HC Deb 18 March 1940 vol 358 c1619
16. Mr. De la Bère

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he will take steps to make use of existing 7,000 branches of the joint stock banks, with a view to the formation of an agricultural farm credit bureau, restricted under its constitution from charging more than 1 per cent. above the current Bank rate on all its transactions?

The Minister of Agriculture (Colonel Sir Reginald Dorman-Smith)

I cannot adopt my hon. Friend's proposal. As my hon. Friend is aware, I have no power to use the joint stock banks, which are private institutions, in the manner suggested.

Mr. De la Bère

Will my right hon. and gallant Friend awaken the Government to the need in this matter of more generous treatment; is he aware that, with a 2 per cent. Bank rate, charging 5 per cent, is indefensible, and has it not been three years since I first asked him to take some action in this matter? If he has no power, will he consult the Lord Privy Seal?