HC Deb 13 August 1940 vol 364 cc602-3
57. Mr. Craven-Ellis

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether consideration will be given to the formation of an agricultural discount bank whose chief business would be to make 80 per cent, advances to farmers on the security of nine months commercial bills guaranteed by the Government, to enable farmers to finance their crops, such bills to be discounted at a rate not exceeding 2 per cent.?

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture (Mr. T. Williams)

I have been asked to reply. The answer is in the negative.

Mr. Craven-Ellis

May I ask why it is that agriculturists cannot get some assistance in carrying out the Government programme to provide more food? Is it unfair to expect the joint stock banks to give further facilities, having regard to the decay which has taken place in this industry?

Mr. Williams

The proposal of my hon. Friend would involve a very large indirect subsidy to farmers' credits, which at the moment is not necessary and has not been called for by the National Farmers' Union.

Mr. Granville

Is the hon. Gentleman completely satisfied with the present system of extending credits to farmers?

Mr. Williams

I am not completely satisfied with anything.

Mr. De la Bère

Is it not a fact that no real assistance is intended? Why not be honest about it?

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