PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL.
TRADES UNION CONGRESS
REPORT OF MEETING OF THE TRADE UNION SIDE OF THE NATIONAL ADVISORY COUNCIL TO THE MINISTRY OF LABOUR WITH MR. J.M. KEYNES, ON WEDNESDAY, 24TH JANUARY, 1940, AT 3 P.M.
MR. WM. HOLMES (CHAIRMAN) welcomed Mr. Keynes to the meeting.
MR. KEYNES said that members of the Council would have a general acquaintance with proposals which he put forward in the "Times" quite a few weeks ago. The scheme was then called, "Compulsory Savings", which was a very bad idea, and he had now dropped that obnoxious title. At that time he was ahead of public opinion, rather deliberately.
His proposals were not greeted with enthusiasm from any quarter - and that was a rather mild way of putting it. On the other hand, they did not get any very sweeping criticisms, nor did anyone else propose an alternative. He did get some very helpful criticisms and comments from a good many people who were rather attracted to the scheme.
In the weeks that had elapsed he had been thinking over what he could do to meet those criticisms, many of which had great force in them. In his view, public opinion was now more inclined to be receptive to-day to those proposals than it was then. The public were feeling the need of some plan or other. The prospect of inflation was very much nearer. Nobody was very enthusiastic for inflation, and no one had suggested anything else.
Also, as he reflected on his scheme, he felt it could be made a more constructive thing, and in the alterations he had made, and which he wanted