HC Deb 15 May 1952 vol 500 cc1603-4
13. Brigadier Christopher Peto

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that farmers who are anxious to increase production are finding it impossible to do so in many cases as they are being refused the necessary advances of money by banks for the purchase of stock; and whether he will take steps to ensure that, in spite of the financial stringency, loans can be granted in such circumstances when security is adequate.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the answers my right hon. Friend the Chancellor gave on 10th March, 1952, to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Wembley, North (Wing Commander Bullus) and my hon. Friend the Member for Salisbury (Mr. J. Morrison).

Brigadier Peto

Not having that answer by me, may I ask my hon. Friend if he is aware that farmers are not only being refused new money but are being called on to refund existing loans? Is he sure that this double squeeze is having the right effect upon greater production?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

If my hon. and gallant Friend will consult my right hon. Friend's answer, to which I referred him, he will see that my right hon. Friend stated that he has taken steps to make it clear to the banks that, in applying their advances policy, they should give full weight to the importance of agricultural production, especially where increased tillage area and increases in fat stock are concerned.

Major Guy Lloyd

Is my hon. Friend aware that it is not only the agriculturists and farmers who suffer? A great many small traders are suffering even more.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

That point does not arise out of this Question.

Mr. A. Woodburn

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that many people are beginning to feel that they cannot afford to pay the interest on the existing loans at the higher rates, never mind asking for new loans?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

With respect, that point does not arise on the Question.