HC Deb 19 July 1960 vol 627 cc243-4
35. Mr. C. Hughes

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give details of the public money made available to Rural Industries Loan Fund. Limited, in each year since 1955, and of the amount of interest charged.

Mr. Amory

This Society is financed by means of grants and loans from the Development Fund. No interest is charged on the Development Fund loans. With permission, I will circulate details in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Hughes

Is it not the case that under the Labour Government no interest whatsoever was charged but that now interest is being charged at 5½ per cent.? Would not the right hon. Gentleman consider reverting to interest-free loans so that these small rural industries may be assisted in areas of high unemployment?

Mr. Amory

No, Sir. To the best of my knowledge, interest was charged under the Labour Government by the Society. Interest is not being charged by the Development Fund to the Society. I think, therefore, that the position is the same. If it is not, I will write and let the hon. Member know.

Following are the details:

Year Grants Loans
£ s. d. £
1955–56 5,653 9 4 20,000
1956–57 236 0 0 28,500
1958–59 5,000
£5,889 9 4 £53,500
The total amount outstanding on 31st March, 1960 was £248, 500.