HC Deb 03 March 1925 vol 181 cc238-40
59. Colonel WEDGWOOD

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will state the sum total of the credits granted by the State to private enterprise, either through the Trade Facilities Acts or otherwise, in the years 1922–23, 1923–24, 1924–25 to date?


As the reply contains a number of detailed figures, I would propose to circulate it in the OFFICIAL EEPORT. The only grants of credit of which I am aware were such of the loans made by the Public Works Loan Board, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, and similar Departments, which might be held to fall under the description, credits to private enterprises. Under the Trade Facilities Acts and the Exports Credits Scheme loans or credits raised by private enterprise are guaranteed by the State, and I am giving the right lion. Gentleman particulars of these also, though they are not, properly speaking, grants of credit.


Shall we have that in time for the debate?


It is being circulated immediately.

Following is the reply:

I am not aware of any credits granted to private enterprise by the State in these years except

(a) certain advances by the Public Works Loan Board under Section 1 of the Agricultural Credits Act, 1923, namely:

1923–24 223,218
1924–25 (to date) 1,625,916

(b) certain loans by the Public Works Loan Board for housing purposes to public utility societies, companies whose profits are limited by regulation, and private individuals.

1922–23 532,158
1923–24 632,687
1924–25 (to date) 632,719

The sums included in respect of loans to private individuals are negligible.

(c) various minor advances by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, the Board of Agriculture for Scotland, and the Development Commissioners under different Acts for a great variety of schemes, such as loans to smallholders, agricultural co-operative and credit societies, sheep clubs, fishermen for the purchase of nets or motor engines, etc., etc. Figures could only be given with great difficulty.

If the right hon. Member's question is intended also to apply to sums which were raised by private enterprise under Government guarantee, the particulars are as follows:

i. Under Trade Facilities Acts (as already reported to Parliament):

1922–23 7,270,500
1923–24 18,382,000
1924–25 (to date) 13,304,666

ii. Under Exports Credits Scheme:

1922–23 2,063,599
1923–24 4,557,865
1924–25 (to date) 5,431,898

These figures include renewals, i.e.., a bill for £100,000 renewed twice, appears for £300,000. Figures excluding renewals could not be given without great trouble, but the total new business for the three years is estimated at a little over £5,000,000.