HC Deb 03 December 1959 vol 614 cc1371-2
41. Mr. Albu

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he is taking to carry out the suggestions of the Committee on the Working of the Monetary System to assist small businesses, especially those engaged in new inventions and innovations of technique.

Mr. Barber

The Radcliffe Committee made three proposals in this field: for an Industrial Guarantee Corporation, for term loans to small businesses by the banks, and for raising the upper limit on the size of transaction in which the Industrial and Commercial Finance Corporation may engage. The only one of these with which Her Majesty's Government is directly concerned is the first. On this, my right hon. Friend has asked his right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade to consider what need there is for a body of the kind suggested, and what contribution it might be able to make.

As to term loans, the hon. Gentleman will know that two banks have announced the introduction of term loans schemes for small businesses. As to the I.C.F.C., I understand that its shareholders have now agreed that the Corporation may take up the whole or part of any issue the total amount of which does not exceed £300,000.

Mr. Albu

Is not the Economic Secretary aware that many modern scientific inventions are suitable for development by small businesses? There is at the present time a serious danger of many small businesses being absorbed by financial groups without any technical or scientific management or scientific interest.

Mr. Barber

I will draw the remarks of the hon. Member to the attention of my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade.

Mr. H. Wilson

Since the hon. Gentleman fairly said last week in the debate on the Radcliffe Report that it was impossible for any hon. Member to deal with all the issues raised in the Report, even Ministers—this is one of the issues not raised—would the hon. Gentleman ask his right hon. Friend to publish at the earliest possible date a White Paper summarising the recommendations of the Radcliffe Report and indicating which recommendations, in whole or in part, the Government accept?

Mr. Barber

I will certainly convey the hon. Member's suggestion to my right hon. Friend.

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