Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - State Borrowing.

28.

asked the Minister for Finance if the non-associated banks have agreed to meet his requirements in connection with the current capital budget; and, if so, the amount being borrowed.

As stated in the Central Bank's credit advice (1971-72) it is envisaged that the non-associated banks will be contributing by investment in the Exchequer to the financing of the public capital programme in the current year. Discussions as to the amount and the form which this investment might take are still in progress.

Will the Minister say when these discussions commenced?

Over the past few months.

Is it not a fact that they have been going on for at least three months and surely at this stage the Minister should be able to find out from these people whether they will contribute in a manner satisfactory to him? Is it not time to stop talking to them?

No. The discussions have not concluded yet.

When will they conclude?

I cannot say at this stage.

Is the Minister satisfied with their progress?

Reasonably.

But not completely?

It would be difficult for me to be completely satisfied since the discussions are still going on.

Is not the fact that they have not concluded tantamount to a refusal to meet the Minister's terms?

No, that would not be so.

Deputy FitzGerald wanted to know if the Minister is satisfied with the progress so far?

And the answer is no.

I said I was reasonably satisfied. I am very happy about some of the opposition I have in my constituency.