58. Mr. De la Bère
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether it is the intention of the Government to introduce a Bill to amend the Agricultural Credits Act, 1928, with a view to the creation of an Agricultural Finance Corporation, Limited, or some similar title, with an authorised and issued capital in £1 shares of £100, based on the same principle as the Railway Finance Corporation, Limited, with powers to issue debenture stock, 1953–54, 2½ per cent. guaranteed, for £25,000,000, guaranteed as to principal and interest by His Majesty's Treasury, with a view to providing long-term credits to assist the increased production of home-grown foodstuffs?
§ The Minister of Pensions (Mr. Ramsbotham)
I have been asked to reply. My hon. Friend's proposal does not commend itself to my right hon. Friend. I should, however, add that the question of short-term credit is being examined by the National Farmers' Union in consultation with the Ministry of Agriculture.
Mr. De la Bère
Is the Minister aware of the fact, and do the Government think that it is fair to give to the railways money at 2½ per cent. and make another rate for the farmer, charging him 5 per cent.? Is it not a screaming breach of equity?