HC Deb 09 February 1959 vol 599 cc848-9
30. Mr. Darling

asked the Paymaster-General whether the discussions between the electrical industry and the Government regarding the amount of capital to be authorised for hire purchase have yet been completed; and with what results.

Sir I. Horobin

I cannot yet add to the statement made on 20th January by my right hon. Friend.

Mr. Darling

Can the hon. Gentleman assure us that in these discussions the various electricity boards will agree that their hire-purchase terms will be in general in line with the general commercial hire-purchase terms of traders and so on? In this connection, can he correct a misleading statement which was mentioned in a debate a short time ago, that the Yorkshire Electricity Board's hire-purchase terms were equivalent to a rate of interest of below 5 per cent.? Will he assure us, as I can assure him, that the terms are about 8 per cent.?

Sir I. Horobin

I am glad to have the hon. Gentleman's support for one of the principles which have been laid down in this matter, namely, that the nationalised boards should conform to commercial practice in this matter. As to the last part of the supplementary question, of course I could not be categoric until I saw the exact statement made, but from what the hon. Gentleman says I imagine that the misunderstanding, if any, is one very commonly made in this matter, between interest charged on the initial advance and the equivalent interest on the reducing balance.