§ 27. Mr. Stratton Mills
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will take measures to relax the credit squeeze in Northern Ireland in view of the present employment situation.
§ Mr. William Rodgers
No, Sir. As the hon. Gentleman knows, the Northern Ireland banks are not expected to regard themselves as bound by a ceiling on the amount of their lending; but they have been asked to observe official guidance on the direction of lending, and are well aware that that guidance includes a request to have regard to the Government's policies on regional development.
§ Mr. Mills
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that firms in Northern Ireland have suffered severely in the economic climate resulting from the disturbances of last year? Will he consider sympathetically some method of making additional capital readily available through the banks to give them a shot in the arm over this difficult period?
§ Mr. Rodgers
I am aware of the problem. It is very real. But it is more likely to be remedied by the growth of confidence through stable conditions in Northern Ireland.