HC Deb 22 July 1902 vol 111 c897

To ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether he will state what is the lowest rate of interest which has been charged to any harbour authority or local body in Great Britain on any loan advanced from the Treasury of the Exchequer.

(Answered by Mr. Austen Chamberlain.) The hon. and gallant Member's Question is presumably intended to refer to loans advanced out of the Local Loans Fund by the Public Works Loans Commissioners. The interest on loans advanced to local bodies on the security of the rates is fixed from time to time by Treasury Minute with reference to the terms on which the Government can borrow, and the currency of the loan. The lowest rate which has been fixed for loans to local authorities, and this rate applied to harbour loans where the security of local rates was forthcoming, was 2¾ per cent., fixed by Treasury Minute after the passing of the Public Works Loans Act, 1897. But that minimum rate has since been raised to 3¼ per cent., which is now the lowest rate for such loans. Where the loans are not guaranteed by the local authorities the rates are higher.