HC Deb 22 April 1941 vol 371 cc26-7
55. Mr. De la Bère

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what are the highest and lowest interest rates charged by the clearing banks to the agricultural borrowers for loans since the outbreak of hostilities?

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Sir Kingsley Wood)

I regret that this information is not available.

Mr. De la Bère

Does the Chancellor of the Exchequer really mean to tell the House that the Treasury are not sufficiently interested to obtain from the banks these very vital figures, in view of the importance of the national larder? Is it not really a confession of complacency that he has no real answer to give, and will he try again?

Sir K. Wood

No, Sir. I gave my hon. Friend certain information a little while ago as regards the average rate of interest, and I have also noted, as I dare say my hon. Friend has done, that in the Sixth Report of the Select Committee on National Expenditure it is stated that: the evidence we have received does not support the conclusion that the lack of adequate credit facilities has been a substantial factor in hampering the agricultural industry

Mr. De la Bère

Is my right hon. Friend aware that it is not a question of lack of credit but a question of too high charges in bank interest to agricultural borrowers? That is the point.