HC Deb 05 November 1936 vol 317 cc215-7
50. Mr. MAGNAY

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many applications have been made, up to date, for financial assistance from the Special Areas Reconstruction Association, Limited, at the office of the north-eastern area at Newcastle-upon-Tyne; how many applications have been agreed to by the local board and recommended to the head office in London; how many have been turned down after such recommendations; how many have been amended; and how many agreed to?

The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Chamberlain)

My hon. Friend's question would appear to be based upon a misapprehension. The recommendations by the local boards are of a preliminary nature. The final responsibility for the granting of loans rests with the main board but it is their endeavour to reach decisions with the close collaboration of the local boards whose views, especially upon local conditions, are given the fullest consideration. I am informed that 131 applications for financial assistance have been received at the Newcastle office of the association.


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many applications have been received for assistance, under the Special Areas Reconstruction Act, from South Wales; and how many such applications have been received from those areas in South Wales that are outside the area scheduled as a Special Area?


I am informed that 46 applications have been received in respect of the South Wales Special Area. I understand that the company have not received any actual applications for loans outside the Special Areas but a number of inquiries for information have been received which have not proceeded further because the proposed business was outside the scope of the company's operations. The number of such inquiries has not been recorded.


Does not the right hon. Gentleman think, in view of those inquiries, that it would be better to extend the provisions of the Act to the whole of South Wales and not apply it only to part of South Wales?


May I ask how many of the 46 applications were granted?


Perhaps the hon. Member will put that question down.


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he can state the terms as to interest and repayment charges of loans advanced by the Special Areas Reconstruction Association; and whether the terms are more or less favourable, and in what particulars, than the terms upon which the banks advance capital to industry?


The rate of interest and conditions of loans granted by the Special Areas Reconstruction Association depend upon the special circumstances of each case and are not comparable with advances made by banks which are generally for short-term and for a different class of business.


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the number of loans advanced, and the total amount of such loans, by the Special Areas Reconstruction Association for each of the Special Areas?


At the moment the company have agreed to grant nine loans for a total of £33,800. Numerous applications are under consideration but they, of course, require considerable investigation. I am sure that the hon. Member will appreciate that it would be detrimental to make comparisons between loans granted in each of the Special Areas.


As this was one of the schemes intended to benefit the Special Areas, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether it is proposed to make a statement on the activities of the association in the course of the Debate on the Address?


I have no information on that point.


Then, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman, in the absence of the Prime Minister, whether he will consult with his right hon. Friend, because of the interest which has been aroused in this matter and induce him to ask a responsible Minister to make such a statement as I have suggested?


I cannot undertake to induce the Prime Minister to do anything.


Do I understand then that the right hon. Gentleman has got DO influence at all with his right hon. Friend?