§ Mr. Garrett
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will inquire into the working of the Export Credit Department as it affects orders for shipbuilding; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Jay
I am satisfied that the credit facilities available to British shipbuilders backed by E.C.G.D. compare well with those available to shipbuilders anywhere in the world. The E.C.G.D. facilities include: greatly reduced premiums in appropriate cases for sales secured by a ship's mortgage; special arrangements to offer terms of credit at least as long as those available from any other country; and Financial Guarantees for ocean-going 29W ships with a minimum order value of £1 million, compared with £2 million for all other types of project. Bank finance for export credits covered by an E.C.G.D. Bank Guarantee or Financial Guarantee at a fixed interest-rate of 5½ per cent., although not limited to the shipbuilding industry, has proved of particular benefit to that industry in securing export orders. In the last two years 45 contracts have been supported, to a value of £90 million.