49. Mr. De la Bère
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in connection with the grant which he paid under the provisions of the Agricultural Development Act, 1939, to the Agricultural Mortgage Corporation, Limited, he will exercise some authority with this Corporation to ensure that their total of cash and free investments which now exceeds £2,397,000 is utilised for the purpose for which it was originally raised; and, further, whether he will urge on the Corporation the necessity for the lowest possible rates of interest being charged on advances that are made in this connection?
§ The Minister of Agriculture (Mr. R. S. Hudson)
I am satisfied that the Corporation are already doing all they can to increase the volume of their agricultural loans, and that under existing conditions the Corporation are charging the lowest possible rate of interest.
Mr. De la Bère
Can the Minister say why it is that this large sum of money is lying idle in the Agricultural Mortgage Corporation? Would it not be better to utilise it for producing food in this country or in the hands of the farmers, who really need advances?