§ Mr. McQuarrie
asked the Secretary of State for Industry what representations he has received from (a) the General Council of British Shipping and (b) the chairman of British Shipbuilders for a more significant and comprehensive operation of the home credit scheme in order that owners are encouraged to place orders for new vessels with British shipyards; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Wakeham
The president of the General Council of British Shipping and the chairman of British Shipbuilders wrote jointly to the Secretaries of State for Industry and for Trade last October seeking increased flexibility in the operation of the home shipbuilding credit guarantee scheme. In response to their proposals the Department has been able to agree to permit the capitalisation of interest on loans guaranteed under the scheme payable before delivery. In return, a higher fixed rate of interest will be charged, currently 8 per cent. instead of 7½ per cent. Discussions continue between GCBS, BS and the Department on the details of this new facility.