§ 2. Mr. BRACKEN
asked the Lord Privy Seal whether all the joint stock banks have agreed to participate in the offer of new capital for industry announced by him?
The position of the joint stock banks in relation to the reorganisation of industry differs somewhat from that of the city interests referred to in the statement which I made at Manchester on the 10th January, but I have every reason to believe that the policy outlined in that statement is generally acceptable to the joint stock banks.
§ Mr. BRACKEN
Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us what he really means by City interests? It is very difficult to follow the matter.
It ought not to be difficult for the hon. Member to follow the position. He knows perfectly well what I mean. I said it quite deliberately, and I also said it in answer to the specific question. I am giving him a specific answer which he knows perfectly well and understands.
§ Sir KINGSLEY WOOD
Will the right hon. Gentleman be a little more precise than he has been in his reply to my hon. Friend, who may know of these things, because there are a large number of people in the country, especially in connection with trade and industry, who would like to have more definite informa- 818 tion, so that they may know how to apply in appropriate quarters in order to get the benefit of the scheme?
§ 4. Mr. G. GIBSON
asked the Lord Privy Seal in what manner and to what extent the City is prepared to assist industry; whether he has formulated any-definite scheme or schemes whereby the textile industry might be assisted by the City; and what form such scheme or schemes will take?
As regards the first part of the question, I am not in a position to add anything to the statement which I made at Manchester on the 10th January, and of which I am sending the hon. Member a copy. As regards the second part of the question, it is for the leaders of any industry to formulate proposals for reorganisation, but I shall, of course, be ready to co-operate. I am already in touch with certain interests in the textile industries. It must, however, be understood that the process of reorganisation in any industry will involve prolonged and delicate negotiations with a number of interests, the course of which it would be undesirable to divulge.
§ Mr. GIBSON
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the fact that in the West Riding of Yorkshire there are over 30,000 unemployed in the textile industry, that during the last nine years over 700 firms have gone out of existence, and that not one of the schemes which he has adumbrated in this House is any earthly use to the people in the West Riding of Yorkshire?
I am sorry for the latter statement, because it is in conflict with the interests involved. I admit the difficulties which have been mentioned by the hon. Member. Neither my colleagues nor I are responsible. One of the main causes of the difficulty in the whole of Lancashire at the moment, and with which, unfortunately, I have to deal, is over-capitalisation.
§ Mr. HOLFORD KNIGHT
Arising out of the first part of the original reply, is the right hon. Gentleman considering, in connection with industries which may be assisted under the special city arrangement, the erection of elevators in various 819 parts of the country for the reception of the additional wheat from Canada, and, in particular, whether he is considering the city of Nottingham as one of these desirable centres?
The last place which I would consider desirable for elevators would be Nottingham. Anyone connected with Nottingham should know that. In answer to the first part of the question, I met the millers yesterday, and I understand that I am to meet the wheat pool to-morrow. The whole subject is under review.
§ Mr. KNIGHT
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the reasons showing the undesirability of Nottingham, known to the right hon. Gentleman but unknown to this House, will be disclosed in the forthcoming White Paper which he proposes to publish?
No. I hope that the White Paper will disclose things which are not so obvious. The obvious thing to do is to store the wheat as near as possible to the ports in order to save reloading.
§ Mr. GIBSON
Will the right hon. Gentleman give a definite reply to the latter part of my question, in view of the fact that he referred to Lancashire, and my question referred to the West Riding of Yorkshire?
Broadly speaking, the general principle which applies to Lancashire is applicable to Yorkshire. Negotiations are also taking place in the woollen industry, not similar, but in the same direction as cotton.
§ 12. Mr. ALBERY
asked the Lord Privy Seal with reference to the increased financial facilities which are to be given to industry, whether it is proposed in this connection to form a new industrial credit bank or any similar institution?
As I indicated in reply to questions on a similar subject on Tuesday, 21st January, I cannot at present add anything to the statement which I made at Manchester on 10th January.
§ Mr. BRACKEN
Does not the Lord Privy Seal think that this House is just as much worthy of his confidence as the Manchester Chamber of Commerce?
§ 17. Mr. BECKETT
asked the Lord Privy Seal whether the negotiations now proceeding with the City and the Bank of England involve any capital or credit to be supplied by the State?