§ 22. Sir C. Osborne
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in view of the fact that the banks have been compelled to find £220 million in special deposits in the last six months, if he will take steps to impose similar restrictions on other finance institutions handling very large sums of money, thus strengthening his credit squeeze measures; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Barber
The Answer to this Question and to my hon. Friend the Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro) is "No, Sir."
§ Sir C. Osborne
Despite the irrelevancies coming from Kidderminster, is the Economic Secretary aware that the responsible bank chairmen have complained of unfair treatment to the banks, in that they are restricted in this manner while the other great financial institutions are not so restricted? Will my hon. Friend study what the bank chairman have said and consider whether the policy cannot be changed?
§ Mr. Barber
There is, of course, a real and important difference between the banks and the other institutions. Naturally, my right hon. and learned Friend, and, indeed, his predecessor, have given considerable attention to this matter. I should not like to give the impression that circumstances could not arise in which it would be necessary to impose direct controls over the activities of finance institutions other than banks, but in the present circumstances I think that the approaches made on the Chancellor's behalf are the best method of obtaining co-operation during the present credit squeeze.