HC Deb 09 February 1956 vol 548 cc1780-1
2. Mr. D. Price

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in order to strengthen the Government's control over the credit and monetary mechanism of the nation, he will consider introducing legislation to enforce a minimum liquidity ratio with power to vary such a minimum liquidity ratio, within specified limits, according to the economic needs of the nation.

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury (Sir Edward Boyle)

No, Sir.

Mr. Price

Will the hon. Gentleman give further consideration to this proposal, as American experience suggests that this particular monetary instrument, taken in conjunction with the Bank Rate, might provide a more efficient and more acceptable method of regulating credit than by placing upon the banks the responsibility and the odium of reducing advances irrespective of the credit-worthiness of their clients?

Sir E. Boyle

I assure my hon. Friend that my right hon. Friend is, of course, watching the working of the banks' traditional practice in this respect.

Mr. Jay

But has not the hon. Member for Eastleigh (Mr. D. Price) made a constructive suggestion which is well worthy of examination?

Sir E. Boyle

I entirely agree with the right hon. Gentleman.