§ 44. Mr. Dugdale
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will consider making it a condition of public money being lent to private firms that the firms to which it is lent should appoint a Treasury representative to sit on their boards.
Whenever public money is lent to private firms the Government consider all appropriate methods of safeguarding the national interest. I would not expect Government representation on the boards of companies to be desirable or necessary for this purpose save in very exceptional circumstances.
§ Mr. Dugdale
Will the Chancellor of the Exchequer say why insurance companies consider it desirable that they should have representatives on the boards of companies to which they lend money? Does he consider that they are right in doing this? If so, why do not the Government do the same?
The right hon. Gentleman would, I think, agree that it is by no means the general practice of insurance companies to put directors on the 1115 boards of companies to which they lend money. I should say that it is exceptional.
§ 45. Mr. Dugdale
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the principles on which the Treasury acts in deciding whether or not to lend money to private firms.
The Government lend money to private firms only in exceptional circumstances and where the public interest justifies it. Such assistance is given in accordance with Parliamentary authority.
§ Mr. Dugdale
Is the Chancellor aware that I am not surprised that he has not been able to answer this Question at all? Is he aware that many of us on this side feel that he has no principles whatever in lending money other than to lend it for importunate widows, particularly if they are well organised and have friends in court?