§ 25. Mr. Willey
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what representations he has received about the relaxation of credit restrictions to enable farmers to finance current operations and production programmes for the forthcoming year; and what reply he has made.
The representations I have received from the National Farmers' Union and others show that farming opinion would welcome a relaxation of the present credit restrictions. While a total exemption for agriculture would not be justified as long as these restrictions are necessary, I have said that I am convinced that the banks will continue to consider sympathetically the credit needs of farmers, and particularly of those who have suffered from the weather during this year's expensive harvest. I am satisfied that the banks are doing this.
§ Mr. Willey
May I express limited satisfaction with the right hon. Gentleman's reply? In view of the importance of this question of agricultural credit and in view of the fact that the right hon. Gentleman has set up many commissions and committees in his time, may I ask whether he would consider setting up a commission to consider the general question of agricultural credit?
I agree with the hon. Gentleman about the importance of the subject. I am grateful to him for, at any rate, the limited tribute that he is satisfied with my answer. I will consider all aspects of this question and all possible lines of action.