last for centuries. Labour's co-ordinated energy programme will ensure the most sensible use of our reserves while protecting our environ ment and stimulating employment.


Labour will initiate a major energy conservation programme and ensure that Britain develops the full potential of its coal, oil and gas resources, whilst gradually diminishing Britain's dependence upon nuclear energy.


We will invest substantially in research into, and development of, the renewable energy resources as part of the alternative means of power.


We will not proceed with the building of the proposed Pressurised Water Reactor at Sizewell.


We share national concern about the problem of nuclear waste. We will ensure a safe future for Sellafield and develop a new strategy for the monitoring, storage and disposal of nuclear waste.


Labour will take effective steps to improve the service provided by the energy industry to energy consumers. These will cover quality of supply, frequency of metering, general service arrangements and proper provision for the disabled, those in poverty and others with special needs.




A more efficient agricultural industry can clearly make a valuable contribution to Britain's recovery. We will support good environmental practices in agriculture.


To give Britain's producers the backing they need, the burden of agricultural support must be shifted from consumers. The direction of support must be shifted away from blanket support for commodities, towards helping the farmers who need it most, such as those who work in the hills or on marginal land. To help bring this about we will introduce new, long-term programmes for agriculture.


We will also help new farmers and young farmers by offering farms to rent. And we will reverse the cuts in the Agricultural Development and Advisory Service and research.




We are determined to make Britain a fairer and freer society.


To us and to the majority of the British people a civilised community is one in which citizens band together to provide, out of community resources to which all contribute, essential services like health, education and pensions that the great majority of people can not afford to provide for themselves at time of need.


When the Tories talk of freedom, they mean freedom for the few, for those who can afford to buy privilege. What they mean, as their record so plainly shows, is more tax cuts for the rich and less help for the poor and for that great majority who are neither rich nor poor.


Labour's objective is to broaden and deepen the liberty of all individuals in our community: to free people from poverty, exploitation and fear; to free them to realise their full potential; to see that everyone has the liberty to enjoy real chances, to make real choices.


It means collective provision for private use. The British people know that this is the most effective way for them to secure their freedom as individuals whilst meeting the moral obligations which they feel towards others and seeing that fairness is a way of national life, not just a fine word.


These values are the essence of our democratic socialism.




Labour's proudest achievement is the creation of the National Health Service. The Conservatives voted against it then. All who use and value the service know only too well how it has been neglected and downgraded by today's Tories.


Labour will establish the NHS in its rightful place as a high quality service for the prevention and treatment of illness, free at the time of use to all who need attention, equipped to meet the changing pressures of need as they relate, for instance, to an aging population and the requirements of proper provision for people suffering from mental illness.


The biggest single deficiency in the NHS today is the excessively high hospital waiting lists which, under the Tories, are increasing year by year. We shall speedily reduce them by computerising bed allocation, encouraging more consultants to work full-time for the NHS and targeting increased resources where waiting lists remain excessive.


The basis of the NHS is the Family Doctor Service We shall act to improve it, with shorter GP patient lists, more convenient surgery hours, more choice and information for patients.


We will develop local family health care teams and more local health centres.


Women's health care has been seriously neglected. Our Charter for Womens' Health will include a network of Well-Women Clinics, and a computerised call and recall screening system as a universal service for all women at risk of cervical and breast cancer. We shall see that all women have the chance to see a woman doctor if they choose.


We will step up the fight against AIDS by increasing research resources to find a vaccine or cure and also ensure adequate resources for the supply of drugs capable of arresting the affliction.


We will improve outpatient and emergency facilities and ambulance services and repair and build hospitals. We intend to improve both the quantity and quality of services for the National Health. The Tories have increased prescription charges twelve fold. We will begin to reduce them with the purpose of securing their eventual abolition.


Labour will ensure that nurses get proper and justified pay increases by right and regularly, not exceptionally as pre-election sweeteners. Other hospital staff, on whom the effective running of the service depends, must also be fairly rewarded as part of the effective health team.


Privatisation means a Health Service run for profit rather than in the patients' interests. Labour will end privatisation in the NHS, relieve the pressure on NHS facilities by beginning to phase out pay beds and remove public subsidies to private health.





The quality of life of the elderly and of disabled people can and must be improved by community services. We believe that retirement should be comfortable and interesting - a time of freedom and choice, not anxiety and loneliness. We believe that disability should not be a disqualification from good standards of living and liberty.


Apart from our commitment to higher pensions and the beginning of a new disablement allowance, Labour will support the National Health Service and local government in providing more meals on wheels, home helps, chiropody services and health visitors.


We also recognise the immense contribution of the three million people - mostly women - who care for their elderly, infirm and disabled relatives at home. They save the community huge sums of money, often at considerable sacrifice to themselves. The Labour government will consequently provide a carer's allowance to give extra help to those who serve their loved ones and our society so well.


We appreciate and will support voluntary efforts that supplement services which are essential to the community. We share the view of many who are engaged in such efforts that they achieve best results working in the context of high quality public provision.




Our children are our future. We have a moral and material duty to see that children and young people are fully equipped to deal with the complexities and challenges which face them now and which they will meet as citizens; parents and workers in the future.


They must be provided with a system of education that enables them to control that future. We must see that it is democratic and just, that it is creative and compassionate, and that it is one in which they can fully exploit the advantages of science and technology with confidence and in safety.


In pursuit of those objectives, Labour will invest in education so that the abilities of all children and adults from all home back grounds and in every part of our country are discovered and nourished.


We will make nursery education available for all three- and four-year-olds whose parents want this opportunity. We will make provision for smaller classes and ensure that children have up-to-date books, equipment and buildings without having to depend on fund-raising for those essentials.


The entitlement to free school meals and the restoration of nutritional standards are, like the strengthening of the school health service, commitments which are necessary to safeguard the physical and social wellbeing of growing children.


We will see that teachers are recognised properly as well qualified professionals, in their systems of rewards, in the procedures for negotiation of their employment conditions and in participation in the development of education.


In addition we shall work with local education authorities to secure a flexible but clear core curriculum agreed at national level, a School Standards Council, and a new profile of achievement recording individual progress through school for all pupils. We will improve links between schools and home so that parents and teachers act in partnership to foster the best interests of children.


We shall foster achievement with other policies such as providing proper funding for the GCSE curriculum and examination, for improved supply of teachers and equipment for science subjects so that girls as well as boys increase science learning. There will be maintenance allowances for 16- to 18-year- olds whose family circumstances would other wise impede their further education.


We will spread the provision of a comprehensive tertiary system of post-school education.


These policies will all contribute to raising standards of performance in schools. At the same time as we improve the quality of publicly provided education, we shall end the 11 plus everywhere and stop the diverting of precious resources that occurs through the Assisted Places Scheme and the public subsidies to private schools.


Labour values the research and teaching contribution made by Britain's higher education system. We will ensure that our universities and polytechnics get the resources they need to restore and expand the opportunity for all qualified young people seeking higher education to secure places. We will ensure that more adults have access to higher education to give them the 'second chance' of personal development


We will also invest in research in higher education, in order to provide the facilities and opportunities necessary to sustain standards of excellence, to retain and attract the highest talents and to encourage the industrial and commercial application of research output.


Education for life through a well-funded adult education service will help to provide the means by which rapid economic and social change can be embraced.




Public funding for housing has fallen by 60 per cent during Mrs Thatcher's eight years in office. Far fewer homes are being built. Millions of dwellings are in serious disrepair. Yet there is record unemployment among building workers. This policy is immoral and grossly inefficient. Labour will reverse it. We will also improve the quality of housing workmanship and establish a new system of registration in the construction industry.


We will launch a major housebuilding and public and private sector housing renovation drive as part of our jobs programme and to combat the problems of bad housing, over crowding and homelessness. Owner occupiers will benefit from increased availability of improvement grants.


We will maintain mortgage tax relief, at the standard rate of income tax. To assist house-purchasers we will introduce a housing 'log book', giving each dwelling's history, condition and construction so that purchasers will know exactly what they are buying. This will be transferred with the sale.


For council tenants, we will maintain the right to buy. Local authorities, at present limited by the Tories in using the receipts from council house sales, will be required to use these proceeds to invest in new housing. For the millions who choose to remain council tenants, we will give a legal right to be consulted about rents, charges, repair and improvement programmes. Tenants' associations will be given representation in the decision-making structure and a say in spending budgets on their estates.


Groups of tenants who want to take over the running of their homes will have the right to set up management co-operatives.


Leaseholders who own their homes will be given the legal right to acquire their freeholds at fair prices and without the costly current impediments to that right. Leaseholders in flats will get the legal right to hire and fire the managing agents in blocks of flats. They will be empowered to have the freeholder's accounts examined by an auditor of their choice and be given the legal right to extend their lease.


Security of tenure will be protected for private tenants. These tenants will be given a legal right to get repairs done.




The Thatcher government has broken its promises on law and order. Last year 4,311,000 crimes were committed in Britain. The clear-up rate fell to 32 per cent. Millions of women are scared to go out at night. Many old people lock themselves into their homes. Drug trafficking is increasing.


Labour will take urgent action to make people safer.


Our crime prevention programme will:


•Help local councils to implement a Safer Streets policy, with more street-lighting, more caretakers, park-keepers and other public employees whose presence deters crime. •Bring in a Safe Estates Policy, assisting councils to provide stronger locks, stouter doors and vandal-proof windows for tenants and home-owners - especially older citizens - who have difficulty in meeting the costs of such security improvements. •Introduce a Safer Transport policy, to protect passengers and crews, including better services, especially at night, adequate staffing, better sited bus stops and well-lit stations with alarm buttons. •Lay down crime prevention standards for buildings, open spaces and vehicles to combat vandalism and to deter criminals. •Combat violence against women - specially domestic violence - by seeing that the laws that already exist against beating and abuse are vigorously enforced.


Our victim support programme will fund a national network of victim support schemes, providing practical help to victims of all crime, ranging from victims of rape and child abuse to mugging and burglary victims.


We shall assist family and support groups in their efforts to work with professionals in the health, education and other services and within the community to deal with the great and growing problem of drug abuse.


Locally elected police authorities will be given clear statutory responsibility with the police to enforce the law and uphold the Queen's peace. The police themselves will remain responsible for all operational matters.


Fraud in the City of London is a serious crime. Too many get away with it. Labour will bring in effective regulation by establishing an independent statutory commission.




Efficient, inexpensive public transport is essential in any society. Tory policies have made travel more difficult by cutting services and pushing up fares. Deregulation of buses has brought chaos to many parts of the country both in towns and cities and in the rural areas where efficient and cheap public transport is so important.


Labour will invest to co-ordinate and improve bus and rail services, which will improve travel and reduce congestion. There will be Local Transport Plans for every area.


Action will be taken to keep fares down. There will be good concessionary fare schemes for local travel for pensioners and people with disabilities.


We shall promote services for those with special needs, such as dial-a-ride and taxicard schemes offering cheap travel for the disabled.


We shall invest to ensure a continuing future for British Rail Engineering as a high-quality supplier both for British Rail and to world markets.




The countryside and the urban areas all suffer from pollution and the misuse of the environment. Labour will establish a Ministry of Environmental Protection to take positive action to safeguard the quality and safety of life.


We will:


•Set up an Environmental Protection Service and a Wildlife and Countryside Service. •Extend the planning system to cover agricultural forestry and water developments requiring them, and industry, to take account of environmental considerations. •Invest more in land reclamation and cleaning up, in recycling and conservation, in development of new products, processes and pollution control equipment. This will not only make the country cleaner but will create jobs as well. •Take action to deal with acid rain. •Stop radio-active discharges into our seas and oppose the dumping of nuclear waste at sea. •Provide for better monitoring, inspection and enforcement of pollution control, to cover areas ranging from air pollution to beaches, from hazardous chemicals to food additives, and from water quality to vehicle emissions. •Protect green belts and other specially designated areas. •Bring in a new Wildlife and Countryside Act and provide for public access to all common land, mountain, moor and heath. •End all forms of organised hunting with hounds. Special account will be taken of the conditions applying in National Parks. These changes will not affect shooting and fishing. •Update animal protection legislation - for example, to eliminate unnecessary experimenting on live animals.




We will seek to strengthen parliamentary democracy and introduce state aid for political parties, along the lines of the Houghton Report.


We shall establish a new democratically-elected strategic authority for London and consult widely about the most effective regional structure of government and administration in England and Wales.




We shall legislate in the first Parliamentary session to establish a democratically-elected Scottish Assembly in Edinburgh. This will have a wide range of powers over health, education and housing and over significant aspects of industrial and economic policy. It will take responsibility for changes in the structure of Scottish local government.




Wales and the Welsh economy will clearly benefit from Labour's programme for investment in jobs and vital services. In addition, the Welsh Development Agency will be given greater powers and funds and there will be a new Wales Economic Planning Council. Welsh agriculture will benefit from our measures to help the livestock farmers especially the marginal and hill farmers.


A separate Arts Council for Wales will be established and the development of the use and choice of the Welsh language will be encouraged.




Labour's policies for economic renewal are essential to combat the record unemployment and social deprivation in Northern Ireland and to encourage the economic security which is fundamental to the development of harmony and trust in the community.


We believe in a united Ireland: to be achieved peacefully, democratically, and by consent. We consequently support the Anglo-Irish Agreement and its commitment that there should be no change in the constitutional position of Northern Ireland without the con sent of the majority of the people who live there. No group or party will be allowed to exercise a veto on political development, or on policies designed to win consent.


We will combat para-military violence from wherever it comes. We will promote discussions aimed at encouraging mutual confidence and eliminating conflict whilst ensuring that the respective identities and basic rights of both communities will be protected. We will replace present strip-searching practice with more effective and acceptable security measures.




The Tory government has undermined local democracy and plans to continue to diminish the importance of votes in local elections.


It has made huge cuts in rate support grant and imposed financial penalties to prevent councils maintaining and improving the quality of essential local services. Employment, and sensible and sensitive investment in local communities and their services, have been damaged.


Labour will restore the right of councils to decide their own policies and plans, which will be subject to the decisions of local people at annual local elections.


We will halt the cuts in rate support grant and end financial penalties. We will make the legal liabilities of councillors similar to those of Ministers and Company Directors by ending surcharge and disqualification except for criminal offences.


We will abolish the Rates Act and repeal the legislation which established the poll tax in Scotland.


We will give local authorities the necessary powers to enable them to build on existing successful initiatives for enterprise and employment, to develop new technologies and to train young people.


Labour will examine the structure of local government to ensure that it is democratic and effective. We will establish a new Quality Commission to ensure the spread of 'best practice', efficiency and high standards of local authority provision and response to the public.




Except where it has turned areas over to speculators so that they can create luxury accommodation at astronomical prices, this government has left inner-city areas to rot.


Experience has shown that the Conservatives' City Action Teams have never had the means or the purpose of making any real impact on inner city problems.


Tory cuts in funding and in housing, together with mass unemployment, have turned too many of our urban areas into dingy, hopeless places.


Yet the people who live there, given the chance, have the zest and initiative to make these areas thrive socially and economically.


Labour will launch a drive against inner-city deprivation both as a way of generating employment and as a means of making such areas safer and better places to live.


Labour's approach will be to develop the partnership between central and local government, with the direct participation of the voluntary and private sectors.


We will:


•Give local authorities in key areas the power to declare Public Action Zones. In these areas, local councils will have additional resources and powers to undertake programmes of investment. Land will be identified for housing, jobs and amenities and extra government resources allocated to help with comprehensive regeneration. Local people will be fully consulted about their needs and ideas. •Strengthen the Urban Programme and Partnership Schemes. •Make Urban Development Grants available for local needs. •Increase resources for reclaiming derelict land.




Under the Tories, the problems of the rural areas have become steadily more serious - the lack of jobs, the poor housing, and the loss of buses, post offices, shops and schools.


Labour will give our rural communities the chance to thrive again. Our policies include better public transport, new mobile facilities for health care and social services and extra help to keep open local schools and post offices.




Under the Conservatives, Britain has become a harsher place. Freedoms built up over generations have been weakened or removed. Labour will restore and enhance those freedoms in a Britain where life can be more pleasant and fulfilling.


We believe that positive steps are needed to help women and ethnic minorities get a fair deal, and to attain more democracy in the workplace. In addition, we will take steps to ensure that homosexuals are not discriminated against.




More than half of Britain's people - the women of our country - are still denied many essential rights. Labour's Ministry for Women will make sure that, in framing their policies, all government departments listen and respond to women's needs and concerns.


In particular, women must have the right to work and equal rights at work. In addition to our new provision for training opportunities and protection against discrimination, Labour will help the large number of women who are part-time workers. We will legislate for them to have the same hourly rates, rights to sick pay, paid holidays and job security as full-time workers.


We will give homeworkers the status and rights of employees; introduce effective laws for equal pay for work of equal value; provide better-paid leave for parents when their child is born; and encourage a shorter, more flexible working week.




Workers' rights have been eroded, or in some cases removed entirely, during the Thatcher years. Labour's policy for new rights and responsibilities means legislation to foster good industrial relations and democratic participation in industry and trade unions. We believe that the law should be used to enlarge, not diminish, the freedom of workers to control their environment.


We will:


•Replace Tory legislation that gives employers and non-unionists the means to frustrate legitimate trade union activity. New laws will strengthen the legal rights of representation, bargaining and trade unionism that are essential in a modern democracy. •Improve the protection available against unfair dismissal. We shall make the legislation apply from the time of employment. Reinstatement will be the normal outcome of a successful finding of unfair treatment. We will ensure that justice is done in cases where miners have been unfairly dismissed. •Extend employment protection to all workers, including part-timers. •Improve statutory protection in respect of health and safety at work. •Restore provision for fair pay, such as the Fair Wages Resolution, Schedule 11 of the 1975 Employment Protection Act and the powers of the Wages Councils. •Strengthen ACAS to put more emphasis on conciliation and arbitration. •Take steps to develop stable and effective negotiating machinery, promote trade union membership and organisation, and encourage union recognition by employers. •Restore the right to belong to a trade union to every employee - including those at GCHQ. •Ensure that the law guarantees the essential legal freedom of workers and their unions to organise effective industrial action. •Provide a statutory framework of measures to underpin the participative rights of union members, for example by laying down general principles for inclusion in union rule books. These will be based on a right for union members to have a secret ballot on decisions relating to strikes, and for the method of election of union executives to be based on a system of secret ballots. •In consultation with the TUC, we will establish a new independent tribunal, presided over by a legally-qualified person. This will have the duty of acting on complaints by union members if they consider that these statutory principles have been breached.




All the people of this country - whatever their race, colour or religion - must enjoy the full rights of citizenship.


Our policies for employment, education, housing, health care, local government and much else will clearly be of benefit to people of the ethnic minorities as they will be to the whole community.


In addition, Labour will take firm action to promote racial equality, to attack racial discrimination and to encourage contract compliance and other positive means of ensuring equity for all citizens. We will strengthen the law on public order to combat racial hatred and take firm action against the growing menace of racial attacks. We will make prosecution easier in order to encourage the reporting of offences.


Labour's policy of firm and fair immigration control will ensure that the law does not discriminate on the basis of race, colour or sex.




When people make a purchase, they often feel they are treated unfairly, or even cheated. Labour's Charter for Consumers will provide proper safeguards suited to modern conditions.


There will be firmer protection against unsafe goods. We will make producers strictly liable for defective products.


We will provide easier means of redress for purchasers and stiffer penalties to deter illegal practices.


We will take action to make sure that public bodies respond better to the needs and complaints of people who use their services.


We will bring in a statutory code of advertising practice. There will be powers to order the correction of misleading advertisements.


We will improve access to legal services where necessary.


There will be more safeguards for customers when companies go bankrupt.




Life is not only work. Labour will make pro vision for the co-ordination and development of leisure amenities and the leisure and cultural industries.


Our Support Sport programme will provide more resources for physical education and training through more playing fields and facilities, better equipment and well-trained teachers and instructors. We will nourish special talents and encourage wider participation in sport.


We will encourage schools to open up their recreational facilities to the whole community and prevent the selling off of school and other sports grounds.


We will set up a Sports Trust to channel resources into the development of community sporting facilities and the attraction of major international sporting events to Britain.


We will establish a Ministry for the Arts and Media with responsibility for the arts, crafts, public libraries, museums, film, publishing, the press, the record industry, the development of broadcasting and access to it, fashion, design, architecture and the heritage. The Home Office will remain responsible for regulatory and statutory powers in relation to broadcasting.


The development of central and local government support for the arts, culture and entertainment is essential to the extension of choice, access and participation, and to the development of the related industries.


We will protect the independence of the BBC and the independent broadcasting organisations. We reject subscription TV for the BBC and the auctioning of ITV franchises.


We will legislate to ensure that ownership and control of the press and broadcasting media are retained by citizens of Britain and to place limits on the concentration of owner ship. We will strengthen the Press Council and set up a launch fund to assist new publications in order to encourage the diversity necessary in a healthy democracy.




The globe is torn by strife and oppression A Labour Britain must play its part in promoting freedom and reducing conflict.


Labour will play a full part in the United Nations Organisation and the Commonwealth.


Under the Conservatives, Britain picks and chooses which authoritarian countries to condemn and which to befriend. Labour will stand up for freedom wherever it is oppressed - whether in Eastern Europe, Latin America, Asia or Africa.


The Thatcher government has made no real effort to foster freedom in South Africa and Namibia. Labour will make the arms embargo complete, halt investment and commercial loans and ensure that British measures against apartheid embrace those already adopted by the US Congress, the Commonwealth and the EEC. We will support the imposition by the UN Security Council of comprehensive mandatory economic sanctions and provide help to the Front Line States who bear the brunt of South African military and economic attack.


We uphold the principle that it is wrong for one country to dominate or threaten another. We oppose the Soviet presence in Afghanistan. We oppose United States intervention in Nicaragua and the financing and arming of the Contra terrorists.


Labour will actively seek a stable peace in the Middle East which protects the security of Israel and recognises the right of Palestinians to self-determination.


Labour supports genuine guarantees for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Cyprus and supports the efforts of the United Nations to achieve that.


We support the human rights movement throughout the world. We champion the demand for free trade unions in Poland. We will press the Russians to honour their obligations under international human rights agreements.


International terrorism is a growing menace to liberty and security. Labour is firmly committed to strengthening national provision and international co-operation in combating and defeating it.


Labour's aim is to work constructively with our EEC partners to promote economic expansion and combat unemployment. However, we will stand up for British interests within the European Community and will seek to put an end to the abuses and scandals of the Common Agricultural Policy. We shall, like other member countries, reject EEC interference with our policy for national recovery and renewal.




Labour has a proud record of acting in defence of Britain. It was a Labour government which helped to establish the North Atlantic Alliance. It was a Labour government which in the 1970s put resources into rebuilding the Royal Navy and equipping the Royal Air Force with the most up-to-date aircraft.


At the same time, Labour has always linked necessary defence with the need to reduce hostility between East and West. We must be alert in protecting our country and equally alert in helping to keep away the scourge of war and nuclear destruction.


The incoming Labour government will maintain that record of effective defence whilst working to lower international tension, fear and distrust.


Labour's defence policy is based squarely and firmly on Britain's membership of NATO. We are determined to make the most useful possible contribution to the alliance. We can best do that by concentrating our resources on the non-nuclear needs of our army, navy and air force.


The Polaris system of nuclear delivery is ageing and will soon be obsolete. The Tories are buying the expensive American Trident system - a policy which increases nuclear armament without increasing security and, at the same time, diminishes our effective defences. Trident's cost of up to £10 billion will take up so much of our defence budget as to deny modern and necessary equipment to our front line forces. Indeed, this process is already happening.


Labour rejects this dishonest and expensive policy. We say that it is time to end the nuclear pretence and to ensure a rational conventional defence policy for Britain.


So Labour will decommission the obsolescent Polaris system. We will cancel Trident and use the money saved to pay for those improvements for our army, navy and airforce which are vital for the defence of our country and to fulfil our role in NATO. We will maintain a 50-frigate and destroyer navy. We will play a full part in the development of the European Fighter Aircraft. We will invest in the best up-to-date equipment for the British Army of the Rhine.


That commitment to conventional defence will be based wherever possible on buying British-made rather than foreign equipment. This policy will provide greater security for workers in our vital industries like aerospace, shipbuilding and engineering where jobs are in danger from the reductions which the Tories are making in conventional defence.


We have always recognised that a properly negotiated and monitored international agreement to remove nuclear weapons from European soil would provide the most effective guarantee against the horrors of nuclear war. It would be the most significant step towards an eventual worldwide renunciation of, and ban upon, nuclear weapons. That is why we were the first to propose to the superpowers the zero option in respect of intermediate nuclear weapons.


Labour therefore strongly supports the talks between the United States and Soviet governments aimed at reducing nuclear armaments. Success in these efforts to negotiate the removal of all intermediate nuclear missiles in Europe would be warmly welcomed. It would mean the removal of America's Cruise missiles here in Britain and in the rest of Europe, as well as Pershing IIs in Germany and the Soviet SS20s and other shorter-range missiles.


We naturally, therefore, want to assist that process in every way possible. If, however, it should fail we shall, after consultation, inform the Americans that we wish them to remove their cruise missiles and other nuclear weapons from Britain. We would then become the ninth - of the sixteen NATO members - which do not have US nuclear weapons on their territory. This change would, of course, not affect the other US, British and joint defence and early warning systems in the United Kingdom.


We will oppose the extension of the arms race into outer space and will seek an international agreement to abolish chemical weapons.




The world is aware, as never before, of the horrors of famine and poverty in many countries. A Labour Britain will play its full part in defeating these scourges.


We will set up a Department of Overseas Development and Co-operation, headed by a Cabinet Minister. We will double Britain's aid budget in order to achieve the United Nations' target of 0.7 per cent of national income within five years. We will restore funding for development education. We will give greater support to voluntary agencies. We will promote international action to lift the burden of Third World debt and improve the trading conditions of the developing countries.


In all of our policies for making our aid commitment more effective we shall consult the agencies and the men and women of the communities that use the aid to help to win their freedom from want and poverty.




On June 11, the people of Britain have the opportunity to put behind them the bleak years of Thatcherism and to give our country a fresh start Labour's plans, carefully costed, prudently programmed, can provide that start.


To go on under Toryism is to accept lower expectations and narrower horizons: it is to surrender to national decline and national division.


We must not shackle ourselves or burden our children with that future of failure. Together, we can be successful not just in material and economic terms, though these are vitally important, but also in terms of our sense of purpose, our freedom, independence and confidence.


That success can come only when the nation is restored to strength and unity in their fullest sense.


Labour has the policies to generate efficient production and secure high standards of justice. Labour has the vision and commitment to stimulate the energies, the skills and the will to succeed of the British people.


In our precious democratic tradition, a general election passes power back from Parliament to the people. We urge the people to use their power in their own interests, their families' interests, their country's interests.


Britain will win with Labour.


This version excludes the separate marginal annotations intended to highlight certain proposals. Instead, the relevant section of the main text has been emboldened.


<Picture: arrow>Back to main table.

Last Modified: Sunday, 23-Feb-97 17:13:52 GMT



Labour Party Manifesto 1992


It's time to get Britain working again




Winter ending

'A cold coming we had of it'

huddled together in cardboard cities,

crouched over shared books in leaking classrooms,

crammed into peeling waiting-rooms,

ice stamped into crazy-paving

round polluted streams.

Winter ending:

paintings, poems bud hesitantly,

tentative chords behind boarded facades;

factories open like daffodils,

trains flex frozen rheumatic joints,

computer-screens blink on

in the sudden daylight.

As the last cardboard boxes

are swept away beneath busy bridges,

the cold blue landscape of winter

suddenly alive with bright red roses.


Adrian Henri

March 1992






Foreword by the Rt. Hon. Neil Kinnock

Leader of the Labour Party

1. Immediate action for national recovery

2. Building a strong economy

3. Modernising the National Health Service

4. Raising standards in our schools

5. The best future for families

6. A modern democracy

7. Britain in a new world



Foreword by the Rt. Hon. Neil Kinnock

Leader of the Labour Party


This general election is a choice between a Conservative government paralysed by recession, and a Labour government determined to get on with building recovery.

Gripped by the longest recession since the war, Britain needs a government with a clear sense of direction and purpose. A government with the people and the policies to get Britain working again and to achieve sustained recovery - strength with staying power.

Labour will be such a government.

But this election is not only a choice between policies, important though both are. It is also a choice between values.

At the core of our convictions is belief in individual liberty.

We therefore believe:

First, that for liberty to have real meaning the standards of community provision must be high and access to that provision must be wide.

Second, that those rights of the individual must, like all others in a free society, belong to all men and women of every age, class and ethnic origin and be balanced by responsibilities of fair contribution and law-abiding conduct.

Third, that for rights and responsibilities to be exercised fully and fairly, government in Britain as in other industrialised democracies, must work to build prosperity by properly supporting research, innovation, the improvement of skills, the infrastructure and long-term industrial development.

Our vision for Britain is founded on these values. Guided by them, we will make our country more competitive, creative, and just; more secure against crime, aggression and environmental danger. We want government to serve the whole nation - using its power to realise this vision.

Labour will be such a government.

These are our convictions and we will work to fulfil them. They are also down-to-earth aims - essential objectives in a country hit by recession, suffering run-down public services and facing the intensifying pressures of European and global economic competition.

Ml of those realities require that the government provides: a stable economic environment; education and training that fosters the abilities of all young people and adults; a firm emphasis on productive investment in both the public and private sectors.

Labour will implement and maintain those policies. They are vital for prosperity, for consistently low inflation and for continuous improvement in economic performance and living standards. They are also fundamental to improving the quality and quantity of provision in health and social services, and to combating poverty We have absolute commitment to a high-quality National Health Service, free at time of need and not fractured and weakened by underfunding and a commercialised contract system. We will get on with fulfilling that commitment from the moment of our election - by strengthening and modernising the NHS, by extending care in the community and by establishing the National Health Initiative to prevent illness.

Our pledges to increase the income of pensioners and families with children will urgently be fulfilled. Our undertakings to stop the perpetual experiments in schools and to raise standards of investment and achievement in education will be kept in full.

These policies - like those to increase house-building, improve transport and protect the environment - are not only important to the well-being of the British people now. They are vital preparations for the future. In that future, we are determined that Britain will be a leader in the New Europe, setting higher standards and not surrendering influence by opting out. We have confidence in our country and in the qualities and potential of its people. We want to nourish their artistic, scientific, sporting and other abilities. And we want to enhance their democratic power too. We shall therefore make constitutional and other changes that will give renewed vitality to our democracy We shall empower people as citizens and as consumers of public and private services. We

will strengthen equality before the law and equality of opportunity for the majority of the population -women. Neither their legal status nor their chances in education, training and employment are full or free. We will ensure that the barriers to fairness are removed.

These policies, like many others, manifest our practical commitment to freedom. That purpose is not confined to the shores of our country. In an age where liberty has made great advances in the world, there is still conflict, instability and want, causing great misery and inhibiting the peace and co-operation which we want to help to build. We shall, therefore ensure that our country has the defence capacity, the strength of alliance and the peace-making commitment necessary to safeguard the United Kingdom, to participate in international negotiations for disarmament, to deter aggression and to contribute to constructing a New World Order, now feasible through the strengthened United Nations.

In our relations with the new democracies of Central and Eastern Europe as well as with the poverty-stricken peoples of the South, we will work from the principle that political freedom needs the sure foundation of economic security. In this increasingly inter-dependent world there are no distant crises. The Labour government will therefore, as a matter of moral obligation and in the material interests of our country, foster the development and trade relationships necessary for the advance of economic security, political democracy and respect for human rights.

The United Kingdom has been through 13 years in which unemployment has more than doubled, irreplaceable assets have been wasted, markets at home and abroad have been lost, manufacturing investment has fallen, poverty has increased, the crime rate has rocketed, and talents have been neglected.

Now our country faces clear alternatives.

A Conservative government would mean a repeat of the same, stale policies which brought economic insecurity, privatised and underfunded public services and increased social division. The Conservatives have no policies which would mean sustained recovery, higher health care or improved educational standards. The arrogance remains which brought us the poll tax, centralisation in Britain and isolation in Europe.

If they can't get it right in 13 years, they never will.

The Labour government will mean a fresh start for Britain. It will mean strong and continued emphasis on investment for economic strength. It will mean action to help families, fair taxation, incentives for enterprise and support for essential community services.

It will mean greater freedom, securitv and opportunity. It will mean change for the better.

It's time to make that change.

It's time for Labour.




Immediate action for national recovery


Britain faces a huge task of national reconstruction. From day one, the new government must start to get Britain working again. It must get the economy out of recession, it must lay foundations for the future. Recovery must be based on investment, for only investment will create lasting prosperity.


Today. millions of people fear losing their job, their home or their business. The new Labour government's National Recovery Programme will start to remove that fear with immediate action on investment. jobs and training. It will combat recession now and build sustained and sustainable recovery for the future.


Britain's economic problems are deep-seated. We will not be able to do at once everything that we would like to do. But we will get down to business right away. And as with any properly-run business. our immediate programme will be part of a strategy for long-term success.


Action for industry

1 We will provide enhanced capital allowances to encourage companies immediately to bring forward manufacturing investment in new machinery and plant, innovation and design. This will last for a limited period.

2. We will introducc an investment tax incentive tailored to the special needs of small businesses.

3. We will immediately begin the phased release of receipts from the sale of council houses land and property receipts to allow local authorities to build new homes and improve old ones. More building workers in the recession-savaged construction and building supply industries will be employed and more families rehoused. Equivalent arrangements will be made in Scotland.

4. We will allow British Rail to proceed with a leasing scheme of 188 new Networker trains on the North Kent line - the first step in securing private investment to help modernise Britain's railways and protect our environment.

Action for jobs

5. Housing investment will generate jobs. We will also establish a work programme combining three days a week work for the unemployed - paid at the proper rate - with two days' training and job seeking. This will benefit the community and ensure that unemployed people are offered a range of employment and training opportunities. The programme which can be quickly and easily established will allow us to start bringing down unemployment immediately. Our aim is to prevent long-term unemployment rather than just trying to cope with it after it has occurred

Action for skills and schools

6. We will restore last year's training cuts which caused so much damage to training for young people and the unemployed. We will establish a new cash-limited Skills for the 90s fund with an initial budget of £300 million, to upgrade the training of those in work. Investment will be targeted particularly at areas of skill shortages and will

give people who are now unskilled the chance to acquire basic skills.

7. Over the next 22 months, additional resources of at least £600 million will be available for investment in education. Amongst other projects, this will help to tackle equipment shortages and the backlog of school repairs.

Action for the NHS

Over the next 22 months. additional at least £1 billion will be available for investment in the National Health Service. This will help the NHS to make real advances in care and treatment.

Action for children

9. We will start to increase nursery education places for three and four year olds by making sure that local councils actually use the money they receive for nursery education to create new places and by switching capital funds

earmarked for the City Technology College programmes. This will lead to the rapid creation of 25,000 new places.

10. We will extend the exemption from tax which applies to workplace nurseries to all forms of employer assistance with childcare.

Getting results

Every action we propose makes sense by itself. Together our proposals add up to a co-ordinated programme for recovery.

By investing in house-building and repairs, we start to rehouse homeless people.

By investing in public transport, we start to transform commuters' lives and create a cleaner environment.

By investing in the NHS, we offer new security to the patients and the public.

By investing in education we nourish the talents of children and lay the basis for future success.

With each step we employ more workers in industries from construction and computer software to high-tech engineering printing and publishing. We enable businesses to thrive. We save taxpayers' money on benefits. We transform unemployment claimants into employed contributors.

Labour's programme for national recovery will this year help bring Britain out of recession. Public investment will modernise services help business and industry and stimulate private investment. It will make you and your family better off.


Building a strong economy


Labour's economic policy rests on one simple, commonsense fact. The only way for Britain to build a strong economy is to make the goods and services which people at home and abroad want to buy


Britain is in a race for economic survival and success. Faced with intense competition, companies and countries can succeed only by constantly improving their performance. Every employee in every enterprise must be involved in a new partnership so that trained and talented people can use the most modern technologies to create top-quality products.

But none of this will happen with a government that believes that the best thing is to do nothing. Three thousand men and women have lost their jobs on every working day since John Major became Prime Minister. Every week 900 businesses go bankrupt. Every dav 200 families lose their homes.


The Conservatives have created the longest recession for 60 years. They have no idea how to get us out of it and even less idea how to stay out of it. Britain needs a Labour government which will back British industry in the way our competitors back theirs.


A government which business can do business with


Modern government has a strategic role not to replace the market but to ensure that the market works properly. Other competitors in Europe and elsewhere recognise that industrial policy must be at the heart of economic policy. It is the government's responsibility to create the conditions for enterprise to thrive.

Business needs sustained and balanced growth, with stable exchange rates, steady and competitive interest rates and low inflation. We will deliver them.

Business must have a high level of education science and skills. Incentives for high-tech investment. Modern transport.

Strong regional economies for new developments. We will deliver them.


We will keep prices down


Inflation has been suppressed by recession. But it has not been cured.

To curb inflation. Labour will maintain the value of the pound within the European Exchange Rate Mechanism. We will manage credit sensibly. We will stop excessive price rises in water, electricity, telephones, transport and NHS prescriptions.

The only way to defeat inflation in the medium term is to raise productivity substantially. By promoting investment and improving skills we will tackle the underlying causes of inflation.


We will introduce fair taxes


Attacking poverty is an essential component of Labour's programme for national recovery and prosperity. The most effective way to reduce poverty quickly is to increase child benefit and pensions and take low-paid people out of taxation. To achieve these goals, we will reform the national insurance and income tax system.

We will increase child benefit to £9.95 a week for all children with the full value going to every family. This measure will benefit seven million families and is worth £127.40 a year to a family with two children.

We will increase the basic retirement pension by an extra £5 a week for a single person and £8 for a married couple. All pensioners will receive the full increase which will also go to widows and others on benefits linked by statute to the basic pension level. Twelve million people will benefit.

We will abolish the two per cent national insurance contribution on earnings under £54 a week - effectively a £56 annual entry fee into the national insurance system.

At present employees earning less than

£405 a week pay contributions on all their earnings, while above that level no contributions are paid at all. This is an unfair anomaly in our tax structure. The ceiling on contributions will therefore be abolished.

We will take 740,000 taxpayers out of taxation altogether by increasing the personal allowance and wife's earned income allowance by more than inflation. Married couples will have the option of splitting the married couple's allowance between them as they choose.

The basic rate of tax will remain unchanged at 25 per cent, as will the 40 per cent rate. A new top rate income tax of 50 per cent will apply to individuals with an income of at least £40,000 this year.

Labour's tax and benefit changes are self-financing. They are fair. And they will make every individual employee on earnings up to at least £22,000 a year better off.


We will reform decision-making


Britain urgently needs a better way of making economic decisions. Government must decide at the same time how much to spend and how to pay for spending. The Budget should decide both.

Every autumn, we will make a State of the Nation report on the British economy. Our national economic assessment will then allow employers, trade unions and other social partners to consider Britain's competitiveness and the competing claims on national output. These considerations will be an important influence on collective bargaining.

In order to provide honest information about the state of the British economy, we will make the Central Statistical Office independent and free from political interference.

We will halt the deterioration which has taken place in the pay and conditions of many public service workers - often through pay settlements which have been arbitrarily imposed upon them. We will seek fairer and more rational ways of determining public sector pay within clearly defined budget limits.


We will cut unemployment


We are determined to make a swift reduction in unemployment and have explained in our NationaI Recovery Programme just how this will be done. It includes immediate action for unemployed people, as well as direct investment - for instance, in construction - to create thousands of new jobs.

Steady and sustained economic growth will generate jobs that last. Better training will help people get back to work.

Unemployment must be tackled by the European Community as a whole. We will use our influence in Europe to secure the necessary policies for co-ordinated growth.



We will modernise Britain's industries


It is time to rebuild Britain's industrial strength. For lasting recovery, Britain needs a modern industrial policy designed to build skills, upgrade technology, encourage industry in every region and expand exports.

An Investment Decade for Britain will start with the immediate introduction of enhanced investment allowances (see page 9). We will help Britain's high-technology industries with a 25% tax credit for additional investment in

research and development. Small firms will be assisted with a new investment scheme, combining a cash-limited fund for new investments with tax incentives tailored to heir special needs.

Britain's industrial future depends on transforming our inventive genius into manufacturing strength. Labour will work with industry to establish British Technology Enterprise and create Technology Trusts throughout Britain, building bridges between industries and universities and helping firms turn good ideas into commercial products. We will encourage the development of the most modern telecommunications networks.

Labour's Minister for Science will develop a national strategy to promote high-quality science and technology, so that Britain can better anticipate and respond to the challenges of the future.

All over the world, industries face unprecedented environmental challenges. We will support new research into

environmentally-friendly technologies and launch a Great Environment Exhibition to publicise and to promote sales of the cleanest British technologies.


We will strengthen our regional economies


We will establish new Regional Development Agencies in England, strengthen Scottish Enterprise and the Welsh Development Agency and modernise regional incentives. Regional agencies will become powerhouses for industrial development, encouraging investment, technology and skills. The Scottish Parliament will have a vital role in building the competitive strength of the Scottish economy. Our new Welsh Assembly will also have important economic responsibilities.

Labour's National Investment Bank, operating on strictly commercial lines, will bring public and private sector together to invest in long-term regional and national infrastructure projects.

Small and growing businesses will have a new deal. As well as the lowest possible interest rates, they need the backing on which their competitors can rely in France and Germany. Labour will establish a network of one-stop advice centres providing them with access to high-quality specialist assistance.

We will give special attention to the establishment of small businesses by women, and members of the ethnic minority communities, who often face difficulties raising venture capital.

Under the Conservatives, Britain has moved from manufacturing trade surplus to manufacturing trade deficit. The recent privatisation of the Export Credit Guarantee Department can only do further damage. Labour will create modern export services for the nation and the regions.


We will invest in modern transport


Commuters and companies need fast, safe transport Labour will act to make sure they get it. It is absurd that French Railways can raise funds for new investment in the City of London, when British Rail is not allowed to do so. We will remove these restrictions. Leasing schemes will allow large-scale investments to be financed at relatively little

cost to the public sector borrowing requirement.

Private finance will also be mobilised for a high-speed rail network which will eventually link every region to the Channel Tunnel with proper environmental safeguards.


We will improve energy supplies


Families, commerce and industry need heat, light and power at prices they, can afford. Britain is well placed with reserves of coal, oil and gas which must be husbanded in a national energy policy to balance the needs of the present with those of the future. We will encourage enhanced recovery of oil from the North Sea and avoid becoming too dependent in on imported fuel. We will meet our international obligations to reduce harmful chimney emissions.

We will restore public control of the National Grid and give it new duties and powers to ensure the long-term security of electricity supplies. We will secure the long-term future of the coal industry by reducing imports, stopping the 'dash for gas' and reining back on open-casting. We will retain the Department of Energy and move its petroleum engineering directorate to Aberdeen. We will require the energy companies to invest in R&D, and encourage the development of clean-burn coal technology.


We will invest in people at work


The key to a successful modern economy is a well-educated and motivated workforce. We cannot compete on the basis of low educational standards or poor working conditions. Britain's future must be high skill, high wage and high tech.

Two things are needed: a training revolution to modernise people's skills, and rights for employees to fair treatment at work.

We will offer unemployed people a range of employment and training opportunities. Our aim is to ensure that anyone who is unemployed for more than six months has a choice of job experience or training. We will also help the people often left out of good training opportunities, including the disabled, women returning after caring for children, and those with special educational needs.

Expanded childcare will help women return to work and undertake training. A critical task is to upgrade the skills of people in work. Training and Enterprise Councils will be retained, reformed and made more broadly representative of their local communities and given stable budgets.

Instead of the present series of piecemeal initiatives we will establish a coherent national training policy to meet the needs of industry and provide people with real equal opportunities at work. All employers, except for very small businesses, will be obliged to invest a minimum amount on training their workforce or make a contribution to the local or national training effort. Training will be a real partnership between government and industry, not an excuse to shift all the burden onto employers.

We will transform the Careers Service to make careers advice available to everyone, young or old, employed or unemployed.

Britain cannot get the best performance from our employees by giving them the worst treatment. There will be a fair framework of law for both employers and unions. There will be no return to the trade union legislation of the 1970s. Ballots before strikes and for union elections will stay. There will be no mass or flying pickets. But our individual employees are entitled to be treated at least as fairly as their colleagues in Europe.

We will opt in to the Social Chapter of the new European Treaty and introduce employment standards common in successful economies, including the best health and safety legislation. The existing protection provided for people engaged in especially hazardous work will be retained.

Women and men must be able to care for their family as well as earn a living. We will give all employees equal rights and status under the law, whether they are full-time or part-time, permanent or temporary. We aim to guarantee every woman in employment the right to 14 weeks' maternity leave on full pay, and to give fathers paternity leave, bringing Britain into line with the better provision elsewhere in the European Community.

Employees will have new rights to be consulted and informed about decisions which affect them, as well as the right to union membership and representation. We will restore union rights at GCHQ. Anti-discrimination law will be strengthened and we will consider as part of that law outlawing discrimination in employment on the grounds of age.

Britain's Wages Councils set minimum wages for about 2.5 million people. But there is no minimum wage for all employees. We will end the scandal of poverty pay and bring Britain into line with the rest of Europe by introducing a statutory minimum wage of £3.4O an hour. This is a major but long overdue reform which will benefit around four million low-paid people, 80 per cent of whom are women. We will consult widely to ensure smooth implementation.


We will promote a stake for employees


Employees should have the opportunity to own collectively a significant stake in the company for which they work, through a democratic Employee Share Ownership Plan (ESOP) or a co-operative. We will strengthen support for such schemes and consult about the possibility of creating a new tax incentive to encourage companies to establish or extend an ESOP or set up a co-operative.

Recent pension fund scandals have shown how right Labour has been to call for stronger legal protection. We will reform the law so that pension funds belong to their members, not to employers. Half of the pension trustees will be employees, with an independent chairman, and pensioners will be represented.


Modernising the National Health Service


This election will decide the future of the NHS. Indeed, it will decide whether or not we continue to have a NHS of the kind that the British people want. The Conservatives would continue to commercialise and privatise the NHS until it is run as just another business. With Labour, it will be modernised and restored as a high-quality public service, accountable to the community.


Labour will stop the privatisation of the NHS and return opted-out hospitals and other services to the local NHS. We will halt the commercial market which is creating a two-tier health service.


Our commitment to the NHS


For a decade, the Conservatives have persistently underfunded the health service. It may well take at least the lifetime of a Parliament to put things right, but Labour will start immediately. Instead of cutting income tax, we will make additional resources of at least £1 billion available for investment in the NHS over the next 22 months. Each year thereafter, we will continue to tackle underfunding. Unlike the Conservatives, we ill not impose any new health charges.

Labour will recognise the additional claims on the NHS from the growing number of very elderly people and the development of medical technology and knowledge. We will retain the pay review bodies. We will not cheat

health authorities by agreeing pay awards which are not fully funded and leaving managers to bridge the gap by cutting patient care. We will invest in the modernisation of our hospitals and tackle the backlog of repairs and maintenance.

We will also launch a new programme to invest £60 million in the modernisation of Britain's cancer services, using the resources we will save by scrapping the Conservatives' tax handout on private medical insurance. Within our overall budget, we will tackle the shortage of intensive care beds with a special programme providing an additional £25 million to expand this life-saving service.


A healthy Britain


Labour will launch a National Health Initiative to promote physical and mental health from birth to old age. This initiative will be led by the Department of Health and Community Care and by a new Cabinet committee that will cut through departmental boundaries.

We will set new targets to cut the inequalities in health between social classes and ethnic groups. Our Health Initiative will set targets for better health, backed by effective action. We will, for instance:


•strengthen screening by restoring the free eye test; •cut cancer by banning tobacco advertising; •encourage healthy diets by introducing clearer food labeling; •promote health at work by creating a modern occupational health service within the NHS.


GPs have a vital role to play in health promotion. We will increase the time they have for each patient by reversing the financial pressures to take on too many patients. We will make sure every community has access to dentists, with the resources to provide full NHS cover we will and restore the free dental check.

By improving family planning services, we will reduce unwanted pregnancies and help achieve our target of cutting the number of abortions by at least a quarter. We will ensure that access to abortion is equally available in every region.


A modern NHS


We will create a modern, efficient NHS with incentives to improve performance - but without the queue-jumping and waste created by a market in health care.

We will provide more services through local health centres and other community settings. We will give GPs the power to insist on improvements in service to all the patients in a neighbourhood.

We will give the outcome of treatment the same importance as the throughput of treatment. Our new Health Quality Commission will monitor the quality of care and raise standards.

The continuing care of very elderly and chronically sick patients will be a higher priority. We will halt the reduction in NHS services for long-term care and community health services which support elderly and disabled patients at home

To achieve this change of direction, we will negotiate Performance Agreements with each health authority and back them with an Incentive Fund to reward authorities which perform well. These agreements will set local targets which reflect local priorities, for instance, to cut waiting lists or switch mental health services into the community. Hospital to managers, who will be accountable for meeting their targets, will otherwise be given maximum freedom of decision making.

We will create new community health authorities, representative of local people, which bring together both GP services and hospital care.


A first-class service to patients


In Labour's health service, power will belong to patients, not accountants. We will restore the right of patients to be treated in the hospital of their choice. Women will have the right to be seen by a woman GP and we will encourage the development of well women clinics. Ethnic minorities will have the right to obtain the diet required by their religious


We will set four new standards for a better service to:


•cut cancelled operations; •improve cleanliness in hospitals; •make it easier to phone for an ambulance; •increase early admissions from waiting lists.




As part of our commitment to a quality service to patients, we will end compulsory competitive tendering for hospital support services, which has driven down standards of cleanliness and catering.

We will invest £25 million from within our overall budget to purchase several hundred more new, fully-equipped ambulances.


A community service


Labour will expand the services which elderly people and their carers need for long-term support in the community, such as home helps, care assistants and community services. Our Department of Health and Community Care, with a new Minister of State for Community Care, will develop a high-quality programme of community care which responds to what users want.

We will introduce a new earmarked grant for community care which will support the work of Labour councils in providing care for people at home, and oblige Conservative councils to use the grant to improve those services. We will end the pressure on councils to privatise their residential homes by providing funding for local authorities equivalent to the benefits paid to private homes.

We will insist that the first call on income from the sale of mental health hospitals is the provision of better accommodation and services in the community for mental health users and people with learning disabilities. We will end the neglect that has allowed some former patients to end up sleeping rough and led to others being placed on remand. Labour will ensure that these services are in place before patients who will benefit from life in the community are transferred out of long-term hospital care.


Raising standards in our schools


Good education is the best investment in Britain's future. All girls and boys, from every background, must be able to discover their talents and fulfil their potential.


We want every child to get qualifications that count. We need safe, disciplined schools, where professional teachers work closely with parents. Learning must become a lifetime opportunity, with new chances to update skills at work.

That is our vision of a well-educated Britain.

But, under the Conservatives, Britain today invests a smaller share of our national wealth in education than in 1979. More and more parents are now being forced to pay for essentials in a system which should be free.

Labour will modernise Britain's schools. Over the next 22 months, additional resources of at least £600 million will be made available for investment in education. We will then continue steadily to increase the share of Britain's national wealth invested in education.


We will offer nursery education to three and four year olds


By the end of the decade, all three and four year o1ds will have the opportunity of nursery education if their parents so wish.

Within six months, every local education authority will have to set targets for steadily increasing nursery and childcare services. Childhood Partnerships between councils, parents, schools, local businesses and community groups will help extend a wide range of childcare and nursery education services.

The immediate investment in childcare described earlier (see page 10) is only the beginning. Our Ministry for Women will have central role in helping to develop a nationwide childcare strategy, including out-of-school and holiday provision as well as care for younger children.


We will raise standards in our schools


By investing in better teaching, smaller classes and modern books and equipment we will raise education standards.

Teachers will be guaranteed a proper salary and career structure. A General Teaching Council for England and Wales will help them achieve the highest professional standards. Higher quality training will be followed by proper support for newly-qualified teachers. A national in-service training programme will ensure that all teachers are fully qualified in the subject they are teaching.

Within 12 months, we will end the scandal of primary school classes of over 40 children. We will then establish and steadily reduce maximum limits on class sizes, until no primary school child is taught in a class of more than 30.

To make sure that children are reading by the age of seven, we will create a national Reading Standards Programme, with a national Reading Recovery Programme to help those in difficult. £20 million will be invested in reading recovery in the first year. National tests must provide the information needed to help pupils, and to judge schools' effectiveness, without wasting good teaching time. Children with special needs or special abilities will receive the extra attention they deserve.

Nine out of ten secondary school children are in comprehensive schools. We will end selection at 11 where it still exists. We will introduce a fairer system for all school reorganisations, with independent public enquiries. We will phase out the Assisted Places scheme (without affecting pupils currently on a place, or offered one from September 1992) and redirect the savings to meet wider educational needs.

Because the national curriculum cannot be properly taught without new textbooks, we will earmark funds for class and library books. Every child needs a good grounding in science and technology. We will introduce a programme to improve equipment and laboratories. We will start to tackle the backlog of school repairs. For instance, we will invest £30 million to ensure that within 12 months, no child has to use an outside lavatory.


Guaranteed standards


Conservative plans to privatise the schools' inspectorate will be scrapped Our Education Standards Commission, together with her Majesty's Inspectors, will monitor the performance of every school. If a school is under-performing, the commission, which will be answerable to Parliament, will have the powers to ensure that it is brought up to standard.

National Awards, similar to the Queen's Award for Industry, will encourage excellence in schools. We will reform the Conservatives' scheme for the local management of schools. All schools will be free to manage their day-to-day budgets, with local education authorities given a new strategic role. Opted-out schools will be freed from central government control and brought together with City Technology Colleges into the mainstream of the local school system.


New rights for parents


We will reform the Conservatives' scheme for the local management of schools All schools will be free to manage their day-to-day budgets, with local education authorities given a new strategic role. Opted-out schools will be freed from central government control and brought together with City Technology Colleges into the mainstream of the local school system.


Home-school contracts will tell parents exactly what the school undertakes to deliver and what their responsibilities are. If they are dissatisfied with the school or education authority, they will be able to call in the Education Standards Commission and get action taken.


We wish to see the key role of church and other voluntary-aided schools secured and available equally and on the same criteria to all religions.


We will modernise the curriculum


Labour will modernise the national curriculum and apply it in all schools. From the age of 14, pupils will study five essential subjects. English, mathematics, science, a modern language and technology. In schools teaching in Welsh, the study of Welsh will be included. Every pupil will also be offered a wide range of academic, technical and other options.


Taking account of the views of parents, enployers, teachers, pupils and the commendations of the Higginson Report, we will establish a five-subject A level and bring it together with technical qualifications into our new Advanced Certificate. Open to art-time and full-time students of any age, it will include 'credits' which can be transferred between different institutions. We will consult widely about the detailed structure of this new qualification, and finalise proposals quickly.

Young people must have real opportunities to widen their experience and skills. Sixteen year olds not in full-time education will be entitled to a new traineeship lasting for up to two years, with an option of a further two years. Every young person in employment will be guaranteed the right to Learn While You Earn.


Labour's education targets


We have set ourselves four education targets. They are the basis for our strategy and the benchmark against which progress will be judged.

First, a nursery education for all three and four year olds whose parents wish by the year 2000.

Second, within five years, we want four out of five 16 to 18 year olds to be able to achieve at least five GCSEs at grades A, B or C, or their equivalent.

Third, by the end of the decade, we want half of Britain's 16 to 19 year olds to be able to qualify at the new Advanced Certificate levels or the equivalent in BTEC and other post-16 opportunities for study.

Fourth, within 20 years, we will double the number of students in higher education, with at least one in three young adults participating by the year 2000.

The student loan scheme deters many bright youngsters from poor families. We will replace it with a fairer system of student grants and targeted help for housing and vacation hardship. We will take effective steps to safeguard standards throughout higher education.

We will stop the Conservatives' adult education cuts and encourage local authorities to develop adult and community education and access courses, particularly for mature students. People over 50 who missed earlier opportunities will be able to apply for a 'Return to Learn' grant towards further or higher education.


The best future for families and communities


Britain's families deserve the support which families receive in other European countries. We will create a new sense of community and social cohesion.


We will make families better off


As we explained earlier (see page 12), we will increase child benefit for seven million families. Higher pensions and related benefits will benefit another 12 million people. We will reform the tax and national insurance system, and take 740,000 low-paid people out of tax. After the first year's extra increases we will restore the link between increases in the basic pension and prices or earnings, whichever is higher.

Britain's national insurance system is far more efficient than private insurance. We will open it up to new groups such as low-paid and part-time workers.

Labour will end the Conservatives' freeze on benefits for widowed mothers and other lone parents. We will encourage parents on income support to claim maintenance by allowing them to keep part of it before benefit is cut.

We will restore nutritional guidelines for

school meals and reverse the cuts in free school meals as soon as possible.

We will reform benefits for people with disabilities and make it easier for those available for work to take employment. As resources allow, we will improve and extend invalid care allowance.

Labour will develop a flexible decade of retirement between the ages of 60 and 70, 50 that men and women can choose to retire on a full pension or continue in work without discrimination.

Our new National Pensions Plan, building on the State Earnings Related Pension Scheme, will offer people now in work a pension based on their 20 best years' earnings. Those who are self-employed will also be able to join. Occupational and personal pension schemes will have to guarantee a minimum pension before they can contract out, and guarantee equal treatment for men and women.

We will reform means-tested benefits, replace the Social Fund, and restore benefit rights to 16 and 17 year olds as soon as possible. To relieve anxiety about funeral costs, we will introduce a funeral payment of £600, available on request. The costs will in most cases be recovered from the deceased's estate, although small estates will be disregarded.


We will abolish the poll tax


Labour will abolish the poll tax immediately. We will replace it with our Fair Rates system, related to people's ability to pay. We reject the Conservatives' unfair banding and discount system, which would create a property poll tax. We will modernise the valuation system to ensure that properties are fairly assessed.

Abolition of the minimum 20 per cent contribution - which will be of particular help to young people - will be followed by an improved rebate system, with special help to retired people on low incomes living alone.

Business rates will become a local tax again, with rate rebates for small firms.


People need decent homes


Labour will establish mortgage rescue schemes throughout the country, enabling

home buyers to remain as tenants or part-owners. Mortgage interest tax relief will continue at the present rate. We will seek new arrangements to enable first-time buyers to concentrate relief in the early years. Housing log books and an end to gazumping will also help home buyers. We will also ensure that home-buyers receive proper advice about the potential cost of their mortgages in future years.


Councils and housing associations will be allowed to lease or buy empty homes in order to provide accommodation for homeless people. Homes left empty without good r reason by any public authority will be e transferred to a better social landlord.


We will restore housing benefit to people under 18 and provide more refuges for women escaping domestic violence.


Labour will keep the right to buy. We will increase the number of homes for rent by establishing a Housing Bank to facilitate the balanced use of councils' capital receipts and offer investment capital at attractive rates of interest. Tenants will be offered the option to 'part rent, part buy'. Steps will be taken to improve sub-standard housing.


Council tenants will be guaranteed real rights over their homes. Councils will set rents at a reasonable level, reflecting income levels in the different regions and localities. We will eliminate racial discrimination in housing allocation and improve safety on estates.


In the private sector there is a need both for homes at market rents and those where rents are regulated and housing benefit payable. We will consult fully before introducing reforms and will not legislate retrospectively.


All tenants must be protected against noise, nuisance; harassment and shoddy service.


Leaseholders will have new rights, either to extend their lease, or collectively buy the freehold of their property from non-resident freeholders.


We will protect people against crime


Crime in Britain has more than doubled since 1979. Over five million crimes were recorded last year, but the real total is certainly higher.

Labour will insist that local councils work with the police to improve crime prevention by


•modernising vulnerable estates; •improving street lighting; •demolishing derelict buildings; •fencing off waste-land.


Planning applications will be examined against crime prevention criteria. The sale of replica guns will be banned.


Elected police authorities will use the extra resources available for the war against crime to ensure that more police officers are visible on the beat, backed up by the modern technology which is essential to crime prevention and detection.


We will implement the recommendations of he Woolf Report to improve prison conditions. Prison must offer training for employment, not for crime. We will promote ion-custodial sentences for non-violent rimes and take steps to eradicate the discrimination in sentencing policy which particularly affects women and ethnic minority offenders


People have a right to first-class services


We will develop customer contracts for local services, along the lines pioneered by Labour authorities. Local communities will help design services to meet their needs, with voluntary groups playing a key role in delivering services.

Our new Quality Commission, incorporating the work of the Audit Commission, will ensure councils provide high-quality, value-for-money services, with clear avenues for complaint and redress. We will not tolerate shoddy service, inefficiency or waste. Councils will have to carry out an annual survey of customer satisfaction, published just before local elections.

The contracts of chief officers will be linked to quality targets, with senior managers quired to sample the service they provide. Compulsory competitive tendering will be abolished, but the Quality Commission will have the power, where services have broken own, to insist that they are put out to tender, with contractors required to meet conditions such as quality thresholds and fair employment.

Local planning must reflect what people, not developers, want. The Conservatives' bonfire of planning controls has led to ill-thought out development, often against the wishes of local people. Labour will give people more say in drawing up plans for their area and create a new right of appeal for residents against developments which fly in the face of their local plan. Beneficial development will be speeded up, damaging development checked and the green belt safeguarded. We will reverse the present planning presumption in favour of opencast coal mining and give top priority to local people and their environment.


Councils must be accountable to local people


We shall introduce annual elections in England and Wales, with one third of councillors elected each year. Councillors must get proper support, to ensure that they are drawn from all parts of the community and are not financially disadvantaged.

Labour will sign the European Charter of Local Self Government and give local councils a general power of competence, in line with other European countries, so that councils can develop new and imaginative services.

We will reform the system for allocating grants to local councils and introduce less centralised rules on capital spending, enabling councils to make prudent long-term investment.


We will support arts and leisure


Building on the example of many Labour councils which have developed imaginative arts initiatives, we will make the arts a statutory responsibility for local authorities. Labour's Ministry for the Arts and Media will encourage Britain's arts and their associated industries, including broadcasting and the press, to develop new ideas and attract more

people. Government will commission the best designers, artists and architects, for instance, to help communities transform run-down city centres.

We will renew the BBC's Charter in a way a which guarantees continuation of high-quality public service broadcasting - available in all parts of the country and covering a wide spectrum of programmes. The licence fee remains the best way of financing the BBC and preserving its independence. A concessionary fee will be introduced for all pensioners.

As people have more leisure, they also need better facilities for sport. We will encourage councils to invest in modern, well-staffed sports centres for the enjoyment of people of all ages and abilities, and give mandatory rate relief to voluntary sports clubs.

New facilities and better backing for people with outstanding talent will help put Britain back on the international sporting map. We will review sports taxation, reform the Sports Councils and make football grounds safe for spectators. We will stop the wanton sale of school playing fields and ensure that sport takes its proper place within the curriculum.


We will protect consumers


Our Consumers' Charter will cover all goods and services. It will include:


•tougher health and safety standards; •compensation for injury from dangerous products; •comprehensive guarantees; •a fast, simple remedy if things go wrong.