§ The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Henry Brooke)
My right hon. Friend is well aware of this problem and will review it again at the appropriate time. The hon. Member's suggestion would, of course, require legislation.
§ Mr. Hale
Can the Financial Secretary tell us what the appropriate time is likely to be and when it is likely to arrive? It is a matter of great public concern. Unless we watch the debates continuously, we never know whether we are in an economic crisis or not, because the Chancellor varies so much on this subject.
§ Mr. Brooke
This is a Budget matter, but I think that it is a little early for me to use the phrase: "I cannot anticipate my right hon. Friend's Budget statement."
§ Sir F. Medlicott
Is my right hon. Friend aware that the treatment of postwar credits by all Chancellors of the Exchequer since the end of the war has been economically sound and morally indefensible?
§ 8. Mr. Freeth
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if, when he takes further steps to effect the speedier repayment of post-war credits, he will favourably consider the needs of those who, on account of illness, have had to retire from active work considerably earlier than the present repayment age.
§ 15. Mr. Gibson
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will consider the earlier payment of post-war credits in the cases of people suffering serious illness, before they reach the age of 65 years.
§ Mr. H. Brooke
The difficulties of repaying post-war credits earlier on special hardship grounds have often been explained to the House, but my right 477 hon. Friend will again consider these and other suggestions concerning post-war credits at the appropriate time.