HC Deb 19 November 1953 vol 520 cc1895-6
39. Mr. G. Williams

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he anticipates being able to abolish the Capital Issues Committee.

Mr. Maudling

The Committee performs an essential function in advising my right hon. Friend on individual applications for consent to raise money for capital purposes. He has no intention of dispensing with their services, which he values highly.

Mr. Williams

Would the Minister tell us how many have been considered during the last year and how many have been rejected? Surely he realises that this uncertainty in not knowing whether people are to get it or not is operating to the detriment of trade and enterprise.

Mr. Maudling

I could not quote the exact figure without notice, but the number of rejections is very small indeed in relation to the total number of applications. I would not accept the suggestion that any widespread uncertainty is caused by the present arrangements.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

Is my hon. Friend aware that the Capital Issues Committee is the only device of Government which is not subject to any democratic procedure? Does he not think that the time is now ripe to bring their deliberations before Parliament so that we can all see what principles guide their actions?

Mr. Maudling

My noble Friend misunderstands the position. The Capital Issues Committee is an advisory body, and responsibility to this Houses rests upon my right hon. Friend.