HC Deb 15 May 1952 vol 500 cc1611-2
28. Mr. J. Hall

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the amount of post-war credits outstanding at the present time; and if, in view of the slump in certain industries, he will issue coupons to the value of post-war credits to individuals who wish to purchase goods from those industries.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

The total amount of post-war credit outstanding at the present time is about £595 million. The answer to the second part of the Question is, "No, Sir."

Mr. Hall

Does the hon. Gentleman not think that by releasing post-war credits the decline in the textile industry could be halted? Would not that provide much-needed purchasing power to help that industry?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

The difficulty behind that suggestion is that there is no reason to assume that the additional purchasing power so released would be diverted in the particular direction to which the hon. Gentleman refers.

Mr. Sydney Silverman

Does the hon. Gentleman realise that post-war credits were devised, definitely and specifically, to keep consumption down, and that the textile position is in its present tragic state because consumption is too low? Does it not therefore follow that a device which was intended to reduce consumption is no longer applicable, but tends to worsen the position, and ought now to be put right?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

The hon. Gentleman is, I think, confusing the position of a particular industry with broad problems of national finance and the reasons I gave to his hon. Friend.