§ 13. Mr. Henderson Stewart
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware that the Scottish Agricultural Securities Corporation charges 4¼ percent, upon loans advanced by it, whereas the English Agricultural Mortgage Corporation charges only 4¼ percent.; and whether, under the Agricultural Development Bill it is proposed to recoup Scottish farmers for the extra charges made upon them for loans in the past and assure them of treatment in the future equal to that enjoyed by English fanner borrowers?
§ Mr. Colville
I am aware that different rates of interest have been and are charged on agricultural loans in Scotland and in England and Wales and that the present English rate for new loans is rather lower than the Scottish rate, and I am in consultation with the Scottish Agricultural Securities Corporation on the subject. It is not, however, the case that higher charges have fallen on Scottish farmers in general in respect of these loans since the inception of the two schemes.
Does not my right hon. Friend recollect that under Clause 32 of the Agricultural Development Bill, it is proposed to give a grant, or it may be a loan, to the English Corporation for 20 years, amounting to £60,000 a year, apparently to enable them to offer loans at £ per cent, less than the Scottish farmers have to pay, and why should there be that difference?
§ Mr. Colville
It would not be possible to explain this by means of question and answer. No doubt my hon. Friend will have an opportunity of discussing it on the Bill.