HC Deb 25 October 1920 vol 133 cc1303-4
11. Captain BOWYER

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has considered the letter from the Federation of British Industries, of which extracts appeared in the Press on 19th October, with regard to certain modifications which appear desirable in the export credit scheme undertaken by the Government; and whether, in the interests of British industry, he is prepared to adopt the recommendations contained in the letter?


My attention has been drawn to the letter in question, and I need hardly say that I am glad to take into consideration any views expressed by the Federation of British Industries. I should explain that the whole question of facilitating the utilisation of the export credits scheme has been under consideration for some time past. The Board of Trade have especially been in communication with the Treasury in regard to the proposal that the percentage of the cost of the goods to be advanced to the exporter should be increased from 80 per cent. to 100 per cent., which is referred to in the federation's letter, and I am glad to be able to inform the House that sanction has now been given for this increase in the proportion to be advanced, subject to recourse remaining as heretofore against the exporter in respect of 20 per cent. I will carefully examine the, other suggestions put forward by the Federation, but it would appear that some of these are based on misapprehensions as to the conditions governing this scheme.


Can the hon. Gentleman say how far the communications from the Federation of British Industries control the policy of His Majesty's Government?


I can assure my hon. Friend that this matter was under consideration for months before any letter appeared from the Federation of British Industries, and a decision was taken entirely irrespective of the letter which appeared in the Press from the Federation of British Industries. I am bound to add that I am satisfied that the decision arrived at is a right one by the fact that it is supported by such a large number of manufacturers and traders in this country.

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