HC Deb 17 March 1887 vol 312 cc536-7
MR. WOOTTON ISAACSON (Tower Hamlets, Stepney)

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether, in view of the growing magnitude of the Metropolitan debt secured on the rates, and the great burden thereby imposed on the ratepayers, the Government will consider the desirability of introducing a Bill to limit the total borrowing powers on this security?

THE FIRST LORD (Mr. W. H. SMITH) (Strand, Westminster)

The borrowing powers of the Metropolitan Board of Works are granted by an annual Act of Parliament. The Treasury require that the Bill for this purpose should have attached to it tables showing over a series of years the borrowing powers, the progress of the debt and of the sinking fund, and the amount of rate levied, in order that Metropolitan Members and others interested in the question may have the means of forming a judgment upon the general financial policy of the Board, and may be in a position to discuss the whole question, or the particular provisions of the Bill, when it is before the House. It appears to me that it lies with the Metropolitan Members, rather than with Her Majesty's Government, to call the attention of the House to this question of Local Government, if they should consider that the indebtedness of the Metropolis is increasing at too great a rate.