§ 26. Mr. Chapman
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give the quarterly totals of new issues approved by the Capital Issues Committee since March, 1956; to what extent they show an increase since the crisis of mid-1957; and, in view of the instructions to other financial institutions, what admonition he is giving to this Committee about future policy.
As the reply involves a number of figures, I am, with permission, arranging to have these published in the OFFICIAL REPORT. The figures show that the volume of approved applications for new projects was much the same in the second half of 1957 as in the first half. As my precedessor said in the House on 29th October, 1957, the Capital Issues Committee has been asked to intensify its critical attitude to applications to borrow; and the Committee is acting accordingly.
§ Mr. Chapman
Whatever the approvals were, is it not the case that the Capital Issues Committee is now finding it increasingly difficult to resist pressure for new issues in the national interest? If that is so, is it not time—as ours is not a very high investment economy—for us now to begin to make room for increased investment, both public and private?
As far as I know, the Capital Issues Committee is doing its work very effectively, but if the hon. Member has any information to the contrary, I shall be glad to look into it.
§ Following are the figures:
§ Total value of new projects in respect of which applications to the Capital Issues Committee have been approved since March, 1956.
|2nd Quarter 1956||…||287.5|
|3rd Quarter 1956||…||251.6|
|4th Quarter 1956||…||327.0|
|1st Quarter 1957||…||447.7|
|2nd Quarter 1957||…||294.6|
|3rd Quarter 1957||…||380.0|
|4th Quarter 1957||…||351.0|
|Note: The above figures include applications for issues by governments other than the U.K. Government and by local authorities, as well as by public utilities, institutions, companies and private individuals. The figures exclude applications for issues which do not involve raising new money.|