THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: Thrift must continue after the war, says Stormont finance minister

From the News Letter, February 21, 1945

By Darryl Armitage
Sunday, 21st February 2021, 6:00 am

A warning that the people of Northern Ireland must be encouraged to continue saving in the post-war years if schemes of reconstruction were to be carried out was issued by Major J Maynard Sinclair, the Minister of Finance, at Stormont the previous day, reported the News Letter on this day in 1945.

Major Maynard said: “Some people think that the banks are full of money and that this money is going to be available for reconstruction, but it will not be enough and the people must be encouraged to continue saving and lending money to the State in their own interests.”

Major Maynard also pointed out that the shortage of materials was a limiting factor in raising Ulster’s social services to the level of those in Great Britain.

Some of those involved in the construction of Parliament Buildings at Stormont, Belfast. Does anyone recognise anyone in this old photo? Did anyone in your family help build Stormont? Get in touch, email: [email protected] Picture: News Letter archives

He said a start should be made soon on improving the Province’s water supplies.

He also pointed out that the amount of money that Northern Ireland would need to borrow to improve housing would be in the region of £30 million.

He said it was not sufficient to attract new industries from “across the channel” to Northern Ireland, the Stormont administration had a responsibility to encourage their own people to start industries in order to provide employment.

Ulster, he declared, had to go out for “quality goods, which would bring the greatest return in money for the actual effort expended on production”.