asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that the present high rate of Purchase Tax imposed on certain manufacturers' produce is a specially difficult problem for small manufacturers who frequently find themselves obliged to finance the payment of the tax for a long period out of their own resources, and that the recent increase in the Bank Rate has materially increased these difficulties; and to what extent his present review of the Purchase Tax will include this matter.
No, Sir. Registered traders receive from the Crown credit for a period which, on average, roughly equals that of the credit which they give to their customers.
Yes, Sir, but is this period to be regarded as inflexible? Is it not the fact that the same period has related to this matter ever since the Purchase Tax was introduced? Having regard to the conditions to which I draw attention in this Question, namely, the high Bank Rate, and other economic and financial conditions—and the Government's policy, in broad principle, is correct, of course—would it not be desirable in the present circumstances to try to help the small manufacturer?