§ 104. Major CARVER
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether the Government will consider the flotation of a guaranteed loan to be used through a finance corporation to help agriculture and horticulture and which, by taking advantage of the present cheap rates of money, will 1955 enable farmers to redeem high-rate existing mortgages and also to purchase on favourable terms both implements and farm commodities, thus cheapening production and increasing employment?
§ Mr. ELLIOT
Provision already exists whereby farmers can obtain long-term mortgages on agricultural land as well as loans for improvements, the advances being repayable by equal instalments of principal and interest over a period of years. The Agricultural Credits Act, 1928, also enables farmers to obtain short-term credit by means of a charge on agricultural assets through joint stock banks. In the circumstances I regret that I cannot see my way to adopt my hon. and gallant Friend's suggestion.
§ Major CARVER
Is my right hon. Friend aware of the high charges that are made by the Agricultural Finance Corporation when accepting repayments of loans, and will he take steps to have those charges reduced?
§ Mr. ELLIOT
The high charges are due to the fact that the money was borrowed originally at a high rate of interest, and it is not possible to reduce them.