§ 80. Sir C. Osborne
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that the Birmingham Bankruptcy Court sittings have had to be increased because the number of bankruptcies has doubled; and if he will take steps to relieve small businessmen from selective employment tax and from the effects of high interest rates.
§ Mr. Crosland
The quarterly figures for bankruptcies in particular areas are subject to wide fluctuations; the figure for the country as a whole in the second quarter of 1969 was only 7 per cent. higher than a year ago. I do not think that these figures justify special action to help small firms. But the hon. Member will recall my informing the House on 17th April that I intended to set up a committee to consider the problems of the small firm. I hope to make an announcement on this shortly.