HC Deb 01 July 1948 vol 452 cc2409-10

Considered in Committee under Standing Order No. 69.—(King's Recommendation signified.)

[Major MILNER in the Chair]

Motion made, and Question proposed, That, for the purposes of any Act of the present Session to amend the Export Guarantees Act, 1939, and the Export Guarantees Act, 1945 (called below 'the new Act,' 'the 5939 Act' and the '1945 Act') by increasing the limits on the liability which may be undertaken by guarantees given under section one of the 1939 Act or section two of the 1945 Act, it is expedient to authorise any increase in the sums which by virtue of the 1939 Act and the 1945 Act are to be defrayed out of moneys provided by Parliament or the Consolidated Fund, or are to be paid into the Exchequer, being an increase attributable to the new Act raising—

  1. (a) to three hundred million pounds the limit in respect of all the said guarantees;
  2. (b) to fifteen million pounds the limit in respect of those under subsection (4) of section one of the 199 Act;
  3. (c) to thirty million pounds the limit in respect of those under section two of the 1945 Act."—[Mr. Bottomley.]

5.14 p.m.

Mr. C. Williams (Torquay)

I have so often criticised Financial Resolutions, and rightly, that I am glad now for once, and again rightly, to be able to say that I approve of this Resolution. It guarantees the provision of additional money, partly because of the terrible depreciation in the value of the £ due to the policy of the previous Chancellor of the Exchequer. I want to justify this very heavy raising of the amount of the guarantee by something like £100 million for encouraging our export trade, which is of great value. This process is carried out on thoroughly sound and businesslike lines, first of all, under the Act of 1911, as followed in 1921. The Motion refers to the Act of 1939. All those were sound measures of administration. I assure hon. Gentlemen opposite that they need have no compunction in supporting this Motion. Unlike most of the Financial Resolutions they propose, this one, as the Minister has admitted earlier in the afternoon, is for the purpose of carrying out the sound, practical, sensible legislation which results from having a Conservative majority in the House of Commons. It has been abused by one of the least intelligent Ministers, as has already been mentioned this afternoon, the Minister of Health.

Resolution to be reported Tomorrow.