HC Deb 27 February 1956 vol 549 cc814-5
16. Mr. A. Roberts

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, in view of the recent increase in the Bank rate, what steps he will take to provide adequate credit facilities to farmers.

Mr. Nugent

The recent increase in Bank Rate may well increase the cost of borrowing by farmers, but will not of itself curtail any credit facilities.

Mr. A. Roberts

Does not the Minister realise that small farmers today are experiencing financial difficulties? I know of a case in which a small farmer could not obtain credit although he had stock on his farm of a value greatly in excess of the amount he wanted to borrow. Cannot the Minister try to ease the position for small farmers?

Mr. Nugent

We think that the present arrangements are working reasonably well and that local bank managers are capable of differentiating between those who need additional credit and those who do not, but if the hon. Member knows of a case in which he thinks there is difficulty and will let me have details, I will be pleased to look into it.

Mr. Champion

Is the Minister aware that bank advances to the agricultural industry were down by £8 million between August and November and that this is a serious matter in an industry which is starved of essential capital?

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