HC Deb 27 August 1914 vol 66 c137
28. Mr. HUNT

asked whether, in view of the fact that the banks are unwilling or reluctant to finance British and Irish industries at the present time even on good securities, the Government, under the present conditions of a great war, will take such steps as will enable British and Irish manufacturers to engage in necessary industries for the employment of our people during the War, particularly in the trades which up to this year have been in the hands of our present enemies?


Steps are being taken by the Board of Trade to bring to the notice of British manufacturers and traders the opportunities that there may be for securing for themselves branches of trades which have hitherto been to any great extent in the hands of Austria-Hungary and Germany, and no effort will be spared to procure and disseminate such information as may contribute to this end. The question of the attitude of the banks towards financing manufacture and trade is one which is now engaging the earnest consideration of His Majesty's Government.


May I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman is aware that if action is taken at once in regard to certain industries, it will be the means in these industries of almost entirely preventing distress through want of employment?


I have been in touch with the representatives of some industries on the subject, and they tell me that most of them are taking action now.