HC Deb 31 October 1944 vol 404 cc633-4
59. Sir William Beveridge

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has considered an application from a committee of principal citizens of Berwick-upon-Tweed, under the chairmanship of the mayor, for permission to invite subscriptions up to £50,000 to form a finance company to be known as the Berwick-upon-Tweed Development Company, having the object of providing to men of small means, after the war, capital to engage in fishing and other local industries; why this application has been refused; and whether, having regard to the importance of encouraging local initiative in reconstruction and as practically the whole of the capital proposed would be called up only after the war, he will have this refusal reconsidered.

Sir J. Anderson

Yes, Sir. The application was refused because in present circumstances issues to raise capital must, in so far as they are not exempt from control, be confined to those required to finance production or services essential for war purposes. In reply to the last part of the Question, it would not be practicable to anticipate now the terms and conditions on which consent to issues of capital will be given after the war.

Sir W. Beveridge

If the right hon. Gentleman is not going to allow these citizens to help themselves to provide the money that will be necessary when the war ends, has he any plan for doing it himself?

Sir J. Anderson

The point of my answer was that this project is designed for a post-war purpose and that, for the moment, we have to concentrate on war purposes.