§ 74. Mr. T. JOHNSTON
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that the Argyll Quarry Company, Limited, is willing to operate quarries on the Appin Estate; that the company is willing to employ 100 men in the production of granite rubble at prices lower than the present price of bricks for house building and setts for street paving at prices lower than those asked for the supplies at present being imported from abroad; that the company intimated its willingness to pledge assets, valued by the Government's engineer at £35,000, as security against a grant in aid of £19,000, repayable in 10 years; and that the company offered further to forego the payment of dividends until the loan was repaid; and if he will say upon what grounds proposals of such a kind for the alleviation of unemployment are being refused assistance under the Trade Facilities Act?
I understand that application has been made by the company to the Advisory Committee under the Trade Facilities Act, 1921, but the Committee has not found it possible to recommend the Treasury to give a guarantee. It is clearly impossible for me to intervene in the exercise by the Committee of their discretion, and I do not think that it is in the interest of applicants to disclose the reasons for the Committee's recommendation.
§ Mr. JOHNSTON
Is the Financial Secretary prepared to deny any specific statement of fact mentioned in the question? If not, is it not time something was being done to make public moneys available for concerns of this kind?
No, Sir. I have no doubt that the statements in the question are substantially correct, but unfortunately no question ever contains all the facts, and there are many considerations to be kept in view. I regret I could not possibly, in any individual case, discuss the matter on the Floor of the House. I am willing, however, to look into this case personally.