HC Deb 09 February 1956 vol 548 cc1784-5
9. Mr. E. Fletcher

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if, in trying to find some solution of the problem of repaying postwar credits in cases of hardship, he will bear in mind the advantages of converting, at any rate, certain classes of post-war credits into a special issue of National Savings certificates.

Mr. H. Brooke

My right hon. Friend is willing to consider any suggestion which may be put to him on the release of postwar credits. I am not sure whether the hon. Member has in mind that the certificates suggested should be immediately encashable.

Mr. Fletcher

Will the Financial Secretary bear in mind that there is a widespread sense of injustice at the Government's failure to repay post-war credits in cases of hardship? If repayable Savings certificates were given in cases of hardship, that would go a long way to remove any risk of inflationary pressure.

Mr. Brooke

I have explained to the House on several occasions the difficulty of defining hardship so as to do justice between one case and another. If we were to give to certain classes of people certificates which could immediately be turned into cash, there would be no difference between that and giving them the cash direct.

17. Mr. Hunter

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the amount of postwar credits owing to persons aged 60 years to 65 years.

Mr. H. Brooke

About £80 million.

Mr. Hunter

Will the right hon. Gentleman not consider paying out this money to these age groups? Is he aware that there is a feeling in the country that these people have been treated very unfairly? I hope that he will look at this suggestion.

Mr. Brooke

I said in reply to a previous Question that the Chancellor would consider any suggestion made to him but this, of course, is a matter which could only be dealt with in a Budget. Therefore, I can say no more by way of forecasting what conclusion my right hon. Friend may reach.