§ 32. Mr. Shinwell
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the total amount of financial assistance provided in the form of subsidies and loans to private industry and agriculture since 1951; and what sums have been returned to the Government either in capital or interest.
Between 1st April, 1951, and 31st March, 1959, subsidies to private industry and agriculture amounted to £2,311 million. In the same period, loans granted to private industry and agriculture amounted to £84 million and repayments of capital and interest, 786 including repayments in respect of certain loans granted prior to 1st April, 1951, amounted to £38 million.
§ Mr. Shinwell
Are not these vast sums out of the taxpayer's pocket rather too high? Is this not rather lavish expenditure in view of the fact that only £38 million has been returned to the Exchequer? In view of the need for subsidies and loans to privately-owned industry, why do we have these complaints about investment in nationalised industries?
The main reason for the fact that only £38 million out of £84 million has been repaid is that, substantially, that is all that is yet due for repayment under the arrangements. As to whether the sum is too big or not, I would remind the right hon. Gentleman that in his Government's day there were enormous sums paid in subsidies and they did not produce the results which my Government have produced.
I could not give my hon. Friend the precise sum, but I can say that I have benefited a little from that source.