Public Records of 1973

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Public Records of 1973

Document reference: PREM 15/1429

Budget, December 1973: public expenditure cuts; part 4.

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The rise in oil prices following the Yom Kippur War in the autumn 1973 spelt further gloom for the British economy. In this memo on 6 December to the Prime Minister, Edward Heath, his Principal Private Secretary, Robert Armstrong, tells him about the Treasury's plans for reducing public expenditure in January and advises him of "the need to change the psychology of public opinion and prepare it for the sort of prospect we face". Three months later Heath was no longer in office. The Labour Party leader, Harold Wilson, took over as PM in March 1974.