HC Deb 27 February 1940 vol 357 c1897
55. Mr. De la Bère

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether, in connection with the board of directors of the Railway Finance Corporation, Limited, which consists of five members, four of whom are directors and the fifth the chief cashier of the Bank of England, he will consider nominating one or more independent directors, since the Treasury are committed by guarantee as to both principal and interest for a sum exceeding £26,000,000 which this company, with an authorised and issued capital of £100 in shares of £1 each, has lent to the four main line railways?

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Captain Crookshank)

The appointment of the present directors was approved by the Treasury and no change is required. The Railway Finance Corporation is a convenient piece of technical machinery for giving effect to the agreement between the Treasury and the railway companies which is set out in the schedule to the Railways (Agreement) Act, 1935.

Mr. De la Bère

May I ask why this cheap money should be provided without any independent supervision? Is it not true to say that the whole of it is in the hands of the railway directors; and if it is just to provide this cheap money for the railways why should it not be provided for agriculture?