§ The Paymaster General (Mr. Angus Maude)
The total amount paid out by my Department through the Intervention Board general deposit account during the first six months of 1980 was £272,987,804.85.
§ Mr. Alton
Is the Paymaster General aware that one of those pennies was sent out in a cheque from the Intervention Board to J. P. Lamb and Co., a Liverpool firm? Does he believe that it is in accordance with the Government's declared policy on financial good housekeeping and sensible economics to inflict on a firm a cheque worth 1p, which takes £4 to process?
§ Mr. Maude
If the hon. Gentleman will send me details of that I shall look into it, but I must point out that my Department acts only as banker and financial agent for the board, and it is for the hoard to answer that question, since its instructions presumably resulted in that being done. The board is answerable, not to me, but to the Minister of Agriculture.