Warning that Britain's economic crisis is deepening because of a wages explosion, opposition Conservative leader Edward Heath suggested on Monday (30 September) that he might take strong measures with the British trade unions if he wins the coming general election on 10 October.
GV EXT Public house "Heath Park"
SV Mr. Heath put of coach
SV Sign "The Heath Park"
GV INT Heath seated before audience
SV PAN FROM Audience TO Heath speaking
HEATH: "The increase in prices will be about ten per cent and this is really the scale of the crisis that faces us at this moment. And I think it is essential that the country should recognise what is happening, otherwise we won't be prepared for the action that is necessary in these circumstances. I have had many dealings with trade union leaders. I don't believe there's trade union leader in this country when it is pointed out to him that wages going up forty per cent, earnings seven per cent, production over the year will be roughly the same -- there's been a slight increase in the last quarter -- perhaps three or four per cent -- but taken over the year as a whole it will be the same. But if we are paying ourselves 47 per cent more in earnings and not increasing production there can be no cether answer but that prices will go up very steeply indeed."
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The soundtrack with this film contains a speech by Mr. Heath. A transcript follows:
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Warning that Britain's economic crisis is deepening because of a wages explosion, opposition Conservative leader Edward Heath suggested on Monday (30 September) that he might take strong measures with the British trade unions if he wins the coming general election on 10 October.
At a constituency meeting at an appropriately named public house -- the "Heath Park" -- in Hemel Hempstead, Mr. Heath emphasised his warning with some statistical evidence. He also said that if a sharp rise in earnings was not accompanied by increased productivity then a steep rise in prices -- and therefore the cost of living -- was inevitable.