34. Mr. De la Bère
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he can now make a statement on the progress of the Government's scheme for comprehensive credits for agriculture?
§ The Minister of Agriculture (Colonel Sir Reginald Dorman-Smith)
I assume that my hon. Friend is referring to the Agricultural Requisites Assistance Scheme, but I would remind him that that scheme is designed to supplement existing credit supplies and is not comprehensive in the sense of covering all the credit requirements of agriculture. At 31st March, 1940, the scheme had been in operation about a month, and I have not yet received from County War Agricultural Executive Committees their reports on this initial period, so I am as yet unable to say how many applications have been approved.
Mr. De la Bère
Is not my right hon. and gallant Friend aware that I am not alluding to that scheme? Is he not further aware that he has had over a year in which to go into this matter, and that what is urgently required at the present time is both capital and credit in order to obtain the maximum output from the farms? Why is it that no single man has been given this job with power to put it through? Is not my right hon. and gallant Friend aware that it is absolutely vital, and yet nothing is done? The position gets worse and worse.