Loans.

Oral Answers to Questions — Local Government Bill and Rating. – in the House of Commons am ar 14 Chwefror 1929.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Colonel Sir Arthur Holbrook Colonel Sir Arthur Holbrook , Basingstoke

77.

asked the Minister of Agriculture how many applications for improvement loans have been received by the Agricultural Mortgage Corporation and for what amount; and how many applications, and for what amount, were received in 1928 by the Lands Improvement Company?

Photo of Mr George Bowyer Mr George Bowyer , Buckingham

Loans under the Improvement of Land Acts require the sanction of the Ministry of Agriculture. The number of applications for such sanction received in 1928 from the Land Improvement Company was 485, the sums involved amounting to £227,548. One application has so far been received from the Agricultural Mortgage Corporation, the amount applied for being £915. My right hon. Friend has no information as to the applications received by either of these bodies unless they are subsequently forwarded to the Ministry.

Photo of Sir Archibald Sinclair Sir Archibald Sinclair , Caithness and Sutherland

79.

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that the Land Mortgage Corporation, established under the Agricultural Credits Act, 1928, are only accepting advances through a bank, and only upon the condition that such banks hold shares in the corporation; that applications from farmers for such advances are now being refused by Barclays Bank on the grounds that applicants are not customers of the bank; and what steps he proposes to take to meet this situation?

Photo of Mr George Bowyer Mr George Bowyer , Buckingham

It is an essential part of the scheme that applications must be put forward through shareholding banks, which include all the more important banks, except the Midland Bank. My right hon. Friend cannot intervene between bankers and their clients in individual cases; but having regard to the numerous branches of the shareholding banks throughout the country my right hon. Friend sees no reason to think that suitable applicants will encounter any difficulty.

Photo of Sir Archibald Sinclair Sir Archibald Sinclair , Caithness and Sutherland

Is it not a fact that applicants who are customers of the Midland Bank, which is the largest bank in the country, have experienced this difficulty; did not Parliament vote this public money for the sake of tenant farmers, so that they could have, irrespective of their bank, the facilities under this Act; and will the hon. and gallant Gentleman represent to the Government that no farmers should be debarred from enjoying the benefits of this Act merely because they are customers of a particular bank?

Photo of Mr George Bowyer Mr George Bowyer , Buckingham

I understand that the banks do not ask for the removal of the whole account, but only for the removal of part of the account, in many cases, and my right hon. Friend is not prepared to come between the bankers and their clients in this matter, at any rate at present.

Photo of Mr George Garro-Jones Mr George Garro-Jones , Hackney South

Can the hon. and gallant Gentleman tell the House why the Midland Bank refuses to fall in with this national effort to help agriculture?

Photo of Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy , Daventry

The question on the Paper only asks about Barclay's Bank.

Photo of Sir Rhys Morris Sir Rhys Morris , Cardiganshire

In view of the answer given, does not the attitude which the hon. and gallant Gentleman adopts have the effect of discriminating between one bank and another?

Photo of Mr Archibald Skelton Mr Archibald Skelton , Perth

Is it not the case that the part of this account required to be transferred is only sufficient to cover the interest of the loans?