§ Mr. Hawkins
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he intends to reverse the recent rise in interest rates of the Agricultural Mortgage Corporation.
§ Mr. Peart
No. I am advised that the Agricultural Mortgage Corporation is currently making long-term loans to farmers with money borrowed from the banks. This borrowed money will have to be funded as customary in the near future by an issue of debenture stock. Rates of interest both for overdrafts and 205W in the debenture market are high. If the Corporation is to continue lending it must ensure that the rates it charges for new loans cover the cost of the money it lends as well as contributing to its administrative expenses.