HC Deb 19 July 1872 vol 212 cc1492-7

Bill considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

Clause 41 (Public Works Loan Commissioners may lend to sanitary authority on security of rates).

Amendment proposed in page 20, line 40, to leave out the word "thirty," and insert the word "fifty."—(Mr. Russell Gurney.)

Question proposed, "That the word 'thirty' stand part of the clause."


said, he had carefully considered the matter, and he was willing to accept the Amendment in a modified form by the insertion of the words "30 or 50 years;" but in that case, and with the view of giving every consideration to the permanence of value as well as the permanence and duration of the works proposed to be constructed by means of these loans, he should move the addition of the following proviso to the clause:— Provided that, in determining the time when a loan under this section shall be repayable, the Local Government Board shall have regard to the probable duration and continuing utility of the works in respect of which the same shall be lent.


expressed himself quite satisfied with the Amendment as modified by the right hon. Gentleman.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment proposed, in page 20, line 40, after the word "thirty," to insert the words "or fifty."—(Mr. Stansfeld.)


said, the proposal to lend public money for these works was a very different thing from giving the local Boards power to borrow money from private individuals. It was a matter of doubt whether the whole of the drainage system and sanitary arrangements of the country would not be entirely changed in the next 50 years, as they had been changed during the last 40 years, and he thought it was questionable whether public money should be lent for so long a time as 50 years on the faith of works of this description.


doubted whether such loans would be repaid at all.


wished to know if the 50 years' loans were only to be granted for permanent buildings, and the 30 years' loans for drainage works?


supposed that the Unions' rates were to be mortgaged for the loans, and as the principle of 50 years' loans had been recognized in the case of loans for educational purposes, he did not see why it should not also be recognized in the case of loans for sanitary purposes, though he thought that 50 years too long a period for which to lend money in either case.


preferred the original term of 30 years, and was prepared to vote against the Amendment.


said, he was quite willing to leave the matter in the hands of the Government.


said, it was at present legal for local Boards to borrow for 50 years in the market.


considered that it was contrary to public policy to extend the period of loans for sanitary purposes, when it was not improbable that, as science advanced, the works now thought important might be found to be unnecessary.


said, that if the local Boards went into the open market there was no doubt that they could borrow money within the terms of the statute. Therefore, the question was merely whether the Public Loan Commissioners should have the same power of lending as other bodies.


hoped the Amendment would not be opposed. He would remind the Committee that, of all the money lent by the Loan Commissioners in Ireland, not one penny had been lost.


observed that the question was between 3½ and 4 per cent, seeing that the Local Government Board could get money for 50 years at the latter rate. The Amendment would benefit those who might live 30 years hence, because under its operation they would only have to pay 3½ instead of 5 per cent.


explained that the clause did not affect the sum for which money might be borrowed, but simply extended the period for lending at 3½ per cent to 50 years.


wished to know why the Government had changed their opinion on this point since the introduction of the Bill.


said, the clause had never restricted the power of borrowing to 30 years. The proposed alteration would only apply the rate of 3½ per cent alike to loans for 30 or 50 years.


said, he could not help thinking that the clause would affect the extent of borrowing powers so far as the Public Loan Commissioners were concerned, and feared it would induce lavish expenditure, leading to excessive taxation.


pointed out that if the Amendment was rejected the present borrowing powers would not be restricted.


trusted the Committee would not assent to the period of 50 years. The local authorities would, of course, prefer to borrow at 3½ per cent for 30 years, rather than at 5 per cent for 50 years, and therefore the Amendment would practically increase borrowing powers, and so encourage the present generation of ratepayers to throw upon others the burdens they ought to bear themselves.


said, that the Public Loan Commissioners were to lend on the same conditions as other bodies.


thought that a clear understanding should be come to by the Committee as to what the rate should be.


said, that they ought not to stint the necessary powers in a case like this.


repeated that he thought the period too long, and he wished to ask the opinion of the Committee.


considered that it was a misfortune to give a longer period than 30 years.

Question put, "That the words 'or fifty' be there inserted."

The Committee divided:—Ayes 79; Noes 56: Majority 23.

SIR MASSEY LOPES moved an Amendment, the effect of which was, in the case of good and permanent works, to allow the Loan Commissioners to advance money at 3½ per cent.

Amendment proposed, in line 40, to leave out the words "not less than."—(Sir Massey Lopes.)


opposed the Amendment on the ground that Government itself might be compelled in times of pressure to borrow money at 4 or 4½ per cent, with the view of lending it, if the Amendment were adopted, at 3½ per cent.


hoped the right hon. Gentleman would give way to the proposition of the hon. Baronet.


said, the House knew very well that all loans which were contemplated would be given under the sanction of the Exchequer Loan Board, and they might rely upon that Board seeing to the sufficiency of the security. It would be much better to adopt the usual rule, and give the minimum rate; but he did not think it right that they should be tied down to the minimum rate. The Government sometimes had to pay more than that rate of interest, and, therefore, the Commissioners could not undertake to lend at that rate uniformly.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."

The Committee divided:—Ayes 65; Noes 61: Majority 4.


said, that in order to meet the views of the hon. Baronet (Sir Massey Lopes) he was willing to introduce words which would allow the Public Loan Commissioners to lend money at any such rate below the minimum at present fixed by the clause as would not involve loss to the public Treasury. He would, therefore, move to insert after "3½ percent" the following words:— Or such other rate as may in the judgment of the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury be necessary in order to enable the loan to be made without loss to the Exchequer.

Amendment agreed to; words inserted.

MR. DILLWYN moved an Amendment, by adding words at the end of the clause, authorizing the Public Works Loan Commissioners to reduce the interest on any loan already made to any sanitary authority under the Sanitary Acts, to not less than 3½ per cent.

Amendment proposed, In page 21, at the end of the Clause to add the words "Provided also, That in the case of any loan already made to any sanitary authority in pursuance of any powers conferred by the Sanitary Acts, the Public Works Loan Commissioners may reduce the interest payable thereon to the rate of not less than three and a-half per centum per annum."—(Mr. Dillwyn.)


opposed the Amendment.

Question put, "That those words be there added."

The Committee divided:—Ayes 56; Noes 49: Majority 7.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 42 (Confirmation of provisional orders by Parliament).

MR. CAWLEY moved, as an Amendment, in line 4, after "Act," insert— Unless public notice shall have been previously given by Advertisement in two successive weeks in some newspaper published or circulating in the district to which such provisional order relates, and after hearing any objections which may be made thereto by any persons affected thereby, and.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 43 (Costs of provisional orders).

MR. ASSHETON CROSS moved an Amendment, giving power to rural districts to pay out of their rates the expenses of opposing any amalgamation with an urban district, in the event of an urban district wanting to extend its area under the power granted by the clause.


said, he would accept the Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Remaining clauses agreed to.

On the Motion of Mr. F. S. POWELL, the following new clauses were agreed to, and added to the Bill:—After Clause 10—"The fourth section of 'The Artizans' and Labourers' Dwellings' Act, 1868,' is hereby repealed." After Clause 12—"The fourth section of 'The Sanitary Act, 1866,' is hereby repealed."

House resumed

Bill reported; as amended, to be considered upon Tuesday next, and to be printed. [Bill 261.]