Results 1–20 of 3528 for speaker:Mr Harold Lever

Oral Answers to Questions — Public Expenditure (5 Mar 1979)

Mr Harold Lever: All Government decisions, on expenditure as on other matters, have my full support.

Oral Answers to Questions — Public Expenditure (5 Mar 1979)

Mr Harold Lever: I do not know that there are any hatchet men among the Civil Service, in spite of the one-sided leaks that one reads about. The Government's approach to public expenditure is based on a rather broader vision than that of the Conservative Party. I am afraid that I cannot go along with my hon. Friend in believing that it would be appropriate to procure an immediate £3 billion increase in...

Oral Answers to Questions — Public Expenditure (5 Mar 1979)

Mr Harold Lever: I am not aware of any such proposals from the Labour Party. I am aware that some of my hon. Friends are understandably anxious to increase the public services. I share their desire. It is a question of timing in relation to our economic achievement permitting increases in public expenditure.

Oral Answers to Questions — Public Expenditure (5 Mar 1979)

Mr Harold Lever: I am afraid that I am not as erudite on the details of this matter as my hon. Friend. I shall certainly look into the point he raises.

Oral Answers to Questions — Minimum Lending Rate (5 Mar 1979)

Mr Harold Lever: As the hon. Member is aware, minimum lending rate was reduced last Thursday to 13 per cent. It is not possible to insulate small firms from rises in market rates of interest. I am, however, aware that these rates may sometimes raise special problems for small firms and I shall continue to seek other ways to help them, as we have done in the past year or so.

Oral Answers to Questions — Minimum Lending Rate (5 Mar 1979)

Mr Harold Lever: I think that the rather naive assumptions which the hon. Gentleman invites me to make owe more to party polemics than to a desire to grasp the whole of this complex subject. Our borrowing requirement is firmly held in check. The rates of interest at present, for one reason or another, are higher than they were with the same borrowing requirement. The hon. Gentleman chooses wilfully to ignore...

Oral Answers to Questions — Minimum Lending Rate (5 Mar 1979)

Mr Harold Lever: Without notice I cannot give my hon. Friend the cost in interest charges to the end of the century, or to any particular time. The present high rates of interest are undoubtedly exceedingly costly. No one will welcome more than I shall any reduction in interest rates on all borrowings which the Chancellor of the Exchequer is able to make.

Oral Answers to Questions — Minimum Lending Rate (5 Mar 1979)

Mr Harold Lever: I do not know that I find it reassuring that Opposition Members and some of my hon. Friends are achieving identical hallucinations on this delicate area of finance. No one could possibly suggest that that rate of interest was induced by a state of panic. It was a judgment reached after due consideration. The rate was dropped as soon as market conditions made it possible.

Oral Answers to Questions — Minimum Lending Rate (5 Mar 1979)

Mr Harold Lever: My hon. Friend raises two interesting points. The first relates to the profits made by some people in dealing in gilts. All I can say is that of course some people make profits from time to time dealing in gilts. Otherwise, they would not deal in them. If my hon. Friend were to offer me a gift of either the profits made recently dealing in gilts or the losses that have been made in gilts in...

Oral Answers to Questions — Minimum Lending Rate (5 Mar 1979)

Mr Harold Lever: None, Sir; but I am sure that last week's reduction in minimum lending rate to 13 per cent. will be widely welcomed.

Oral Answers to Questions — Minimum Lending Rate (5 Mar 1979)

Mr Harold Lever: I hope that the hon. Member has not quoted me accurately. I made no such assertion about the extent of the borrowing requirement. The Government have made clear that they do not want the borrowing requirement to be inflated and that they intend to keep it firmly under control. The rate of interest that we have reached, in my opinion—since the hon. Gentleman asks for my opinion—does not...

Oral Answers to Questions — Minimum Lending Rate (5 Mar 1979)

Mr Harold Lever: Availability of funds and the rate of interest are not necessarily the same thing. As the hon. Gentleman knows, the Welsh Development Agency has done a splendid job in providing funds. COSIRA and other agencies have done well in the United Kingdom generally. There are special difficulties for the smaller firm in finding finance. I shall keep under constant review what might be done to extend...

Oral Answers to Questions — European Monetary System (22 Jan 1979)

Mr Harold Lever: No.

Oral Answers to Questions — European Monetary System (22 Jan 1979)

Mr Harold Lever: What my hon. Friend regards as suspicions others might regard as reasonable hopes. It is absolutely clear, and has been said over and over again, that the Government subscribe to the fundamental purpose of the EMS and have sought to achieve the pre-conditions which would make that system durable and effective. My right hon. and hon. Friends are united in desiring to play a full part in world...

Oral Answers to Questions — European Monetary System (22 Jan 1979)

Mr Harold Lever: The Chancellor of the Exchequer made clear our view on that in the debate on 14th December. To put it in a nutshell, we regard any action in relation to MCAs that adds to food prices in this country as undesirable at this time. We could not support that action.

Oral Answers to Questions — European Monetary System (22 Jan 1979)

Mr Harold Lever: The Chancellor of the Exchequer is having discussions at present with the Bank of England on the question of the depositing of reserves. The Government's general position is as I have stated it.

Oral Answers to Questions — European Monetary System (22 Jan 1979)

Mr Harold Lever: On the first question, the hon. Member is raising false alternatives, namely, support for the EMS, and support for a wider worldwide monetary co-operation. Far from the development of European co-operation being inimical to the development of European-world co-operation, we believe that it is part of the development of world monetary co-operation. On the French position on MCAs, some of...

Oral Answers to Questions — European Monetary System (22 Jan 1979)

Mr Harold Lever: I readily agree with my hon. Friend that one of the central dangers for the EEC and the world trading community is the high degree of currency instability which now exists and the uniquely high levels of inflation. I believe the two have an important relationship. A constructive development that is being recognised pretty well all over the world is that we need a greater degree of...

Oral Answers to Questions — European Monetary System (22 Jan 1979)

Mr Harold Lever: I do not know what "stringent control of the money supply" means. Perhaps that can await another Question Time or another debate. Whatever our relations with the EMS, we intend to maintain the stability of sterling to the best of our ability in relation to all the countries with whom we trade.

Oral Answers to Questions — European Monetary System (22 Jan 1979)

Mr Harold Lever: I am willing to join my hon. Friend in his criticism of Opposition policy. I welcome the direction of his criticism. On the phasing out of MCAs, we made clear that we would be opposed to any change at present calculated to increase food prices in this country.


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