HC Deb 08 November 1966 vol 735 cc256-7W
Sir C. Osborne

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if it was on his authority that the Bank of England recommended the commercial banks to lend an additional £200 million to suitable customers; how much sooner the wage freeze and incomes restraint will be ended; and to what figure the real sterling reserves must rise before his present policy will be revised.

Mr. Callaghan

The statement issued by the Bank of England on 1st November with my agreement was intended to make it clear that the banks will have room within the ceiling on advances to meet the demands of priority borrowers. The ceiling remains unchanged and credit to non-priority borrowers must continue to be restricted. The Government's measures will be maintained for as long as is necessary to achieve our economic objectives.

Mr. Stratton Mills

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give a direction to the Bank of England to permit part of the unused bank credits of £170 million to be available for payment of the Selective Employment Tax by manufacturing industry and particularly for those firms which are substantial exporters.

Mr. Callaghan

The banks are aware that credit can be provided for payment of the Selective Employment Tax within the ceiling and subject to the priorities which have been laid down. The recent Bank of England announcement reaffirmed that exporters should continue to be regarded as first priority borrowers.